Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Europe – it’s May and bladder cancer awareness month. I share three stories from the urology ward. It takes real warriors to deal with this disease – these are war stories as well as ward stories.
- my fellow-fish-friend, the challenges of her journey increased steadily from turbt, to BCG treatments with painful side effects, to interstitial cystitis and a brief session of EMDA to bladder removal last year. She’s navigated this hair-raising journey with strength, grace and the knack to share a chuckle when it matters.
- an 84-year-old regular visitor to the hospital. She had her bladder removed years ago and returns monthly to have the stent adjusted. She knits continuously to steady her nerves and truly manages to see the positive in everything. She had spent all morning of the day I arrived calming our third roomie who was very anxious about the upcoming operation, this even though she knew her own would be so painful she’d throw up.
- a quiet lady who listened actively to a kidney patient next to her and didn’t say much herself until after the doctors delivered her results. Low grade non-invasive and so small that no treatment was necessary – only regular check-ups. When the news sunk in and she’d asked us if she’d heard correctly, she smiled from ear to ear.
Every diagnosis has a story and every story a person living through it. Each one unique.
Write it in the comments.