Lots of hiccups on the way…

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in June of 2003 when I was 45  .  I guess after reading many stories of mis-diagnosis I was lucky that my diagnosis came quickly.  I went from  having blood in my urine to seeing a urologist within a week who diagnosed me with bladder cancer.

I had my first of thirteen TUR's within two weeks.  I started my first round of BCG with no ill effects.  Unfortunately, I repeatedly had tumors with most of my cystos.  I developed severe pain  with repeated courses of BCG treatment.  My urologist insisted that the pain was not caused by the treatment and would not give me any medication.  I made an appointment with my gynecologist who told me everything was OK in my female organs.  I made an appointment with my primary who ordered an abdominal untrasound that also showed no problems.  A year and a half after my diagnosis, I requested a second opinion from a cancer hospital.

The  Dr. gave me prescriptions for an N-said and Detrol LA and scheduled surgery.  He found cystitis and cellulitus in my bladder from the BCG treatments.  He then became my Doctor and still is today, four years later.

I never graduated to six month visits.  I had multiple tumors with every cysto but one.  He tried Mytomycin-C but the tumors kept coming.  I developed hydronephrosis in my left kidney. 

Finally, in October 2007, he asked me when I was going to have my bladder removed.   It isn't an easy decision to make.  The radical cystectomy involves removing everything in your lower abdomen. 

I had the surgery on April 3,2008.  It's hard to believe that it's almost a year already.  I have an Indiana pouch.  It is a difficult recovery and it's a learning experience.  I can sleep 8 hours now without catherizing myself.   My grandson thinks it's really cool that I can pee out of my belly.

Just when I thought my new normal was going well, the hydronephrosis came back to my left kidney.  I had a nephrostomy tube put in and hopefully the blockage in my ureter was just scar tissue.  I'm going back to the Dr. this week.

Hopefully, it's just a hiccup, not another chapter