I know how you feel right now. Because I was you almost 7 years ago. I was healthy,hard working,and playing at the speed of light. Needed a physical to keep my racing license and then.... Bam!
I went from 53 years old and healthy as a horse to..... "What is going to become of my life?"
Within three month I had two TURBs and a radical castectomy.
The recovery period was quite long and took some getting used to the change in my life. I learned that cranberry juice was going to be my friend for life. My Dr. Helped me keep on track to normal. I excercised carefully at first, but stayed with it. I had my eye on the prize.
Sure there will be things that are different. Incontinence will be your everpresent adversary. But.... Believe me..... You will not let that stop you. You WILL survive this. You will need a team on your side. If you have a family..... Embrace them. They want to be there for you. Let them in. Tell them everything! You need them and they need you. Your life will be enriched if you all work together and beat this.
Oh! And one little piece of very important advice........ Make sure you have one very important thing in your quiver............ A SENSE OF HUMOR!
There are going to be many embarrassing moments, and if you can take them for what they are worth........ INSIGNIFICANT! Then you will be able to handle cancer. I was still sleeping in my living room one Sunday, when my wife had a few people stop by after church. It seems as though the number grew to be quite a few. Anyway.... As they were all in the livingroom....... I had to go, Go now! Really gotta Go. I had to go even before I could get out of bed! So... In front of my friends I ran (hobbled) from the room with the bedsheets to the bathroom. When I came back..... I laughed at the scene and after a second, my friends did too. Hey, it's gonna happen.
But, on April 6th, I will be 60 years old..... Cancer free..... Running an automobile dealership, skiing,playing golf and racing a sports car. My wife and I have never been closer, after having survived cancer. We are the team.
I wish you the best. Right now you need a good group of friends. I would like to be friend #1 of many.
And remember that humor thing.
Light a man a fire and he is warm for an evening.
Light a man ON fire and he's warm forever.
08/08/08...RC neo bladder
New Man! [/size]
Greg, Sorry you have to be here but I am glad you found us. Ten years ago I had the exact same diagnosis you have. I did not want to lose my bladder and took part in a clinical trial using radiation and chemo but it failed. I was then faced with having my bladder out or waiting for it to spread. I made the choice to have a Radical Cystectomy I have an Indiana Pouch that is a continent diversion I use a catheter to drain about every four or five hours. I have been cancer free every since. Last night my husband and I took a swing dance class. I have traveled, hiked and swam, truthfully it has not stopped me at all. You are young and if your cancer is as aggressive as mine was it will come back after chemo mine did and I had a lot more chemo than one month. Bladder cancer has a very high recurrence rate, but the good news is that once the bladder is removed T2 has a high cure rate. I know this is a hard thing to have to wrap your mind around but given time you do recover and life does become normal again, with some differences yes but it can be good.
I remember standing at my sons wedding and tears came to my eyes as I thought of the journey that had brought me to that day. What I thought would be the worst thing to happen has given me my life back. Know that we will be here for you as you make this journey. Please keep us updated and if you have any questions about handling chemo let us know.
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
Greg;, I moved your post to this topic where more people who may have answers for you will see it.
I am sure that others will chime in....I have NOT had a cystectomy, but have heard from many who have. The surgery is not an easy one, but once past that life appears to be good. We have people here who race cars, go scuba diving...do just about everything they did before. At your age you have many good years ahead!!
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
i'm a 62 y/o male, 3 weeks post TURBT. had a PET scan a couple of days ago with no hot spots. getting a port in Monday the april 6, then first chemo on the 7th. 4 one month cycles of chemo. tumor was considered aggressive and invasive (T2-3). urologist says cystectomy after chemo. have not decided if i'll have the cystectomy, or if I do, which one. sounds like a partial resection is not a choice.
quality of life is much more important to me than length of life...... I just wonder what the quality of life is after a cystectomy. any real life post cystectomy experiences would be helpful....... thanx, greg