A Tumor? Wait, What?

It was my mother-in-law’s birthday, August 28, 2018, and we had plans for dinner that evening. However, at the start of the day I urinated blood, pretty heavily, and figured I had better make my way to the urgent care center some time during the day for antibiotics, thinking I had a UTI. As it was 8am, my day continued, I went to work, stopping in the bathroom 2 more times, same scenario with the blood. I thought I would make my way through dinner on this big night then take it from there.

That night

At dinner our family talked about how fortunate it was that my mother-in-law was 85, as many people aren’t lucky enough to make it to 85. She was almost embarrassed about that fact, but we assured her she was just fine and doing well.

Afterwards, I told my husband I was going to get checked and I’d probably be home within the hour with antibiotics for this UTI.

It was 7:50pm by that time and the urgent care facility, upon hearing my issue, told me I should go to the nearest Emergency Room, because if a CT scan was needed, they didn’t have that service available.

Confused at first

CT Scan? For a UTI? I was a bit aggravated that I now would have to spend 10 times as much money on a co-pay for ER services that I really didn’t think I needed. But off I went.

At the ER, I explained my problem. Within 20 minutes I had a urinalysis, a CT Scan with IV contrast and was told by the ER doc that I had a tumor in my bladder! “Bladder Cancer” were his exact words.

A tumor? Wait, what? I can honestly say that until he said that to me, I did not even know you could get cancer in your bladder.

An unexpected coincidence

As fate would have it, my ER doc, too, had bladder cancer! He explained to me his story, though he didn’t see any blood in his urine when it happened to him. He explained what would need surgery to remove the tumor and what I might need to do after surgery for treatment. He was very honest and empathetic, and that I would probably see life as a little sweeter as I move through this process.

He also told me he had already texted his doctor, the head of Urology at our local hospital, and said I was going to get a phone call the next day for an appointment with him. This all happened at 9 o’clock at night!

But wait? A tumor? I was dumbfounded. I could not believe that 2 hours previous to that moment, I was eating and laughing with my family and now I had cancer!

Everything happens for a reason

I believe that everything happens for a reason and I also believe the stars aligned that night to put me in THAT particular ER with THAT particular doctor. I have a feeling that had I been able to be seen at the urgent care facility, I probably would have been given an antibiotic, with a recommendation to follow-up with Urology some time in the near future, and sent on my way. Knowing me, I probably would not have followed up that immediately, and would have waited until it was a “real” concern.

The next day I met with the Urology, surgery was immediately scheduled and I’ve since been diagnosed with Stage 1 Bladder Cancer.

I’m so grateful

I am presently in BCG treatment – 1 down, 5 to go!

I am so grateful for the ER doc that recognized my symptoms that night and helped me understand the diagnosis that has changed my life.

What led to your bladder cancer diagnosis?

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