Hi- I have been following your website for about six months and I am grateful that it exists. I have been a bladder cancer patient since July 2007 and am waiting to find out if I will be able to have a cystectomy in the near future. At this point, after many cystoscopies, seventeen TURBT surgeries, three types of chemotherapy and urethroplasty to rebuild a blocked urethra, it is time to consider having a cystectomy. I only wish I had met the urologist I spoke with last week a long time ago.
3 Years, 28 Rounds of BCG and being a caregiver
After initially being diagnosed in 2007 when I observed blood in my urine and had a large tumor removed, I was alright until 2010 when the cancer returned and I went through 28 BCG treatments while still trying to keep my job and being a caregiver to my first wife until she passed away.
Retirement and appreciation for life
Eventually, I was given a retirement offer and moved to another state. All the treatment I have gone through for cancer has impacted my strength and physical abilities even though I firmly believe in "mind over matter". The gift of being a cancer survivor is my appreciation in being alive, enjoying my family and not getting so upset about the "small stuff". Although I try to be positive and stay grateful, sometimes the pain I live with gets to me.
Spirtuality and hope
I read one of the articles on your forum about how our spiritual beliefs can be a great help as we go through our cancer struggles and that has helped me too. One thing I have learned is that it is valuable to seek a second or third opinion regarding bladder cancer, especially after being told that my cancer isn't bad enough because it has not spread to other organs.
Future is uncertain but I remain hopeful
My hope is that if I am able to have a cystectomy, that in the future I can regain some of my strength and maybe be done with bladder cancer. Fear of the unknown has made me hesitant to not consider cystectomy before and I am certain i will have many questions to ask the doctor when I visit with him.
Please share your experience with me, i'd love to connect
In the meantime, if anyone has had a similar bladder cancer experience, I would like to hear from you. In closing, I would like to say that attending a cancer support group and leaning on my faith are a few things that help me everyday. Also, when I allow other people to help me, that is a blessing to them -this is something I have had to learn.
Help others feel a little less alone