Well my story starts as this.I am a 52 yr old male and I live in the suburbs of Phila, Pa. I had my left hip replaced on 9/26/07. I had the walker and cane the whole bit like I was learning to walk all over again. Well all ended well there and I felt like a new man. I was discharged from Ortho Dr. on 12/11/06. Now the holidays are coming and I'm excited only for my 2 grandchildren a boy and a girl both 5 yrs. old. Not that I hate the holidays but it's always spend spend spend you know the deal. The first couple of days of December I start noticing blood in my urine. I did not say nothing to anyone especially my wife who is a nurse and just got me thru the hip deal a real angel she is to me. So as not to upset her I waited about a week to see if it clear ( yeah right) well it did not stop I finally told my wife and she setup appt' with PD. He sent the first urine sample in b4 Christams got it back the Monday after Christmas-positive. Then he did another urine sample got that back the day after New Years-positive. So all thru the holidays this toyed with my mind but I made the best of it for the wife, 3 sons, and grandkids. I was hoping a stone but something told me it was not I just did not feel good. My wife setup appt on 1/6 with the urologist and he did the scope deal and honestly I was not thinking about this. He calls me in his office and very bluntly says you have a tumor on your bladder about 2-3 inches. Not only did he hit me with a bomb I personally did not care for his demeanor just the way he spoke not that he was a bad Dr. just a vibe thing.
So I go home call my PD and tell him my results and what good referrals you got for the Univ of Penn my choice of where I wanted to go. He referred me to Dr. Wein a Uro/Oncologist and after myself and wife had spoke to him I knew he was the right Dr very well spoken with great knowledge and just his presence was remarkable. He did not bother to scope me since the first urologist (Dr. Landow )did his residency under him so he set me up for my TURBT on 1/16. When my wife and myself left we were very impressed with Dr. Wein.
I had the TURBT done and Dr. Wein said it was a large tumor growing at the top of my bladder and also growing into my left ureter. Since this was the case he set me up for surgery cause he could not get the whole tumor and said he I needed to get a Cath in to open up ureter to get my kidney working. Dr. Wein came to into my room 6AM the next day and said from what he saw it was probably muscle invassive but he would not know for sure till the biospy got back. Now a guy that has seen 1,000 and 1,000's of tumors I knew he was probably right. Now Murphys Law later that night one of his residents comes into room and tells me the Cath slipped and Dr. Wein wants me back in the OR in AM and I sign the consent form. Now I'm totally freaked out knowing he is probably right about the tumor and back to the OR thinking I hope my body can with stand back to back surgeries. Well this time they put a stent in and that sucker did the trick and this time when I woke up I stayed awake all day and got to enjoy my company that day. I was discharged the next day.
Dr. Wein then setup an appt' with Dr. Malkovichz on 1/13 his colleague who does the bladder reconstructions and did say I was a good candidate for the neobladder. But from his past experience and my tumor he suggested doing the chemo first then the surgery since the tumor is contained to my bladder and did not spread to any lymphnodes or organs great news there. He then called Dr. Vaughn the oncoligist and I got to see him that day which was super saving another trip and killing 2 birds with one stone this was awesome. Dr. Vaughn another great guy suggested doing 3 cycles of Gemzar and Cisplatin and I was to start 1/16. The more I thought about this it made alot of sense to do the chemo first instead of the surgery not that I'm a Dr but I saw more where they were coming from cause I thought I might be getting the surgery first.
Well all went good I made it thru 2 rounds of chemo feeling no more then lethargic at times. Then posted in new treatment in this section I had an allergic reaction to the Gemzar. Then Dr. Vaughn saw the rash and came up with backup plan that also is posted in this section.
To date this whole ordeal seems like a friggin nightmare but I'm awake and it's true. I told all 3 of these Dr's this guys you are the coaches and I am the player and I am just going out there to try and play the best game of my life. I have always been a fighter and will continue to no matter what happens. I know I am fighting a huge battle here and just like the first chemo plan failed you got to be ready to reload and continue to fight. Closing if your thinking about giving up you already did. Best Wishes To all, Joe