I thought I had a UTI until the pain in my lower stomach (right where the bladder was) made me pause. This was April, 2009 and I was retiring in June. I could barely leave my house too get to work because of the urge to urinate and periodic bouts of excruciating pain, but I trudged forward.

It wasn't a UTI

When I finally went to my Internist, he said my urine sample was clear and the he could not give me a referral to see a Urologist. It wasn't until December and many painful bouts that I was finally able to be seen by a urologist. He used a camera (not painful) and saw the that the lining of the bladder was red (supposed to be whitish) and many little bubble like structures. Carcinoma insitu was the diagnosis which is cancer of the lining (which cannot be removed). We tried 6t weeks of BCG followed by an exploratory procedure.

Treatments and surgery

The BCG got rid of about half the disease. I could have tried another round of BCG, which may or may not get rid of the rest or be sure to get it all by removing the bladder and creating an ileal conduit which means I would lose a pouching system for the rest of my life. I chose option 2 and have never regretted it.

Still here 12 years later

I am 12 years in, 74 years old and still am happy, active, and grateful every day for the life I get to live. Even the leaks that I finally mastered with the addition of a Convatec Eakin Cohesive which I place around my stoma before adhering the Ostomy bag. I have a weekly routine and enjoy walking, water aerobics and playing with my granddaughter, and great nieces and nephews. I have since had a kidney removed and am going strong. Thank you for letting me share.

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