I am 50 years old, consider myself fit and I have recently been diagnosed with Bladder Cancer! I guess I am not invincible after all🙄!
Fingers crossed Non Muscle Invasive at this stage.
I have had some episodes of blood in my urine for longer than I care to admit ☹️ (typical bloke I put it down to Runners Bladder as it usually occured after strenuous exercise). I mentioned it to my new GP and she suggested a CT scan and urine sample.
Scan came back with a significant sized tumour (9cm x 5cm x 1.5cm) 😯
Had a TURBT 10 days later and biopsy confirmed T1 non muscle invasive and specialist suggested BCG treatment starting 6 weeks after TURBT.
I wasn't convinced by my relationship with the Urologist so sought a 2nd opinion, (much of my reading suggests that you shouldn't be afraid to get a 2nd opinion - after all it's a pretty crucial decision!)
New Urologist was much more to my liking - very open to discussion and answered all my questions. He suggested PET scan, another CT scan and 2nd Cystoscopy/TURBT to ensure that the staging was correct to ensure the best treatment plan. He certainly runs the belts and braces approach which is what I want, also no sugar coating, I need to know exactly what I am facing.
So 1 week later I had my PET scan and CT, thankfully clear but have highlighted a couple of small (non cancerous masses <4mm in my LH lung 🙄 - something else to monitor!)
So 2 weeks later and I have just had my 2nd Cystoscopy and TURBT, his post op comments were that the procedure had gone well and that he didn't feel there were any nasty surprises, fingers crossed the biopsy back this up!
What have I done to date?
1. Lots of reading
2. Lots of praying (I have a strong faith which is getting stronger by the challenge!)
3. Changed my diet a little bit - cut out sugar, gone alcohol free and dropped red meat, processed meats.
4. Continued with my excercise where possible, this has been my biggest challenge - not bei g able to excercise as usual for a couple of weeks post TURBT has been tough
5. Advocated for men's health wherever possible. Too many men don't talk about this health concerns.
6. Maintained a positive mental attitude! I am committed to doing everything I can to live my best life and fight this head on.
My advice to anyone else going through this:
Don't be afraid to ask questions - the only silly one is the one you don't ask.
Don't be afraid to get a 2nd opinion - it is critical that you have a good relationship with your Urologist.
Don't worry about your dignity! I left mine at the hospital door the day of my first Cystoscopy 😯.
Maybe I would have been diagnosed earlier if I had left it somewhere sooner🙄 but I can't change the past only the future!
Please feel free to reach out if there is anything I can help someone with.
Watch this space for future updates.....