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Bladder issues after radiation Bladder issues after radiation

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Unread 10-04-2013, 12:22 AM
Bladder issues after radiation

I finished my chemo and radiation treatment for cervical cancer at the end of May and for about a month now I have gotten bladder troubles. I wet the bed at night. It's so embarassing and it's never ever happened to me since I was a kid.

I hoped it was just a freak thing and that it would pass but it only seems to be getting worse. It's extremely upsetting. I have tried not drinking or eating after six but it doesn't always help and means I go to bed very thirsty and hungry. I have also tried setting the alarm to hopefully get up before it's too late but that doesn't always work either. Sometimes it's just a small leak, sometimes a lot.

I don't leak during the day but have to run to the bathroom very often and feel I don't have as much control as I used too. I also feel I have to strain really hard to empty my bladder completely.

I'm sure it's due to the cancer treatment, I had very strong external and internal radiation and cisplatin. But I never had any problems during the treatment, despite being on both sleeping pills and morphine I managed to wake up to go to the bathroom. So why has it started now, 3 months on??

I know I should call the oncologist's office but I just can't face it, I'm mortified. Don't want to have BEDWETTER in my chart.

Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do about it? Did it go away? I'm young and I don't want to be in diapers the rest of my life.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 08:19 AM
Re: Bladder issues after radiation

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I haven't had this but I'm wondering if perhaps it's a UTI? I've also heard of meds used but I'm not familiar with them, maybe other ladies have used them. I know it's hard to talk to Dr's but in this case you'll need to. When you call for the appt and they ask why, you can say bladder issues or something vague perhaps but for best care you'll need to be honest when you get there. They have heard it before. Maybe you can discuss how they code the visit diagnosis; I suspect it's some other more vague term. You deserve some treatment and relief here. Please do make an appointment, I know it's hard. :
Unread 10-04-2013, 06:27 PM
Re: Bladder issues after radiation

(((Sunset))) Yes, lots of ladies have bladder/bowel issues following treatment, so please don't be embarrassed to call the office. I assure you there's nothing they haven't heard before. BTW, I think the clinical term for the condition is enuresis. HUGS!
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Unread 10-04-2013, 06:55 PM
Re: Bladder issues after radiation

The medical term is nocturnal enuresis and there are different reasons it occurs but it is a reasonable symptom to discuss with oncologist. I believe most people think they follow up with oncologist for detection of reoccurrence of cancer but they also are monitoring us for long term effects of our cancer treatments. My follow up visits after treatments will alternate every 3 months with radiation oncologist and gyn oncologist. I finished pelvic radiation and brachytherapy in July and still do experience urinary frequency including nights. That said it may be due to UTI, small bladder prolapse ( common after hysterectomy) and neurogenic badder from radiation, or sonething else. I guarantee you that no one will laugh at you when you call doctor because it is a real medical problem that many women experience and get treatment for. Think about the frequent TV and magazine ads that urge women to seek help for their urinary problems as many also find it too embarrassing to talk about it. Ignoring the issue won't make it go away and it may get worse without any treatment. Let us know how you make out and know you are not alone experiencing urinary incontinence at night time.
Unread 10-06-2013, 02:29 PM
Re: Bladder issues after radiation

I had the same issue. I was also incredibly embarrassed about it. The nights I didn't wet the bed I would wake up every 60-90 minutes. So either I was wetting the bed or completely exhausted. I didn't call my doc until the worst reality...I wet the bed while on vacation at my best friend's house. While she was in the bed with me!!! We were sharing an airbed because she had a bunch of people there to visit. You can imagine my horror to wake up SOAKING wet, having to wake her, and hoping we didn't wake anyone else (all of us were in the living room). Her response touched my heart...and she gave me the courage to call my doc.

I went to see a urologist who used a camera to check my bladder. (did not hurt) He said for lack of a better explanation, after the hyster, rads, and bowel obstruction surgery...my bladder was p*ssed off. LOL He put me on Detrol LA and its worked wonders. Since I started on it I no longer run to the bathroom every 30 minutes. I no longer wake up multiple times during the night. And I haven't wet the bed since.

Please remember that your body has been through a lot. Sometimes it responds by going into a "shock" type state. It is nothing to be ashamed of. This is the part of being a survivor others aren't aware of. The things that happen behind closed doors. The secrets we try to hide with smiles. But know you are not alone.
Unread 10-06-2013, 04:56 PM
Re: Bladder issues after radiation

Originally Posted by Vega View Post
The secrets we try to hide with smiles.
I loved this line, (((Vega))).

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