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Not sure if it is this Thursday,does anyone know ?"Wendy"

Posted by Tammie on 2/05/04 at 14:27 (143695)

But, I remember Wendy,saying something about her husband finding out or having something done? I may be off as I forget things easily or confuse sometimes also.Think it is the age coming on or maybe the meds as they remind me it is hmm? Anyways I wanted to let you know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, as in any case I know that you both have had some pretty scary stuff going on! I can do that at least amd hope that soon things will work out for you all!Take care and let us know how you are doing and if there is anything I can do for u please let me know.

I have lots of time and a computor that hubby finally has back to cable modom and it sure is alot better. It does not take forever to get online or kicked off after spending time writing emails and loosing them! I'm just thinking of you. I am sorry if I got the info wrong or mixed up but best intentions are here!

Re: Not sure if it is this Thursday,does anyone know ?"Wendy"

marie on 2/05/04 at 15:35 (143699)

I think you're right. I hope Wendy lets us know how things are going.

Re: Not sure if it is this Thursday,does anyone know ?"Wendy"

Suzanne D. on 2/05/04 at 21:57 (143724)

I believe you're right, Tammie. I checked some back posts, and Wendy mentioned that her husband was to have a cystoscopy this morning. Here's hoping things went well for him. [-o<

I'm glad you have your computer working better now, Tammie. Let us hear from you as often as you feel like posting! @};-

Suzanne :)

Re: Long day

wendyn on 2/05/04 at 22:40 (143726)

You guys are all so sweet.. @};-

I am okay, but I am very tired. The cystoscopy really was a 5 minute simple procedure. The doctor found one small tumor that appears to be superficial. If you are going to have to have a malignant bladder tumor, this is the point you want to catch it at.

They will call us with a date for his surgery. It's done under general anesthetic, and they will go in and remove the tumor. They will also check to make sure that it has not gone deeper than they thought. At that point, they do some type of chemo - but it's chemo injected into the bladder. I'm not sure how many times they will do that.

The urologist explaned that they will get to know each other real well; he will have to have the cycstoscopy repeated every 3 months for 1 year, and then regularly after that (I think the rest of his life).

From my reading tonight, it sounds like although these lesions are easy to remove - they reccur more than 70% of the time. I also read that this is a cancer that usually affects older men (he is only 45).

(Sigh)

So, this is just our new reality. We are happy that he has kidney stones, and it enabled them to find this so early on. It's hard to come to terms with the idea that my husband has cancer - and dealing with this is just going to become part of our life.

Thank you all for your prayer and support, talk to you in a few days.

Re: Long day

Julie on 2/06/04 at 01:19 (143731)

Wendy

It IS hard, terribly hard, to come to terms with the idea that you, or the person you love, has cancer. The word, 'cancer', is frightening because it is so loaded, not just medically, but historically; it was a death sentence for so long that the word's vibrations go deep. But cancer is just an illness. Yes, it's a serious illness, but diagnostic techniques and treatment have improved so much in the last few decades that it is far from being the 'death sentence' it was, as you know.

The kidney stones really were a stroke of luck. The tumour was identified at an early stage, so the outlook is excellent. As you've said, this is your new reality: you have to deal with it, and that's what you'll do. It will get easier once the initial shock and fear recede, which they will, and once the surgery and adjuvant treatment are behind you.

I think I once told you what my teacher said to me when I was diagnosed: 'All that matters is what you do with this experience, how you use it'. Once I got over the initial shock and fear and grief, I realised that it was not a catastrophe, but an opportunity for change and growth. Maybe you can think of it like that, and you may find, as I have, that cancer transforms your lives in good and helpful ways. A simple, practical example: if this leads to his giving up smoking, that will be a huge beneficial change, protecting him from other illnesses down the line. You may also find, as we did, that this experience, as you go through it, brings you closer together.

Be optimistic, and keep talking, here and to your other friends. You have lots of them, and lots of support.

Take care.

Julie

Re: Long day

marie on 2/06/04 at 07:26 (143735)

Thanks for sharing your day with us Wendy. We have been so very concerned. The good news is that the tumor is small and was found early. Life is full of stuff that makes us think about who we love and how we live. You and your hubby are in my thoughts and prayers.

best wishes marie

Re: Long day

Rick R on 2/06/04 at 07:33 (143737)

Thank God!! Glad to hear it sounds like a manageable situation. And I was whining about just stones.

Rick

Re: Long day

Suzanne D. on 2/06/04 at 07:57 (143738)

Wendy, that is a positive way to look at it - that the kidney stones brought about finding the tumor while it is small and manageable.

I have a friend that always tells me in stressful situations - 'Keep looking up!' - which means lots of things ~ keep positive, keep looking to God, etc. So to you I write, 'Keep looking up!' @};-

We will keep you in our hearts and prayers.

