It has been a long time since I last posted — two days after completion of my fourth chemo cycle (October 27) I had a stroke that affected my right side, mostly on the leg below the knee.
All things considered, it was a mildish stroke. I never lost consciousness, and in fact didn’t understand it was a stroke for three or four days. (Thought it was something to do with my crumbling right knee. Silly, I know — guess the stupidity was probably a stroke symptom.) But I have lingering speech problems (word finding, especially), cannot walk without a walker, and still have physical therapy.
After a stint in our local hospital I found a spot at what turned out to be an excellent acute care stroke rehab facility (St. Vincent's hospital in Bridgeport, CT). After about a month there, I transferred to a sub-acute place here in town (it was hard to find one with an available bed — maybe I got points for being local). Turned out it was also excellent, with 2.5 hours a day of therapy plus something on Saturdays. Came home to visiting therapists just before Christmas, which went on for a few weeks. Then I graduated to my regular physical therapist (have gone to them for four years).
You may wonder what about my bladder CA and the anticipated two more cycles of cisplatin + Gemzar. About that we shall see. Strokes make them nervous (there is some question whether chemotherapy brings them on). I passed a quarterly checkup (CT, bone scan, x-rays, bloodwork, etc.) in January. Only one tumor remained, and it was much reduced in size and wizened looking. Next quarterly checkup is early April. Needless to say I would be very happy to have that last tumor disappear as well.
Meanwhile, being an optimist, I have been collecting medical approvals to have my right knee replaced. All involved believe that it will enable me to walk sooner (even though it will certainly add some recovery time, and another few weeks of special rehab). I see the neurologist at the end of March; his opinion carries a lot of weight. Meanwhile, I am including exercises for my foot, ankle, on up to the thigh, hoping to accelerate the healing process. Tentatively scheduled for late April, right after my next quarterly post-chemo workup.
Just thought I'd let you know what’s going on, even though it isn’t strictly a tale of bladder cancer.
As someone else mentioned, you should be able to get CT (and other) results almost as soon as your doctor does. The easiest way is to have the doctor or radiologist list you among CCs on the report (at least that is easiest here in Connecticut).
I hate waiting myself.
Really am glad to hear about Jim’s success. Think I’ll clip out your message and stick it on the wall.