Ignoring the Obvious Signs

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 GP for a number of years. 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.

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Comments

View Comments (8)
  • Noel Forrest moderator author
    6 months ago

    Hi Andy, I’m pleased that you have managed to find this site and given me the opportunity to discuss my experiences with you. I must say however that my situation may not be replicated by yourself because we each can respond differently to treatment. After my first initial diagnosis and the removal of the tumours through 2 TURBT’s, followed by 6 doses of BCG and a subsequent 3 doses to make sure. I was given the all clear and told to return in 3 months. During my check-up after the 3 months they found a very small tumour, which was removed a week later. I was told it was nothing in comparison to my original tumour and was given another 3 doses of BCG. I’m actually back in hospital tomorrow to see if my bladder is clear of any tumours. So the answer to your question on how much can your bladder take before its ‘pickled’ is a question for you and your urologist. I’m 51, but feel 30 and live a very active sporting lifestyle. I don’t think I will ever give up the hope of keeping my bladder unless they tell me that there is no other treatment available. If Im told tomorrow that my tumours have returned then I will discuss the options available to me. If I have options on the table that don’t require the removal of my bladder then I will definitely go with that option. I have met many people who have taken away the uncertainty of the cancer spreading by removing their bladder and it’s something we must all look at during treatment. I’ve tried to look at my situation with all factors considered and decided very early that I would do whatever it took to keep my bladder in tact. My wife wanted me to remove the bladder but it’s a decision I’m comfortable with making and happy to have had the choice to make it. My advice to you is to look at each situation has it arises and not to project to far down the line. BCG can be very effective and many people have gone into remission after being treated with this drug. I’m hoping this will be the case for me and I hope it is the same for you too. I hope this has of some help to you Andy and please if you have anymore questions or just wish to talk about stuff I will always be here to help – Noel, (BladderCancer.net Team Member)

  • Noel Forrest moderator author
    6 months ago

    Dear Samina, I apologise for my late reply, but I have been away and only recently returned. Your news is devastating and my heart felt condolences goes out to you for the loss of your husband. This disease can be very cruel by taking some great people away from us. Your words are so comforting and means so much to me that you can think of other sufferers at such a difficult time for yourself. You are an inspiration and such a lovely person and I will hold on to your kind thoughts and continue to fight this terrible disease. Please remember that we will always be here for you no matter what and if you wish to talk then please use our support- Noel, (BladderCancer.net Team Member)

  • samina
    6 months ago

    Dear Noel
    Thank you and sorry for late reply as on 15th of April,my beloved the most generous man I have seen and the humble guy called me sweetheart left for his peaceful eternal journey.
    I will be waiting to meet him…
    to be re united once more….
    I keep you and all other brave fighters always in my prayers and I am so grateful to always find the support for every single thing and if I can do anything do let me know….
    Thank you very much

  • Shirley Norris moderator
    6 months ago

    Dearest Samina, you are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Your husband, who i had the honour to meet, was indeed a true gentleman. The loss of your husband was devastating news and I cant begin to know how you are feeling. Cancer is a truly awful disease. You were blessed with 2 beautiful children, and through them your husband lives on. Please know that we are always here for you. Sending great big hugs and love to you and your family. Take care, Shirley

  • Sarah Wallin moderator
    6 months ago

    samina, I’m sorry to hear about the recent loss of your dear husband. My condolences for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy, not to mention a husband. Sending my thoughts and virtual hugs to you and your family.

    Your continued support and prayers for others fighting this cancer during this difficult time is inspiring and encouraging. I know that Noel and others in the community appreciate it so much. Please know that if you ever need support or just want to talk, the community is always here to listen. We’re always here for you.

    -Sarah (BladderCancer.net Team Member)

  • samina
    9 months ago

    Hello dear
    Your story is similar to my husband’s, unfortunately his turned out mets to bones,and now fighting lying on bed….
    I pray for your better health.

  • Noel Forrest moderator author
    9 months ago

    Hi Samina, sorry to hear about your husband. I’ve been reading your previous post about his current condition and I will be praying for you and your husband and hoping that things will change for the better soon. Ignoring the obvious signs for men is such a common thing. I was very lucky after ingnoring my symptoms for so long. My cancer was fortunately contained within my bladder and hadn’t gone into the muscle, which could easily of happened. I’ve recently just been told that I have another tumor growing, which will be operated on next week. My purpose is to raise the awareness for men in particular, so they feel able to talk and express how they are feeling, particularly when it comes to health issues. I’ve found that black and ethnic minority groups of men generally don’t open up about things like this. I will be keeping an eye out for you, so please keep us updated on how things are going and thank you very much for your prayers – Noel, BladdeCancer.net Team Member

  • Andy
    6 months ago

    Hi Noel, I have only just joined this wonderful support group, so I am catching up! I have read other messages from you but have only just seen that you have another tumour growing, will you have BCG again? How much BCG can we have before our bladders become pickled (a term used by the Macmillan Specialist Nurse that gives me my treatment) and at what stage does one decide to have the bladder removed? So many questions. I am in the UK, isn’t it great that we can share our problems across the Atlantic.

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