The last three weeks have been, as this site says, life-changing.
I am a 28-year-old, recently laid-off marketing professional in the Seattle area that was diagnosed last month with a bladder tumor. I just completed my first TURBT surgery. Approximately 10 years ago, while in college, I had dark red urine which I thought to be bloody. I went to the hospital to have it checked out, and after numerous tests, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me and sent me home.
While I did not have another pronounced bought of hematuria over the last 10 years, I did have what I thought to be "stones" in my urine. I went to see several doctors to get these "stones" checked, and was given a clean bill of health each time. I was told to lose weight, reduce my stress level, and get more excercise.
Three weeks ago, I found two large black clots in my urine, and that sent me off to find a new doctor with a new perspective. This doctor told me to immediately see a urologist and get a CAT scan of my bladder, and consequently, he may have saved my life. After talking to people that have gone through this, I'm amazed it took me so many doctor contacts to get sent to a urologist.
If you are reading this, have yet to be diagnosed, and have blood in your urine, SEE A UROLOGIST IMMEDIATELY.
The CAT scan and the scope of my bladder revealed a very large transitional cell papilloma tumor. The urologist said that for my age it is rare for me to have a tumor, and that the tumor was incredibly large. It most likely had been growing for the last 10 years. While the doctor was shocked to see such a large tumor, he did say that the stalk of the tumor was very narrow, and that it luckily would not be in the muscle tissue. Also, with lack of other symptoms, he thought it was most likely not muscle invasive. After the scope, I was scheduled for a TURBT immediately.
I completed the surgery yesterday, and the doctor found no visibile muscle invasion on the tumor when he removed it. They currently have the tumor in labs, and I'm awaiting staging and grading results. I'm hoping for a low-grade and no muscle-invasiveness. The doctors are optimistic, but it was a large tumor that I carried undiagnosed for approximately 10 years. Recovery from TURBT has been pretty easy, other than painful urination and a little discomfort when sitting up.
In college, I smoked casually and, over the last 10-years, I've had numerous cigars with friends and business associates. No one in my family has a history of bladder cancer. I don't drink regularly, and other than a summer painting job, have only had limited exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. My weight has fluctuated over the past decade, bouncing from as low as 175 lbs to as high as 240 lbs. Perhaps fatty foods have contributed to my abnormal cell growth.
My fingers are crossed while I await my TURBT labs, and I would like to thank everyone who has posted their stories to this site. Reading BLC Web Cafe has given me a lot of good information regarding the surgery and the process of the last three weeks. I hope for the best and wish everyone good luck in their fights against BC.