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Optimal Time Of Day To Schedule External Radiation If You Work?

woodstock99's picture
woodstock99
Posts: 106
Joined: May 2021

Hi All - hop3 everyone is having the start of a nice long holiday wekeend.

I am going to move forward with the 25 external radiation treatemnts.  I am supposed to do my simulationthe week of 7/12 and start treatements the week of 7/19.  Still waiting on insurance preapproval and scheduling.  I was told that when I come in for simulation that I can request a treatement time.  I may not get it the first week but usually by week 2 they can usually accomodate. 

I was trying to think what is best time of day. I work and was leaning towrads the afternoon so I could a good part of the work day in before having to leave and could rest up when I got home.  I know the radioation oncologist mentioned having a full bladder and empty bowels and I  thoought I'd be less stressed having to wake uo earky in the day and accomplish both.  Maybe have breakfast and skip lunch?

I live in CST and work with a lot of people on EST so that was another factor for thinking about the afteernoon.  NOTE: I am still working from home so no commuting issues. 

Apprecuate any insights or feedback if I am not thinking about anything that I should be.  Thanks.  

MoeKay
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2004

It sounds like you have several good reasons why afternoons would work best for you.  I went first thing in the morning due to my work commute.  After my radiation appointment, I had to drive about 45 minutes to the train station and I then took a train into the city.  I didn't want to have to worry about possible train delays or traffic problems on the way home, so I got my treatments out of the way at the beginning of the day.  I started on the first day of summer and recall that the only day it rained during my entire 5 weeks of radiation was the very last day, which worked out well for me, but was not good at all for the environment.

Best of luck with your radiation treatments!

woodstock99's picture
woodstock99
Posts: 106
Joined: May 2021

I ams still working from home so do not have commuting issues right now but I totally get what you are saying.  Did you find that when the fatigue and/or any other side effects set in that you may have had that you had difficulty finishing your work day?   Thanks.

cmb's picture
cmb
Posts: 730
Joined: Jan 2018

I've been a management consultant for most of my career. The consultants all worked from home when not at a client's site. So I timed the onsite meetings with my new client to take place after chemo ended and before I started radiation. I chose to do the radiation sessions first thing in the morning so that I could work uninterrupted the rest of the day.

I never ate or drank until treatment was over. It's been interesting to read, but I was never told to have a full bladder before treatment. There is a comment in my doctor's simulation note that says "Custom complex blocking was designed to decrease the amount of small bowel, bladder, rectal and perineal tissues within the treatment fields to decrease the risk of associated side effects. Beam modifiers and weighting will be evaluated to provide for a homogenous dose distribution throughout the treatment volume." I hoped it worked – so far, no issues with other organs, except for the ongoing diarrhea issues that I had even before cancer.

I do remember that once a week they reviewed the radiation settings and the doctor ordered machine adjustments as necessary.

I was able to work a full day during radiation. I was probably more tired, but nothing like how I felt during chemo. 

MoeKay
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2004

To answer your question, it was only towards the end of the five weeks of treatments that I started getting more tired, but not to the extent that I wasn't able to work.  At that point, after my hour and a half commute home, I would have dinner and go to bed a short time later. 

woodstock99's picture
woodstock99
Posts: 106
Joined: May 2021

Thanks all.  I think I may actually try to do in the morning maybe around 10 (after rush hour) as I am not a morning person actually a night owl so having to be anywhere very early is not my choice.  The RO talked to me about the full bladder and empty rectum and I was given a 1-sheet about it.  I googled it and found similar instructions online and also this video which pretty much mirror the directiond I was given.  Talk about pressure every day for 25 days!  https://vimeo.com/229592469

jan9wils's picture
jan9wils
Posts: 164
Joined: Mar 2017

I had my treatments after work, which worked best for me as I was teaching first grade at the time. I drank water but did not eat during the day. I would have my treatment, then go home, eat something and rest a bit. Later in the evening I would have another meal and spend time grading papers or lesson planning. I had severe diarrhea anytime I ate something so that schedule worked best for me. I was more tired as the week went on and more tired by week five than I had been in the first weeks. Since you are working from home still it may be easier for you to complete treatments in the morning. For me, radiation was easier to tolerate than chemotherapy.

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