Living With Bladder Cancer: How Worries Have Changed From Diagnosis to Today

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There is no doubt about it. A bladder cancer diagnosis changes everything.

Your days may feel different now. What matters to you. How you look at life. And how you spend your time – and with whom.

Another thing that may have changed: the worries that weigh on you. We asked our BladderCancer.net community how their worries changed from their initial bladder cancer diagnosis to now. Here is what they shared.

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It was a shock to be told I had bladder cancer. But I have a great support system and I feel I will be ok. - BladderCancer.net Community Member

Poll

Was it difficult to keep a positive mindset while going through treatment?

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Take it one day at a time

For some in our community, perspective is everything. Taking it day by day. Moment by moment. Focusing on the positive and what you can control instead of all the what if’s.

The psychological impact of bladder cancer can run deep, continuing after treatment is completed. That is because so many emotions can be stirred up. Fear. Uncertainty. You may come face-to-face with new feelings you are not even aware of yet. And that is okay! Give yourself space to feel whatever comes to the surface – and let it out.

One approach that helps? Changing the story you tell yourself. By giving yourself permission to rediscover – and enjoy – activities you love to do, you can start to take back power.

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A woman stands triumphant on top of a mountain.

“I keep chugging along. I have figured out how to deal with whatever comes my way with as much dignity as I can.”

– BladderCancer.net Community Member


Poll

Do you worry about recurrence?

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No longer worry about every pain

After diagnosis, some in our community found themselves scrutinizing every new ache or twinge of pain. So much so that it impacted their ability to enjoy any moment of happiness in their day-to-day.

It is completely normal to feel this way. Every new sensation begs new questions – and concerns. What does it mean? Is the cancer coming back? Or is it nothing at all? It can be tough to break the cycle.

Some members of our community note that these worries decreased after the end of active treatment. What helped? Limiting negative thoughts and adopting a survivor mindset.

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A man rests peacefully on clouds.

“I worried about every little pain for months. I have now beaten this anxiety and am enjoying my life again. I keep an eye out for symptoms but I do not let it control me.”

– BladderCancer.net Community Member


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Anxious about recurrence

Just because treatment is done does not mean that all the worrying is done, too.

For some, ending treatment has the opposite effect. With every new sign or symptom, they worry: is my cancer coming back?

It may feel as though you are moving through each day with this dark shadow hanging over your shoulder. The fear of recurrence is perfectly understandable and, for some, may lessen over time.

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A man struggles as he balances on a tightrope.

“I feel like I am living my life on edge. They say this cancer comes back easily. I am scared that I won’t notice if it does.”

– BladderCancer.net Community Member


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Changing with the changes

A simple truth: living with bladder cancer changes you. Your perception of time. How you approach the world. How you see everything. Life is just different after cancer. It is okay to feel whatever it is you are feeling. Acknowledge your feelings – and talk it out with someone you trust.

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Poll

Compared to when first diagnosed, I worry more about new symptoms that appear.