I was diagnosed with BC in August of 2000 at the age of 55. Blood appeared in my urine October of the prior year(1999) but since it was a one day episode, I ignored it. Six months later I again noticed blood in my urine and reported the two episodes to my doctor. He recommended waiting until it happened again. Fortunately it did in August. (My urologist said the lucky ones bleed early) When I reviewed my annual medical phsycial records, I noticed it said microscopic hematuria for at least a couple of years prior but my doctor hadn’t told me. He said it was highly unusual to find someone at my age with BC. I found out after joining this site [webcafe’s discussion list] and talking to my urologist this was not true.
An IVP confirmed the mass and a Urologist scoped me. Into the hospital for a TURB [removal of bladder tumor through the urethra]. The tumor was 4+cm, noninvasive low grade. The doctor recommended waiting to see if it reoccured before doing anything else. He said size wasn’t as important to him as stage and grade. Three months later it came back the size of two matchheads. I asked the people on the BC Cafe website if this was unusual and received a lot of smiling confirmations that a reoccurence at the first 3 months was not unusual. Another TURB with the same noninvasive low grade pathology reports. The Urologist agreed with BCG. The six weeks were manageable. At first it was easy to hold for over two hours, a mild burning and some blood in the urine. By the six week it was impossible to hold more than an hour or so and the burning and blood in the urine was significant.
I took no maintenance BCG because I wanted to wait and see if it was needed rather than doing periodic disruptions of my bladder. My urologist wanted to wait also. I took multivitamins and minerals. At first I used Astragulas and I launched into making sure I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli and tomatoes. I exercised daily. I read everything on the BC Cafe website.
I have gone from scopes every 3 months to every 6 months to yearly scopes. It has been about 4 1/2 years now since the last reoccurence and I am now 60
years old. I changed my primary doctor to a very meticulous internist who
takes nothing for granted. Every thing is tested thoroughly. I take
nothing for granted including each day I rise and am still here. I know each day the beast can raise its ugly head and being overwhelmed by the diagnosis .With the help of the Bladder Cancer Cafe warriors and some good doctors, I was able to understand what was going on. Being able to predict and understand made the path a lot easier.