Tomorrow is Christmas Eve – where did this month go?
3 weeks ago in my video post ‘Results‘, I revealed to you my health status and what is next with regards to my care. Next month, I will have my next surgery.
Here is a recap of my recent imaging results and what is to come the first month of the new year –
My 12 weeks of chemotherapy seem to have stopped the cancer in my bladder from growing. The nodules that appeared on my lungs in my initial imaging tests are also no longer found. With my cancer, the chemotherapy assisted in controlling the cancer by stopping the cancer from growing or spreading.
My cancer is Stage 4 Bladder Cancer, which is muscle-invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder; the percentage of reoccurrence is high. Therefore, the gold standard of treatment is the surgery Radical Cystectomy.
Radical Cystectomy is the removal of the entire bladder, nearby lymph nodes, part of the urethra, and nearby organs that may contain cancer cells. In men, the prostate, the seminal vesicles, and part of the vas deferens are also removed. My Urologist Dr. P. uses the robotic-assisted surgery which reduces risks, time in surgery and hospital stay. The surgery will require the robotic cystectomy be performed via 5 -6 ports and may take up to 8 hours. Once surgery is completed, the hospital stay is expected to be 7 – 10 days, with a total recovery of 2 – 3 months.
Here are the results of the surgery per urology.osu.edu –
An ileal conduit, also called a urostomy, redirects the urine so it drains into a bag located on the abdomen. This type of diversion will be created by removing a short segment of the small intestine (ileum) to be used as a conduit for urine to flow out of the body. The ureters will be surgically sewn to the wall of the conduit. The surgeon will close one end of the segment and then bring the open end through the abdominal wall creating a stoma.
Once my surgery is completed, a biopsy will be performed on the organs removed to determine the extent of my cancer. The results of the biopsy will determine the next steps, which could include additional chemotherapy, radiation or nothing at all, except follow-up appointments for future cancer reoccurrences. Remember with Stage 4 Bladder cancer it is more about when vs. if the cancer will return.
I have several weeks left before the surgery and Christmas and New Year holidays are quickly approaching. The initial plan for Christmas was Gary’s family would stay in cabins located here at the RV park where we are located. We planned to spend the coming days together to celebrate Christmas; but these initial plans have changed due to unforeseen circumstances. Our plans now are Gary and I will spend Christmas with our RV family in the RV park.
Due to this past years development regarding my health and the unforeseen circumstances that have changed our Christmas plans – I have a message – my message.
My message for each one of you, no matter your upbringing, your religion, believes or feelings; life can be short, let us celebrate our lives – and remember let’s be nice to each other.