TaG3 – 6 of one, how much of the other?

Hello everyone.

I just had my first post-immunotherapy cytoscopy yesterday (14NOV06). The doctor said the previous TURB site looked good, but noted the presence of a "small tumor" about an inch away. The rest of the bladder surface was clean. He told me that, based on his visual inspection, he believes the tumor is cancerous, but only a pathology exam can determine what grade it is. He didn’t specifically indicate what his guess was regarding degree, if any, of invasiveness, but he has scheduled my next TURB for 7 December, three weeks from now, so he couldn’t be too concerned about it; after my last cytoscopy he was sufficiently concerned to have me on the operating table the next day.

So, it’s probably too early to draw any conclusions regarding what effect this will have on treatement alternatives. We’ll get the evidence from pathology, probably around mid-December, and determine what to do about it then. This is the doctor who, at the first cytoscopy, referred to the possible need for more "aggressive" therapy, but he neither spoke nor respond with that urgency this time. That’s really all I have to go on, but I have no contradictory evidence either, so I’ll just relax until we have further data.

I should mention that, perhaps in cosmic retribution for my absence of side-effects from the immunotherapy, I had some real-life, no-kidding stinging and burning for about 24 hours after this cytoscopy. Trips to the rest room were accompanied with a degree of adventure and speculation that I have managed to avoid in my life, up to now. But (with apologies) that too passed, and everything is back to normal now.

I have been joined in this journey through cancer by my wife, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago. In the time since then, she has had a very involved day of surgery for a lumpectomy, which incorporated three separate procedures, one of which was very painful indeed. One of these procedures was designed to identify and locate what is called the sentinal lymph node, which is the first one that lymph fluid passes through before filtering through the remaining 15 or 20 serving that breast. Obviously, if that one is clean, then the others must be also. The preliminary pathology report indicates that it was clean, and we’ll have the detailed pathology in another week. The excised lump turned out to not have clean margins, meaning that some is still in the breast, so we still have decisions to deal with regarding that. We are fortunate that we caught this (she was here from Istanbul to visit me, and we scheduled the appointment as an afterthought for reasons not relevant for mention here, other than to point out that we could easily have gone for as many as a few years before discovering this cancer – perhaps too late), and that we caught it early enough to effectively treat.

It is not my intent to dilute the focus of this forum by adding this topic; it did seem somehow to be worth a mention, though. Adds a whole new dimension to our concern for each other.

Speaking of that, I hope all is going as well as can be expected and managed for all of you.


jhs Author