Saturday, July 31, 2010
It is amazing that this much drops out of you - who would have thought your bladder was that big in the first place?
I've only to now wait until Tuesday to find out what the results are and what they are planning to do with me next! Gee - I hope that it has been worth all this messing around and that they don't want to do this all over again in 3 months. I guess I could live with a 6 month Cystoscope but I ought not to second guess their verdict.
Certainly it appears to be larger than usual and I'm glad that I am taking my own advice and taking it easy today. I imagine there'll be a bit more of this to contend with over the next day or so and that should be it. It is, after all, 2 weeks since the Operation.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Me? I travelled for a living at one time and so am used to hanging around waiting and knowing a few golden rules about such things. You have a seat number for a reason and if you aren't there, they'll soon call for you. And why queue to get onto a train that still has 30 minutes before departure?
So it was amusing that the lady who stepped up to examine the door suddenly found about 400 people queued up behind her. We let the queue go down for 10 minutes and ambled to the train and got on our seats without hassle. They don't knowingly leave anyone behind...
I suppose it must be me but it is so simple to travel hassle free and well planned. I must say, I find A is great at planning and knowing where she is - probably because she is quite a traveller herself. She is back off to Edinburgh on Monday for a couple of weeks. For her sister's birthday she has given her a return ticket to Edinburgh and some tickets for the Comedy Festival - which I am sure she will love. She will be travelling on her own and I'm sure that she will be fine if she observed A's map reading and organising abilities.
I'm feeling a little better at the moment but urinating is a bit painful. It is strange, it is more of an ache than a stabbing pain. It is similar to many of the early issues you get after a rigid cystoscopy without the violent stinging that sometimes accompanies that. I just need to make sure there is no retention. So far there hasn't been any but I need to be aware that it can happen.
We walked for miles and miles doubling across the capital and seeing all the major sites before arriving back at the Hotel to check in and then we went and did a large circuit around the canal area. By the time we got back we must have covered 6 to 8 miles I reckon.
Out in the evening for a meal and then it began to dawn on me that I wasn't quite my usual self and I could feel that I'd pulled myself about a bit. I think I've just managed to pull around my bladder / groin area and urinating was becoming a bit difficult - and a tiny bit painful. The next day we went to Heysel and the Atomium in the morning - that was all by Metro so not too much walking involved and then we stopped off at Louise for some brief shopping and then got back to the Hotel. As it was mid afternoon - I volunteered to stay propped at the bar whilst Mrs. F. A&L went out chocolate shopping, visited the Cathedral which we had only spent a brief time at before and had a wander around.
The next day we went to Ghent which I had last been to 18 years ago. I had to admit - I barely recognised any of it apart from the centre. It was very quiet when I was there last and they have had a huge building project since - I didn't recognise the 2.5kM walk into town and we had a canal tour and pottered around in some pretty impressive churches they have there. We had the most wonderful lunch and by then I was beginning to get a bit tired again so we headed off and got a tram back to the station and headed back into Brussels. I still managed to slightly overdo it but I suppose you do a bit. I feel a lot better than I really am.
The train home was fantastic and we were home in a little under 2 hours from Brussels which is great if you think about it - I guess we were travelling for 3 hours in total from the Hotel. The tickets are valid for travel anywhere in Belgium so we reckon we could be in most of the good places in 4 hours! Incredible.
So at the moment I am sitting down, taking it easy and wondering when I can get back to some level of exercise that doesn't damage me. Tuesday is results day and with any luck I might get a 6 month reprieve from the Cystoscope machine :-)
Monday, July 26, 2010
At the time, you really haven't had time to research properly and to sift out all the dross and nonsense and snake oil from the facts. We didn't know how bad things were at the time but they got me into Hospital in record time. As I recall I was diagnosed on the 21st (Friday) and was having the operation around 3 pm on the 25th (Tuesday). It was really hot, I remember that. I remember being absolutely terrified of what they would find in the results. Things were OK later when they let me know that they had got the tumours out etc. My journey had begun. It is a long way on since then - a return to health in many ways after a seriously low point in those early months and now I'm very much under observation and control but there has been a huge piece of the old me ripped out and lost. To balance that there is a slightly better me in certain areas and a slightly more cut throat renegade me as well.
