Living with cancer
Each of us has a unique story and each of us lives it in his or her own way. In my case, my story’s trigger was a cancer and as my diagnosis was made late, the only option was a permanent urostomy. I didn’t lose everything. Even if I couldn’t save my bladder, I saved my life and overcame my cancer.
Having no diagnosis, I wasn’t receiving the right care for my situation. In fact, I was treated for urinary infections, to cure the inflamed protective wall of my bladder, and for interstitial cystitis (a painful bladder syndrome). The deterioration of my quality of life went really fast, everything happened in less than one year, and it was very painful. I reached a point where I thought I wouldn’t get through it. I felt like it could be cancer and that my life was in danger. My relatives were aware that I was really in bad shape and that's what led me to go to a hospital in another area to ask for help. This is where I received my diagnosis.
Taken alone, the word "cancer" is scary, and developing one is scary too. I feel lucky to have had the chance to count on my relatives during these difficult moments. My spouse and my daughter accompanied and supported me a lot, and I know it wasn’t easy for them either. They were witnessing what was going on and feeling anxious about cancer, but they were powerless and I know it wasn’t easy. At one point, we were all overwhelmed by the events and we no longer knew which door to ring for help. Strangely, when we learned that I had cancer, it was a relief for everyone. Now, with this alarming diagnosis, I would be supported.
Bladder cancer is often asymptomatic at the earliest stage; the symptoms only appear when the tumor develops. It’s also very easy to confuse the symptoms of cancer with the ones of urinary infection, kidney stones, interstitial cystitis (women) and prostate disorders (men). The more frequent symptoms are the followings: blood in urine, pain and burning sensation when urinating, constant need to urinate and feeling of bladder not emptied enough. Cancer is a little like inflammatory bowel disease; it's an invisible disease and our credibility gets affected when we're not taken seriously... It's a challenge in itself to persuade the specialists that something is going wrong in your body.
For those around me, the fact that my urostomy saved my life and that I no longer had cancer has been a relief. They could finally close the parentheses of the chapter "cancer".
On my side, however, it was more difficult to move on. In fact, I strongly reacted to everything that had happened to me, even if I was now out of danger. I was still in shock because I had lived with fear during all this episode of my life: the fear that I had had a cancer and the fear to develop another one. Also, I now had a urostomy and I hadn’t had time to prepare myself for it because it had gone too fast. My physical recovery went quickly, but my psychological one lasted longer. It took a lot of time and consideration, but I succeeded. I can’t deny that I sometimes still have a little shadow over my head because I had cancer and I could have another one, but I'm learning to live without letting myself be carried off by these worries.
Now, I consider myself fully healed, as much my soul as my body. I’m completely recovered and I’m very happy about that. My tenacity, my will and more particularly the time ended paying off. I couldn’t be more grateful!
Life goes on and it can be positive again.
Présenté par : La boite.