So sorry to hear this. I'm surprised they didn't offer chemo as an option as well. Radiation could be helpful and shrink the tumors, and could at the very least buy some more time, hopefully quality time. Side effects of radiation are not as intense as those of chemo. Most of the complications of radiation happen many years after treatment is finished. Aside from the immediate effects which can include skin burns and fatigue.
I can certainly imagine not wanting to have such a horrible surgery that you describe, at least not unless it was going to offer hope of a cure.
Please let us know what happens.
Wishing you all the best,
My dad had a cystectomy 14 months ago. (I don't know what kind of diversion, just that he has a stoma and wears a bag). Anyway, we just found out today that he now has a large tumor in his urethra which is also the transitional cell carcinoma. Apparently his options are major surgery (removal of penis and one testicle and a few lymph nodes) or radiation for 5 days a week for either 6 weeks or 3 months (I can't remember which, I'm a little blurry) with the attendant side effects. They will do a PET scan to see if there is more cancer elsewhere, in which case they might not recommend any treatment.
He is 76 years old. I don't know how much more he wants to go through. Aaaargh.