My Dad has bladder cancer

Hello,

I am currently having my Dad go through Bladder Cancer. He was diagnosed with a tumor back in September last year a biopsy was and it turns out it was cancer on the bladder. He was not a smoker, rarely drinks and lives a pretty good life. He was turning 70 in December so this came as a huge shock to all of us. We had to have an operation to remove the tumour because that was causing him so much pain, we were in hospital a few times because the pain was so excruciating for him. Once this first operation was complete we had to go onto chemo to help with the remainder of the cancer. We did 4 cycles of that which took 4 months and then last week he went in for major surgery for 9 hours to remove his bladder, prostate and some lymph nodes. Whilst they were in the operation the surgeon actually found some more possible cancer nodules and was not going to take any risks so he took them out too.

He has been in hospital for a week now and each day is different with pain or nausea, etc. All the general things you should be feeling after having major surgery and its upsetting him and frustrating him that he feels like he isn’t getting better but he actually is, he started the first day with 3 bags attached to his body and now he just has one which is the stoma bag for the diversion of his urine. (This is permanent) But by the 3rd day all but that one bag was gone, he is walking further and further each day. But he has this negative mindset the second one thing goes wrong. He’s not sleeping well and barely eating and he is snapping at both myself and mum, and that hits us hard. Today I actually got so mad at him I walked out. I get he is going through alot of stuff but so are we and if that attitude is going to stay then he can bloody well stay in the hospital because mum will not be able to handle that alone if he comes home.

He has just survived a cancer that could kill him, he should be thankful and positive and happy. The doctors and nurses and the surgeon even said how lucky he was that they caught this early. 6 months time this could have been a whole different ballgame. I need someone who has been through this and survived to go and speak to him and tell him he will be ok because us telling him has had no effect because he is doing is getting angry. He is a routines man, and very OCD so if something is out of place and not in the right spot or you say one thing he just goes off. Today he went off because the patients around him were being too loud. Like small stuff. I just don’t know what to do anymore or how to help him anymore than we are already doing.

Anyone got any advice, or want to go and speak to him for me? I think hearing from someone who has gone through it would definitely help him.

BCGosis…

Update on my BCG treatment was I never got to number 6, I was admitted into the San with what was eventually diagnosed as BCGosis… I basically contracted Tuburculosis, means I can no longer have BCG, am now having Chemo infusion…
3 down, three more, wait six weeks then a biopsy.
Very nervous about how this is going, hopefully not to removal of the bladder…
The journey continues.

My BCG Journey

I’m a 65 year old guy, whose life turned upside down in May this year.
I was already under a urologist for prostate cancer due to my family history.
I was walking over greasy rocks at Narrabeen and had a fall, cracked ribs, had blood in my urine…. had tests and was referred to another specialist who found elevated albumin in my kidneys, more intensive urine tests over a week found cancer cells in my bladder…. We received the news one night at 8pm…. was a big shock… The C word, went through all the emotions, asked how, why, all the usuals.
Two days later I saw my urologist who ran me through the procedures, offered my a radical removal of bladder, prostate, etc…. I declined. He then explained he would do a TURBT resection, this found tumours and suspect looking bladder walls, but not invasive, Over a few months I had three resections, each time he removed more material. After the first one they sent me home the next day, I was back in hospital that night with a blockage, very very painful, stayed in hospital another two days. The next two went as per the script, no problems.. I was then sent to another specialist for BCG treatment…
To date I have had 5, the 6th one is this Monday… then wait four weeks for a biopsy.
The good thing has been that previous biopsies have revealed no prostate cancer.
BCG has been okay, I picked up an infection after the second treatment, back into hospital for two days of serious antibiotics, then home to prepare for the next treatment.
I have had enormous headaches, stinging urination, but I take Ural which helps.
This time I have had major tiredness issues, just feel flat, no energy. Will see how I go after number 6…
If the biopsy comes back okay I go into three monthly maintenance. If the biopsy shows invasion then it all gets much more serious.
I feel confident, people are sympathetic, my wife is trying to feed me well… I’m very grateful to the team looking after me, If I had not had the fall, nothing would have been found until it was to late… I feel blessed, and wish everyone else well in their personal journey….Will post my biopsy results on Dec 20 2017….
Cheers
Steve

Bladder Cancer- common yet unheard of.

Following recurrent non-invasive bladder cancer over five years, resections, and treatment plans which consisted of BCG, radiotherapy, and hyperbaric treatment, in October 2014 my father lost his battle with Bladder Cancer at the age of only 48.
Following the failure of these treatment plans in early/mid 2014 he was advised to undergo a cystectomy and the formation of an ileal conduit. However, due to previous radiotherapy this procedure was extremely high risk. There was also a lot of confusion as to wether he still had the cancer at all! While in consultation with medical professionals regarding the next steps to be taken he was placed into palliative care and lost his battle just weeks later.
While bladder cancer is an extremely common cancer with a five year survival rate of only around 50 percent, it is mostly “unheard of” compared to other common cancers such as breast or prostate cancer which actually have a higher five year survival rate. Therefore, much more awareness of bladder cancer is needed!

Story from across the ditch

Husband is Aussie so hopes that counts! Bladder issues for several years before malignant cells found in urine in early 2013. Much delay & seemingly indifference from drs, disease progresses to stage 4 by June 2014. Chemo, RC with ic, which showed cancer in prostate as well as nodes & bladder. A few months later pain in pelvic groin areas. Told it was sciatic. Eventually groin nodes swollen & CT reveals Mets to bones. More chemo. Some response but now more areas in spine, ribs, & now node in neck. Palliative radiation ended with Greg hospitalised for 12 days. Losing weight fast with constant nausea & now an aversion to food. Maybe possible immunotherapy but have to rob a bank to do that!
What a ride! Not wished on anyone.
He’s only 62 yrs young but looks & feels 20 yrs older. Hunter, Fisher, DIYer, hard worker, mate to many, wonderful dad & hubby.
Yes, would love to support this group.
Travel safe to all.

