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What's the Next Step?

I noticed a little blood on my toilet tissue back in April.  I chose to watch, but ignore for a while because most things go away on their own and I'm abnormally healthy.  I'm 47 and take no medications.  I am a clinical lab scientist and have access to a constant supply of urine strips, so I checked every week and yep, still traces of blood.  After two rounds of antibiotics and one negative urine culture, I saw a urologist.  Then I had the CT on this past Thursday.  Working in the hospital, I filled out the necessary paperwork to have a copy of the report printed.  Bummer of a decision.  It's Sunday and I won't hear from my dr until tomorrow at best.  Bottom line, I have a 3.1cm X 2.0cm 'soft tissue abnormality suggesting a bladder neoplasm.'  As a bonus, I also evidently have fibroids in my uterus and an ovarian cyst.  Unfortunately, most of the info on the internet about bladder neoplasms indicate cancer.  Way to reassure a girl.  I have none of the risk factors:  I'm female, I've never smoked, I'm under 50, I've never had a UTI, no working in chemical environments.  So.  As soon as I hear what the next step is, I'll share. 

coolanna coolanna 46-50, F 3 Responses Oct 4, 2009

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OK - more info. Evidently, the tumor was 'non-life threatening' according to the urologist. However, it is evidently 'very aggressive.' So I've finished the first round of treatments. Every Tuesday afternoon for 6 weeks, I got to have a catheter inserted into my bladder and a solution of weakened tuberculosis instilled. Couldn't pee for 2 hours. Then - - just when you think it can't get any better, my pee is contagious for about 8 hours after this. I had to take over a bathroom and put a couple of cups of bleach in the toilet every time I used to bathroom. Which was ALOT, since I was having to drink as much liquid as I could to flush out the TB. Couldn't flush the toilet for 15 minutes to give the bleach time to kill the bug. Plus, if we choose to have sex during the 6 weeks of treatments, my husband has to wear a condom. Guess what wasn't happening?! Difficult to feel very sexy when you're having a catheter every week. And when you're thinking about TB. Lots of activity going on, just none of it very fun. I have another cysto at the end of February. If the bladder looks OK, I get to do another round of treatments. Since it's an immune response, the symptoms get worse after every treatment. By the last one, I was having burning upon urination, then a major lower abdominal cramp every time I peed. VERY gross. VERY uncomfortable. But . . . . .as I keep saying . . . . . most things are worse than this. I feel very lucky.

Another update: found out I do in fact have bladder cancer. Absolutely NO risk factors so there must be some sort of gen etics in play here. Had the tumor removed, which was very unpleasant. Probably don't need add'l chemo, but there is a 75% chance of recurrence w/n 5 years, so there's that to look forward to. Anyone else have this??

UPDATE: I'm scheduled for a cystoscopy on Monday, where the urologist will put a tiny (I hope) camera through my urethra into my bladder to check it out. Should have an idea of whether it's a bad thing or no big deal. As a bonus, I had my regular GYN appt this am and she's not concerned. I have a sonogram scheduled in a couple of weeks to check out the fibroid situation, but we both think it'll just be something we ignore until it becomes a problem. Thanks for you kind thoughts. Now it's just getting through the weekend without totally stressing out.