Choosing Bladder Restoration: Chemo and Radiation
I am 77 yrs & I have been married for 56 years to a retired RN who was an Oncology nurse in the mid 70's. Just prior to Covid, while being worked up for spinal stenosis surgery (laminectomy, laminotomy) blood was discovered in my urine. I went immediately to a Urologist who did a cystoscopy & dx cancer.
Devastating diagnosis after my daughter passed from cancer
After a TURBT a stage II aggressive tumor was found. We were devastated as our daughter who fought a valiant 11 yr. battle against 3 primary breast cancers had died 12 months before and we had witnessed the ravages of chemotherapy with her.
We were presented via phone with the options of having chemo for 12 weeks followed by a 9 hour radical cystectomy at Stanford, miles from our home. We set about exploring our options as I have a dx of COPD, and a silent MI.
Learning about studies with chemo and radiation
We found European studies where their gold standard of treatment is chemo + radiation to preserve the bladder. So we presented this to our medical oncologist, our radiation oncologist, and our Urologist. The most receptive was our radiation oncologist, who knew about European studies.
We chose this and in April started on Gemzar/Cisplastin for 2 rotations, reduced Gemzar for 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments, then back to full Gemzar/Cisplastin for 2 more rotations. At the end of radiation, a CT scan was done that showed no evidence of tumor nor where the tumor had been. We will be followed by all the Docs and have a repeat CT scan in 6 weeks.
We hope to lead the fight for this to be evaluated as viable treatment and eventually the gold standard of treatment for seniors in the US.
Have you done chemo or radiation?
Did you know that May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month?