This past Monday was 2 weeks since my surgery and my aches and pains from surgery are slightly reducing and my physical strength is slowly increasing. A few days ago, I had a follow-up visit with my Urologist Dr. P.; he indicated the recovery is progressing as expected and he would see me again in 3 weeks.
In December in my post ‘a walnut-sized gland‘, I wrote about experiencing some pain starting prior to my cruise in December that progressively became worse. At that time, my Urologist Dr. P. thought it might be a prostate infection and prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.
One month ago, in my post ‘to whine some today’, I wrote about my Urologist Dr. P. removing my ureteral stent and finding another small tumor in my bladder which is not surprising because my bladder cancer has a very high recurrence percentage; this was the reason to have my Radical Cystectomy surgery. In that post I whined about the increasing pain and discomfort I was experiencing and the tears that flowed from my eyes due to the poor quality of life I was undergoing at that time.
A week prior to my surgery in my post ‘the next 9 days‘, I wrote about my visit with my Oncologist Dr. D. to discuss the pain I was experiencing. She indicated at that time her first impression is that my cancer may have spread to my nerves. Pain medications were increased due to the amount of pain I was experiencing and another round of imaging tests were ordered. The CAT Scan, PET Scan and MRI resulted in nothing out of the ordinary.
Today, I wanted to provide everyone an update on what is taking place with regards to my cancer.
My surgery took 10 ½ hours to complete. Dr. P. indicated part of my bladder had somehow embedded itself into my large intestine; he had to take extra time to delicately separate the two. In the previous month when I was experiencing my extreme pain I would complain about having a ‘knot’ in the middle of my gut. With the imaging tests coming back with nothing out of the ordinary, Dr. P. said this was most likely the cause of that ‘knot’ feeling and because today I no longer feel the ‘knot’, I would agree.
Prior to leaving the hospital last week, I received my Pathology report from my surgery; the results indicated my cancer had spread. My Radical Cystectomy removed several organs and in males the seminal vesicles are also removed. My cancer had spread into the seminal vesicles and these glands have many nerves running through them. This most likely was the reason for the extreme pain I was experiencing prior to surgery and now that pain I no longer feel. The Pathology report also found the cancer had spread into other lymph nodes in the pelvic region; the surgery also removed all lymph nodes in my pelvic region.
Bottom line is Bladder Cancer spreading to other parts of the body can be difficult to treat and the 5-year survival rate is very low.
While in the hospital, I spoke briefly with my Oncologist Dr. D. and will meet with her again in 2 weeks to discuss the options available in moving forward with my struggle with cancer.