"sometimes I've cut the queue and visited the gents"
” Sometimes I’ve cut the queue and visited the gents and I’m often not the only one.”
Ladies on the Berlin Wall in Berlin – photo by (c) howlzap Cologne

I always need to know where my next loo stop is, then I can relax. I’ve become quite an expert at checking out the lay of the loo-land and honing in on rest rooms. Arguably it’s easier when you’re familiar with the territory and culture I haven’t been outside of Europe since being diagnosed. However even when I travelled in Asia and Australia I always kept an eye out, though perhaps most Asian travellers do – you never know when “Deli- belly” might strike.

Public transport and crowded areas can be the most challenging if I need to find somewhere quickly. Crowds at popular events and places result in long queues at the ladies. Why is that? Sometimes I’ve cut the queue and visited the gents and I’m often not the only one.

There are a couple of tools that help “loo stress”.

The first is an app, aptly named “Toilet finder” it shows your location on a map along with the nearest public facilities. Brilliant idea and a godsend. I’ve even discovered a couple of new ones in my home city with it. It’s a collaborative app and relies on its community updating the information.

The second is a magic key that opens disabled public loos in Europe called “locus Schlüssel” loosely translated as “loo-key”. In Germany if you’re having treatment and have bladder cancer you can get a disabled pass (usually just 50%) but this enables you to get a key. With this you can cut queues legally and usually don’t even have to pay.

The most important thing that both tools bring is more confidence being out and about. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and insecure after and during bladder cancer.

Anything that helps me feel like my old self and adds to quality of life is an absolute bonus.