Diagnosed in 2011 at age 53 with muscle invasive bladder cancer
In early May of 2011, I noticed blood in my urine. At first I thought this might be a sign of menopause. Then I recalled that a neighbor nine years earlier had thought that the blood in her urine was due to menopause, but actually was bladder cancer. With this on the back of my mind, I paid close attention to the blood in the urine and was fairly sure it was not vaginal. In addition, all my online searches always concluded with bladder cancer as a cause for blood in the urine.
I made an appointment with my internal medicine physician, who took a urine test and put me on antibiotics for a urinary tract infection (UTI). I have a history of UTIs. When the dipstick test was negative along with the culture, he repeated both tests. When the second tests yielded the same results, he referred me to a urologist. I was diagnosed with high-grade muscle invasive bladder cancer in June 2011.
I had a radical cystectomy performed in July 2011 and now have an Indiana pouch. I was very blessed that the cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes and was just beginning to invade the muscle. I have been cancer free since my surgery! I am so thankful for the wonderful doctors who were quick to diagnose me and took such wonderful care of me. I would also like to let women know that if they take early action the outcome is wonderful and that there are options such as the neobladder and Indiana pouch which gives a person the quality of life they had before the diagnosis. I do all activities I did before my diagnosis, my life has not changed except that I appreciate things much more and I have been lucky to have met some wonderful people through the experience. My message to other women is that if you see blood in your urine take action!