Four months ago, my Bladder Cancer was found by accident while getting scans to check on my Lung Cancer. A cystoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your bladder and the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra). A hollow tube (cystoscope) equipped with a lens is inserted into your urethra and slowly advanced into your bladder. I had my first Cystoscope on July 11, 2017, confirmed it was a tumor and was scheduled for the TURBT surgical procedure. My TURBT was performed and confirmed it was a tumor and it was only on the lining of my bladder. A TURBT is a procedure in which bladder tumors can be removed from the bladder wall. This is a procedure performed completely with a scope that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. It is generally performed in the hospital setting as an outpatient with the patient anesthetized.
Protocol for patients after having a TURBT with tumors only on the lining entail:
- For six weeks, you go one day a week to your Urologist. He uses a catheter to put the chemotherapy/immunotherapy solution directly into your bladder.
There are two medications used for this treatment. BCG - is a form of immunotherapy, therefore I cannot have it due to already being on immunotherapy Opdivo for my lungs every two weeks. Mitomycin is the second medication. I began this and during week three developed significant side effects and was told to stop. I was also told we would wait for another cystoscope in October.
Well, today was that day. The day. The first time we would look in my bladder since removing the one tumor. He began the procedure and we could instantly see on the monitor as the tube was being moved in.
What I saw was horrifying. A lot of things that looked like my originial tumor in various spots on my bladder. My Urologist immediately withdrew the cystoscope and said, "We see 4 and I didn't even look around. No need to make you look at it now. I'll take care of it in surgery."
So almost exactly 3 months after having the TURBT the last time (and everything looked clear and great), there now appears 4 new tumors are growing and we don't know how many there are. The plan is November 9, 2017, I will have another TURBT, he will scrape my entire bladder, then we do the cystoscope 3 months after - February 18, 2018.
Certainly not the news I was looking for but onward I go. I know I can have several TURBTS but I can't imagine getting this done every 3 months. Not sure how that will go but will certainly keep you informed.