Suzanne :)

Re: Long day

john h on 2/06/04 at 09:12 (143745)

Wendy: Sounds like they got this very early. One of my favorite baseball players of all time Ron Santo had surgery for bladder cancer last year. He will be back in the broadcasst booth this year

You note your husband will have catherization every 3 months. Some men have to self catherize every day in order to urinate. Infection in the bladder is apparently rare. I have several friends who have had cancer of the prostate and surgical removal. All have done very well and they are 4-6 years out.

We all handle things like this in a different way. Men tend to be macho and keep their feelings to themselves when they should express how they feel. I would guess this will be a tough adjustment for him mentally and he may or may not discuss how he feels about it. I know my wife just never talks about her breast cancer and I do not press the issue. It probably always lurks in the back of her mind. Julie can address this. My prayers are with you and your family as always.

Re: Long day

Julie on 2/06/04 at 09:37 (143751)

John, yes, everyone handles things like this in their own way. It's not only men who keep their feelings to themselves; many women do too. I've come to think that one reason for this is that if you talk openly to others about your feelings, you then have to deal with their responses, i.e. their feelings; and some people make the decision (not necessarily consciously) to contain their feelings so that they don't have to cope with what others are feeling. It's a valid decision, as are all personal decisions. Not talking probably makes things more difficult for partners, though. I feel sure that serious illness happens to a family, not just to an individual; and that a cancer diagnosis is as much of a shock to partners (and children) as it is to the person with the diagnosis.

I think what's important is that anyone going through this, whether patient or partner or child - or even friend, because that is very hard too - and who needs to talk, has someone to talk to. I hope you did!

I'm sure others have thoughts about this.
.

Re: Long day

Kathy G on 2/06/04 at 09:48 (143756)

Wendy,

The good part is that they found it early and have effective treatment. The bad part is that he has cancer. I can imagine how shell-shocked you both must feel. As we all know, just the word, cancer, can result in all kinds of reactions, rational or not, in a person. Julie's words should be of the most comfort as she has been there and if anyone can put things into perspective, it's Julie.

There have been two people to whom I was close who had cancer: my sister and my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law, who had ovarian cancer, put up a fight, remained cheerful and only on occasion would confess to me her fears. She was older and had let her cancer symptoms go and never went for regular check-ups.

My sister unfortunately, considered herself a 'victim.' I would never go so far at to critcize, because who knows how I would react in similar cirumstances, but I believe her recovery was affected by her negativity and her refusal to accept counseling. It's how you deal with it, once all the fear and shock wear off. With you as a partner, I have no doubt that your husband and your family will get through this period together.

You are, of course, in my prayers and thoughts.

Re: Long day

Pauline on 2/06/04 at 09:56 (143757)

Wendyn,
Glad you and your husband finally have some answers and now a positive plan to take care of the situation.

You'll both be on my prayer list. We normally think of kidney stones only as a negative thing that produces pain and suffering for their host, now we can thank God that those same dreaded kidney stones saved your husband's life.

Wishing you both, some rest, inner peace and all the spiritual blessings needed to get through the days of treatment ahead and a joyful, speedy recovery for your husband.

Re: Long day

Kathy G on 2/06/04 at 10:06 (143762)

The wife of a friend of mine suffered a stroke. I sent a card when I heard about it but when I later met him in the supermarket, I asked him how he was holding up. I mentioned that when a woman, or man, suffers a catastrophic illness, it happens to the whole family, especially her mate. He acted amazed and said I was the first person who had said that to him. He went on to talk a bit about how hard it was for him to figure his work hours around her care regiment and how he didn't know which shampoo to use on her hair or what conditioner was for,and all the things he had to deal with that he was totally unprepared for. I hoped that it did him good to talk to someone about all those things.

When my sister was in the throes of her chemo and dealing with the fact that in the midst of that chemo, they discovered cancer in the other breast, she refused to talk to my younger sister or me on the phone. My younger sister went down to visit her but I knew that would have been the wrong thing for me to do. My sister finds my 'Pollyanna' attitude, as she calls it, to be a huge annoyance in the best of times! Instead, I talked with her husband on the phone a great deal and I'd like to think it helped.

I started going to a new gynecolgist this year. She has just started having seminars for families of women who have breast cancer. She says the most untreated person of the group is the husband. She wants to make it easier for men to get the information they need during this most trying time. She said that intimacy is a huge problem and the one that men, because they're men, would never discuss openly. She wants it out in the open.

She's quite a person and I think her ideas are wonderful because I remember how bewildered my brother-in-law was when my sister had cancer. He never knew just what to say or do.

Re: Long day

Julie on 2/06/04 at 11:00 (143768)

Kathy, meeting you in the supermarket was a lucky gift for that man, and I'm very, very sure that talking to you helped him. Talking to someone who is able to listen is an enormous help, the best help one can give. But most people can't 'just listen' without jumping in with advice and reassurance, because they haven't dealt with their own fears. (No blame attaches to this: it's a common and natural reaction.)

