The journey has just begun

I am a 49 year old female and was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer on Dec 3rd 2008

Before then I had never heard of bladder cancer and certainly had no clue that I would end up with it. I had originally gone to my GP complaining of urinary tract infections, and then ablout a year ago, of sporadic blood in my urine. He did not seem to be overly concerned about it and prescribed the usual antibiotics etc. After repeatedly going to him with complaints of blood in my pee he finally arranged for an ultrasound of my kidneys and bladder. This appointment took six months and was finally done in November 2008. I figured we were looking for kidney stones so I had no reason to be alarmed. Until the phone call.

The doctors office called me to come in right away because the results of my ultrasound were in and the doctor would like to speak to me. It was after hours and I was the only person there. My doctor called me into his office and asked me how I was to which I replied "Pretty stressed". He then went and broke the news – I had cancer….transitional cell carcinoma……he wrote it down for me…..told me not to look for information on the internet because it would only alarm me…..told me about a woman he was treating and a whole 4 years later she was doing fine….. I went from thinking I had kidney stones to seeing the end of my life approaching. In a daze I left his office and somehow drove home. The boys were out and my husband was waiting to hear what had happened. I came right out and told him ' I have cancer' and broke down into a puddle. My husband was in shock but very supportive and helpful. I did not want my kids to know until I had come to grips with this impossible situation.

The next day I went to work as normal except I cried all the way to my out of town appointment, worked normal calls, and then cried all the way home. All I could think of was my husband and kids and all that I would miss – all the things that I would not be part of that I was so looking forward to  – University graduation, marriage, careers, grandkids ,and all the little things in between.

I went for a cystoscpoy on Dec 3rd and saw the demon that plagued me – a coral shaped growth that was held on with a string to my bladder wall. Huh, That didn't look so scary! On December 9th the demon was removed. Good riddance. Now I can get on with my life.

I was supposed to get the pathology reports on the 22nd of December. The urologists office called and said that the results werent in yet and they were cancelling the appointment. I said no, I have questions and would like to speak to the doctor. My husband and I went to the appointment and  we were given the impression by the urologist that this was run of the mill, seen it a million times, don't worry too much, you'll be fine – but- he was concerned that the tumor was so large and he would reserve final judgement until the pathology came back. This was great news – especially since I had chosen to disregard that last part. I got a release to go back to work the following week and we decided that we were celebrating Christmas after all this year!

We had a great Christmas. The kids were great and helped out alot. They went and got the tree and decorated it. We went to nan Hearns on Christmas Eve and I got to see my boys in a different light. We spent alot of time together over the next few days and it was wonderful. My brother came home from Ontario and spent New Years with us. Everything was fine. I went back to work on the 29th and everything was normal. I felt normal.

On January 14th we had another appointment with the urologist to go over the pathology reports. We weren't overly concerned but I was anxious to find out when I would be starting the chemo treatments because they had to be fit into my schedule. When the doctor sat down and said' this is an unusual case……' everything turned upside down. He said that I have a very rare form of cancer that is very aggressive. He said that he had never seen it before, his colleagues had not seen it and that there were only 40 cases in 40 years documented from a leading Texas Cancer Clinic. He scheduled me for a catscan and a 2nd TURBT. He wants to find out if the demon has invaded my lungs or liver or any other essential organ. He wants to know if it has invaded the muscle of my bladder. He spoke of removing my bladder, lymph nodes, uterus etc. He said he would be reviewing my case with the Health Science oncologists next week. Who the hell was he talking about? Couldnt be me! My husband was just as flabbergasted as I was. This wasn't us!

Monday Jan 19th

Today I went for my cat scan. In and out – easy peasy.


Other than that, went back to work as usual, normal ho hum day


Donna Author