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Post-Brachytherapy Inflammation

woodstock99
woodstock99 Member Posts: 114

For those who have had bracytherapy and experienced what feels like a UTI but isn't after treatemnt is over, any suggestions? 

I finished my last treatment a week ago and had no issues until mid-week last week (a few days after lats one) when I started feeling like I might be getting a UTI.  I had been drinking massive amounts of water since before my surgery as well as taking a probiotic so I thought I might get away with no side effects exceppt for the fatigue.

I took some extra strength Azo for 1.5 days but by Friday it didn't seem to be helping.  I messaged my RO office and they sent me to get a urine test.  I went asap as I hoped they'd get results back by end of day but unfortuantely not so I spent the wekeend uncomfortable. It's been many years since I have had any type of infection down there and I wasn't sure if likely UTI or cystitis or yeast. 

Main symptoms are  burning when first urinating,  feeling very dry down there everywhere and occasionally felt like I had a stick stuck up me or kind of like what it feels like when the cathether is in but that was not constant.  I finally used some aquaphor externally yesterday which helped.

My tests came back this morning and everything was within normal range excepty for Leukocyte Estercae Ur Poc which said Trace A but my WBC was normal.  I know if you have high amount of WBC it means UTI but I read that trace is not always a concern.  Is this true? 

My RO is on vaaction this week and I spoke to his PA who termed it "mild inflammation" that is expected after completing treatment.  She was apolgetic but concerned and said I did not need any prescription meds at this time. She told me to try AZO and use Replens gel externally and that this should subside in the next week or two. But if I get any more or worse symptoms like blood in urine, discharge, flank (what is that) or pelvic pain or fever to call. I was supposed to start using my dilator in a week which she said to hold off on.  

Is this "normal"?  I just don't want it to get worse by not treating it.  Any other natural or OTC suggestiosn?

I think it is more bothersome today as I am working and sitting at my desk at home so I can't relax or rest like I did over the wekeend.

Thanks all. 

Comments

  • Tamlen
    Tamlen Member Posts: 323 **
    edited August 9 #2
    I had the same

    I had the symptoms near the end of brachy that I thought were symptoms of a UTI, but it came back negative. They told me it was inflammation from treatment and I should expect it to subside in a week or so. I was uncomfortable for a week, with Azo not doing much, and then it went away. I hope your discomfort passes soon!

  • cmb
    cmb Member Posts: 749 **
    Radiation cystitis

    I developed bladder inflammation (radiation cystitis) the last week of external radiation. It does feel just like a urinary tract infection, but a urine test will come back negative. I didn't find the prescription level of AZO made any difference. The doctor told me it would last about two weeks and that's what happened. I was fine once the inflammation subsided.

  • Harmanygroves
    Harmanygroves Member Posts: 294 **
    Brachy Achy

    No one feels like laughing about this though!

    I had five HDR over two weeks that ended July 1st 2021. 

    I am currently having pain similar to a UTI, and my Rad Onc asked me to come in for labs, which I will do tomorrow. 

    I never had many UTI's but it's constant, kind of a burning ache in my nether regions. I am drinking 64 oz of water daily, which I do in a focused way so I don't find myself at the store and having an urgent issue. 

    I'm sorry you're having a hard time, and I will keep you posted about how things go for me and what happens. Yes, though. Similar pain, similar concerns. 

    It's early days, so when I stub my toe, it's cancer. Sigh.

    Hang in there!

  • woodstock99
    woodstock99 Member Posts: 114
    edited August 9 #5
    Thanks for the reassurance. 

    Thanks for the reassurance.  If this is the worst of things I will be very happy.  Sorry to hear many of you have or are going through same. Hopefully as the PA said it will subsuie in a few weeks.  

  • woodstock99
    woodstock99 Member Posts: 114
    I do have a UTI!  Got a call

    I do have a UTI!  Got a call this morning from the PA that they did not have full lab results yesterday and I do ahve a UTI and tsrating on antibiotic.  Ugh.  

