Bladder Cancer. The day I was diagnosed.

Introduction.

Today I take a break from my tradition of writing about nature and gardening, to give advise on health,especially to men, {as it is coming from a man's prospective}. I am not writing to gain any sympathetic reaction but to give a personal experience about bladder cancer as opposed to reading cold hard facts on line that lack any allusion to human emotions. Men seem to be more reluctant than women when there is something wrong with personal parts of their body. Hence I write this in order to encourage men {and women} to see their doctor if you see any symptoms.

The symptoms and a visit to the doctor

In my case I had no symptoms whatsoever until getting ready for bed on Monday the 2nd of February 2015.It was then for the very first time I noticed after I had finished passing water that I noticed a bit of blood. This was a bit of a shock or it should be to any man or woman. As it was nearly bedtime I decided to wait until the following morning { I was hoping it was a one off}.

However, the next morning there were signs of blood once again.After talking to my wife we decided we were not to waste any more time and to phone the doctor. here in the UK you usually have to wait a couple of days at least to get an appointment. i explained my predicament to the receptionist. She was away for a couple minutes leaving me to listen to some boring background music till she returned.

After she returned she said she had spoken to the doctor and he had said he would see me at four pm that very day. A small victory in itself.

At 3.50 pm,I duly arrived {with a requested water sample,and awaited my name to come up on the monitor screen which would inform me when the doctor had deemed to see me. My doctor whom I estimate to be of early middle age is of a genial character and has that rare ability to make you feel at ease and relaxed.

This was the first time in my life that I have had to see a doctor about an embarrassing problem or rather the where the problem was located i found embarrassing. The water sample I had brought with me seemed to me,to be fine and clear. However,when the water colour was compared with colours on a chart it became evident there was indeed blood in it.

This was the start of an invasive examination.At first I felt uneasy and awkward as I was told to take of my trousers and under clothes and to lie on the 'bed' It is funny how vulnerable you feel in this position. The doctor soon had me feeling as though this was the most natural thing in the world. We partook in some jovial banter while he poked and prodded in a professional manner.

Once I was reunited with my underwear and trousers, I sat on the chair on the opposite side of his desk to listen to his diagnosis. He was quite sure the problem was a Polyp{s} in my bladder and that he was referring me to hospital. He went on to explain the procedure I would have to adhere to which would allow the hospital staff to see inside my bladder.

This was achieved,he informed me, by having an instrument with a camera on the end being inserted into my manhood as a means of getting access to my bladder. Which did not fill me with joy. Seeing the look on my face he went on to say that if I did not endure this option, the alternative would be more pain in the future and the procedure was still have to be undertaken. He also informed me that he wanted me to go and have some blood tests the following day. I thanked him for seeing me so promptly,and took my leave after stating with some dry humour that he knew how to make someones Tuesday very cheerful.

The following morning I had the blood tests done and returned home. The National Health Service {normally referred to as the NHS} which is entirely free, comes under some criticism in the UK and often is the but of some negative headlines. the doctor told me I would be informed of my hospital appointment by post. However, I had only just arrived home after having the blood tests done when the phone rang;

It was from the hospital informing me they had made an appointment for me at 10.30 am, the following day. That is extremely quick. That evening i started to think about the various things I had been told and what I was to expect. Above all else it was the thought of that camera and its means of entrance that caused me the most consternation in fact it became a bit obsessive. the only good thing was that the appointed was that quick that I had not much time to dwell on it. {but the thought was always there on the back burner.}

I suppose its quite natural in these high tech days to get on the computer and Google whatever you have been diagnosed with. My advise is DON'T. Although there may one or two informative sites there are many that are misleading and frightening and that is being kind to them.

The hospital appointment

My dear wife who is not in good health herself wanted to come with me,but I convinced her to stay at home and keep warm,as the weather was terrible outside. It was my brother who is familiar with the hospital's location that kindly offered to take me. My brother and I are close and his presence helped me to relax on the journey.

On our arrival I booked in at the reception and took our seat in the waiting room. Despite the banter between my brother and myself my mind was fully focused on the 'camera' which made my eyes water just thinking about it. My train of thought was broken by the sound of my name being called .As I followed the owner of the voice my mind set was gearing up for what was to come. I was shown into a little room which I thought was a bit small for the procedure. As it turned out I was right and the room was used only to take my blood pressure and other questions asked about my general health and any medical history.

This completed I returned to the waiting area to await once again. it was not long before my name was called out again and off I went still nervous following the owner of the new voice. i was shown into a room that contained among other medical contents -a bed. This is it ! soon be over now. Wrong again ,just more medical questions and a rectum examination. This would be unpleasant enough but the thoughts of the 'camera' over-rode any such worries. once again I had to retrace my steps to the waiting room.