I can't say that I am happy with those changes - they've made me a different person and not being in the greatest of health I've come to realise that I'll never be the full on person I once was. Not a bad thing either - I probably worked myself into ill heath if the truth be known and burning the candle at both ends may be exciting and rewarding but to affect my health like this was not what I had gotten in mind. Better to find out 4 years ago than later I reckon.
Brussels tomorrow - I am really looking forward to that - although it looks as if the weather has turned so no al fresco eating which would be a shame. Fingers crossed it doesn't rain too bad.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I'm not too concerned with a small weight gain - in the old days it could have been worse as I hardly ever graze and snack - apart from on fruit or vegetables these days.
I still have a long way to go in the weight loss project. Considering I was at least another stone (14Lbs) lighter 4 years ago and possibly last year I was a lot nearer that mark - I still have a long way to go.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I am looking forward to being in Brussels later this week as a tourist this time though. Even though I spent weekends there, I was still with colleagues some of that time and it isn't the same. It will be good not to have to rush to see everything and who knows I may actually get to the Atomium this time having only ever driven past it before.
What the title is about is this - people can rob you of your energy and it is like someone just turns you to drain. Where before I could listen to people's troubles and woes - now - I find it just drains me and I can't do more than a short time now as I just wilt and can hardly manage more than a few tens of minutes.
At some point in time maybe your energy levels returns after cancer but I haven't seen it, in fact it just seems to get worse. I think I might just tell these people to leave me alone as talking to them (no listening to them) just drains the energy out of me.
Friday, July 23, 2010
After Flocky turned up this morning I have to say I am feeling a lot better than I have done this past week and I hope that I can quickly recover my brain power which still feels affected by the Anaesthetic.
I did however have a "moment" thinking about my situation and invariably, the one thing that balances all of this is that, I'd rather be alive and have gone through all of that nonsense last week than the alterantive. I'm a lucky guy - I'm alive 4 years after being diagnosed with cancer. I'm still here and I still have my bladder etc. I can only speculate that the mauling I got this time was for a specific reason and my Consultant decided, on the spot (we hadn't discussed this before the Operation), to go for a full set of biopsies for some reason.
Knowing that invariably I am going to have some more of these operations does give me some concern but I am planning on discussing this fully and quite frankly and explaining my concern that the explanation of the procedure and the documentation they give you is nothing like what actually happens to you and that I am quite prepeared to have gone through all that nonsense if I knew it was coming. If I knew that I'd end up like that with extra tests and the other stuff - nasty though they may be - I could prepare for them and cope with them.
Flocky Bicep is on his way this morning to buy me a coffee which will be good.
What is still a bit of a worry is the side effects of the General Anaesthetic this time - I am still having memory problems and cannot find the right words to complete my sentences. It is OK writing like this as I can take my time but the lads were laughing as I would be half way through explaining something and then lose a word - they were probably laughing at my getting angry with myself.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Another quiet day today - a little walk around the block again and I am out with a few friends tonight for a curry. I'm getting driven there and back which is a godsend - I could have got there and back by bus easily enough though - I would normally walk it but it feels out of range.
This is definitely the worst I have felt after an operation for biopsies. It isn't as bad as Scar Wars I and II but it isn't far short of them either. They did predicate a need to be inactive for some weeks due to the serious nature of the TURBT work they did. Here though, there was plenty of evidence of lots of activity. The debris and blood have stopped some days ago and now it is a matter of about another week before the scabs come off and I can feel confident of doing some serious exercise once again. Sitting around doesn't really help me feel any better but anything too energetic can set you off bleeding again so it is a balance.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
It occurs to me that this sudden need to take lots of biopsies in lots of places including the neck of the bladder (slightly below where the tumours were) might be some precursor to something. Otherwise - why do it? No good second guessing but I sure hope there was some sort of point in going through all of that nonsense last weekend.
I'm looking forward to a few days off with the family and to practice my French again. Belgian beer is pretty good too and their seafood (Moules et Frites or Fruites de Mer) well - what can I say - I'm really looking forward to that.
Each was a waking event dream which pre-empted a visit to pass urine - all that liquid I've been drinking to irrigate my bladder has to go somewhere of course. I've missed these dreams for a while, perhaps all those films yesterday and the train could be to do with the Eurostar to Brussels - who knows?
It is another hot day today. I ought to take some fleeting steps out into the real world. Maybe I will wander around the village and see how I get on. As long as I take it easy it should be OK.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I doubt the night clubs I used to visit are still there or some of the restaurants but it will be nice to go back there and see how it has changed but I am looking forward to it. We are lucky in that there is a new International Station just 10 or so miles from us and so we can drive there, park up and catch a train to Paris or Brussels or loads of other places.
So perhaps our last holiday together. A has bought L a ticket to Edinburgh and the Festival so they'll both be out and about, plus other Festivals and trips they will not miss out by any means. L has her Provisional Driving License which is pretty amazing. The first time I went to Brussels on business she wasn't even born!
A nick in the neck
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away
Our hero Dave Sky-nando once again tackles Darth Urologist and her henchmen (and henchwomen)
An attack on Bl’dar with Cystoscope and Cauteriser once again threatens our hero’s sense of humour and builds further character. The battle may have been lost but is the war entering its final stages and will the evil empire be defeated? Read on…..
Things had started so well. Exercise, low blood pressure, packed and ready to go, a slow walk and get to the Hospital just after the time required meant no waiting around and straight into operating gown and curtained off area. Plugged into my MP3 player I was off and in to the zone I use to protect myself from the Evil Force of Darth Urologist. I saw the Deep Sleeper Anaesthetist and the Registrar before seeing my Consultant and chatting through the “just having a peek and a few biopsies” stuff we normally do, what to expect and as I’m an old hand at this we agreed that I knew what was going to happen and all that stuff.
I signed the consent form (I must remember to take my glasses next time) and all was fine with the world. At 1:30 the man came to collect me, I jumped on the trolley – we checked my name and birthday, he said “You’ve done this before” and he wheeled me off to the Prep room – for the first time it was the nearest Operating Theatre not the far one but they did say as it was Friday there wasn’t much on.
Prep was easy – my heart rate was high – it always is and my Blood Pressure was high but not as much as some of my previous visits and the cannula was in by 1:40 but there was no Consultant and so we waited. The Registrar said he was going to have to wait as my Consultant “Knew my bladder and what it looked like”. My Consultant arrived 30 minutes later and I was relieved to see she was all OK and that I was ready to get this sorted. I wasn’t too worried – I knew things would take their time I knew this as I had programmed myself to let them do this in their own good time and not mine. I was still pretty early into Theatre and I was in front of everyone else in the room so all appeared fine. The Anaesthetist got me to hold the Oxygen Mask on my face and blow me that’s the last thing I remember until finding myself in recovery.
I came to not knowing where I was or what had been going on. After a few seconds I clicked in where I was, where I was in the recovery room and then when I looked up to my horror I was wired up to two huge wash out bags alongside my plasma bag. I was breathing Oxygen but asked whether I was cathetered if so why? I had to wait for my Consultant to turn up and explain it to me. I wasn’t happy but then shoved up to the eyeballs with General Anaesthetic and other drugs – I doubt I was in any position to rationalise what was going on. No, I had two possible permutations. I was connected to all this gear like I was when I had my initial TURBT and my Re-TURBT (Scar Wars I & I). That could only mean one of two things – a major recurrence and therefore lots of cutting and debris to get rid of or a perforated bladder which is a risk albeit a low risk. I was hoping for the latter of course but knowing there had been a recurrence 3 months ago I feared the very worst.
My consultant came out and saw me visibly upset and explained that after she had started the procedure she had decided to take a lot more biopsies and to take some around the neck of the bladder. By doing that she would have caused trauma to that area and there was a possibility that it would restrict the flow of urine and be painful and she had therefore put in a catheter and wash through. She had also taken some samples from where she did the work last time. I forgot to ask the question but she may have said all was OK but I missed that. I was transferred to ward 8 (another first) and was hooked up to the oxygen and offered some water. I know what to do and so started drinking for England but I have to say I have never been this thirsty either, my throat was incredibly dry.
I managed to see my Consultant and ask the right question. It was amusing as she at first thought I’d forgotten what she told me in recovery. No I hadn’t I just hadn’t asked whether it was clear. The answer was pretty good I guess “whilst there were some pink areas, they appear to be from the past operation biopsies.” She went on ”The bladder looks clear and I would be surprised if the Lab reports come back with anything different.” It was then that she dropped the bombshell that I would be in until Sunday. Such were the nature of the cuts inside my bladder apparently that it meant it would have to be.
I found that they seem to allow mobile phones in the ward these days and so when Mrs. F. arrived she found my bag for me and I was able to text out to the world that I wasn’t going to be home Friday night or even Saturday but that it should be Sunday.
About this time it starts to get to the point where I lose my sense of humour. When the nurse took my blood pressure which was low for me and average for everyone else, they left my table, with water jug and glass and things on it pushed away from the bed out of reach. WHY do that – surely you must realise with all the stuff strapped to me I can barely move???? Numbnuts! I eventually see a nurse and ask whether it would be possible to assist me. They do but no apology! Attention to detail people – attention to detail – how hard can it be to work out that I can’t move? Damn, I was going to be in until Sunday and the girls and Mrs. F were doing the Race for Life run in London so how was I going to get home etc…
That night I managed to fire off some SMS messages from my phone and I settled down to some mince and mashed potato which was about all that was available. There isn’t a lot to be said for Hospital food at the best of times. The people were nice but I just seemed to feel that they weren’t paying close attention. As we shall see it comes down to you looking out for yourself.
I was particularly not looking forward to a night inside and with lights out at about 09:30 I started to listen to my MP3 player but gave up. I also hate being in Hospital as I am prone to snore if I sleep on my back and I don’t like disturbing other people. As luck would have it, I know how to sort this out by wedging myself over on my side. Easier said than done with a catheter and more piping than BP used to cap an Oil Well!! Luckily, as the nurse came down to check my urine bag he decided that the wash through bags were no longer needed and they were removed and a bung shoved into the Catheter and so I was able to turn in bed and in fact become free enough to move around. Carrying my bag I was able to have a wash and brush my teeth but how sore I was already was apparent and of course, you cannot freely move with a tube shoved up your penis and into you bladder (no DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME).
The night passed quite well – I was able to hook myself over to the left and hang with an arm on the rail and propped with a pillow so followed a night of fits and starts as the poor two chaps opposite me (Kidney Removed man and Appendix Man) had various treatments done, Morphine shots and all sorts. I was awake early and at 5:30 they came around and start the ongoing process of Blood Pressure and Temperature taking, giving out pills etc. The long Saturday had started. I got up, sat on a chair and plugged in my MP3 player and waited for breakfast at 8.
What happened next sort of started the whole thing off for me as one of the Doctors turned up to take my blood. “You must be joking I said.” “No, we need to check your white cell count”. “I’ve been in 9 times and this is the first time you have ever taken blood from me here.” I was obviously pretty put out and made it known that I was pretty pissed off. Its not as if I’m a real Jedi and needed my Midichlorians sorted out for pity sake. I find the whole thing tiresome and in normal circumstances it would not have been necessary as I wouldn’t even be there. Again, one of my problems is that it isn’t in the plan I had for how it should all go. I kind of said something along those lines that if they hadn’t carved me up so bad none of this would be necessary. Those who know me may suddenly realise that this is me at my worst – I don’t do all this fluffing about stuff and if I’m in that sort of mood you get both barrels.
As is usual, just as Breakfast starts so my Consultant shows up! Luckily she tells me to continue eating whilst she sees Kidney Removed Man and another chap out of sight of me who has some sort of blockage. Then my Consultant looks at my urine bag and says “That’s looking nice and clear”. “You really want to go home don’t you?” I guess the Doctor who was with her had explained quite how bad my reaction had already been to them wanting a blood test and she knows me and my ways “I’d like to I half pleaded.” “Well we can take the Catheter out now and see how it goes but if there is any restriction we would have to reinsert the Catheter.” Now I know what you are thinking, you’d have taken the chance but my eyes are watering just writing this and so I thought for about 2 milliseconds and replied that “I wasn’t brave enough to consider having a reinsertion (having only had treatment ones before) and that an extra day would be fine given the ‘risk’”. Also it made sense that like normal, it would be out at 5:30 the next morning and I’d be home by lunchtime. There was the little matter of an anti-biotic injection if a catheter is in for more than overnight but that was a small matter and once that was done it was just a matter of banging out 3 good samples of urine in jugs before they let you go.
Saturday was the most boring day ever – it was hot and airless and I managed to drink my way through too many jugs of water apparently. The TV requires paying for and at the cost they wanted I could have bought the TV. On and on the day went, visiting came and went and meals appeared and were eaten. A bag of sweets kept me sane and finally at about 8 pm my MP3 player decided enough was enough and stopped working. Luckily I have a back up MP3 player and spare batteries so I switched over and used that one.
Night again proved awful as it was hot and sticky. Somehow, around 2 in the morning I must have managed to go over onto my back – easy enough done with a catheter hanging out of you – it hurts like hell if you pull, push or rest on it. I was awoken by a nurse saying that I was snoring – apart from frightening the daylights out of me she asked the dumbest question of all time. Are you ready for this? She asked “Do you snore this loudly at home?” My answer? “I don’t know, I’m always asleep when I’m snoring!”
With that out of the way I managed to get sorted and spent what was left of the night in a fitful sleep making sure to lie on my side. Kidney Removed Man and Appendix Man managed to get on and off to sleep with some heavy doses of pain killers.
5:30 came and they did the usual vital measurements – again – low for me. However no catheter removal. Was it on the list? Yes it was but no one was acting on it until my Consultant came along. The Doctor came along again with her blood stuff but not for me – she probably saw the scowl I had on my face by then. Everyone else got tested though – maybe this was a new thing?
At this point in time I was a bit concerned as breakfast arrived and my Consultant hadn’t shown up. They weren’t going to remove the catheter without her and so at 9:30 I was relieved to hear her say that it all looks good that can be removed and you can go home. I remind you that this was 09:30 Sunday morning. At this point in time, I fully expected that by 10 things would start moving. I spoke to the nurse who knew nothing about it but had to find the nurse who was walking around with my Consultant. Then at 10:30 there was a break through – they agreed that my catheter can come out but they needed to make up some anti-biotic – I looked strangely at the nurse – “make it up” – “We haven’t got any it will take half an hour”. Now I looked surprised as you’d have thought that they’d have anti-biotic on a surgical ward. An hour later 11:30 or thereabouts she tells me she has got the anti biotic and turns up with a saline bag that has had the anti-biotic stuck in it. Now I often wondered why they kept cannulas stuck in your hand if they didn’t use them? She sets it up and then says – in a sort of absent minded way I forgot I need a urine sample from your catheter. OK so she does that and here’s where the trouble started I reckon. She didn’t get a clean go at it and charged the syringe number of times which really hurt my bladder and started it bleeding as the resultant blood in the syringe showed. Then she said that my cannula was gummed up and she need to clear it. So she disconnected the saline drip and shot this large syringe of cold fluid into my cannula - it felt cold and sort of made its way up my arm.
OK so I’m sitting there really pissed off now this slow drip is going to take ages, she’s hurt my bladder and I can see blood and bits coursing down the pipe to the urine bag and then I feel it. I start to feel a little nauseous and a little hot, then my breathing started to quicken and my ear drums started throbbing. Oh no, I realised exactly what was happening. My chest started to heave and I managed to get my MP3 player off and push the nurse emergency call button. I grabbed the arms of the chair and braced myself – the next thing I knew was I was coming around and mumbling and my legs and arms were thrashing about everywhere. The nurses looked pretty scared – I spoke to one of them and said I’d fainted (obviously) and they laid me on the bed, got me completely flat and this must have been around 11:45 as lunch arrived as I was lying down.
I explained that I was almost certain it was the flush of the cannula or the back pressure on my bladder. I explained that this was exactly what happened to me the first time I came in (Scar Wars I) when they tried to correct a blockage in my catheter and with a similar outcome.
You would have thought that someone would have come around to see me after 15 minutes or so wouldn’t you? No it was 30 minutes or more later that they came around and saw me – I then asked permission if I could get up and have my lunch as it was getting cold. “but its salad said the nurse” “I know” I said. So I managed to eat my lunch and then lay back until gone 1 pm when the drip finally finished. The Doctor wanted to keep me in and in no uncertain terms I explained to my nurse why she wasn’t going to keep me in and exactly why. This seemed to work and finally at 1:30 the catheter came out. Could I have the cannula out? No apparently not. I went for a shower and then of course had to do the obligatory 3 pees in a jug. I managed those at 2:10, 2:30 & 2:55 at 3:15 they finally came and ultrasound scanned me and I was free to go at 3:20 at 3:30 I arrived home.
Nine times in the past four years I’ve had operations, seven of them have been rigid cystoscopies and like travelling in parallel universes there is not one that has been the same as another – not one! What is that all about? Somehow I would have thought that there would be some sort of commonality as suggested in all the literature you ever get from the Hospital before you go in – but as in the Corporate World that’s just the advert – the real thing is often a lot different to how you expected it to be. Let that be a lesson to us all.
As always - I need to work out some way of not losing my equilibrium when it doesn't go the way I thought it should go. I had even planned for the unexpected and the possibility that there may be another tumour - oh well - I think that I need to try once again to work on a way of letting these things happen without me getting myself all in a twist.
The trouble is being a control freak doesn't help. Being out of control doesn't do a dyed in the wool Programme Manager any good whatsoever.
I ate very little in Hospital and in fact even yesterday I only really had soup and fruit with Spaghetti Bolognese last night. The portions I eat are much smaller I notice and I no longer snack - well that's not true - I snack on fruit and celery sticks if at all.
Crickey - 225 is pretty good - my waist isn't good at the moment as I'm sure it is swollen from the beating it has just taken under the cystoscope and cauteriser thing.
I doubt I can keep this sort of loss up although I'm still 14 pounds or so heavier than I was 4 years ago so it must be possible and I'm still 2" around my waist and 1" around my neck larger than this time last year - none of my shirts bought for the cruise fit me at the moment so I'm probably getting back towards where I should be. When I was a young guy I was just 11 1/2 Stone but amazingly fit and that was when I was working on site and leaping around scaffolding and doing all that manual labour an electrician does. I've filled out a bit since then :-) obviously :-)
Good thing I wasn't in Hospital longer or I'd be my target weight in no time!!
I'm probably as beaten up as I was the very first time I went in and had the TURBT. I'm not as weak and in generally as bad a way as I was then but I was also dealing with the diagnosis and in some respects the shock of it all. I also firmly believe I had been ill for some time and that finding out it was cancer can going through such a traumatic experience over what seemed like an age (but was less than 4 weeks total) was a major event.
Talking of major events, Mrs. F, A & L took part in Race For Life on Sunday - they went to the big one at Hyde Park in London meaning that I had to have alternative means of transport home on Sunday. I probably don't want to think too deeply about why they and all their friends do it but they had a lovely time all dressed in pink and I've yet to see their photos. I'm sort of humbled that they'd take part.
Today is another rest day for me. I intend to take it relatively easy and maybe work up some ideas for Scar Wars IX. I can still feel stinging in my urine which means there is blood present although I can't see it at the moment. I must weigh myself and publish that for Steve too.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Pain was the least of my worries the gross out bit never fails to make you cringe. Lots of large bits were falling out but have now stopped.
I'm feeling a little better yet still slightly angry at the 3 day sojourn rather than the in and out.
Off to bed now and feeling quite good after a shower and a shave. Tomorrow I hope to spend a little more time up and about - I lazed around and watched DVDs, Avatar, Kill Bill Vol 1, Catch me if you can and Papillon - all of which were good value I felt. The last one was a bit like the Hospital - especially the food :-)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Well I am off to bed and will have to sort myself out tomorrow for a weigh in. A quick look tonight shows 232 pounds, but I'm weighed down with a good few pints of water in my system to get me irrigated and so seeing how little I actually ate these past few days I'd think there is some loss but I have to wait and see.
For someone who likes to be in control and let's face it, I've had 8 of these Cystoscopies, not one of them has been the same as the other. There is no pattern, little logic or rhyme and reason behind them. The leaflet is straightforward and states a series of facts and not one of them is correct for this particular visit. The problem comes when you set yourself up for the obvious answer to facts and factoids (I love that word) presented to you and you make a "logical" assumption only to find that you are WAY wide of the mark. I woke and found myself cursing the fact I had a Cathether stuck in me but worse that that two huge saline irrigation bags alongside my plasma bag and I really thought that they'd found a tumour and TURBT'd me. What else could it possibly be - the only experience I have ever had of that sort of set up was the original TURBT and the first Cystoscopy that turned in a Re-TURBT (Scar Wars II - has many of these traits too). How wrong was that? Way off beam, no tumours at all, no funny things that looked like tumours. So how come I ended up with all the gear? Biopsies in the neck of the bladder and as they were there they re-did the areas from last time and another lot as well, in fact they just went to town and used my bladder lining as an open cast mining town!
Anyway - bed - I must get some sleep. However, fear not, there was also plenty of humour along the way....
I have just re-read this post - this is why you should not sign legal documents, drive a car or do other things (like write a blog) after a general aneasthetic. I will leave it as it is to serve me right in the future :-)
The good news out of all this utter turmoil is that it looks clear and my Consultant said "It looked OK, a little pink where we operated last time" (3 months ago) and "I would be surprised if the lab results show anything different"
The comedy of errors and the sheer amount of work they did mean that Scar Wars IX overran Scar Wars I and Scar Wars II by more than 4 hours!!! So this is the longest of any of the procedures to date and it was just a check up :-(
More later - I'm OK that's important. I'm pretty sore, very p1ssed off and quite emotional but other than that - fine :-)
Friday, July 16, 2010
I'm pretty much neutral on outcome - by that I mean I haven't prejudged it this time. I wait to hear what they say and I hope for the best but may have to accept second best. I really hope that they can just get on with it and get me out as soon as possible. I just want to be on the other side as soon as possible.
I need to do a trawl around the house and check everything and then wander up to the Hospital. Scar Wars IX here we go.
Light breakfast has been had and I am now on water only until 11 and nothing after that until after the operation. My MP3 player is charged up and ready to go but I'm not packed yet - I will do that in a minute or two once Mrs. F. and L go off to work and school. I then have the place to myself and can sort myself out accordingly.
As I often say to myself, it will all be over this time tomorrow. I hope that is the case. More importantly, it is whether there are any recurrences and if there are, what grade and stage they are at and what to do about them. If things are clear, that will be good. I feel pretty good although I have sympathetic pains in and around by bladder and the back of my hand - strange sensations both.
