This is my ninth stint in hospital since 2016 each time for bladder cancer. I used to almost faint with fear on a hospital threshold but routine leads to familiarity. I return to be “fixed” to have my tumour(s) removed and to be checked and advised for the next chapter of this journey.
Until this time, I’d always been the only patient with bladder cancer in the room. Others had had kidney tumours, kidney stones or bladder infections. This time there was another woman with the same turbt operation ahead of her on the same day.
The similarities didn’t stop there;
we live in the same neighbourhood,
have the same profession,
speak the same language and
have a similarly sunny outlook.
We even share the Piscean star sign which surprised neither of us. Supportive company certainly promotes healing and well-being.
With the operations behind us and catheter bags slowly filling next to us we exchanged snippets of our lives. Visitors and flowers delighted and distracted us, and the days passed more easily with this same-wavelength-company. While waiting for ultrasounds we giggled like schoolgirls or old friends finding an easy repartee and a shared sense of humour, as “fish” often do.
Day 4 dawned and results were ready, our anxiety had been gradually mounting as results day neared. I heard that of the two tumours one was low grade the other no grade and I’d continue my journey with Mitomycin. My new friend’s results are more complex and need different treatment. I wish her much strength, courage and positive energy to manage the challenges ahead.
In August I’d felt frustrated that I‘d had to wait 5 weeks for a turbt appointment. Only with hindsight does serendipitous September make sense. I wouldn’t have met my new bladder-cancer-fighting-fish-friend had the appointment been any earlier, and I’m very happy I did.