If only…

My husband is only 52. Last Easter we came home from a camping trip and when he went to the loo and was peeing blood, it was literally red wine.

I took him to our local hospital, who did a prostate exam, which was clear and ordered an ultrasound the next day being a Thursday. The following Monday myself hubby and daughter went to see the dr for the results, a tumour in the bladder, off to the urologist who did a big and scraping and big, news wasn’t good, cancer, the biopsy showed a malignant tumour grade 4 grown into muscle wall.

It was decided to have a bladder removal and illeal conduit performed. News was good after taking the bladder, prostate and surrounding lymph nodes the all clear was given, no cancer in surrounding lymph nodes, a follow up appt was ordered for 6 months. 3 months later hubby had pain in his back and the local dr thought, and so did we, sciatica, off we went camping again, pain was bad and nobody enjoyed the camp. Went back the next day to the dr who then ordered an X-ray to see if a disc was damaged, it was back, the cancer had metastasized to the spine, rib, both legs, it was now in the bones. 😭

Oncologist was seen and the next day he was having radiation, 10 days of 6 zaps a day, followed by 4 months of chemotherapy, last week we were told the lymph nodes were almost back to normal size, the tumours had stated to shrink and no more chemo for a month. He will be having a bone scan at the end of April 2017, and will go from there. This is my husbands story, he had been given 12 to 18 months to live back in November, we will keep fighting and will never stop.

Bladder cancer needs to be made aware of more than it is.

In Memory of George Nelson

My husband George was a loving 56 year old father of two teenage sons when he was diagnosed with invasive bladder cancer in October 2014.

We struggled with finding the “centre of excellence for bladder cancer treatment” in Australia, and his treatment was marred by miscommunication, delays and mishaps. The final being infection contracted during surgery, and inability to have further treatment to stop the spread of cancer. And then lack of palliative care support to allow him to die as he wished with his family at home.

George lost his battle on 12 May 2015.

Our life is marred by “ifs”… if only we had found the right surgeon, the right treatment, a good palliative care team. Bladder cancer is a horrible disease, it attacks a man’s sense of self, and our health system doesn’t seem equipped to deal with it.

Men, fathers, brothers and husbands are worth as much attentions the “sexier” and high profile cancer causes.

Don’t delay getting help, and please invest in more services and information to guide families through the maze of treatment and support.

Not just a smoker’s or a man’s disease.

I was only about 40 when I started to experience haematuria and severe pain when urinating. My GP prescribed course after course of antibiotics, none of which made any difference and when I pointed out the fact that my urine tests consistently identified blood she explained it away by the fact that I either had my period or it was the consequence of lacerations on my genital area from frequent thrush infections. When I persistently asked about the pain and my concerns that I could have bladder cancer she dismissed them saying that bladder cancer never involved pain.

I eventually went to another GP who immediately referred me to a urologist who ordered an U/S – that revealed several malignant polyps that were immediately removed via TUR. After that, I has the usual schedule of checkups – initially 3-monthly, then 6-monthly. These involved cytology plus cystoscopic examination. After about 12m the pain upon urination returned but the checkups revealed no cause for concern.

In November 1999, my usual checkup was clear but the pain persisted and the following month, a small amount of blood was again visible in my urine. I couldn’t see my usual GP unfortunately given that it was the Christmas holiday period but the GP I saw ordered an urgent cytology test which revealed an agressive cancer. My fabulous urologist saw me immediately, identified significant CIC and performed a TUR that afternoon given the aggressive nature of the tumours.

After 4 weeks I underwent 6 weeks of BCG treatment with a follow-up of 3 weeks 6 months later even though there was no evidence of cancer upon examination. The absence of any cancer cells to attack in my second course of BCG meant that I was quite unwell as a consequence but my urologist felt we should err on the side of caution as the CIC had been a high grade one.

That first course of BCG was now 16 years ago and I have remained cancer-free but have annual cytology tests still. I only ever smoked for about 4 months of my life in my late teens and was a relatively young female so not in any specific risk category. I had worked in environments where I was exposed to a lot of passive smoking and had grown up in a household where my father smoked quite heavily. My urologist thought that was the most likely explanation given the absence of any family history – a veterinarian friend thinks that the fact that as a child who grew up in the country who used to spend a lot of time playing in bracken fern and occasionally even chewing on young fern shoots, that the consumption of bracken might have been a factor – it causes bladder cancer in horses and cattle. Who knows? But the moral of the story is that while blood is the most common initial symptom, pain should not be ignored nor should your age or your gender or your smoking status. I found it a very difficult time – I was not able to attend any support groups as the only ones available were for prostate or breast cancer at the time and there was little information available.

NeoBladder for 5 years

Male.  Surgery age 56.  I have had my NeoBladder for 5 years. Complications with surgery resulted in a long stint in hospital, and a very long recovery.  I also had a lot of trouble with diarrhoea and still medicate daily to keep this in check.

As to continence, I wear pads to catch drips, but am mainly dry during the day.  Alcohol makes me leak more.  Doesn’t stop me!

Up three times per night to pee.  Sexual function is greatly diminished.  Many things have changed.  But I’m glad to be alive and having fun!

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