From your posts over the last few years I know that you are not a Pollyanna: I think you see things clearly as they are, and that is completely different. Attitude really does matter. It's a shame that your sister wouldn't accept your listening ear, but of course you were a help to her husband.

Your gynecologist's seminars really are a marvellous thing. She is right about husbands: the woman gets all the attention and few people realise that the husband needs help too, and the husband never asks for it. She is doing a great service.

I am just now coping with the reality of two good friends who are dealing with metastatic recurrences from breast cancer, one twelve years on from the original cancer, one five, both, I fear, likely terminal. Much of my work is with people with cancer; it's very hard when this happens - and it gets harder with time. So you see, even teachers and counsellors - and, surely, doctors! - need a listening ear.
.

Re: Long day

Carole C in NOLA on 2/06/04 at 12:14 (143775)

Wendy, it was a long day indeed! We are all thinking of you and hope things turn out in the best way possible for your husband and you.

Carole C

Re: Long day

JudyS on 2/06/04 at 12:23 (143778)

Wendy - It is heartening to hear that your husband's condition may well be very manageable. I suspect, as Julie said, that it will become less and less overwhelming to your family.

A question, if you don't mind - is the physician certain that the tumor is malignant? I was wondering if that's determined by a biopsy.

Meanwhile - when you can, try to lean on what we all know about you....that you have a natural joy and ability to cheer....we're all pulling for you and your family.

Re: Long day

john h on 2/06/04 at 13:10 (143782)

Having had a kidney stone I never in my life thought I would find something positive to come out of such an experience. I was wrong! When I had my kidney stone they found I had a cyst on my liver which got my heart pounding. In a few days my Doctor said most of us over age of 50 all have a cyst on their liver or kidney. Sort of part of the aging process. Said to forget about it.

Re: Long day

john h on 2/06/04 at 13:18 (143786)

While looking on the Healthtronics (our ESWT machine makers) web page I find they manufacture a Cyst A Tron for viewing inside the bladder and making images. Looks like a real high tech table and piece of equipment. Never know where ESWT will lead you.

Re: Long day

Lari S. on 2/07/04 at 12:11 (143862)

What a blessing those stones were! It looks like you've really caught this early, and that's the very best thing that could have happened. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.
Lari

Re: Long day to Wendy

Bud on 2/07/04 at 23:34 (143908)

Wendy,

My father caught his the same time that your husband did. He went on another 35 yrs with it never coming back. He passed away at 85 2 yrs ago from a stroke. I think everything will be just fine.

Bud

Re: Long day to Wendy

wendyn on 2/09/04 at 22:50 (144023)

Thanks Bud. Hubby never reads email, but he happened to be on yesterday and saw your post. You made his day.

Re: Thank you!

wendyn on 2/09/04 at 22:55 (144024)

First - thank you to all of you...your support and posts have been really great, and I appreciate each and every one of them. I feel much more sane today.

Judy, I wondered the same thing myself. When we met the urologist, he explained that they would know right away what was going on by the cystoscopy. After they found this little tumor, it didn't sound as though there was any question in his mind that it is cancerous.

I did some reading on the net this weekend, and evidently most bladder cancer tumors are papillary (I think that was the word). Which means they have a a stalk and almost a mushroom cap on top. This is exactly how Mike drew what he saw on the TV monitor. He actually said it looked a lot like a little sea plant.

According to what I read on the weekend, these tumors are the ones you want (so to speak). You don't want flat ones that are growing in and not out.

I'm assuming that this is why the doctor feels certain that he recognizes what he is looking at.

Re: Thank you!

Bev on 2/10/04 at 09:19 (144039)

Wendy,

I am catching up on the board and I want to let you know Wendy that I too have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. May the Lord give you and your husband the strength to go through the needed therapy and come out healed and rejoycing. Bev

Re: Wendy

Tammie on 2/12/04 at 13:28 (144194)

I was sorry to read that the dx was not as hoped for, but I am indeed glad that it was found early and that the care that is needed can be gotton at the early stage! It must be a very dificult time in your family! I wonder how your boys are doing with all of this or are they unaware? It will be one of the hardest and emotional experience that you shall have to go thru, as you the wife, mother and a million other jobs that you will have to handle will or might seem never ending. But remember always that you have friends that will be around to hear you vent or just come in the need of a bit care for yourself.

I kinda get from all that I have read about you , you are a strong woman. One who gets things done and seems to have a life which seems over welming at times. I sure hope that at this time you forgive yourself if things don't get done or 'you ' just need a nice quiet time just to give you a break from the stress yourself.Take care and I hope that things do indeed get taken care of and that your family will come together with lots of love and stronger in the end! I shall keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers!