I had an operation for a permanent stoma because of bladder cancer when I was 39 years old. This is what is called a urostomy.

The first symptoms appeared approximately a year before my surgery. I had been working out 3 to 4 times a week for 8 years, so you understand that I was in good shape. I was working, I was playing sports, I had a good family and social life, etc. One morning, I woke up with the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. I always felt the need to go to the bathroom, and it burned when I peed.

It took me two weeks to decide to go see a doctor. I thought the pain would go away, but it only got worse. The results of my urine test were negative. The doctor prescribed me two or three antibiotics, but they didn’t work. I was still in pain, I suddenly felt like I had no energy, and I didn’t understand what was happening.

Four months after the symptoms appeared, I was referred to the department of urology. I did another urine test, and a cystoscopy. My urine test results were negative again. After the cystoscopy, the doctor told me that the protective layer of my bladder was completely destroyed, and this was probably due to the fact that I’d suffered from diabetes for 25 years. The doctor prescribed me some medicine and told me to come back in two months.  

Things weren’t pretty a month later! There was blood in my urine, and soon the blood became blood clots. I was suffering! I was literally losing all of my blood, I had to resign from my job, I didn’t want to go out anymore and I was always tired. I had lost my life… I saw the urologist a couple of times, but he would always send me back home. He’d never have me take any other tests to see what was going on.

A few weeks later, I went to the hospital emergency department. I told them my story and mentioned how it had been going on for months. I was given a uroscan, and I was told not to worry because it wasn’t cancer. It was interstitial cystisis. This is kind of a stomach disease, and the symptoms are pains in the lower belly and frequent and painful need to urinate. I then saw the urologist for 5 weeks to treat my interstitial cystisis.

Meanwhile, my health kept deteriorating. My blood clots became worse, I was always in pain, I wasn’t hungry, I lost weight, I was scared, I had panic attacks… nothing was fine! My husband then took me to a hospital in Quebec City, and I had an ultrasound. This was going to help me understand what was going on : A mass had perfored my bladder.

Everything then happened very quickly. I had a biopsy on Monday, and I was hospitalized while waiting for the results. On Wednesday, I learned that I had bladder cancer. On Friday, I learned that they had found the exact location of the cancer. I would finally be able to live without any pain, but I’d have a urostomy for the rest of my life. 


Brought to you by : Centre de Stomie de la Mauricie