Surviving and Thriving

October 29, 2013
by Diane Quale

After initial bladder cancer treatment, people often talk about adjusting to a “new normal”. This could mean getting used to visiting your urologist every few months and checking if the cancer has returned. It could also mean coming home after a life-changing surgery where your bladder has been removed and you have a newly constructed urinary system. Regardless of your specific diagnosis, being a person or being close to a person living with bladder cancer changes your life. When my late husband, John Quale was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2000, we found patient information and treatment options to be severely lacking. At BCAN, we want to provide resources to help people diagnosed with bladder cancer not only survive, but to thrive.

This fall we are offering two free webinars looking at survivorship and all of the concerns that can arise after leaving the doctor’s office or hospital. If you’re reading this, odds are that you have some connection with bladder cancer; you received the diagnosis, or you are a friend, or family member of someone who did. We provide resources and information related to diagnosis and treatment, but we also receive many calls and emails from people in your situation who have questions about life after initial treatment for bladder cancer.  After focusing on getting through treatment, many people want to know what happens afterwards. These two webinars are designed to address those concerns and provide time to pose questions to experts in this area.

General bladder cancer survivorship concerns will be covered in the first webinar, on October 30 at 8pm EST. We are so pleased to have as our featured speakers experts who have been working with BCAN for several years:  Heather Goltz, PhD, LMSW, MEd, University of Houston-Downtown, and Marianne Borch, RN, BSN, CURN, University of Rochester. They will be talking about dealing with fear of recurrence, psychological and economic factors, community resources and care plans, and what you can do to help yourself live a full and healthy life after being diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The “new normal” after bladder removal surgery and urinary diversion is the topic of the second webinar, on November 14 at 8pm EST. Our experts for this program are Cheryl T. Lee, MD, a urologist at University of Michigan, and BCAN Scientific Advisory Board member, and Vashti Livingston, RN, MS, CNS, CWOCN, wound, ostomy and continence nurse specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. They will cover quality of life after surgery, including adjustments,  potential challenges, common issues with different diversions, body image and psychological issues, follow-up appointments and having a care plan.

Please consider registering for these free webinars. Click here for more information: http://www.bcan.org/learn/educational-programs/webinars/

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