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Frequent bladder infections after radiation

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 844
Joined: Feb 2016

Ever since completing my radiation therapy (both external and internal) I have been plagued with constant UTIs. Anyone else have this problem. The contant burning is really annoying. I compleyed therapy in October. Enough already !

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

My bladder seemed to be irritated after brachytherapy, in addition to coming down with a kidney infection during radiation.  I started taking D-mannose capsules for a couple of months and drinking lots of water.  That seemed to finally put it to bed.  Somewhere I read that after radiation you can be more susceptible to UTI's.

MAbound
Posts: 939
Joined: Jun 2016

Isn't it funny how important something so simple as drinking lots of water is?  I'm still trying to keep up with drinking 8-12 glasses a water a day and it seems whenever I slack off is when I have issues that getting back on track clears up. I probably only drank 24-32 oz. a day before all of this for all of my life, so it's a chore to drink so much now, but it sure makes a big difference with the bladder and constipation issues!

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Have you tried taking Azo? It's an OTC cranberry concentrate in a pill. Seems to help a lot of people with UTIs. Hope this helps give you some relief! Kim

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1583
Joined: Jun 2015

I have only had one bladder infection since my treatments.  And, I was told that radiation can cause systitus (sp). Apparently there is a medicine that relieves the side effects/symptoms. You may want to see a urologist and ask if this is what you are experiencing.

I hope you find relief soon!

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

I found tha Azo helped, too.

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I had constant UTI's during chemo.  I didn't have any radiatiion.  My urologist did a cystoscopy on me to check for kidney stones, but none were found.  I had refused the Neulasta shot, so I think my immune system was just down from the chemo.  I eventually had to have a transfusion because of low white blood cells. Another thing I might mention is that I had alcoholic drinks twice after I had chemo, and both times, several months apart, I developed UTI's shortly after having had those drinks.  My mother used to have the same problem in her sixties, without having had chemo (yet).  I have far less UTI's now that I no longer drink alcohol.  I do try to drink a lot of water, which helps flush out the bacteria.  My urologist said that women get a lot of UTI's because their urethras are so short (bacteria can get into theirs a lot more easily than it can into mens').

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 844
Joined: Feb 2016

So I saw the urologist yesterday.  Lovely woman specializes in cancer.  She thinks I'm really not drinking enough fluids ( I agree) and also she mentioned the the use of the dilator could be contributing to the burning causing little tissue tears in the urethra.  So that's a dilemma!  I am scheduled for a cystoscopoy (sounds like more fun!) in February and we'll go from there.  Meanwhile, my mission is to drink more water.  BTW, hip is doing much better.  Not using cane other than out of the house, so hopefully it's healing.  I'll see endo on Feb 2 to deal with osteoporosis.  Have my 6 month CT scan February 22. 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

THANK you for the update!!  That sounds more fixable than other things it could be- so YAY!  I have a 20 oz water bottle and register each time I empty it on my fitbit app.  I set the goal and that helps motivate me to drink my water.  Bummer on the new test- those are always fun right?!   So glad you hip is feeling better!!!  Another YAY!!!  Will look forward to your future updates in Feb.  Good job taking such good care of yourself!  (((HUGS)))

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1583
Joined: Jun 2015

CQ, Did she mention that it is helpful to urinate immediately after sex or using the dialator? I had a lot of bladder infections in my early 20s and a doctor told me to do this. It eliminated all issues for me. I have had very few infections since following this advice.

I'm glad to hear that your hip is getting better! It really sounds like you are getting your life back. I will celebrate one year post all frontline treatment in one more week (chemo completed 12/21/15 and brachy 1/28/16). There is a marked difference in my stamina, strength and overall feeling of wellness now. I think you will find yourself much stronger in about 6 months.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

What great news it is that you are nearing your 1 year anniversary!!!!  It's so good to hear that your stamina, strength and feeling of wellness is so much better!!!  How exciting is that?!  I am doing an early happy dance and smiling all over the place- thank you for that <3  (((HUGS)))  Let us know how you celebrate ;)

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Hi, 

I'm scheduled for my consultation on Feb 15 to get my treatment plan. Based on what I'm reading hear about all the side effects,and issues now and later I'm wondering if I even want to go through it. 

Has anyone on this site not done it? I'm stage 1b endometrial.  Total hysterectomy and I believe this treatment is for prevenative. I'm still sexually active and this process doesn't seem to allow for good sex life it seems. 

I can use some help with this. I don't want to leak, and have all of the side effects I'm reading about. Ugh. 

Thanks

Bev

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1583
Joined: Jun 2015

Hi Bev,

I was stage 1A and did chemo and brachytherapy.  So far, I have had little to no side effects from the brachy. It will be a year since I finished on 1/28.

