I was dealing with my 92-year-old Dad as he was dying of kidney cancer. With raising two grandchildren and driving to and from my Dad, I was having recurrent bladder infection symptoms: urgency and pain. I was given antibiotics by my Primary doctor and I drank so much cranberry juice that I should’ve turned red. I thought it was just running constantly until I saw blood in my urine before his funeral. Again, I was given antibiotics and I was miserable trying to get through his funeral and burial.
Not a UTI... this is cancer
Thankfully, I became Uroseptic a few weeks after his funeral and I was hospitalized where I had a cystoscope for the first time. A week later, the doctor himself called and asked me to come into his office that day. I immediately said: “OMG, I have cancer!”! He said he wouldn’t lie to me and I did have cancer. In his office, he told me that he saw “funny looking material” in my left ureter that he decided to biopsy and it was malignant. I had taught piano to this doctor when he was a young boy and his decision to biopsy saved my life!
My kidney now facing danger too
The tumor had ruined my left kidney which was removed after chemo along with the ureter. At my second three-month post-surgery cystoscope, my surgeon stated, “I see a tumor!” seven days before Christmas. The day after Christmas, my tumor was removed, then much stronger chemo and finally surgery to remove my bladder, hysterectomy, lymph nodes and creation of my urostomy.
My 3rd Stomaversary
This April, I will “celebrate” my third “stomaversary”. It hasn’t been easy, but I am alive and fairly comfortable with my urostomy! I am very thankful for becoming so sick initially that I was hospitalized and the doctor biopsied “strange looking material” that diagnosed my rare and very aggressive cancer.
Help others feel a little less alone
Do friends and family ask about your bladder cancer?