Hi all. Glad you have enjoyed reading my strange journey into the BC Club. And thanks for the nice comments on the presentation. I was wondering how many may have been surprised with some of the continuing things that happened last time (#2). And I was actually expecting some of those replies. My positive confidence was led astray, thinking they had put out the fire. BC is a tricky little devil, and a small ember can rekindle that fire. Ready for the long adventure ahead, there will still be hopes for that time of positive news.
My brother advised me to contact a friend of his, who was also a BC patient. Besides a few unanswered emails, I learned he had been out of town for a while. And my own laziness contributed to not making contact. Until one weekend morning I had reason to be going in that direction, so stopped at his house. My first meeting with another person with BC. It was a very interesting and eye-opening conversation to compare notes. Our stories were quite different.
He had surgery the same day as the doctor visit, removed a tumor, and had a treatment. No, I don’t know the specifics of his case, but things were being done. More than my waiting and waiting approach, with no action being taken. I got his doctors name and called for an appointment. It was time for that 2nd opinion. It took about a week for them to obtain my current record/reports.
With apprehension of a new doctor, the appointment went well. Talking! It was easy to cover the basics of my two prior surgeries, and that I was waiting for a third visit in November. Reviewing the reports, he was ready for his opinion. 1) he would have included some muscle tissue to be included in the biopsy, to confirm that safety zone of non-invasive. My doctor did not. 2) according to what he sees on paper, I seemed to be a prime candidate to have had treatments long ago. I have had none to date. 3) he would have looked again, sooner than these 4 months periods. 4) bladder cancer is a problem. Do you want to go after the problem, or just continue looking for it?
Recommendation: he wants to get back up in there NOW, to look around, and get that muscle tissue biopsy, and consider treatment. I liked this aggressive approach to do something. I agreed to surgery the following week. This would be 2 months prior to my next scheduled event. Let’s get this show on the road. This newbie needed some action, rather than feeling like my bladder was a video game to go up, look around, find a tumor, chop it out, then come back in 4 months and do it again.
OK, so much for the introduction to Episode 3. You guys want to hear the action, and action it was. Now being out of town, I had to arrange transportation in both directions. I didn’t want to bore someone by asking them to wait around in a hospital for 6 hours. Well, a doctor emergency arose, and my procedure got bumped out to the following Saturday. A weekend? No problem.
Arrival, processing, and prepping went well. Doc even stopped in …. dressed for work too (not a zoot suit), interested in the patient. Anxiety was low, after all, this was a simple go look, and scrape some muscle tissue. I have asked why a local anesthesia is never used? Guess they just prefer to knock the patient out for surgery.
ZONK. It was lights out for me. The simple day had some surprises ahead.
Waking up in recovery found me in miserable agony. Damn. So much for simple. And there’s one of those damn hoses again. The nurses empathy could not relieve the discomfort. Then in popped the doctor. See, I can remember if a doctor comes back or not! His first comment was that I made a wise decision to get back up in there NOW, not waiting until late November. In addition to the muscle scraping, another tumor had developed already, and was carefully removed. This one was too dang close to the kidney tube that feeds the bladder, so he installed a stent to help prevent fluid backup, and creating further problems or infection. I envisioned a tiny piece, a temporary device, that would be removed in 2 weeks. On top of all that, he had dumped a chemo treatment directly into the bladder. That was the reason the hose remained, and was clamped off. The chemo was being held for one hour, then drained out via the tube. And the tube removed. At least no tubes and bags coming with me this time. The only clamp I have at home is a pair of vise grips? NOT!!
OK patient, time to go home. They called my ride, as it was a 30 minute drive. Yikes, being deemed stable does not mean you are comfortable by any means. I was a mobile zombie in pain and misery. The aggressive approach!!
The home scene wasn’t any better for the weekend. The best spot for the rest of Saturday, Saturday night, and all day Sunday was finding a proper position in the recliner. Movement was limited. I did get the neighbor to drive me down to fill the pain pill prescription. Gosh, it was awful. I didn’t eat for 3 days, a side effect of the chemo (?), although that was put only in the bladder. My abdomen was in constant twisting knots of discomfort. Certain motions felt like an icepick had been jabbed in the lower back. Urination felt like passing a kidney stone 20-30 times a day.
Like a dumb ass, I went in to work Monday morning. But the Zombie couldn’t take it, and it was back home to the chair and more rest. A call to the doctor confirmed that the damn silly stent in there was indeed going to cause ALL this horrible discomfort. And it would last the duration of the 2 week period for proper results.
I did resume work Tuesday, with restricted activity, knowing my limitations. The following weekend we had rare 85 degree October temps, and somehow it was possible to stumble and limp down to the beach for some warm sun and cold beer. Perfect therapy for the patient.
The two weeks limped forward about as fast as I was able to move. Despite the agony, I was feeling better about this BC ordeal. There was indeed a problem, perhaps more-so than the first few rounds indicated? Or, better ability/skill by the person to identify the problem? This doctor seemed determined to find and go after the cancer. It does help the mind-set when SOMETHING is being done. The newbie was still trying to keep positive thoughts. And having more positive thoughts about the doctor himself this time. I learned he treats hundreds of BC patients, and has been trained to carry a title of “Urologic Oncologist”. Is that good? At least I know my brother’s friend is a success story.
Finally, appointment day has arrived with a few things on the agenda, one being the removal of that antagonistic stent poked up in there. They put it up in there when I was sleeping. I would be awake when it came out. What will removal be like, and will the removal cause relief from all this agony, as soon as possible please? Here we go …….. but this is a good time to stop for now. Let’s continue the battle plan in Chapter 4. My BC Club membership seems to be getting better attention now. Thanks for enduring my newbie journey so far. You’re keeping me busy here creating all these chapters!