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Some rookie questions: bladder cancer treatment

rickt99
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2017

Hi, 

Last week, I had the surgery (TURBT?), which apparently went well. Spent the night and was home the next day. More reecently, the doctor and pathologist informed me that my situation is as follows:

  • High-grade papillary urothelial carcinoma, invading muscularis propria.

Obviously, this diagnosis is potentially a big (and unexpected) deal, involiving surgeries, removal of stuff, and possibly chemo. I've been referred to another doctor--one who specializes in my condition. But it may be a a while before I'm able to meet him and get my 'practical' questions answered. So, weigh in if you are able to offer insight.

Question one: 

I am pretty busy with work, and I take my obligation to my employer seriously (but not as seriously as my health). With that in mind, I'd like to get your guidance on what to expect with regard to the AMOUNT of time that I'll be unavailable to work, based on having radical bladder surgery, chemo, or all of the above. Should I resign my position? Will I be able to continue working? How long will I need to be "out"?. How should I set my employer's expectations?

Question two: 

What if I do nothing: no surgery, no chemo, nothing. Obviously, I have an agressive and lousy type of bladder cancer. What would it look like if I simply refursed treatment? Note: Yes, I'm aware that this would be a terminal thing. But what about the interim? How long would I function? Etc?

Question three: 

I have a very limited suppport network, almost no family within 400 miles. I have friends who would help, but I don't want to rely on them or burden them. So, what am I looking at given a small support group, locally? Is that gonna be trouble? Do I need to be cared for a lot?

Again, those are rookie questions, Sorry if they've been asked and anwered elsewhere. Looking forward to your input.

rick

Lazy_Bones's picture
Lazy_Bones
Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2015

1. Following surgery, depending on the type of diversion you select, your return-to-work time can vary. I had the Ileal Conduit (oustside pouch) and could to light work within a week. No matter the diversion, heavy lifting will be off the table forever. If you have robotic surgery vs open surgery, hernia chances are reduced. If the surgeon also uses the "SugarBaker" procedure, the risk is reduced even more. In any case, in the beginning, you will need more frequent bathroom breaks.

2. With no surgery, you might look into the new immunology drugs, either alone or in combination. They work wonders,MIGHT save your bladder, and have almost no side effects. 

3. You ask about support groups - that's really a local thing. Where do you live? 

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