  • Harmanygroves
    Harmanygroves Member Posts: 294 **
    edited August 10 #7

    I do have a UTI!  Got a call

    I do have a UTI!  Got a call this morning from the PA that they did not have full lab results yesterday and I do ahve a UTI and tsrating on antibiotic.  Ugh.  

    Ugh, but answers are good

    This gives me the heads up that I really do need to get in for those labs. 

  • woodstock99
    woodstock99 Member Posts: 114
    edited August 10 #8

    Ugh, but answers are good

    This gives me the heads up that I really do need to get in for those labs. 

    Results came in 3 different test results.  - today;s was the "culture" - yesterday's were the Urinalysis" and "microscopic examination".  The PA should have known yesterday they didn't have the "cukture" back.  Get tested as you donl;t wnat to let it get worse if it is a UTI.  

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,801 **
    edited August 11 #9
    So glad you will get some

    So glad you will get some relief now. I just wanted to mention that if you have itching, pain or dryness from your brachy, there is a vitamin E suppository that is very helpful. I get them from Amazon and they are inexpensive. I rarely have to use them these days but they will take care of any itching with just one use. Just insert one when you go to bed.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

  • RainbowRita
    RainbowRita Member Posts: 51
    edited August 12 #10
    Thanks for sharing, Denise

    Good to know that just because we've completed our radiation treatments and had no serious issues, it doesn't necessarily mean that issues can't crop up later as time passes. I guess I always assumed that if we had already gone through menopause and didn't have "issues", that the hysterectomy and radiation treatments weren't going to change things. Looks like I sure was wrong about that!

  • BluebirdOne
    BluebirdOne Member Posts: 475 **
    edited August 12 #11
    So I just returned from an appointment with a urogynecologist

    to address my stress incontinence issues. The important part is that I have no estrogen due to the fact they took my ovaries. This can mean dramatic changes to your vaginal and urethral tissues. They did an internal exam and I was about to jump off the table due to the pain. What I have been diagnosed with is inflammation of the internal and external tissues due to lack of estrogen. This is also partially responsible for my stress incontinence issues because the vaginal tissues have become so thin and are unable to support the surrounding tissues. As initial treament, I have been prescribed Estrace cream, (1st on the list to begin, followed by more progressive treatment) because my serous tumor was Her2 negative, not estrogen driven. I just wanted to mention that not all after treatment pain are UTI's. The last and only UTI I had was in 1984, so I am not at all prone to them. This lack of estrogen creates intense burning pain internally, as well as externally, combined with residual issues from brachy which also made the vaginal, urethral and rectal tissues weak. I was so glad of the referral to the urogynecologist, as the issues of burning pain and stress incontinence can be ignored, but they affect the quality of life greatly. I had brachy in October, 2018, as part of my initial treatment, and only for the past 6 months have I had the burning and inflammation, so these things do take time to develop. 

    Denise 

  • BluebirdOne
    BluebirdOne Member Posts: 475 **

    Thanks for sharing, Denise

    Good to know that just because we've completed our radiation treatments and had no serious issues, it doesn't necessarily mean that issues can't crop up later as time passes. I guess I always assumed that if we had already gone through menopause and didn't have "issues", that the hysterectomy and radiation treatments weren't going to change things. Looks like I sure was wrong about that!

    I had the most unremarkable surgery and treatment.