The 'Camera'

At the next call of my name my name {was this third time' lucky'}, I was shown into a room where on entry through the door,I was met by a nurse. Without further ado she told me to get undressed and to put a gown on. This completed I was to enter through yet another door where I was cordially greeted by two female nurses.

So this was the moment I had been dreading, the moment the camera would enter my bladder using the same entrance my body's excess water passes through. The nurses helped my embarrassment by being friendly and like my doctor made jovial remarks at the same time being professional. As the camera was entering my body I can tell you it was not a pleasant experience, but thankfully not as painful as I had feared.

At the side of my 'bed' there was a monitor screen which allowed me to see what the camera was seeing inside my bladder. The nurses pointed out the growth inside my bladder ,which they said,looked a lot larger on the screen ,than it actually was. I can only describe the growth as an upside down mushroom with the stem attached to the bladder wall.

It was explained to me that if the growth was attached to the bladder wall only it would be 'burned off' during an operation and then the bladder would be washed out,and the growth sent away to be tested. i was also informed that 99% of growth of this type that had been removed were found to be cancerous. However, I was informed that if the 'stem' of the mushroom was attached to the bladder wall only,the chances of a full recovery was good. however, if the stem had penetrated through the bladder wall into the muscle it would be a lot more serious.

While the camera was inside my bladder the only discomfort I felt was the urgent sensation of needing a pee. The nurses conveyed that this was apparently normal. Not nice but normal. While talking to the nurses it was revealed that, if the operation was successful { and the majority of then are} I would be reacquainted with camera at least another three times in the coming months as they would have to keep an eye on my bladder ,how it was healing and that there was not any re-occurrences of the growth.

After the examination I got dressed and did in fact need to use the loo,and whilst doing so experienced a strong burning sensation whilst passing water. Apparently this to was normal,and I was told to drink a lot of liquid to keep the bladder washed through.I did this and in a further couple of hours the burning stopped and things were back to normal.


Back with the news.

On arrival home I conveyed to my wife all that had been done and all that had been said. Although she was naturally worried we decided to keep positive. We awaited the admission date which came the next day it is the 28th of February 2015. As I write that is next Saturday and My operation will be done on the same day. Till then my mind will be put to reading hubs and commenting on them.

Till we meet again.

As already mentioned I have written this hub to encourage any one who sees blood in their water to see their doctor as soon as possible. It will NOT go away,and the sooner it is seen to the better it is for the patient. This will be my last hub before the operation. Till then my friends I will be away. Trust me there will be many more to come after this has been completed.

Jackdaws are one of the species that have helped me to concentrate on nature,their antics are very entertaining.

Source

Snowdrops are showing their pendulous heads. Spring is around the corner giving me something to focus on

Source

Progress and update

On the 15th of April 2015,I attended the hospital where I had my operation to see the surgeon for a progress report. It was excellent news. The cancer was non aggressive. I did not need a second operation after all. I just need to attend the hospital every three months or so to have the 'camera' {see above} just to keep an eye on things. If the camera reveals nothing {because this type of cancer can reoccur} I just need to have three monthly appointments for the first year. However, if they do find a new or other growth we go back to stage one and have it removed again. Finger crossed this will not happen.

June 5 2015. the first of the three monthly checks were done { Via the camera} and I was given the great news that my bladder was clear. The next check is due in September.

So at this stage I can only reiterate the importance of seeing your doctor as soon as you see blood in your water. It can save your life.

Things looking rosier

Source

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26 comments

D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 17 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

eugbug,

Thank you for your kind words. It was my intention to help allay fears for others. Thank you for taking the time to comment,best wishes to you.

jandee,

hello my friend, thank you once again for your kind thoughts best wishes to you.

SusanDeppner,

So sad to read of your losses due to cancer and you have my deepest sympathies. you are so right ,and I am glad you have endorsed the plea to get to you doctor as soon as you see {or feel } any symptoms. You are right about the 'camera' the word will never have the same meaning ever again,and you are also right in saying no examination is bad enough to risk one's life. Best wishes to you and your family.


SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 17 months ago from Arkansas USA

Bless your heart. I'm sure that the word "camera" will never mean the same thing to you as it did before this great adventure came about. Thank you for encouraging others to NOT put it off, but to see a doctor immediately when warning symptoms occur. I'd have at least one brother, maybe two if they had gone to the doctor sooner. Our family's weakness is in the digestive tract with cancer claiming both my brothers. My dad and aunt and I have been more fortunate following our cancer diagnoses, though my dad is now living with metastatic prostate cancer. No exam is bad enough to risk one's life, so I'll join you in the "please don't put it off" plea. So very glad you're doing well and the outlook is good. Bless you!


jandee profile image

jandee 17 months ago from Liverpool.U.K

DAL,

what great news, very pleased for you and family,

best wishes for the future,

jandy.


eugbug profile image

eugbug 17 months ago from Ireland

Glad everything has turned turned well. Hopefully your personal story will allay the fears of anyone faced with this diagnosis.


