This is all just an accident.
It started when I started to develop pain in both hips. My doctor, Mike Rogers, started a series of tests in an effort to determine what might be causing the pain.
Somewhere along the way, I had some blood in my urine — just one day and just for a few hours that day.
Still, it prompted other tests and it was a CT- Scan that showed what’s called a fistula — a channel that had developed where it shouldn’t be, running between the bladder and the colon.
Oh, and there was a murky growth that seemed to be on my bladder, or in my bladder, or both, and in the ureter, the tube that runs from the left kidney to the bladder. Even now, it’s apparently hard to tell what’s inside the bladder and what’s outside.
This growth, the doctors are sure, is bladder cancer. It’s how to treat it that is up in the air.
At first, they suggested it would not lend itself to removal by surgery and that I’d have to undergo chemotherapy and radiation.
Then, they amended that and figured they might be able to shrink the cancer with chemo and then remove it — along with my useless left kidney and ureter and bladder — with surgery.
But even further study of the CT-Scan leads them to think, because they can’t be sure if the cancer is inside or outside the bladder, that they were right in the first place: chemo and radiation.
I’ll be seeing a urologic oncologist for a second opinion. What he says may influence what treatment we eventually decide on.
In the meantime, no, they haven’t said what stage my cancer is in. No one has even mentioned the word “dying,” let alone given me a calendar for when I may die from this cancer.
As usual, the journalist in me gives me a sort of detached feeling, as if I’m watching this happen to someone else.
I’m going to give this thing a go, I guess. And if you continue to check in with me, I’ll let you know what’s happening as I go.