Dandelions or TCC
July 17, 2008
First and foremost, thank you all so much for sharing your BC experiences with me. Finding this site has helped me so much to not feel so alone. Although we are not suffering in the same ways, we are all feeling the loss of control of our lives.
I am a 62-year-old female and smoked at least one-pack-a-day for nearly 45 years. I had finally quit for the last time in Feb. 2006, thanks to Chantix. I had never heard of bladder cancer from smoking, so I was truly shocked. My story begins several years ago with uncontrolled urgency, embarrassing experiences of wetting myself on a trip and could not make it to the next town that was only 20 minutes away. The G.P. said, "You have no infection in your urine so I do not know what is wrong with you" and sent me home with bladder spasm pills.
Well, we moved to OK, in September 2007 to spend our "golden years" closer to our Son and Granddaughter with many dreams of fishing, camping, sharing the holidays, school functions, etc. I became a substitute teacher, and the honey drives a school bus. What fun was in store for us! We were always busy, going here and there.
Then, Valentine's Day of 2008, I passed lots of blood and big clots while working at one of the schools. What a shock. Very scary! Off to the new G.P. She put me on Cipro and said to call if I did not get better. One week later, I called and they immediately made an appointment with a Urologist at the Southwest Kansas Urology Center in Liberal, KS. After a couple of tests and an exam with a camera, I could see that my bladder was full of these things that look like under water floating flowers, and two dark spots. I said, "What is that stuff?" It is Bladder Cancer, or as we call it here, "Dandelions," because they just keep coming back. Oh my gosh, I have NO INSURANCE!!!!!!!
Well I must first give credit to my Lord who always provides what I need, then to my family for their support, patience, and love. I did not have this in my plans of fun in the Golden Years, but my cancer team in Kansas has made all of the treatments possible without worry. I have been scoped and buzzed two different times and then the BCG. I have been "destroying dandelions" for five months now. My 30-day check up after the BCG revealed no old tumors, and they buzzed five new tumors. My experiences have been tolerable. I do not go in the hospital for my procedures. They drug me up with pain pills and valium and do all this in the office. I have not had any x-rays, MRI's, or blood tests. They did do a biopsy but did not get a big enough piece for grading. Oh Well! I will have Medicare in two more years, and my wonderful team is buying me the time needed to get to Medicare.
So far, that is my story of Dandelions without Insurance. I go back in Oct for another Peek, and most likely a buzz. I will keep you all posted and look forward to following this path of unknowns with you.