Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bladder Surgery

If you follow my blog, you know that last month I was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer, in addition to my Lung Cancer.

In 2 days, May 11th, I will have surgery to remove the tumor and I will be Staged at that point.  After testing, staging and surgery, I will know the exact treatment going forward.

Even though it is distressing to have two cancers at the same time, it is comforting to know that Bladder Cancer can be easily managed (In comparison to what I'm used to with Lung Cancer).  And, I can do both treatments at the same time.

I may be a bit spacey afterwards, so I may not update for a few days, but will post as soon as I know anything more.

I thank you and ask for your continued prayers

Thursday, April 13, 2017

LUCKY ME - 2 DIFFERENT CANCERS

Having over a dozen people in my family diagnosed with cancer, I've always approached "growing up" with - not if I will get cancer but when??

As you all know, it has been 3 years and 3 months since my Lung Cancer diagnosis and everything that journey has entailed.  Well, yesterday I had a Cystoscopy to check a mass in my bladder.

It is approx. 1.5 cm in size and it is Bladder Cancer.  It is not from my primary tumors in my lungs but a totally separate tumor.  According to the Urologist, I will have surgery to remove the tumor.  It is called TURBT procedure. 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.

6 weeks after the surgery I will begin chemotherapy.  BCG, Bacillus Calmette-GuĂ©rin, is the treatment.  Bladder cancer is the only cancer in which BCG is commonly used. Other agents have been used in bladder cancer, but none has surpassed the effectiveness of BCG.  In my case the BCG will administered in an induction (once weekly for 6 weeks), wait one month, then maintenance (once weekly for 3 weeks) course. Another 6-week course may be administered if a repeat cystoscopy reveals tumor persistence or recurrence. Induction therapy combined with maintenance therapy every 3-6 months for 1-3 years may provide more lasting results. Periodic bladder biopsies are usually necessary to assess response.

I will have BCG and Opdivo concurrently (at the same time).

So there you have it.  I am officially a Lung Cancer Survivor and I intend to be a Bladder Cancer Survivor.

I am currently awaiting on the hospital to call me to schedule the procedure.  I will update as soon as I know more.  

I continue to thank you for all your love, support and prayers.

Friday, April 7, 2017

YES, I'VE BEEN AVOIDING YOU

I have a confession.  For the past 48 hours, I have been avoiding all of you.  Text messages, emails and Facebook posts.  You all saw I was getting my scan results yesterday and then I was back at the hospital today.

Truth is my scan results were not that great.  First, my lung scans were GREAT!!  Slight shrinkage since 3 months ago, so we know Opdivo is still doing it's job and kicking cancer's ass.

Now, the not so good news.  The CT scans showed a mass in my bladder.  My oncologist stated she highly doubts it is spread from my lung because that is very rare.  However, there is the possibility it is a 2nd cancer - just my luck.  

She wanted me to see a Urologist ASAP but unfortunately they were booked until May 24th.  She stressed I should call periodically and see if they have cancellations.  Lucky for me, I called today and they had an opening.

The Urologist and I went over my scans.  He stated we have to do a cystoscopy so he can look at it and get a biopsy.  We have scheduled that for next Wednesday.  He will be able to tell me at that time if it indeed is a 2nd cancer.  He was very compassionate, concerned and explained things in detail.  He told me he cannot make an educated guess without a biopsy but the way it looks makes him pessimistic of the final diagnosis. The fact that I've never had a bladder infection or kidney infection is another bad sign.  My kidneys and bladder work great.

As cancer patients, we all know, no one ever rushes anything.  We wait and we wait.  What alarms me this time is his push to his staff that this needs to be done "tomorrow."  That is exactly what he told his staff while I was there.

I will keep you all informed going forward  I apologize for not answering your questions but I needed time to tell all 7 of my children - that took an entire day :)

I love you all for all the support your provide.  The past two days have proven I have many people behind me giving me the strength to continue the big fight.  During my mother's cancer fight in the early 80's, she always said, "God only gives you what you can handle."  All I can say mommie is - enough already!

Say an extra prayer for me.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

F*CK CANCER

First, accept my apologies for my language.  Today is not a good day.  I woke up today to find my Facebook news feed filled about the loss of a wonderful young woman, wife and mother to an 18 month old has passed away from this horrible disease.

Elizabeth Dessureault, a young newlywed in 2015, pregnant with her first child found out she had lung cancer.  Throughout her ordeal fighting this beast she dedicated her time to advocating for those who have cancer.  Just recently she raised over $5,000 for the Team Draft Superbowl Challenge.  She was tireless. 

She was fearless. FromLizziesLungs.com was her outlet to keep everyone up to date AND raise necessary funds to help research lung cancer.

I met Lizzie last year at the 2016 Hope Summit.  While her diagnosis and fight was hard, depressing and life-threatening you never would have know when you saw her smile.  Ask her about her son, and her face beamed.  She was the shining light in a horrible situation


Recently, Lizzie also helped to write a fundraising letter that helped The Ottawa Hospital Foundation raise over $266,000.

Life is precious.  I remind myself of this all the time.  I may feel great today but I have no idea what tomorrow has in store.  Just the word cancer, seems to cancel out your future. BUT WHY?  I've have friends that have survived 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, some 15!! How can someone so young, vibrant, and with their entire life ahead of them, not have a cure? 

How is it 2017 we cannot find a cure for this fucking disease?  Why do we have to put poison in our bodies to battle this?  In my lifetime, I've lost several aunts,uncles and my mother to cancer.  Luckily, they all lived semi-full lives but in the end they succumbed to the beast.  It's a part of my life.  I don't want it to be but it is.

Today, I am heartbroken.  Please add her beloved husband, young son and her parents in your prayers tonight.  Give your loved ones an extra hug today as tomorrow is not promised.

Lizzie, may you rest in eternal peace.  #JustBreathe