Ignoring the Obvious Signs
Whether it's the way I was brought up or something I've adapted to over the years, I've never seriously taken into account my health needs. I was never poorly as a child apart from the common childhood illnesses. As an adult, I was rarely sick, and at one stage in my life, I didn't even have a primary care doctor/general practitioner for a number of years.
Noticing slightly pink urine
At some period during 2016, I noticed my urine was slightly pink in colour, but put it down to something I had drunk. During that year at certain times whilst passing water, the colour of my urine became an obvious red. I was unable to go through the day or night without going to the toilet at least every three hours and was slowly losing control of my bladder. I did believe there was a problem, but because there was no pain involved whilst passing water I considered the blood in my urine to be related to my diet and the lack of water being taken on.
Blaming changes in urination habits on age
I put the need to go toilet often down to my age, which was 49. I had no medical advice or evidence to back up this diagnosis and spoke to no one about my situation. I started to drink more water and cut back on any type of processed food. For a while this seemed to work, but inevitably the blood in my urine came back, and now I was convinced there was a problem but still ignored it and kept it to myself. I suppose I felt it would just go away because I was physically feeling strong and able to participate with no ill effects in all my daily duties and sporting activities, which were plenty.
Toilet full of blood
In April 2017, I was attending a football match and had a burning need to pass water. I was parked quite a distance from the public toilets, so I had to hold it until I got to the public convenience. I took to using the cubicles in all public toilets, because I was never sure what colour my urine was going to be and didn't want anyone to notice the blood if I stood at a urinal. So whilst in the cubicle on this occasion, the horror of what came out of me was shocking. The entire basin was filled with blood. I spent a while in the cubicle cleaning and flushing away all evidence and went to watch the game. The following day I decided to make an appointment with my GP. Needless to say, the obvious signs ignored turned out to be bladder cancer.
Have you talked to your doctor about navigating sex with bladder cancer?