You have a GREAT attitude and that goes a LONG way when dealing with bladder cancer!!!
It's funny. I had a similar situation. In October of 2006, I was first diagnosed with CIS. I had my own consulting business at that time. After the TURBT and when doing the BCG treatments, I thought it might be a good idea to get a job elsewhere. The insurance I had was pretty good so things were ok at the time but I figured it might be good to get life insurance again.
Out of the blue, a company called me up in December of 2006. They had found my resume on some job posting board from a couple years prior that I didn't even remember. Started up with them in January. They had ok insurance also. Finished my BCG and mitomycin C treatments pretty much in secret because I was typically home of Friday afternoons and didn't really think anybody needed to know.
The company changed policies to a high deductible plan with a health savings account in the middle of last year. After the deductible, it pays 100%. My wife needed hip and knee (both) surgeries last year to repair some ski injuries. My bladder cancer came back and I needed a cystoprostectomy. That all would have cost me a lot of money even on our old low deductible (but you pay 20%) insurance. If we didn't have the new insurance, it would have cost a fortune between the two of us.
It's funny because I have a similar circumstance. I quit the job I was doing because I wasn't happy - and kind of stumbled upon the job I have now. It is much easier than anything I have ever done before and it comes with very good benefits. Just as I had finished my 3 month probationary period and had my first evaluation I was diagnosed with cancer. I ended up with 10 sick days, 10 vacation days, personal days etc that I could use during my recovery. It really took the worry out of being off for an extended period of time. If I had stayed at the job I was at before and had to take the time off,my family would be in a very bad place financially right now. The management team is excellent and very supportive as well. Another plus is that I could ease myself back into my work at my own pace as I work independantly. I mean - it's ideal considering my health status right now. I have Friday afternoons off, so I scheduled my BCG treatments then and it doesnt interfere with work either. If I have an appointment, I schedule my calls around it. Perfect! Talk about things working out for a reason.....
By the way, I initially told them that I might need 2 or 3 days for recovery after the TURB. Guess I was wrong!
Awesome feedback guys. I appreciate it. I just decided that I am going to play it by ear, listen to my body, listen to my doc and just let the chips fall where they may. The good news is that I can work a few hours a day and then work from home if I have to. He said he only saw 1 tumor, but perhaps when he goes in there a second time, he is going to find more. Whatever happens happens.
But your feedback is invaluable. Sounds like alot of variables. Not sure I am going to go sturgeon fishing in a week lol, but I am a tough SOB and will get through it. I just dont want to do anything stupid.
And Mike, you are right, setting goals you can exceed is the key in both BC as well as sales.
One last quick story. Total "God" thing. I actually went back to work 4 months ago (I had planned on semi-retirement and doing something very different) into the same exact job I left before. It was totally a random thing that the job came open at exactly the same time I decided to go back to work (same day in fact). I never quite knew why I was prompted to give up my plans and go back to work but I just had a very strong nagging feeling I needed to go back to work right away so I did. Well, now I know. WIth this job I get excellent medical benefits and a strong management team around me that is great to work for. If I didnt go back to work, I would have been on my own sub-standard med insurance that probably would have dropped me after diagnosis. I am still in awe of how this all happened. Perfect timing. Same thing with my tumor being found. FloMax was working but that voice in my head said "get the test, get the test" so I opted for a scope test just to make sure. I mean, how many men in the world would opt for a scope test when it isnt needed and the meds are working lol...then the Uro just happened to come across my tumor as happenstance and found it when it was small. How amazing is that?
So long story short, I have been very blessed by this diagnosis on how it came to be...alot of things could have gone the other way...
It really is an "it all depends". My very first TURBT, I had a catheter in for almost a week after. That was October of 2006. I have a home office and was able to work on and off pretty much every day. I didn't do any work the day of the surgery, only a couple hours the day after, and then about 6 hours a day for a couple of days. I was on a plane traveling a couple days after getting the catheter out. I believe I did have some urgency issues for a day or so after catheter removal.
The next one was about a year ago and I was in early, out right after waking up in recovery and had no catheter. Was able to be online working from home same day. No urgency issues.
When I had another one in September of last year, they did more (TURBT, plus brush biopsies of ureters and kidneys, plus TUIP) and I had no catheter at home and was pretty much right back to doing everything within a couple of days. I had an overnight stay that time because my surgery wasn't until late in the evening. No urgency issues.
First time, I took pain meds for 2 days but kept them to a minimum. Second time, I didn't really feel like I needed any pain meds at all. I think I may have taken pain meds the day after the third one and maybe the following day.
All 3 times there was blood afterwards for a few days or so.
For work, I think it is probably better to set worst case expectations and then be back up and going sooner than you set expecations. But if you are sales management, you already know to set expectations that you know you can exceed.
Dean, My first operation was one tumor removed and I sat on the couch for a week with a cathoder in. I could walk and do things and felt OK. Was told not to do anything by the DR. Next operation I had no tumors removed and had about three biopsies done. Left with no cathoder and had to go to the emergency room at 4am to have one put it. Very bad morning. Had it in for about 5 days. Then it was removed. On both operations I had bleeding after about a week with clots. The first Doctor was confused and the second time with my new Doctror, he said that the scabs probably fell off. I just happened to be laying on my stomach underneath the dash board of a car all day. It probably didnt help.
The last operation, march 11 they took 6 small tumors out. I left an hour after with cathoder and went sturgeon fishing on a boat Friday the 13 and pulled in a 38 inch sturgeon. It was nice peeing on the boat, just lift the leg over the side and flip the switch on the bag. Saturday I took a hot shower and removed my cathoder myself. It is much better in the hot shower than doing it at the doctors office. I was working in my auto shop saturday and I was lifting tires monday. I probably shouldn't have lifted the tires but sorta forgot. I havent had any bleeding this time yet. I still have a little discomfort after peeing.
The best part about a cathoder is you can smile at your wife while sitting on the couch watching TV and say I'm peeing.
I am in sales management also, a lot of sitting and driving.
I would recommend you take a pillow to work to sit on when you return to work.
I would not drive more than an hour without getting out and walking for 10 min.
This was recommended to me by my Uro. He also asked me to walk for at least 1/2 hour every day for 6 weeks. Walking helps the bladder recovery.
I wish you well and a speedy recovery.
TA Grade 1
30 BCG Treatments
Cancer Free since Nov 2007