It was bound to happen… I setup a blog with the intention of sharing everything that I was going through. Fully intent on doing that also, and then something happens I don’t particularly want to share. I’m going to, that’s the point of the blog to share what I’m going through mainly so it may help other people going through the same – embarrassing as it may be.
Telling my wife about this one was tough enough, though for reasons you’ll find out later was completely unavoidable, so to come out with this one publicly definitely isn’t easy. I’m almost chanting it as a mantra as I type this… ” If it helps someone else.. If it helps someone else… If it hel…”.
So here goes. As you know if you’ve read any of my previous blogs or know anything about me ( purposely adding filler text to drag this out here 🙂 ) I currently have advanced bladder cancer which has spread to the pelvic bones and spine ( still filling out ). From what I understand the tumour in my bladder is actually quite large. No one has specifically said this but it makes sense.
One of the issues caused by the tumour which was identified early was that it was blocking my right kidney, and had been for some time causing it to essentially give up the ghost, go kaput, johnny five not alive or however you want to put it ( still filling ). It was also encroaching on the tube-y bit ( scientific term ) to my left kidney meaning I had to have a stent put in, essentially a bit of tubing leading from my bladder to my left kidney to make sure it doesn’t get blocked by the tumour. In short, this means the tumour must be quite large.
Unfortunately being large leads to another unfortunate side effect, taking up the space in the bladder means less space for urine and so a need to urinate more often. Day to day this is fine, night to night… well… it can cause issues. The long and short of what the last 4 and a half paragraphs have been leading up to is an unfortunate case of incontinence. I would say very mild as there is no issues during the day and the at night issue isn’t major, but incontinence none the less.
As I said when it first happened I hated the thought of having to tell Kari what was going on… though for obvious reasons had little choice in the matter. Initially I was taking sleeping tablets at the time and just didn’t wake up in time. I put it down to the tablets and stopped taking them straight away. I was fine for a while, but then it happened again. I just didn’t wake up in time. The knock on effect of this is being able to get to sleep, every night at the back of my mind is the nagging thought it could happen again. So I sit up watching films or playing a game on the iPad or updating blog posts with bits on how I can’t sleep or something, trying to shut that thought out so I can then try to sleep.
It’s a real tough one to talk about, definitely on the embarrassing subject list. Forgetting my condition for a moment you wouldn’t expect a man my age to have that issue in general, and as much as possible I like to continue as though I don’t have this condition – life as normal and all that. But this definitely isn’t life as normal, this is life giving me a bit of a big fuck you… and I hate it. This is control being taken away from me by the cancer, something medication can’t really help with like morphine does for the pain. It’s there and it’s staying there and I am just gonna have to deal with it.
Let’s be blunt – it fucking sucks.
Still, I did manage to tell Kari what had happened and she was, as ever, so supportive. We got things sorted out those nights it happened, and have plan in place should it happen again.
I think it’s definitely something immediate family need to be aware of, despite any doubts and ignoring how embarrassing the whole thing is, they will be supportive. If it wasn’t for this blog and my aim of helping others through it I would never be so open about this it would absolutely be kept within the family – i.e. between myself and Kari only. But like I said, I need to put it on here for others. Damn blog lol.
It’s like anything with cancer, it’s so important to be open and honest with family, care workers, nurses and doctors as the support is there, no matter how embarrassing it might be they do need to know it’s really important it’s not kept quiet… and they will give support. Since telling Kari I have told one of the nurses recently and they made a few suggestions for me, it’s nothing they haven’t dealt with before and very normal for this condition in fact.
It’s still crap. I still hate it… but just gonna have to deal with it now and say a bit of a big fuck you back to life, it needs to up it’s game lol.