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.

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.

A week later I went into surgery for a TUR 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.

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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