Robert Lipman, diagnosed October 2003
One day in February 2003 my urine was blood red. My initial doctor visits were with my internist who thought the problem was with my prostate. I didn’t see a urologist until October who confirmed, with a cystoscopy, that it was bladder cancer, something I knew nothing about at that time but I’ve become a lot more familiar with. After having the tumor removed and some complications, I started BCG immunotherapy. The next cystoscopy showed that the tumor returned. We tried BCG+Interferon. The tumor returned again. After getting a second opinion at Hopkins and trying the BCG+Interferon again I’ve been cancer free since October 2005. Now I’m getting cystoscopies and maintenance BCG+Interferon treatments every six months.
Bob’s Silver Lining in this Journey
Given the type and grade of my bladder cancer tumors giving BCG+Interferon a second shot was not necessarily the typical course of action. My urologist from Hopkins was willing to give it another try and this time I had a lot more bladder irritation–a sign that it might be working. If the tumor had returned after the second round of BCG+Interferon the discussion would have turned to a radical cystectomy.
Bob’s Non-Medical Secret to Survival
Friends, family, and faith for support. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a struggle dealing with bladder cancer when the tumors kept returning and initially the immunotherapy wasn’t working. Without the support, it would have been much more difficult.