Kidney Infections and a Bladder Cancer Suprise
Towards the end of December 2021, I started having severe hip and back pain. At first, it was manageable, and we assumed just arthritis. However, one day it turned into the inability to stand erect or even sit without pain. I decided to go to urgent care. While there, I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. I did have a test for kidney stones, but it came up negative. They sent me home with steroids and some pain medicine.
The symptoms never went away, but the symptoms calmed down. Then, out of nowhere, I started to have problems urinating. Very painful! It was not an average flow at all. Eventually, it turned into not being able to go at all. So we decided to go back to urgent care, where it was bright, primarily red blood when I could give a urine sample. I was eventually diagnosed with a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). They prescribed a commonly used antibiotic called Cipro and some painkillers and sent us home. I took Cipro until it ran out, things got a little better, but it quickly came back with a vengeance.
Urgent Care < Hospital
The wife decided it was time I went to the emergency room at a hospital instead. A hospital is where they could devote more time to getting figured out precisely what was going on and getting it fixed. So I was admitted to the hospital after a 9-hour wait in the E.R.
I spent the weekend there while urine and blood samples were tested thoroughly. I was diagnosed with a severe kidney and bladder infection. Eventually, on Monday sent home with the correct type of antibiotic for my exact infection. My problems would go away in a week. I scheduled a follow-up with a Urologist and went to that appointment in 2 weeks.
A procedure would help explore and see what might have caused the infection. The Urologist used a camera to travel the entire urinary tract, through the bladder and into the kidneys. But, of course, no man wants that done to them regardless of being "numbed." The day eventually came, I had it done, and it was so uncomfortable that I won' go into the details here. However, know that I was glad when it was over.
A Tumor is Born
He found a small tumor in my bladder during the procedure on the wall. He said this was a "good" type of cancer to find since it didn't look embedded into the bladder. Regardless, nobody wants to hear they have cancer of any kind. He said he was not particularly worried about it. However, the tumor would send it off for a closer look after the procedure to have it removed at the hospital. Thankfully, I would be knocked out while they did this, which was through the same entryway as the procedure I had done. Unfortunately, I will have to have that first "numbed" procedure every few years to ensure it doesn't come back. FUN TIMES!
I am currently recovering from having the tumor removed. I am in much pain going to the bathroom and moving. However, I am grateful knowing that the doctors caught it early. If not for the infections, the tumor would not have been found in such an early stage and would have gone undetected for years until it spread, and I would possibly die from it. I think the trade-off of temporary pain and the challenge of coming back from this is worth it.
Going Home with an Unwanted Present
I have a stent in me currently for two weeks. The stent will have to be removed the same way the other procedures were performed. I believe I will be "numbed" only. It is a tube going from my bladder into one of my kidneys. The Urologist was worried about swelling closing off my kidney from draining into my bladder since the tumor was so close to the opening. Having a stent in me wasn't something we planned on. Because of this, we underestimated the recovery time. We had plans for the weekend, but we canceled the plans.
"I did not fight my way back from death's door and congestive heart failure, have 5 surgeries to get the Pacemaker/ICD Device in my chest, only to die from bladder cancer now"
Self Pity is the Enemy of Progress
I was in shock when I heard about cancer. I felt sorry for myself. For many decades, my wife, a nurse, had the positive outlook I needed to wake up and realize it wasn't a death sentence. She beat cancer, and my Mother beat cancer; I can do it as well. Things are getting better now. A few days out from the procedure, I am still having pain, but there is an improvement. Now about that removal of the tube through my !@$%!!!??????