    Easy peasy, chemo sucked, but it was doable. I recovered well except for the continued stress incontinence I have had for many years, but now it is getting worse. Also getting worse is the neuropathy in my right foot. First the big toe went numb months after finishing chemo, with icing my hands and feet, and now the bottom of the same foot is beginning to get numb, three years later. Go figure. Discussing the incontinence issues, they told me it is not at all unusual to have these problems after BSO and the lack of estrogen is part of the problem. I am so glad that my issues are being taken seriously instead of them dismissing or not addressing these late side effects. My issues are annoying, but I know how much worse others have had it so I feel lucky. Hope you are doing well, Rita. 

    xxoo

    Denise 

  • Harmanygroves
    Harmanygroves Member Posts: 294 **

    So I just returned from an appointment with a urogynecologist

    to address my stress incontinence issues. The important part is that I have no estrogen due to the fact they took my ovaries. This can mean dramatic changes to your vaginal and urethral tissues. They did an internal exam and I was about to jump off the table due to the pain. What I have been diagnosed with is inflammation of the internal and external tissues due to lack of estrogen. This is also partially responsible for my stress incontinence issues because the vaginal tissues have become so thin and are unable to support the surrounding tissues. As initial treament, I have been prescribed Estrace cream, (1st on the list to begin, followed by more progressive treatment) because my serous tumor was Her2 negative, not estrogen driven. I just wanted to mention that not all after treatment pain are UTI's. The last and only UTI I had was in 1984, so I am not at all prone to them. This lack of estrogen creates intense burning pain internally, as well as externally, combined with residual issues from brachy which also made the vaginal, urethral and rectal tissues weak. I was so glad of the referral to the urogynecologist, as the issues of burning pain and stress incontinence can be ignored, but they affect the quality of life greatly. I had brachy in October, 2018, as part of my initial treatment, and only for the past 6 months have I had the burning and inflammation, so these things do take time to develop. 

    Denise 

    Thanks, Denise!

    I always learn from you. I'm currently figuring out that sometimes jeans and undies just aren't enough....(atchoo!). Seriously, I've got more to figure out, that's for sure.

  • woodstock99
    woodstock99 Member Posts: 114
    edited August 12 #14

    So glad you will get some

    So glad you will get some relief now. I just wanted to mention that if you have itching, pain or dryness from your brachy, there is a vitamin E suppository that is very helpful. I get them from Amazon and they are inexpensive. I rarely have to use them these days but they will take care of any itching with just one use. Just insert one when you go to bed.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

    Are these made by Carlson?  I

    Are these made by Carlson?  I wasn;t sure if I should use naything internally when I am less than 2 weeks from last brachy.  Thanks.  

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,801 **
    edited August 12 #15

    Are these made by Carlson?  I

    Are these made by Carlson?  I wasn;t sure if I should use naything internally when I am less than 2 weeks from last brachy.  Thanks.  

    Yes, Carlson is the brand

    Yes, Carlson is the brand that I use. I can't imagine why it would cause a problem to use it now, but you may want to check with your doctor first. I don't remember exactly when I started using it since I am 5 years post brachy.

  • Harmanygroves
    Harmanygroves Member Posts: 294 **
    Using Dilators

    I am finding I just don't appreciate them but I'm starting. I've found that I don't want to make the time to do it, so every time I use the bathroom, I take a minute at the sink, throw in the small one and stand there for a minute, take it out and wash it and carry on. My husband and I have decided that since I'm not the world's most patient Patient (ha, ha, see what I did there?), I will make myself a little schedule for "focusing" on using them for 15 mins per day and go about it in a manner that doctors would appreciate. 

     

  • woodstock99
    woodstock99 Member Posts: 114
    edited August 12 #17

    Yes, Carlson is the brand

    Yes, Carlson is the brand that I use. I can't imagine why it would cause a problem to use it now, but you may want to check with your doctor first. I don't remember exactly when I started using it since I am 5 years post brachy.

    Thanks - I had seen them on

    Thanks - I had seen them on Amazon.  I just assumed since I was told to wait 2 weeks to start the dilator after last treatment that nothing should be put inside befor ethen.  I do have to contact them though since being diagnosed with the UTI as I will not finiishh my antibiotiocs until next Tuesday when I should start the dilator and if I should keep my first appointment with pelvic floor therapist that I have on 8/19 so wil ask about the Carlson suppositories.  I did buy something called V Magic on Amazon to use externally and it has helped with itching and dryness. 

