Elevated PSA Levels Led to the Discovery of My Bladder Cancer
In 2017, I had blood work done, and a PSA exam was done. My level was 2.8. In Nov 2018, I had my annual, and the number was 3.8, so a 6 month was ordered. In May 2019, it was 4.83, so ordered another blood test in two weeks on a Friday, and a urologist on Monday. I went to the urologist, and he said the PCP should be having kittens over my PSA, and I said he was, and he ordered another test which was done Friday.
A MRI, a biopsy and a diagnosis
He went and got the test. It was now 5.03. He immediately did a prostate exam, and ordered a biopsy. I said I have no other symptoms, and think that is invasive. So, we did a MRI at 8am on the next Friday. He called me at one, saying it was a good thing we did the MRI, because he never would have seen the spot on the other side of the prostate, or the one on the bladder. He said, we have to biopsy the prostate do see if it's cancer, but the one on the bladder is. Both were very small, caught very early.
You want to leave cancer in me?
He said, normally they would let the bladder cancer go and monitor it, but I said, really, you want to leave cancer in me? He said they are doing the biopsy, so they might as well to a TURBT and resect the cancer from the bladder. Day of surgery, he comes in, and puts a microwave size bag of Gemcitabine on the bed, and attaches an orange wrist label next to the hospital label. I was in the hospital overnight, and went home with a catheter and a bag (how embarrassing) for 5 days. The Gemcitabine was only in one time for about an hour and then flushed.
The unexpected results
In two months, my hair stopped growing, I was going to cancel my hair cut, but kept it, and when she wanted to schedule the next one, I said push it back, I noticed my hair isn't growing, and she noticed it's thinning. I could pull out 3-5 pieces at a time. I cancelled the next cut because the hair isn't growing.
On Monday, I go in for a 3 month scope, if clear, a 9 month scope, if clear, once a year now, forever. My prostate was negative, but if I hadn't done the MRI, they wouldn't have caught the bladder cancer. This is not the life I imagined, and I don't know what I will do should it come back and they have to remove my bladder.
How were you diagnosed?
Did you know that May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month?