I am very good about having sex once per week and using the dialator once per week. (Or dialator 2 times per week if no sex and vice versa.) The bottom line for me is making sure to do the recommended stretching so there is not an issue.  There is a thread called 'Let's talk about radiation'. Lots of discussion there that you may find helpful.

For me, I'm glad I did everything suggested to give myself a fighting chance at a cure. We all have to figure out what works best for us. There are ladies that opted to not do brachy. Hopefully one of them will respond to you as well.

By the way, my radiologist did 5 smaller doses instead of the standard 3 doses to minimize tissue damage. I think that may be why I have done so well.

Good luck in making your decision.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Hi Cindy,

Can you tell me if they sedated you during this process? I'm speaking with a lady I know amd she said they're going to sedate her. I'm curious since I wasn't going to have anyone go with me. 

 

Thanks 

 

Bev

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1583
Joined: Jun 2015

No sedation for me Bev.  I drove myself to all appointments. It really is an easy process. I went in with a very positive attitude and refused to let myself be embarrassed. The entire team was male! ugh... But they all treated me with respect and made the process easier to face each time. I live 80 miles from Moffitt and had no problems driving.

The first appointment was a bit longer because they did all the measuring, sent me back out to the waiting room, configured the machine and then brought me back in for the procedure. I was not there more than 15 minutes from start to finish after that first one.

I did take a Lorazapam before each treatment to help me stay calm and lay still.

Hope this helps. Please come back with any additional questions.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

I also had brachytherapy about the same time Cindi did.  I had 3 sessions, finishing up 2/24/16.  I've been diligent about using the dilator 2-3 times a week and so far have not had any adverse side effects.

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

I had only two and had no side effects.  It was the easiest part of the whole treatment plan.  Still been four years now and no side effects ffects from it.  Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Thank you for all your information. I think I will ask about the 5 smaller dose like Cindy received. The less damage the better. I'm just not willing to give up sex right now. 

 

Bev

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Hi,

I haven't had my consultation with the radiologist yet but a lady I know is having internal radiation and they're going to sedate her. Will they sedate me for a vagional brachytherapy? 

I just need to know if I need to take someone with me on treatment days. I haven't planned on doing so.

 

Bev

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

I wasn't sedated.  I don't think that's common, unless the patient is very anxious about it. The procedure was uncomfortable, but not painful.  The "fitting" was probably the most uncomfortable part of the process, but the treatments themselves were pretty easy. There are a couple of types of internal radiation, low dose and high dose.  High dose is done relatively quickly (think under 10 minutes usually).  Low dose happens over a period of days.  Someone here had low dose and was in the hospital for the duration of the treatment.

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

I don't believe that they normally do for high dose.  Except for the first day when they fit you with your atomic tampon, it is a very short time.  Mine was less than 5 minutes.  Just had to lay still.  I was given sedation for external beam edition on my neck. I had to wear a mask that was skin tight and snapped down on a board.  I couldn't stand it and asked for sedation

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1980
Joined: Nov 2009

I had HDR brachtherapy in 2006.  Like others said, the fitting process was probably the most "embarrassing" process but the nurse made it doable.   The treatment itself really was about 10 minutes or less.

With regard to UTIs, every once in a while I used to get burny sensations but it never progressed into a UTI.

However, in 2014 I developed hydroureternephrosis and then had to have a ureter stent put in.   My urologist indicated that it was caused by scar tissue from my radiation treatment back in 2006.   Then every 3 months I have to have it changed which meants getting a chest x-ray and blood work prior to the procedure and then going under anestetic and having the stent replaced.   Yuck!   However, last December I had a reimplantment of my ureter and now I don't need a stent.

I tend to go for the bigger issues Yell   

 

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Thank you for all your information.  It helps a lot! 

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 844
Joined: Feb 2016

I had my cystoscopy today. The results were unremarkable except there was a lot of what the doctor called "debris."  The doctor said this is most likely caused by radiation causing a sloughing off of the lining of the bladder and these cells would be perfect food for bacteria. So the remedy is to drink a lot of water. I see her again in 6 months.  So something to think about you ladies who have had radiation.

BTW, the cystoscopy wasn't so bad. 

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

you got an answe and an idea of what to do.  I guess that drinking is helpful for a lot of situation.  For me, it is something that gets harder every day, that drinking.  I hope this helps you.

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

So glad they have something figured out- yes, water is so important.  I hope you find a way to get it down.  I personally have a jug of water that I use to fill my water bottle that I take with me everywhere.  I know that I am not done til that jug is empty for the day or close to it.  (((HUGS)))

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

That is very good news and very good advice. Thank you for sharing. Hope that you start feeling better soon and good luck on your CT scan next week!

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