Yesterday I had a cystoscopy ( a camera examination of my bladder). “
“Do you want a fiction or the truth?. . . . you have a cancerous tumour on your bladder”, the doctor said, ” It is caused by smoking when you were a young man, even though you quit over 30 years ago and were a light smoker before that. You are a classic case of a mid seventies year -old male who hasn’t smoked for decades and then, now, up pops a tumour in the bladder, in your seventies “.
I note now on the internet that even children exposed to second hand smoke are susceptible to bladder cancer later in life even if they never smoke.
“But go to France in Feb and enjoy yourself “. He said. ” We could take it out before you go, but you would not enjoy your trip because of the post op discomfort. There is absolutely no risk in delaying the op till you return at the end of Feb.”
Fortunately it was caught early, inadvertently, when looking for something else in an abdominal ultra-sound. So I am going through my pre-op procedures this week.
I believe bladder cancer is one of the most curable cancers of all. I believe I will die of any number of my other ailments before I die of bladder cancer.
My natural inclination was to go to ground with my news. To keep silent. The dreaded C word . . . Not even to tell my children. Who really needs to know? Why bother anyone with that news? I know how deeply touched with sadness I am when I hear of someone who has touched my life, who has been stricken with cancer. I didn’t want to do that to anyone whose life I have touched.
But the teacher in me rises up. There is a lesson to be learned here, I believe. If my story of bladder cancer can generate one conversation , one google search, one less cigarette smoked, I feel a need to share it. If I didn’t believe that sharing my news, generated increased knowledge of the dangers of smoking and bladder cancer , or the dangers of second hand smoke on children, I would be ashamed to be sharing my news.
I never knew about this conclusive evidence about the lethal connection between cigarettes and bladder cancer. I want others to know.
I know I will be around to share the news of the successful eradication of cancer in my bladder. Stay tuned! :-))