Bladder cancer. No real details provided
My dad, Irv, began peeing blood during Memorial Day weekend, 2004. He contacted and saw his physician the next week and was prescribed antibiotics to combat a presumed urinary tract/bladder infection. When this did not resolve through the course of antibiotics he was referred to a urologist. He scheduled an examination of the bladder through a tube inserted into the penis (name?) and, if evidence proved it necessary, a “shaving” and removal of any identified tumors. Found tumor and removed, biopsy (after several days) identified as malignant but “lesser” agressiveness type tumors.
Home the same day, in pretty good condition, although I stayed the night, unecessarily.
Then went through about 2 weeks with discussions with new physicians, i.e. radiation oncologist and then chemotherapist oncologist. We got what seemed totally contradictory diagnosis and prognoses. The urologist/surgeon offered the possibility of surgical removal of the bladder as the surest way to prevent recurrence of cancer to the bladder. Reconstruction of the bladder was not an option, so an external bag would be needed. We were warned that such major surgery at Dad’s age would be a very serious matter. We met with the radiation oncologist who seemed to be telling us radiation treatments would result in fatigue and potential long-term effects of interference with bowel function, bladder function, and/or spinal cord insult, but had a reasonably high rate of effectiveness. Plus, it was indicated that there was no statistical evidence that radiation AND chemo were better than radiation alone.
For several reasons, Dad saw the chemotherapy oncologist MD by himself. Mainly because he had indicated he did NOT want chemo regardless of what they told him. HOWEVER, he cam back from that meeing reporting that he had active cancer, because they had not been able to surgically remove it, and was going to die of it (at some unstated time). Phone calls clarified and cleared up report of rapidly impending death (it was an expression of worst-case possibility by chemo oncologist which was mis-perceived due to language issues (accent, speech level) and anxiety).
So, decision was made, by Dad, to go through radiation therapy but not chemo or surgery.
Radiation was easy for the first week. In the second week, out of no where, Dad became unable to use his right leg. He needed a wheelchair and assistance into and out of the vehicle. He could only get around his apartment with a walking stick and leaning on furniture, walls, etc. After a week or two of being unable to move around except with assistance, Providence did MRI which disclosed both osteophytes/spurs and bulging discs between two levels, L-4/L-5 and L-5/S-c. He was prescribed pain medication: (Vicodin) and (ultimately) Dextra to reduce inflammation. (Dextra quite expensive and sample packages were provided. Thanks!) This did result in elimination of almost all leg pain, but still was extremely restricted in leg function.
We’ve had a lot of event sequences since then, but I THINK the next major symptom development was extreme pain as he tried to urinate. We had major events and lesser events at the radiation oncology office, in the van traveling and at home. A couple very embarrassing (for him) events in public/waiting rooms. Medication to hopefully resolve bladder spasms and bladder infection. Some brief help.