Blood in the urine. I thought it was just the after effect of recurrent urinary infections since March. Yet since I am the person who calls the doctor’s office for everything I made the call. They asked me to come in, took a urine sample, sent it for culture and said the same thing. An UTI and loaded me up with more antibiotics. Two days after the visit I get a call from my OB’s office asking me to see a urologist ‘just in case’, since I had recurrent microscopic blood in my urine. So the date was fixed May 11,2011. I went about everything else in my life in a normal way.
May 11, 2011
I met Dr. D. Never did I know he would play such a important role in my life. He was uber nice. He took an urine sample, said I had no blood nor infection and that everything has cleared up. He felt that the blood back in April could have been from an unhealed UTI. He felt since I was so young, had no other risk factors he did not want to do any other tests. He words were “if it was my wife now, I wouldn’t do anything further too”. I felt good. He did however mention that if I were to see blood in my urine again (technical term is gross hematuria) I should come back. All was well.
May 16, 2011
Blood in the urine again. Entire urine tainted with blood. My first thought was some kind of kidney issue maybe, kidney stoned etc. No other pain, just mild occasional cramping, which a women often gets in a month so I never gave it much thought. I called Dr. D, just as he told me. He asked me to come in, the only appointment he had was May 18, 2011. I did not think too much about it as the blood stopped by the afternoon. I even debated cancelling the appointment, yet I am not that kind of a personJ. Just love the doctors.:)
May 18, 2011
I went in, he took an urine sample, again no blood. He however said he needed to do a cystoscopy. I had no idea what it was, I was under the impression he was going to do a ultrasound or something to look at the kidneys. It was not a pleasant experience. If you google cystoscopy you can know all about it. I was lying with thoughts racing through my head, not knowing what to expect, and I hear him say “Oh, I see it”. He then removed the equipment from me and said “You young lady have bladder cancer”. My mind just went blank, eyes started to well up.
I then vaguely remember him asking me if I want to see it, and I said Yes. He hooked up a monitor on which I could see and showed it to me. That was the first time I saw IT. It was like a sea creature, like sea algae and it looked HUGE. I had no clue what to think. I was lying on the doctors table with tears flowing like a water fall.
Dr. D then said, get dressed, call your husband, I will talk to him. I remember getting dressed, calling A, trying to get words out through all the choking and tears, I could hear him tear up. I then handed the phone over to Dr. D. He told A the same things he told me. I am quoting Dr. D. “I have your beautiful wife sitting in front of me and I just told her she has bladder cancer. How do I know without a biopsy, I know because it looks like a textbook tumor. But I do not want you to worry. I am going to go in and remove it, and then she would need check ups. She is going to live a long life with you and you guys are going to have a lot more children”.
I left…life changed.
I went to my office, cried in my partner’s office. I left work and headed home. I saw A and cried even more. We gathered ourselves and went to Little A’s school to pick him up. Evening progressed, it was all a haze. When the little one is around there is not much time for sulking, we made dinner, gave him a bath and it was nighttime. After we put Little A to bed, we both broke down. In a way it was good, your head gets clear. We hit the sack, preparing for the rest of our lives, as it has just changed in a way that we could never imagine.
The next few days consisted of telling the family. It was hard. Tempers flew, how can the doctor just tell me, why did he not do a biopsy, maybe we need a second opinion. All thoughts originated from a place of deep caring, yet it made the days harder, as we all needed answers, and we all had none. My mom had just left to India two weeks prior and she made plans to return. We have lot of known doctors in the family, calls flew left right and center. More thoughts, more confusions. I stayed away from google, which was very hard for me, but I thought it was pointless unless I knew that I was dealing it.
It was hard to keep my head in the game. The next stage was a CT scan to determine if the cancer had spread. That was on May 24, 2011. The days between the 18th and the 24th, were some of the worst days of my life.
May 24, 2011
Day of the CT scan. I was all nerves. Our dearest family friend, P (she is a physician) had come with her two year old daughter T, to help us through the appointments. She arrived the previous day night. The day of the scan, we sent Little A to the daycare, and the rest of us headed to the hospital. The scan was done, yet the report would not be ready till the next day. So one more day of torturous wait. Talks about the location of it being an issue were discussed with various doctors. All the possible worst case scenarios ran though my head. I had to wait till 4PM the next day to meet the doctor and know the situation.
May 25, 2011
We ALL went to the doctor’s office. It looked more like a picnic. A, Little A, P, Little T and myself. We all barged into his office, Dr. D looked a little shaken up, but he adjusted saying he has three kids himself. He then explained the CT looked good, nothing has spread, kidneys look fine. I realized I could breathe finally. The kids were little monsters, they kept asking for cookie and candy and knew we would keep supplying them, so as to keep them quiet when the doctor was talking. We were played big time. The date of the surgery was fixed too, June 16, 2011. Thoughts on whether it was too far away was there, but nevertheless we had received good news. IT HAD NOT SPREAD. We all headed home happy. We took the kids swimming, and it was the first happy moment in a while.
Three weeks went by as slowly as they could, we made a trip to P’s place just to take our mind off, I finished up as much as I could at work, not knowing really how soon I could return, as it all depended on the pathology report and if further treatment was warranted. So all was done, A’s sister was making a trip to help out during surgery, P came back and we all got ready…
The first step on a long road ahead!