My Diagnosis Story

Last updated: December 2017

First of all, welcome to our new friends. We are a caring group and we know this is not the new club you wanted to join. You were forced into becoming part of our family. We welcome you and are all here to support each other. Everyone has a story. From the moment you heard the word "cancer", your story began. Here’s a look into mine.

January, 2014 I had a great job and was having a blast. Then sometime mid-January, I started waking up each night with a fever between 101 and 102. I would take two Tylenol go back to sleep and feel fine when my alarm went off. I was a bit concerned, so I did take Tylenol periodically throughout the day.

Something was not right

One day, February 20, 1014, I took the last two Tylenol in the huge container. It was then that I realized something was not right. Yes, I knew I had a fever but had absolutely NO other complaints. My primary physician did every test he could think of, all coming back normal, except for the X-Ray. There were 4 spots. Two days later, CT scan images showed cancer. I went through the normal array of tests including a biopsy and was given the fantastic news, I had a lung abscess.

Fast forward, after 6 weeks of a PICC line getting antibiotics 18 hours per day. It’s time to do the follow-up scans to make sure the infection is gone. Well, the 2 spots on the right were gone, but the left got larger. Time for another biopsy and this time it was confirmed lung cancer and it was in my lymph nodes.

Since then I have endured surgery (entire left lung removed), several different cocktails of chemotherapy, radiation, and finally, my miracle drug, Opdivo immunotherapy. So since January 2016, I go in every two weeks for infusions and get CT scans every three weeks. Everything looks great – tumors are shrinking and continue to do so.

Discovering a secondary cancer

So what does this have to do with bladder cancer? Well, I had chest CT’s every three months since diagnosis, however, in April of 2017, my oncologist said, “You know, we haven’t done an abdomen CT in over 3 years. Let’s do one this time.” No reason, no rhyme. She just felt like it.

And here it began. My oncologist said everything in my lungs were still shrinking by the millimeter or stayed the same. HOORAY. However, there is a nodule in your bladder!! She recommended my urologist, who saw me on a Friday, and scheduled my cystoscopy for Monday.

It’s been an up and down roller coaster since then. My bladder cancer is NOT a metastasis of my lung cancer. It is a secondary cancer. Check back often as I will post my experiences in the hopes that my mistakes and achievements may help you in your journey.

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