Last updated: February 2023
When I was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1999, I said to my doctor "don't make a big deal of it there is only a little blood." He did not listen and instead put me on the usual procedures of cystoscopes, scans, and chemotherapy. I found the best way to tolerate the cystoscopy's is to ask a nurse to hold your hand!
Several Years, Several Recurrences, One Ostomy
After several years of treatments and frustrations of the tumors returning every year I was put on a heavy regimen of chemotherapy. Cancer was gone but again reappeared after a couple of years. This time it was starting to break through the bladder wall. It was time to see a surgeon and plan on the removal of my bladder. As the date approached, I received a call from the surgeon's office telling me that he had fallen off his bicycle and broke his hand. Several months later, the surgeon was ready, but, I needed more heavy chemotherapy before the surgery could take place. Finally, on 10/30/08 the procedure was done, and I began my life with ostomy bags and supplies.
Another Tumor? How...
I continued with the scans and doctor visits and finally agreed to have my port removed last year. Three weeks later I was again diagnosed with bladder cancer in a lymph node. No bladder but still have bladder cancer 12 years after removal. Back to chemotherapy. Again I survived the process even though my doctor doesn't know why I am still alive! Now, I am going through immunotherapy, which is a two-year process that I hope will add years to my life.
My Word of Advice
Bladder cancer is a slow-growing disease that can pop up at any time. It is important to continue your scans and checkups forever.
It is a continuous process so keep a good attitude, be vigilant, and be your own advocate.
This is my story.
Have you shared your bladder cancer story?
Does your bladder cancer treatment have an impact on your mental health?
Join the conversation