I relate to your feelings of sadness and acceptance BIG TIME!! I was diagnosed in early December, 2005. Luckily, my urologist(a woman)gave me the option of the TURB a week after. Removed tumor and am in first stage of BC as of now, next checkup in January 2008.
The diagnosis was devastating!! We were scheduled to have Christmas Dinner with friends with our son & family arriving for a week's visit the next week. I thought I could ignore the BC diagnosis and let my family & friends know when I found out the prognosis. YEAH, that worked---NOT!
My doctor called with the surgery results WHEN the family was here and my son overheard me crying (with relief). SO, he demanded to know what was going on---my "secret" was OUT. After I explained how lucky I was to have such a positive "first diagnosis," it helped me face the music and go on. I'm famous for my strength & positive acceptance of everyone's health problems, except when it's me.
After my reassuring research of BC (this site and others), plus husband-family-close friend support---HAVE ONLY TOLD VERY CLOSE FAMILY & FRIENDS to this day! Denial, maybe, but I'm stronger that way. I also feel unworthy because my diagnosis, so far, is so minor compared to so many others! I so admire ANYONE diagnosed with cancer who can discuss, go to groups, and accept.
Though it was not funny at the time I'm sure, it did make me smile to hear you story. Probably because I can picture myself in that situation. I can be so rational with other people's problems.
I did see my therapist this afternoon and that always helps to keep me grounded. All these comments, shared stories and advice has really helped me a lot. I'm surprised at how much I now feel I have a community of those who understand. I am adding BC WebCafe to my list of things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving.
I am a social worker as well and was diagnosed with bladder cancer 4 years ago at 40 years of age. After all of my surgeries were complete I ended up having bleeding and was brought back into emerg. It was the final straw for me and even though I had kept everything in check all along I ended up in that room in emerg crying and crying and I could not stop no matter what. The nurse was very kind and she said to me - We have on call social workers and if you would like I can ask one to speak with you. To which through my sobs I replied - I don't need a social worker, I am a social worker. She looked at me as though I had 6 heads! It is no joke in this job to support everyone else when your own life feels like it is falling apart.
When he called me the day after Christmas 2 years ago, and said "yes, it's cancer"...his next words were "if I had to have any kind of cancer, I'd have this one." That made me feel better from the start, actually. Superficial non-invasive is so treatable, and though my research and time spent on this board has shown me that I may be dealing with it the rest of my life, I consider myself LUCKY. And I hope that God sees fit to only send one type of cancer my way, in my lifetime. But I'm still getting my annual Pap, Mammogram, and will start next year on the Big 5-0 with a colon screening...
I only think about it when I pee in a cup every six months for a cytology, and once a year now for my cystoscopy..
This is a good place to post - lots of caring and knowledgeable people here.
When I begin to think too much of the cancer, I usually visit this site. Right now I feel fortunate that I am in the superficial category. But there isn't a day that goes by that I wish I could turn the clock back and eliminate some of the risk factors for this disease - exposure to aniline as a chem major in college and working in the metallurgy field for 3 years. But I have learned to live with the fact of check ups and what positive results might mean. I even found that I was happy when I realized that the local hospital does BCG treatments on Saturdays - not as much missed time from work. I also have a loving wife who has taken care of me through everything. She reminds me how lucky I am.
I agree with the responses here that you keep your chin up and take care of yourself every day. Stay informed, read what others have to say about their similar situations, and keep posting.
TaG1 March 06
Recurrence Jan 07
BCG Maintenance after 6 week treatment
I consider myself to be a strong person and well grounded in my faith, but this cancer thru me for a loop. The American Cancer Society reffered me to a social worker who has much experience with oncologic patients...it really has helped me. I was especially fortunate that when I needed her but was physically unable to get to her - she would schedule to make a house call for me.
The cancer seemed to affect me spiritually, sexually (I was a newlywed of 5 weeks), physically, financially (I was suddenly unable to work for the longest time in my life), and mentally I was a wreck for a while. There wasn't much of me it didn't touch.
What I am adjusting to now is the "new normal". I am getting used to the scars I see in the mirror. It takes time to stop being afraid you'll see blood in the toilet bowl again. We have a lot of healing to do after such a big change, and it doesn't happen over nite. I agreed much with an earlier response that a year from now we will be worrying about something else - I believe that is true and very wise. The new normal will just blend into normal
Anyhoo, I am here if I can be of any help, God Bless, Holly