How can I say this....we are all doomed, no one here gets out alive, etc. The important thing is to live each day while we are here and healthy enough to enjoy it. Easier said than done, I know.
You aren't doomed, but there is a "but"...your risk of recurrence is higher than if you had no lympho-vascular invasion (this is usually termed as LVI these days in articles). It doesn't necessarily mean the cancer has disseminated. There would be no real way to tell unless specialized tests were performed that are not a normal part of bladder cancer follow ups; I'm referring to bone marrow testing for circulating tumor cells, used in breast cancer, very cutting edge. Still, a person can have circulating tumor cells but not suffer any recurrence! Go figure.
Even those with lymph node involvement can go on to get years of disease free survival post-op (and usually post-chemo in those cases).
Looking at the LVI in pathology is relatively new, and it's an improvement for making a correct prognosis post-op. Good chance you will be offered chemotherapy as an assurance, many people with T3b are. Even so, I know of folks who had T3b, no chemo and are cancer free 7+ yrs later (LVI wasn't checked then). There are always exceptions and sometimes the cancer is removed with those lymph nodes and bladder before it actually spread. Those blood vessels are no longer in your body. Same goes for those lymph nodes and bladder, so...
You'll be followed closely post-op, and the first two years are the most important, get through them and you just might be home free. I wish I could answer you with some kind of certainty but there is none in this game. That's the deal.
I had my bladder removed on 1/2/07 with a neobladder. I recently received my pathology report which showed pT3b, no lymph node involvement , but with angiolymphatic invasion. I understand this means there is cancer in the blood vessels. Does this mean it is systemic? Does this mean I am doomed? Is there anyone out there with a similar diagnoisis?