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 20 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

jandee,

Hi, I have heard of wheat grass,and I will try it. Thank you for your concern and kind thoughts, they are appreciated very much. Best wishes to you.


jandee 20 months ago

Hello Dal.have you heard of 'Wheat Grass' I'm not saying it's magic(If Only).

It is regarded to be good for the immune system,we have been taking it for ages now,I get mine from H. and B. in Bold street.

When we are having problems we need every bit of help..and the organic wheat grass seems to have a good name..

best from jandee.


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 20 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

cat on a soap box,

Hi Catherine, your kind words and thoughts mean a lot thank you. I have had one operation and have another appointment in April,then I will probably know how things are going. I know I will need at least one more operation but so far so good. keeping positive my friend. Best wishes to you and your husband too.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 20 months ago from Los Angeles

Thinking of you, Dave and sending you all best wishes!

Cat :)


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 20 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

jandee,

Hi, good to know that you are back in the beautiful city of Liverpool. Thank you for thinking of me {via the jackdaw} it is much appreciated. Best wishes to you.


jandee profile image

jandee 20 months ago from Liverpool.U.K

Hello DAL.

Strolling around the lake in Sefton park this evening,still a little light,it was superb to see the Geese off in flight. Just reminded me of them when I saw your snap of the Jackdaws at the top of your page.

catch you later,

best from jandee


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 21 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

jandee,

Thank you so much your kind thoughts are appreciated. Best wishes to you.


jandee profile image

jandee 21 months ago from Liverpool.U.K

Thinking of you DAL ,kind thoughts to you and family,

best from jandee..


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 21 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

aviannovice,

The first operation has gone as 'well as expected' but I believe there are at least two more to come. Your kind words and thoughts are appreciated. Best wishes to you.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 21 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I do hope that everything has turned out well for you.


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 21 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

DDE,

hello Devika, I sure hope it does help some one to get early treatment for themselves. Thank you for visiting.Best wishes to you.


DDE profile image

DDE 21 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi D.A.L. thank you greatly for sharing such an experience on HP. Informative and would surely help those with such health issues. Your story can improve the knowledge of many people.


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 21 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

jandee,

Hi thank you for your good thoughts and wishes,hope to be back soon next couple of weeks. Best wishes to you.

travmaj,

Thank you too, for your kind and encouraging words. Best wishes to you.

cat on a soap box,

hi Cath, so glad your husband is responding positively and thank you for your kind words they are much appreciated. Best wishes to you both.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 21 months ago from Los Angeles

Dave, Cancer is a diagnosis that no one wants to hear, yet meeting it head on and getting the earliest treatment most often brings extremely successful results. You are brave to share the experience and very thoughtful in urging anyone w/ symptoms to seek immediate medical care. My husband was recently diagnosed w/ non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and is thankfully responding quite well to treatment because it was also discovered early. I will keep you in both my thoughts and prayers with the hope that you will soon be out amidst the birds and wildlife that you dearly love. Cat:)


travmaj profile image

travmaj 21 months ago from australia

You did a fine job of alerting men (and women) to this condition. It may well help someone to heed warnings in the early stages. Wishing you all the very best and a positive outcome on the 28th.

Thank you for the Jackdaw and the Snowdrops - I miss spring in england


jandee profile image

jandee 21 months ago from Liverpool.U.K

DAL, that was a bombshell to hear your news,,you are so thoughtful, as in this time you are thinking of help to others.

Will be sending good luck thoughts to you across the few miles,

look forward to your next write ,

very best from jandee..


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 21 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

sallybea,

Hi Sally, it was my intention to give encouragement to others to get treatment as soon as possible. Thank you for your kind thoughts and I will be back soon to write and to read more of your hubs. Best wishes to you.

GarnetBird, Thank you too for your kind words, I will certainly look up the ketogenic diet and thank you for that information. Best wishes to you.

AliciaC, Thank you,your kind thoughts are appreciated. best wishes to you.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 21 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for creating this hub, D.A.L. I'm sure it will be useful for a lot of people. My very best wishes to you. I hope things go well.


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 21 months ago from Northern California

I applaud your hub and recommend reading up on the ketogenic diet, which starves cancer cells by taking glucose away from the cells.


sallybea profile image

sallybea 21 months ago from Norfolk

D.A.L.

Dave, a very brave and generous thing to do. This hub will bring lots of reassurance and some comfort to others undergoing the same. I hope the outcome is excellent and that you will soon be back writing.

Best wishes,

Sally


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 21 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

2besure,

Hi, I truly hope that it will help someone the earlier these things are attended to the better. Thank you sincerely for you prayers you are very kind. Best wishes to you.


2besure profile image

2besure 21 months ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Oh Dave, thank you for sharing this heartwarming and personal story! I am sure it will help someone. I am praying for your full recovery!

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