The value of second opinions

I was diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer in January. My healthcare network was very good about getting me into chemo, and a referral for bladder removal out-of-network. I didn't like the choices but accepted that it seemed the right course. Two members of my family had colostomies, so I knew wearing a bag wasn't the end of the world.

Setting the specialist team

Then out of the blue, I got a call from the surgeon's team. They had requested the tissue samples removed during the TURB procedure, so they could verify the original diagnosis before any surgery. They had their own in-house urinary pathologist, a true specialist, whereas it turns out my provider contracted pathology work out.

Unexpected good news!

Lo and behold, the specialist determined that there was no evidence of muscle involvement in the samples. In other words, pending confirmation with another cystoscopy, I had a non-muscle-invasive cancer! Here I was, almost done with chemo, which I assume was not the most appropriate treatment for my condition. Even better, I would not likely need surgery!

The pathology report is the single thing that sets the path forward for your treatment. More than anything else it deserves a second look and by the most skilled pathologist available. It sure made a difference in my case!

This is my story.

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