4 Years Ago

4 years ago I was sitting in my urologist’s office at the WHVA, awaiting the results of all my cat scans, pet scans, blood tests, urine tests, and any other test that you can think of. Oh yeah, I forgot the cystoscopy. That was the final test. The results were unanimous. I had bladder cancer and they were going to take my bladder.

And then the fun began

3 months of heavy chemo (they said my beard probably wouldn’t fall out; they lied) dehydration etc. you all have heard this before. They finally removed my bladder! Dec. 2014. Right before Christmas! My original diagnosis was 2 days before my 66th bday. Such gifts I got. And then the fun began. I opted for an ostomy. There was no way in hell that I was going to catheterize myself. Plus I felt that I wouldn’t get UTIs etc. Well no UTI but the ureters were not very cooperative. They strictured. I wound up with nephrostomy tubes (one in each kidney) and 2 more pouches.

Becoming a 3 pouch man

I went from a 1 pouch man to a 3 pouch man. Not only that, during the insertion of the tubes I went in to rigors. Imagine a 250 lb man lying on his side shaking (shivering) violently and the Dr inserting the tubes trying to stitch them up. I spiked a fever of 103%. It started around 6 p.m. The fever finally broke at midnight. And then the fun really began. I had a bacterial infection. I was in and out of the hospital every mos. Finally Dr Sha #1 found out the bug that was causing the problem. This is all happening between Dec 2014 and Sept 2015.

Another operation

In 2015, I had another operation to fix everything that Mr. Murphy caused. This operation was 12 hours in length. I had so many antibiotics in me that my veins would not cooperate. To draw blood was almost an impossibility. They finally resulted in a triple lumen (spelling) to place a port so that I could receive nourishment and make blood drawing easier. After 19 days I was released from the hospital, minus my nephrostomy tubes and feeling pretty great. Since this procedure I had a parastomal hernia repair.

How I’m doing now

So far all is good. I feel blessed and happy but with all these procedures you would think it would have improved my golf game! My prognosis is good I figure I have another 10 years. When I reach that I’ll be 80 and who cares at that point.

Did you have any complications during your bladder cancer journey?

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