Feb 22, 2004 - 8:36 pm
I never thought I'd find myself at a site such as this. I am a 38 yr. old female diagnosed with bladder cancer in Oct. of 2002. No signs/symptoms preceeded the diagnosis, other than my urine stream not being quite 'right' and having to force to empty the bladder completely. A urine sample proved to have traces of blood and from there, I was sent for an immediate IVP and ultrasound where the tumor was seen. It was about the size of a strawberry. I am a smoker since the age of 10 (yes, that isn't a typo and I'm ashamed to have to admit that to anyone)... I'm told this is the cause of my cancer. My tumor was superficial (T1) (thankfully) and didn't invade the deeper tissues of the bladder wall. I had one round of chemo at the time of excision just in case any cells went astray at the time of surgery with no other chemo or radiation needed since then. I have to go every 3 months for a cysto. This past one I was told that the excision site looks a little 'rough' (could this be squamous cells?) and that it wasn't cause for concern, but they will follow it by having me drop off three days of urine sample prior to my next cysto in 3 months to run some 'additional tests'. Does anyone know what these tests are and what it will tell the doctor? In the interim, I am trying desparately to quit smoking and got the patch today, after a week of trying to quit cold-turkey, with a few "slips". I was told that even if I quit smoking, although it will greatly reduce the risk of a reoccurence, that it doesn't diminish those odds to NO reoccurence. My doctor likened it to being like a skin cancer - which forms years later from the damage that was done many years before. This really scares me. I live alone and have moved away from my family. I don't like them to worry so I don't really talk about it much with them. After reading some of the stories of experiences of some of you here, I am very scared of what my fate will be. Can any of you offer any hope?
Thank you for any help... I hope to learn alot from this site and this board.