a couple holding hands in an elevator

First Results Appointment After My TURBT

My wife Melanie was with me for our first results appointment after my TURBT and six weeks of BCG. We were both nervous, not knowing what to expect. The office was located across the street from Mt. Sinai, the hospital where I received treatment, and it was on the top floor of a six story building. It had recently been remodeled with light wood panelling, a number of skylights and comfortable leather seats, all of which were occupied. Our appointment was for 10AM; we were called at 10:30. We were seen by an oncology resident and not Dr. Zlotta, my surgeon. We sat across from him as he scanned the notes in front of him.

On the road to recovery

“Everything looks good, blood work is fine, your hemoglobin is a little high, but that’s to be expected.”

“Does that mean I’m cured?”

“Not quite, but you’re on the right track. Your bladder needs a few weeks to recover from the BCG, we’ll schedule an appointment for your next cystoscopy and go from there, but right now things are looking good.”

He gave us a nice “thanks for coming smile,” stood up, and offered his hand. We shook, made our way to the front desk and booked our appointment for three weeks later.

Life seemed so much better all of a sudden

We were giggling like a couple of kids when we got on the elevator. Life seemed so much better all of a sudden, it felt like I’d had a cold and it was gone, just a little phlegm to get rid of, and I’d be back on track.

The next appointment was for my second cystoscopy. I still wasn’t used to being invaded and was a tad nervous heading in. The procedure itself isn’t very painful, except when the catheter gets to the prostate. Even though it’s the size of a walnut, it can be a little testy at times. It has a tendency to shutdown, or pucker if you prefer. Dr. Zlotta had to coax the tube through; it actually felt like a minor cramp. Once it was in, it was clear sailing. It’s fascinating to see what is happening inside your own body, there’s a TV camera on the end of the catheter showing what’s inside. Your bladder looks like the palm of your hand, smooth, almost white in colour, veins visible here and there and really quite boring. But when there’s something there that isn’t supposed to be, even the uneducated eye can spot it, even me.

Spotting something concerning

“What’s that?”

“Could be a number of things, but I think it’s just irritation from your BCG treatments. I’ll check your urine sample to make sure.”

We were finished, got cleaned up, dressed and we went home. Ten days later I received a message on my phone.

“Hi Mr. Van Horne, it’s Stephanie, Dr. Zlotta would like to see you in his office. Can you come in on Tuesday at 10, please let me know?”

I didn’t like the sound of her voice.

Find the next part of Jim's journey here.

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