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Nothing Ever Happens to You – Hah!

That’s what my wife always said to me for years. Yup, I was sailing along, no problems, practically no health insurance claims over the years. Until over a month ago in July I began urinating blood.

Misdiagnosed at first

I went to our family doctor who initially diagnosed a urinary infection. But a follow-up visit 2 days later he said no culture could be grown that indicated an infection. A day later, still urinating blood I went to the ER where I was diagnosed with hematuria (UTI) and prescribed antibiotics and recommended to see a urologist asap which I did.

After a CT scan followed by the urologist’s probe into my bladder he announced that I had a cancerous tumor which needed to be removed. It was like I had just been hit by a stray bullet.

Surgery and recovery

A week later I went into surgery for a TURBT and transferred to a hospital room for overnight observation. Foley catheter draining into a bag at the side of my bed + painful urination and impossible to sleep a wink. I went home the next afternoon attached to an ankle bag and the larger bag that I used for overnight drainage. I was amazed at how much urine collected overnight.

After 4 days I went back to the urologist and had the catheter removed. He said I’d need to wait about 3 months for the bladder lining to heal and then start BCG treatments once a week for 6 weeks which I understand is the normal regimen of treatment.

Could bladder removal be next?

My big concern is recurrence which I’ve done an overload of reading about — so much so that I’m driving myself crazy thinking about it.

I scheduled a second opinion with another urologist next week. What do I expect out of this? I’m really not sure but I’m writing down a few questions I need to have answered such as: Because I have a high grade cancer should I expect the next phase is removal of the bladder and who knows what else? Or, what are the odds that the BCG treatments will stop the spread and prevent recurrence?

That is my state of mind and where I am today. Sorry for the long rant. ~Rich

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  • Pepe528
    11 months ago

    I MEET A WOMAN at the doctors las week she has been dealing with it for 14 years it started in 2004 — she now goes in just onece a month for b c g and thats it -i would say shes about 75 years old

  • TerryN
    11 months ago

    I have had recurring bladder cancer for 11yrs. About once a year I go to get the cancer removed surgically. I am lucky my cancer is low grade. So I just deal with and have a positive attitude. I am luckier that most.
    It wear you down but just don’t give up. Enjoy your life. I am still working.

  • Pepe528
    11 months ago


  • Sarah Wallin moderator
    11 months ago

    @TerryN, I am glad to hear that your cancer is low grade and that you have been on top of watching for recurrence over the past 11 years. Also it’s great you are enjoying life and are still working. Appreciate you reading this story and stopping by to share these words of advice with the community. -Sarah ( Team Member)

  • TerryN
    11 months ago

    Thanks !

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