BC. And We’re Not Talking Flintstones
Things were much easier
I could pee standing up without really thinking about it.
I knew when my bladder was full based on a feeling versus an alarm clock.
I didn’t have to take pills to regulate the acidity of my blood. I didn’t have to go get a CT Scan every year and wait those excruciatingly long few days (weeks) before I heard if I got another 12-month reprieve from worrying whether I “have” cancer again, or simply continue in limbo where I “might” have cancer again. Trust me – there is a huge difference in those states of mind.
It was just simpler BC.
Visiting relatives during the holidays was easier, too.
Holiday visitation concerns
When I’m home, I am calm and collected knowing I have all my “needs” laid out and within arm’s reach. I have my hospital pad on my bed in case of a midnight accident. I have back up catheters in my bathroom should I ever run into a voiding issue (knocks wood – don’t need to do that anymore).
I have my routine down pat and it is reassuring knowing it all works.
But when I travel to relatives that all goes out the window.
Trust me, it’s a little stressful when you sleep at your in-laws, on their guest bed, and you worry about leaks and incontinence. You need to bring your pads for the bed, lay them down before you go to sleep and put them back in your luggage when you arise because you really don’t want anyone inadvertently seeing you have to protect the bed like you’re a 3-year-old. And if you do have an accident – then you have to “do your laundry,” and you can’t just let them “throw it in with the other stuff they have going.” I always just grab some clean stuff and wad it up with what I need to clean to make it look like a bigger load of clothes.
My different schedule
Something I took for granted BC was that most family get-togethers operate on the schedule of the “normal” – not on the schedule of your new “enhanced” bladder – or your access to supplies. Activities might be in locations without normal bathrooms. Sometimes the time involved exceeds the time you have. I’m on a three-hour pee schedule, so any time longer than that makes me uncomfortable. And I’m not that one to raise my hand and suggest a different schedule because of “my” specific normal.
I really want to return to when life was much easier.
But I can’t. And if you’re reading this, you can’t either.
But you can make the holiday visits simpler and less angst-ridden.
Just do you… the NEW you
So, from now on, when you go to your relatives on the holidays, take the time to talk with your host. Tell them your constraints and issues. Let them know what your concerns are with the 6-hour triathlon away from bathrooms. See if you can be the one that stays at the house and gets the after-run food ready.
In other words – accept your new situation and don’t try to hide it. Hiding life AC (figure it out… c’mon – not too hard) only increases your anxiety, makes you feel bad about your life, and frankly, makes those that love you feel bad because they didn’t know how they could help. I know it’s tough. I’ve been going on for almost 6 years, and I still have a tough time raising my voice when situations make it difficult for me. But I get better each year. And each year I have a better experience.
This is your life. Live it!
Don’t hide from it, and don’t hide it from others.
Life AC – can be very cool… (yes... I know that’s a terrible pun.)
Have a safe and happy holidays!
Have your views towards bladder removal changed since you were diagnosed?