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My Bladder Cancer Story

I don’t know why I have been so hesitant to share my story with people, but I think this is a safe place to let it out…I am a typical woman, mom, and hard worker. I have always been relatively healthy. Active, eat healthy most the time. But like most busy moms I had signs and symptoms that I ignored because busy with life. The symptoms I was having at first seemed like normal 38 yr old woman stuff. Leaking, urgency, sneeze ya pee a little, jump rope ya pee a little. I have had 4 children and I thought that stuff was normal. Then came the always fighting UTI’s that wouldn’t go away. Antibiotics wasn’t fixing it. So tired all the time. Then the pain with urination and back pain. Also I started to feel pressure down low. And some blood in my urine, color change, very concentrated urine. The pressure felt kinda like a contraction. And bladder spasms. I got scared and finally went to the ER.

The next thing I knew I was in surgery

Well, they did blood work and a scan and found a large mass in my bladder. The ER dr. told me I have bladder cancer, just blurted it out, in a way that made me feel like I did this to myself. My guy and I just held each other and cried. I was shocked and dumbfounded. He referred me to a urologist. The urologist looked with the scope and definitely saw a large mass. The next thing I knew I was in surgery to remove the mass. The results from pathology was definitely cancer. My urologist said I have T1 bladder cancer. And it was in the first layers of my bladder. About a month later had another surgery to get some more growths removed. ER visit 10-27-17, first surgery 11-7-17, second surgery 12-7-17. I started my BCG treatments in February of this year. I finished my last one the 23rd of February. I’m so scared that it’s going to get into my bladder muscle, but I’m trying to stay positive. I know it’s been like 4 months but I’m still in shock I think.

Feeling like bladder cancer is my fault

The anxiety is the worst for me, my mind constantly is racing, and every little pain makes me so nervous! I know I’m not alone and that helps. I have my check in with the scope the 27th of this month to see if I have more tumors or not. And I guess we’ll go from there. Probably another round of BCG treatments. I know I’m early in my journey and I’m sure my feelings are normal and I’m not alone. I didn’t even look up any info on my diagnosis until after my 2nd surgery. I found BladderCancer.Net and I am so grateful that this exists. I have a very small support system. My guy of 17 years (he has been so strong for me, but I can feel he’s scared and hurting but doesn’t want to let me see it) and my son who’s 12. A few coworkers, and BladderCancer.net! For some reason I don’t understand I feel like I’m responsible for this…..like I have just rocked my family’s world and it’s my fault. Anybody else feel this way? Whew ok, that wasn’t so bad. Thank you for listening and being my support BladderCancer.net!!!

What is your bladder cancer story?

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Comments

  • Andy
    11 months ago

    Hi Brandy, why on earth do you think it is your fault, I certainly don’t. I’ve just had my 4th BCG treatment and have acute pain in my bladder, did you? I’m sure you and I will be just fine, there are many worse conditions than bladder cancer and the prognosis is good……keep your chin up.

  • Brandy78 author
    11 months ago

    Andy,thank you for reading my story. And for your sweet encouraging comment! I deal with guilt alot actually. I think some stems from the fact i smoked for 25 years of my life. And the ER doctor that basically diagnosed me was very unkind and definitely said that (insinuated) I caused it with smoking. I have quit. I mean,I am quitting. I say quitting smoking because its a day to day struggle so far, true addiction. And the fact i waited so darn long to stand up for myself, that it wasn’t just a UTI. Im doing a little better with it. How are you feeling? I had some discomfort in my bladder with the treatments, and it was like the 4th or 5th one when it started. I also had a little bit of bladder spasms after my last one.The first couple weren’t as uncomfortable as i thought it was going to be. My nerves were worse, lol! And your right for sure,there are so many worse things(diagnosis) it could have been. I do feel blessed for that. A tip I can give you that I’ve learned so far, if your tired or uncomfortable….rest. My last couple BCG treatment days, i just layed around. Feet up,i also rotated side to side to just keep coating that bladder even after i got home during the 2 hours i had to hold the BCG in my bladder! I dont know if that even works but, it can’t hurt! thanks for the encouragement!! You hang in there too, and im totally here to swap stories or just listen! I’ll post an update on my last check up,the results were good so far…

  • Noel Forrest moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Brandy78, thank you ever so much for sharing your story with us. I’m really happy to hear that you feel this is a safe place to share! Your honesty and openness will go along way to helping others. Its never easy knowing what to do in certain instances when talking or sharing about your diagnosis with others and we appreciate what you have done. I can relate to a lot of your story and understand at times how guilt can set in over the burden put onto your family. This feeling of guilt however, in my experience is always something going through our own heads, and so far removed from how our family and loved ones are actually feeling. Outside of my Bladder Cancer family I rely heavily on my wife and 2 daughters who are my main support and don’t want anything more than for me to get better. I owe it to them to stay as positive and as focused as I can, so I don’t think you should ever look to blame yourself for having cancer. I too was active and lived a clean healthy lifestyle, which didn’t prevent me from having cancer, which is also the fate of many others. You’ve been remarkably brave to date and its important that you keep a positive outlook towards your treatment. The BCG treatment you have received is a widely used treatment plan and have worked for many. It is common for you to receive additional doses of BCG and this is necessary to make sure it kills all possible cancerous cells that was not detected under the scope. This can last for up to a year, so try to be patient with your treatment. The main aim is for you to rid yourself of the cancer and to keep it away, no matter how long it takes! I wish you well for your upcoming checks on the 27th and hope you receive the best possible feedback. We will be here for you whenever you need us and I look forward to hearing back from you, so please keep us updated on how things are going for you – Noel, (BladderCancer.net Team Member)

  • Sarah Wallin moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Brandy78,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us here. I admire your courage to share about your journey, and I know that there are others in the community can relate to the way that you feel.

    I’m so glad to hear that BladderCancer.net is part of your support system and hope that we will continue to be a means of support for you throughout your journey. Please know that the community is always here to listen, on the good days and bad. I’m so thankful to have you as part of this community.

    -Sarah (BladderCancer.net Team Member)

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