My Journey with Bladder Cancer
Recently the team posed a question to the community on Facebook, "Have you ever been told bladder cancer was the 'easy' cancer?" I read it. Yet, my mind did not answer the question, my first consideration was how good I have it, and how unbearable life could get. But to answer the question no, I have never been told I had the "easy" cancer. This would hurt me if someone formed this opinion about MY CANCER without hearing how blessed I am.
I am blessed
When I think about my cancer, I do think this - bladder cancer is the "easy" cancer because it is unseen. So, unless there are symptoms a person can live with it and not know they have it. To be honest, as I look at the list of symptoms, some I ignored. Urinary retention would make me happy, which means I can deliver mail without stopping. Urinary tract infection I can cure that with some home remedies. I embrace my cancer because it could be worse.
So, when I look at my longtime mentor with cancer, my cancer is not bad at all. Honestly, I do not even bring it up anymore, and my loved ones don't either. My God has dealt this card to me, and I am going to play my card and thank him.
Part of me now
Bladder cancer has walked in my life now, yet cancer had an open door for over twenty years from smoking. I have been dealing with my cancer for over five years, and I have to incorporate living with cancer into my life.
Sometimes it is with me, and sometimes it is not. Life did not end, although it did take a year or two for me to stop worrying. I know it can get worse.
Thankfully, I have never had to deal with any of the things that scared me when I was first diagnosed. For instants loss of hair, appearance, pain, chemo, losing my bladder to a cystectomy, and a urostomy bag. Plus, losing all the parts that control my hormones and sex drive would crush me as a woman. But death is worse. I am only 42 years old, yet this burden with me is a heavy one. But I will do what we all do - adjust, keep on living, and being thankful because it could always be worse.
Making peace with reality
I have learned to deal with it at this point in my life and thank God for giving me partial memory loss when it comes to MY cancer. I honestly keep it so deep in the back of my mind it turns into a whisper. Until the CT scan, cystoscopy, the results, and the BCG with the catheter.
Then anxiety comes and I try not to give it too much attention. This is the only way I have been dealing with the way life is for me. I have to accept it and deal with it when it shows up. I have no choice in the matter. I have come to understand that all cancer is personal and we handle OUR CANCER in different ways. This is mine.
I pray this helps someone.
Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or share your story with the community.
Have you talked to your doctor about navigating sex with bladder cancer?