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10 months 3 days ago #54683 by sesquialtera
Greetings! I received a diagnosis of invasive bladder cancer with at least one involved lymph node in December. I have had kidney stones forever, and my urologist sponsors a kidney stone clinic that I attend every 4-6 months. He ordered a CT scan instead of the usual flat X-ray the last time. He called me the next day. I went to the office and he showed me the tumor. It was a shock as I had no symptoms that could not have been ascribed to the stones that I produce every week or two.

I have had the TURBT/biopsy to make the final diagnosis. Right now, I am receiving chemotherapy (four two-week cycles) to be followed by a radical cystectomy. The surgeon is planning a neobladder reconstruction. Obviously, I am very anxious about what is coming up, same as everyone. It didn't help that the oncologist told me that he was on the fence about even putting me through these procedures, but right now my plan is to forge ahead. The surgeon and my urologist are more optimistic.

But, hoping for the best, I would like to travel, which was the plan for my retirement a year and a half ago. Most of my planned travel is to Europe. Assuming that all goes well, I know that there is a significant chance that there will be some incontinence (I changed the color on an order I had placed for travel pants from khaki to black) and I was wondering how travelers deal with this.

I am worried about wetting the bed in hotels. Does anybody know if incontinence supplies (pads, undergarments) are available abroad? Recognizing that every person is different, I am wondering if other travelers could give me an idea of how long it took them after surgery until they felt secure enough to travel long distance.

I would appreciate any thoughts/strategies that others might be able to share. I am hoping that I will not be restricted to being an "armchair tourist!"

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