Hi there. My wife was recently diagnosed with a non-invasive, high-grade tumor in her bladder. Next month she will be having chemo.
1) Why would the urologist still recommend that her bladder be removed?
Also, they installed a nephro-ureteral catheter, because her right kidney had not been able to drain due to blockage. That catheter will be replaced by a stent next week. Meanwhile we need to inject a saline solution daily. A tricky procedure. There is a 3way stopcock. The urine goes into a bag when the lever is upright. When we inject, I move the lever in a flat position, pointed toward the bag. But the solution never seems to go into the kidney, but always downward toward the bag. If I point the lever flat and toward the kidney, the solution spills out.
2) How do you properly do that?
So sorry to hear of your wife's diagnosis. I assume that she had a TURB (transurethral resection of the bladder) under anesthesia where they took lots of samples for pathology. And that the results of the pathology were that the cancer had gone beyond the bladder lining into the muscle. You said it was non-invasive...are you sure you didn't mean invasive?
When the cancer has gone beyond the bladder lining, removal of the bladder is probably the only thing to do to ensure that all of it is removed. Very often chemotherapy is administered prior to the bladder removal just in case there has been any spread beyond the bladder. It is not curative, and the bladder still must come out. There are lots of communications from those who have had their bladders removed and who are living very successfully without it under the "invasive" bladder cancer section in this forum. I think you will find their stories very reassuring.
I do not know about stents, but there are others here whom I am sure will answer you also.
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Sorry you have to be here but I am glad you found us.
As with most things bladder cancer has its own terminology. Non invasive means that the cancer is confined to the bladder lining but it has not gone into the muscle, metatasric means it has escaped the bladder. Invasive "what I would assume your wife is dealing with" means it has gone through the lining into the muscle of the bladder but has not gone through the bladder wall.
For invasive bladder cancer the best odds of a cure is a Radical Cyatectomy with a urinary diversion. When I was diognosed ten years ago It was at the invasive stage while and what followed was chemotherapy and bladder removable. There are different types of bladder cancer diversions. I have what is called an Indiana Pouch there is a stoma in my naval and I use a catheter five or six times a day to drain my pouch. Except for having to plan to have catheters my life is as normal as it ever was. I know all of this sounds very scary and it is but it is also doable.
As for irrigating the tubing what you described sounds about right. I would call your health care provider and have them advise you or ask them to send a visiting nurse to take a look.
As you go along you will have a lot of questions please remember we are here if you need us.
T2 g3 CIS 8/04
Chemotherapy & Radiation 10/04-12/04
RC w/umbilical Indiana pouch 5/06
Left Nephrectomy 1/09
President American Bladder Cancer Society