We are very grateful to everyone who has shared their story with us on this website. We know that many people find reading the story of other patients very helpful when trying to make sense of their diagnosis or cancer journey. We also know that these stories can be very powerful in helping to raise awareness of bladder cancer and highlight the urgent need for new treatments, research and support for those with bladder cancer.
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Kate was 65 when she first spotted blood in her urine. Here she describes her experience of Non Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer:
I have just had a very scary time after eventually getting fast tracked for cancer of the bladder.
I searched everywhere online but everything I read was all really bad and left me wondering how I could come out of this.
I'm a 65 year old mum, grandmother and hippie. My symptoms started with pink pee last Julyand I went back to the docs so many times for more antibiotics because they didn't know what to do with me.
I went on holiday in October and started bleeding again. It was bad. It looked like red wine. When I came home I called the surgery and fortunately got a new doctor who fast tracked me to the hospital.
My first appointment checked my kidneys with ultrasound and then I had a camera into my bladder and was shown on screen the two tumours that were causing the problem. I was told they would be removed as soon as possible.
December 18th was TURBT day and I was escorted to the hospital by both of my children. All the staff at the hospital were lovely and I met my surgeon and anaesthetist who both explained I would have a rigid camera inserted into my bladder, the tumours would be removed and my bladder would be filled with a chemotherapy solution for an hour to make doubly sure they were gone.
When I came round in recovery I had a catheter fitted and litres of water were being put through it to irrigate my bladder. I had not had any chemotherapy. It was 11.00 when the anaesthetist was putting me to sleep. I woke up and the clock said 12.00.
After several beautifully made cups of tea in recovery, I was moved to a ward and started my recovery. I had been told it was day surgery but it was apparent with irrigation going on that I would need to stay for one night.
The catheter was removed the following day and I was told I had to pee properly before I could leave.
I achieved this and made it home to recover. Post op problems were few. I felt a bit cystitisy and had to rush to the loo all the while.
Three weeks later my appointment for review day arrived. I went to urology clinic with my daughter and eventually we were called in.
I was told that the tumours removed from my bladder were cancerous and that they had been fully removed. I would get a follow up in 3 months with a camera and if all clear they would leave it 12 months before the check again.
I'm writing this because I couldn't find a story similar to mine and I really think people should be able to find a less harsh outcome. I'm not a fool and I know this could go wrong but at least I have been given a positive outcome.