Bladder Cancer Survivor Is Now A Fitness Enthusiast
“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” -Kurt Vonnegut
Heather was diagnosed with bladder cancer March 17, 2018. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a fitness enthusiast now.
“After a six month long journey I was finally diagnosed with bladder cancer March 17, 2018”
“I started seeing blood in my urine in September of 2017. Every lab test, every ultrasound, every MRI, every CT, and a few cystoscopies couldn’t find it. I saw several doctors and they all said I was healthy according to results but couldn’t explain the gross hematuria that I was experiencing all day, every day for six months. My urologist agreed to take another look and the tumor finally showed itself, this time during another cystoscopy. Three days later my tumors were removed.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“My love of life and my family. I was fortunate that I required no further treatment for my cancer other than cystoscopies every three months as bladder cancer likes to keep on coming. So we’re letting a close eye on it to catch it early should it return.”
“The biggest hindrance in my cancer journey was that every test showed I was healthy. It was so frustrating knowing something is clearly very, very wrong when you see red urine every day yet you’re told they can’t find anything.”
Message to other cancer patients
“Don’t give up! If you know something isn’t right to stay proactive and do not stop until you get answers. Try to stay positive during your journey. Eat right and get lots of healthy greens and red and blue/purple fruits daily. Green tea, broccoli sprouts, and ginger are your cancer-fighting friends.
“My first symptoms started in 2013 and they started with small bleeding at the end of urinating, the doctors diagnosed me with a possible infection and they told me it was something I should not worry about. The bleeding never stopped, I went through cultures, blood tests, ultrasound, Rx, etc, nobody told me what I had and everyone sent me medication to treat an infection that I may never have had. These symptoms I had for a year until I met a Urologist in the Hospital where I worked for 5 years and of which I was head of nursing. Due to the desperation that nobody told me what I had, I decided to expose my situation and it was from that moment that someone saw my illness as something more than a simple infection. The urologist sent me to do a sperm culture in addition to tests of HIV, Hematic Biometrics and Blood Chemistry to have a more accurate diagnosis, but everything was still negative, everything indicated that I was healthy. After a month of treatment the urologist decided to do a Cystoscopy to see what was happening inside my bladder, but because it was a very painful procedure because they only used local anesthesia, the truth is that the doctor could not manipulate the camera well, leaving everything in a prostatic infection. I received a treatment with Prednisone that lasted another month and the bleeding stopped for around 2 or 3 months, but after that time they returned. It was so painful that last procedure they did to me that I decided to stop treating myself because I had sworn that I would never do it again and so I spent another year. I always had the certainty that at some point the illness that I had sooner or later was going to disappear, because I had always been a person who practiced athletics and I spent it in the gymnasiums training, but instead the symptoms worsened to the degree of I can not urinate and have to install a urinary catheter myself desperately and end up hospitalized, because previously I already had recurring fainting and also began to show symptoms of anemia from having been bleeding for a long time. I spent 4 days hospitalized for a fever that was about to reach 40 degrees centigrade in addition to a urinary bleeding that stopped nothing, because this no longer seemed to be the only bladder but the kidneys because of its dark color so similar to Coca-Cola. The urologist who had previously treated me was the same one who, when he found out, visited me and immediately after seeing the color of the bleeding he urgently sent me to do an urotomography, since it was he who told me coldly that the bleeding seemed to come from the kidneys. Once the study was done, the image showed that there was a mass in my bladder of about 5 centimeters that was located in such a way that the cystoscopy with local anesthesia had been impossible to see. The urologist let me recover a week to perform the surgery and when the day came (April 28, 2015) I was so nervous because I never imagined myself as a patient, I really saw so far having to go through an operating theatre that being there was awesome. An hour after I woke up from surgery I did not feel my legs due to the epidural blockage I had done, so I did not feel pain or anything, that feeling was great, although something strange, I must say that the tumor that was removed sent me to analyze pathology. Two days later my result arrived and it was the day that I found out that I had Cancer, the news came to me like cold water, but in spite of it I knew that nothing was going to happen to me, because the type of cancer I had was in a stage Initial and could be cured. After going through so many analysis, I finally knew what I had (Grade Two Transitional Cell Carcinoma) and that gave me a certain calm. The urologist let a month pass so that the wound from the surgery inside my bladder healed and after that I started my eight cycles of intravesical chemotherapy with Doxorubicin, of which the first three were only uncomfortable, but the fourth left me or burned my bladder I had to end up hospitalized again with bleeding that did not give up anything and even had pains that kept me in bed for two months without being able to urinate normally. I remember that this occasion came out of my fourth cycle of chemotherapy with a slight burning, but with the passage of time increased and just at night around 10 pm the pain was such that made me hyperventilate arriving at the hospital with a Respiratory acidosis that had left my hands twisted, was the worst. The two months that I spent in bed if I could stand up because of the pain that caused me that was really exasperating and I even thought about giving up the treatment, but something inside of me told me that it was stronger than that, so I continued. I finished my eight cycles of chemotherapy at the end of 2016 and now I am alone in annual reviews “
Bladder Cancer Survivor Shares His Love For Fitness
Eduardo Cesareo Montero was diagnosed with bladder cancer on April 30th, 2015. He has successfully defeated his disease. He is a fitness lover.
“I was diagnosed with bladder cancer on April 30, 2015.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“I know many will say that I am crazy, but I did not do it for anyone, I just let myself go and let it happen, although I know it was not a flu, I think that to date I have not finished processing the disease, I have always let what happens to me is the consequence of my actions, whether for good or for bad. Although in these last days if I could say that I do it for someone or something, it would be because I do not see my family badly that they have already had enough scares with me.”
“There were many obstacles that I had to overcome. For starters, the hospital where I worked did not give me social security and I did not have medical insurance to back me up, so the hospital had to take care of most of the treatment, but who else was responsible for covering those expenses were the urologists who treated me, because they only asked me to buy the medicine (Doxorubicin) and the procedure did not charge me, something for which I will be infinitely grateful to date. Another obstacle that I had to face, was that by not having health insurance I had to be looking for the way in which my family was not so worried about covering those expenses that certainly are not cheap at all. Also, one of the biggest obstacles was the treatment as such, as it is uncomfortable to be using a urinary catheter every moment as well as how irritating and painful it is. However, the most painful thing is to see your family worried about the disease, the expenses, and how unpredictable this disease is.”
Message to other cancer patients “My message for people who suffer or suffered from this disease is that they do not underestimate what their body is capable of, you decide how far you want to continue and no one should stop you from moving forward, no one but you decide the date your life will end. I know it is difficult and I know you will hear many people say what is commonly said: “keep going”, but I already went through this what I can say is that in the end think that the reward is life itself, in the end, it will have been worth keeping alive, whatever the reason for moving forward must be so impregnate to your skin that nothing should prevent it from becoming a reality. So stay on the path of struggle. Somebody in life cares about you.”