Thank you for checking on me, Laura. I have finished two of four rounds of chemotherapy (cisplatin and etopiside), and that is going well. No major side effects. Starting losing my hair a bit after the second round, so went for the pre-emptive strike and had my head shaved. A CT scan performed before chemo began showed no metastatic growths, which was the first time a diagnostic test had brought welcome news. Going to MD Anderson a few weeks after my last week of chemo for a second look at everything. Eager, and somewhat apprehensive, to hear what they have to say. Thanks again for your inquiry, and happy holidays to you.
If they can treat it through normal protocol like you have described, remember a surgeon makes their living cutting things out. A true professional does their best to be as minimally invasive in order to achieve the best solution. Everyone except my urologist at the Cancer Board recommended total removal. My urologist was certain he had been able to remove the internal bladder cancer and tumor without removing the bladder. Although my cancer moved into the lymph node system (after removing 35 lymph nodes during my surgeries) I still have my bladder and intend to keep it that way.
All my doctors are also Sloan Keddering trained and Yale graduates. They all have pedigrees. But remember that there is nothing for certain except your attitude. There is only a few of us that have been able to keep our bladders. Let’s prove them all that less is more and beat this cancer. They obviously caught yours very early. Every case is different. We can only give you support based on our individual previous treatment. Get your treatments done, get you scans done quarterly. Wishing you a complete remission.
Thank you, Laura. Your encouragement is much apprecated. There is an interesting dynamic taking place. My urologist (Sloan Kettering residency) seems quite hopeful concerning the prospect of keeping my bladder, while cautioning that a total cystectomy may become necessary depending on how things develop. My oncologist (MD Anderson residency), on the other hand, seems to consider a total almost a foregone conclusion. Anxious to hear what they say at MD Anderson, where I am going soon for a second look. Thanks again. Andy