Dealing with bladder cancer – a personal story
David Day has provided a personal account of dealing with bladder cancer, his treatment and road to recovery:
“I was first diagnosed with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in 2014 having noticed blood in my urine a year before. I went to see my GP who immediately referred me to the urology department for a cystoscopy where they found a single tumour.
I was told I had bladder cancer and it was thought due to having been a smoker 13 years previously.
I was operated on to have the tumour removed, then given several options after the operation, these were: to remove the bladder, to have treatment with BCG (this is the same serum you may have had at school to test for TB but in this instance is administered directly into your bladder), or to do nothing.
Following discussions with my wife, we decided the best option was a BCG which my consultant agreed was the best way forward.
Over the next three years I had 27 doses of BCG. I stopped at 27 with the agreement of my medical team due to the side effects being too great.
It took a further two years for all the pain associated with urinating, spasms and constant wanting to urinate to get back to normal.
My wife and I then got back to a normal life.
Travelling the world going back to working part time and playing golf two or three times a week.
I have had an annual cystoscopy every year since 2014 to check that all is still good, my next one in 2024 should be my last and then I can finally be signed off from the oncology department.
My wife was my rock - hopefully if you are on the cancer pathway you will have family and friends like mine that helped me through the whole journey.
My advice to others would be: if you see blood in your urine or feel any pain in that area get to a GP as soon as you can. And if you are diagnosed with bladder cancer join a forum where you can speak to people in the same situation - for me it was Fight Bladder Cancer, which was so so helpful.”