I feel pretty good - albeit I know I'm a bit stressed. I'll see how a bit of exercise and a shower and shave make me feel. Hopefully that will burn away some of the hours.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I had to laugh a minute ago though when I saw Steve K's Blog - he and I are having a friendly weight loss competition - what made me laugh was the thought that maybe I was only going in for biopsies to lose more weight. It only hurts when I laugh - or will do for two or three days anyway. Well at least that brought a smile to my otherwise serious face this evening - thanks Steve :-)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
16 Stones and 3 lbs - which in real money is 227 lbs. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised about that as the Hospital measured me lower than that on Wednesday and this week I have actually noticed things like my trousers being really loose, my jackets are no longer tight especially around my stomach. Even my thighs look thinner - if that can possibly be :-)
I'm very pleased - I reckon the weather must also have a lot to do with it - I've been eating (except last night's barbecue) rabbit food all week and just a little fish or meat. Generally, I eat salads with some sort of fish or have baked potatoes with baked beans and Tuna and some low fat cheese. I'm still thwacking back cottage cheese and taking my pro-biotic yoghurt drink every morning. I'm eating lots of fruit and also have dried fruits too. I have no sugar or sweet things, no crisps, no cakes or anything like that - if I want a snack I go and get a piece of fruit or a stick of celery or some such. It is slightly more than my target 2lbs a week but I'm sure there are anomalies with the measuring equipment and some sort of plus / minus thing that goes on.
I will have to be careful after I come out of Hospital as I tend to "boredom eat" if Ii am just sat or lying around all day recovering. If you've not had a Rigid Cystoscopy the main thing is that they insert a large tube up your urethra which leaves you pretty sore for 24 to 36 hours and uncomfortable for about a week I suppose. Because they normally take out 6 biopsies from your bladder to examine, and these are cauterised wounds, they scab up and you must be careful to let them heal and they tend to take a few weeks to clear up completely. Unfortunately you do tend to pee a bit of blood and the odd clot for a few days afterwards and then perhaps up to 2 weeks later can pass some bits. It isn't painful just unnatural and therefore disturbing. So as you can imagine, leaping around, doing exercises or any other over exuberent activity is seriously frowned on. I did some and set myself back - this was probably in early 2007 and I was told just to take it easy. Things like driving especially a heavy old clutched manual car like mine are also not advisable for the first week or so.
Well, I am pleased with my progress to date and I am pleased that I've changed my eating habits enough to continue to lose weight with the help of my exercises. I am not expecting too much in the way of loss in the next 3 weeks though.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
- It was a tiny, minute tumour
- the remaining 99.9% of my bladder was clear of cancer and has been for 3+ years
- You can't treat a tiny, weeny little tumour like that - it was cut-out and is NO LONGER THERE
- It was low grade, low threat, less than CIS or any other tumour I've had before
- Decreasing the time between biopsies is best in class behaviour and the right thing to do
- If they find anything now - they can scrape it out. If they don't we revert back to the original 6 month reviews
- In 3 months not a lot can happen to a bladder that was left cancer free
- BC grows slowly and can be controlled
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
I did 30 minutes on my cross trainer and racked up the furthest I've travelled before so that was pretty good. I am getting closer to the 8kM mark in 30 minutes and like Steve K in the USA, I think that exercise is the spawn of the Devil but it appears we must do some to assist with all the other things we do to fight off further attacks of Bladder Cancer. Still 7.4 kilometres is about 4.6 miles and 8 would let me hit the 5 miles in 30 minutes target.
Unlike Steve I do feel a benefit and can actually feel it is doing me some good. For distraction I stick my MP3 player on quite loud and just pound away for 30 minutes. I do a few minutes recovery and then do some light dumbbell work for about 3 or 4 minutes and that does me. After cooling down I check my blood pressure which is always reassuringly low and on a downward slope (which also gives me some satisfaction) and then I have a shower and have something to eat.
I was a bit worried that I'd feel tired or not up to the exercise today but in fact I'm obviously getting stronger and getting further along each time. I wonder when I'll get to the magic 8kM?
Sunday, July 04, 2010