My name is Gerry. I am 38 years old, and was diagnosed in the fall of 2006 with bladder cancer. I wanted to share my experience with this forum, as I have found this forum to be very helpful and informative.
I am a very fit guy, but I did smoke for over 20 years. That's what did it for me I think. I have not smoked since the diagnosis, needless to say.
My initial symptoms were blood in the urine. I went to see a local walk-in clinic doctor, who then presribed antiboitics for infection. Of course, the bleeding only got worse, so he recommended I see my family doctor. My family doctor sent me for ultrasound and imaging testing. The results were devastating. It looked like a cancer tumour was growing on the wall of my bladder. I was shocked, and frightened. I have 2 young sons at home, and the though of not being there for them scared me deeply.
I was sent to see Dr. Frank, a Urologist at the local Credit Valley Cancer Centre. He was amazing, and the new facility is very impressive. More than ever, I really feel blessed to be Canadian. Our health care system is incredible. Dr. Frank is a top notch urological surgeon, and our health coverage for these things as citizens covers all of the costs, no questions asked. I felt much better after meeting with Dr. Frank, and knowing I was in very good hands.
Dr. Frank scheduled me in for a Cystoscopy. Sure enough, it appeared to be bladder cancer. The inital diagnosis was the appearance of T0G1 mass lesion greater than 5cm on the bladder wall. Dr. Frank scheduled me in for surgery within 45 or 50 days.
When the surgery day arrived, I had a TURB done, and stayed overnight at the hospital. It was an uncomfortable experience, but thankfully not too painful. Dr. Frank removed the tumour, and sent it in for lab analysis.
At our next meeting in Dr. Frank's office, I received some bad news. The tumour came back from the lab as T1G3. Dr. Frank also informed me that he saw another, very tiny tumour in the bladder while doing the primary tumour rescection. He removed that tumour as well. The tiny tumour turned out to be only a T0G1, so no worries there. Dr Frank recommended 6 weeks of BCG treatment.
The 6 weeks passed and the BCG treament was not too bad. No side effects, just a bit of burning in the urine. No big deal really. Dr. Frank scheduled another Cysto for follow up.
At my next Cysto, Dr. Frank saw what he thought might be another tiny tumour, near the urethera, perhaps T0G1. Dr. Frank scheduled another TURB.
At my next TURB surgery (which was in July 2007), Dr. Frank removed the small tumour. He sent it off to the lab folks again for evaluation. My next appointment is August 22, 2007, to get the lab results. I am hoping for good news, as always.
I am very much looking forward to a clean bill of health at my next cystoscopy. I am confident I can win this fight, and physically I feel great right now.
Thanks to you all for sharing your stories, they have been informative and helpful 🙂