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,801 **
    edited August 12 #18

    Using Dilators

    I am finding I just don't appreciate them but I'm starting. I've found that I don't want to make the time to do it, so every time I use the bathroom, I take a minute at the sink, throw in the small one and stand there for a minute, take it out and wash it and carry on. My husband and I have decided that since I'm not the world's most patient Patient (ha, ha, see what I did there?), I will make myself a little schedule for "focusing" on using them for 15 mins per day and go about it in a manner that doctors would appreciate. 

     

    Harmonygroves,

    Harmonygroves,

    I used my dialator faithfully for the first two years. And, I was told I only had to use it 2 times per week for 10 minutes each time. I never had to do it every day. And, if I had sex, that counted as one of the two times. I haven't used one now for over 2 years and have not had any issues. 

    I don't think any of us like those darn things! But, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Good Luck.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

  • woodstock99
    woodstock99 Member Posts: 114
    edited August 12 #19

    So I just returned from an appointment with a urogynecologist

    to address my stress incontinence issues. The important part is that I have no estrogen due to the fact they took my ovaries. This can mean dramatic changes to your vaginal and urethral tissues. They did an internal exam and I was about to jump off the table due to the pain. What I have been diagnosed with is inflammation of the internal and external tissues due to lack of estrogen. This is also partially responsible for my stress incontinence issues because the vaginal tissues have become so thin and are unable to support the surrounding tissues. As initial treament, I have been prescribed Estrace cream, (1st on the list to begin, followed by more progressive treatment) because my serous tumor was Her2 negative, not estrogen driven. I just wanted to mention that not all after treatment pain are UTI's. The last and only UTI I had was in 1984, so I am not at all prone to them. This lack of estrogen creates intense burning pain internally, as well as externally, combined with residual issues from brachy which also made the vaginal, urethral and rectal tissues weak. I was so glad of the referral to the urogynecologist, as the issues of burning pain and stress incontinence can be ignored, but they affect the quality of life greatly. I had brachy in October, 2018, as part of my initial treatment, and only for the past 6 months have I had the burning and inflammation, so these things do take time to develop. 

    Denise 

    Thaks for the info and sorry

    Thaks for the info and sorry about your problems.  I too am concerned about lack of estrogen increasing my cardiovascular risk (already have HBP), bone density (hhas been fine up to now), the areas you mentioned, my brain, my skin, etc.  I can't take any hormones as I had breast cancer 6 years ago and theer really is no doctor who seems to be well versed in all these issues.  Feel better! 

  • LeetrogO
    LeetrogO Member Posts: 2
    edited September 23 #20
    Post bracky therapy

    I am 2 weeks post bracky therapy. I had 3 treatmebts. prior I had 5 wks. of chemo/radiation. I had no side effects. I did have burning after the first bracky treatment. To the extent I almost did not return for the other 2, Long story. Anyway, the burning when I pee has subsided. I only notice more frequent urination but no major problem.

  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 2,927 **
    LeetrogO said:

    Post bracky therapy

    I am 2 weeks post bracky therapy. I had 3 treatmebts. prior I had 5 wks. of chemo/radiation. I had no side effects. I did have burning after the first bracky treatment. To the extent I almost did not return for the other 2, Long story. Anyway, the burning when I pee has subsided. I only notice more frequent urination but no major problem.

    Welcome LeetrogO.  I am sorry

    Welcome LeetrogO.  I am sorry you had to find us, but you will find it is a great group of ladies and their families.  

  • woodstock99
    woodstock99 Member Posts: 114
    edited September 23 #22
    LeetrogO said:

    Post bracky therapy

    I am 2 weeks post bracky therapy. I had 3 treatmebts. prior I had 5 wks. of chemo/radiation. I had no side effects. I did have burning after the first bracky treatment. To the extent I almost did not return for the other 2, Long story. Anyway, the burning when I pee has subsided. I only notice more frequent urination but no major problem.

    Glad you are feeling better

    Glad you are feeling better and completed treatment!