I am Linda. My story is about my husband, Jim. His bladder cancer was diagnosed in August of 1995. The doctor removed his bladder, and told us his prognosis was good. He recovered slowly, but never got back to his former self. A year later, Jim started having pain in his right leg, and the doctors told him there was nothing wrong. Several months later, the cause of the pain was found to be a tumor on the right pelvic bone, causing bone destruction, and pressing on nerves. He had 5 weeks of radiation and cisplatin, then was scanned again. The tumor had not shrunk, but appeared to be dead. A month later, he started MVAC. He did almost two cycles before the congestive heart failure. He couldn’t have MVAC anymore. He was scanned a month later, and the tumor was smaller. Six months later it had grown again, and Jim started Taxol. He did the full course of taxol. It caused severe neuropathy, but didn’t shrink the tumor. It didn’t grow either, so we don’t know if it had any effect at all.
Two months later, it started to grow again. The next time it was scanned, it measured 7.5 x 6 cm. During all this time, he continued to drive 45 miles to work every day whenever possible. By the beginning of that June, the tumor measured 12 x 11 cm. That was when the doctor started giving him gemzar, which seemed to destroy his immune system, leaving him open to the sepsis, which caused so many problems at the end. He was showing signs of kidney and liver failure when the doctor recommended stopping the chemo, but he still wanted to fight. He passed away at home, in the very early morning of August 3, 1999, almost four years to the day since his cancer was first diagnosed.
We have two sons. At the time of Jim’s death, John was 19 and Bobbee was 17. Jim was a wonderful father to them, especially good with John, who has been totally blind since the age of 22 months. And at the end, John took good care of his Dad.