Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cancer

I need to vent somewhere or I will not sleep all night. If I were married I'd just talk and talk right now until I could sort this out better. Instead I will write rather than talk and I will do it here instead of on paper because others need to know what is happening and what I've learned today and figured out. It is relevant to more people than just me.

A spot was found inside my bladder today. I asked the doctor how big it was. He said about the size of a thumbnail. He showed it to me in one of the pictures taken during the brief "cystoscopy". The spot was just one shade of pink against the background that was also pink. But I was still very frightened almost to the point of being faint and I also knew he was doing other exams right after mine, so I froze up rather than ask other questions. He seemed to act like it was not the time for them yet anyway, and instead he emphasized that I should do a hospital inpatient procedure ASAP to get a sample of the spot for analysis. He said his nurse would call me about this.

This hasn't happened yet, which is fine actually, because it gives me time to learn a few more things and think about what I already found out.

The first shocks after I got home were learning these facts from bladder cancer websites, and from the August 2nd Diane Rehm bladder cancer show my sister told me about:

--90 percent of bladder lesions or tumors are cancerous. That means not only can they grow, but they can also spread to other parts of the body.

--The other 10 percent can sometimes grow just as easily as the cancerous ones, they just don't spread.

--The fact that the spot was not that ugly means nothing. Flat simple spots can sometimes be VERY serious.

--More than any other cancer, bladder cancer points to "environmental factors" as a possible cause (pollutants absorbed by the body years before).

--Cutting out a tumor is much less effective here than with other cancers because "recurrence" is high. This means people who fight bladder cancer have to keep spending money on the surgery year after year.

But here is the "good news" that I've come across:

If this spot turns out to be a less serious stage and grade, it is reasonably possible that just waiting and watching is all I need to do because bladder cancers tend to be relatively slow growing.

For many reasons, I have views that are common sense to me yet are opposite of the way that 99 percent of Americans think about "fighting" cancer. -I have NO interest in "fighting" cancer. I think it is a very natural way to die. Whether I die at 57 or 67 or 97 is totally irrelevant to me especially since the longer I live the more I add to the very environmental problems that probably contributed to this cancer. ( I only fear suffering, not death. )

But, ironically, I don't have to worry about being condemned for this "controversial" stance in the case of bladder cancer. -As I mentioned, it is silly to fight it anyway because it just recurs when it's eliminated.

My last opinion tonight concerns the 1970s toxic accident at the new O'Neil building in Miamisburg that many who work there believe makes the building still dangerous and carcinogenic...

Maybe this is less relevant than I thought, because one of the experts on the Diane Rehm broadcast said the average bladder cancer "latency" for environmental exposure is 20-25 years. However, I only worked in the Miamisburg building in the most recent ten years.

...That's all I have to say tonight at the end of one of the worst days of my life.

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