In August of 2010 I experienced hematuria (drops of blood in my urine). To say I was shocked and scared is a understatement. I was 43 years old at the time and all sorts of bad thoughts started to cross my mind. Well, I researched my symptom on the internet and being a heavy smoker it pointed to Bladder Cancer. I remained in denial for a month after the first symptom and the haematuria did not Hppen until a month later again. On the second instance I got a check up done which involved a ultrasound of the bladder. Nothing showed up in the ultrasound and I heaved a sigh of relief. A month later the symptom re appeared and I had a cystoscopy done. We discovered a angry tumour 3cm in size in my bladder. A week later I had a TURBT (trans urethral resection of bladder tumour). The biopsy showed a T1 G3 (stage 1 high grade) but could also be interpreted as a under staged T2 G3 (stage 2 high grade). I was advised one of the two options a) Treatment by BCG or b) Radical cystectomy. After many different opinions and a lot of research I decided on a Radical cystectomy with a orthotropic neobladder.
My surgery was done in the Indian city of Pune by two very experienced and great surgeons by the names of Dr. Sanjay Kulkarni www.kulkarniendosurgery.com Mobile: +91 9822024050 and Dr.Shailesh Puntambekar www.galaxycare.org Mobile No: +91 9822023706. They created a Studor type neobladder for me for which I will be eternally grateful to them all my life. The surgery itself was done using a DaVinci robot for the cystectomy part and then a open surgery for constructing the bladder and attaching the Urethra and the Ureters to it. The recovery time was very quick. I was able to walk the very next day and complete bladder control was achieved two months later. I now feel absolutely normal and am leading a normal life including regular golf and a lot of strenuous workouts 5 days a week.
I am writing this to aid people who can't afford this expensive surgery in the western world. I paid no more than Usd 8000 totally for the entire hospital stay and surgery. These doctors are amongst the best in the world. The hospital GalaxyCare in Pune is very average compared to western standards in terms of hygiene and post operative care but it is a professional environment. If you have the funds then nothing like the USA but if not then this is your other option.
Bladder Cancer if treated early is not a death sentence and there is a good life to be led after a Radical cystectomy. It's not the end of the world. My advise is that if you are not too old to bear the surgery then go ahead and do it. Best of luck. Please feel free to email me for any queries that you may have and I will be happy to help.