Seven months after first diagnosis of bladder cancer, two TURBT procedures, six weeks of immunotherapy injections, it came down to this one scope. I’m one of the 80,000 new bladder cancer cases in the US this year. You don’t hear much about it because it’s uncomfortable to talk about. It’s uncomfortable to live with it. It just is. Uncomfortable.
So today I was back at the doc again for my three month scope after beginning immunotherapy. She said it was the single most important scope in my entire life to determine if I’d be seeing a recurrence of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is notorious for coming back which is why early detection is key. So they take that camera, and peek around inside your bladder. There’s only one way in. Yeh, THAT way.
As uncomfortable as it was, I’ve become accustomed to it all and was able to watch it all live as it happened. The doctor looked around, pointed out the scar from prior procedures, looked around some more, I’m holding my breath expecting bad news around the next curve and she said, “you have a very pretty bladder… and I see no evidence of cancer”. She had me at pretty bladder. THERE’s something that’s never been said to me before in my entire life. Oh and no evidence of cancer.
So I’ve graduated now to ‘maintenance’. Me and my pretty bladder. Another shorter round of immunotherapy. A longer gap before my next scope. And so it goes. If you ever see blood in your pee. Get checked out. Fast. I’m cautiously optimistic and we’ll see what the next scope brings.
I left the doctor and had one more appointment to keep across the city. This guy with the pretty bladder and cancer battle got an appointment to get his first covid vaccine shot. Done.