Bladder cancer

A place for people affected by bladder cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

My father has bladder cancer

Edward99
Posted by

Hello. My father had his CT scan today after being diagnosed with two tumours in his bladder. He is booked in for his op in 10 days time. Will he be contacted before that with the results  or will they only do that if it’s spread and if not, just wait till the op. Just trying to understand what this little wait is about. This is my first post so would love to hear from anyone. Thanks 

rily
Posted by

Hello and firstly let me welcome you to the community and our corner of it. Sorry to hear of your father's diagnosis, but be aware bladder cancer can be treated successfully and many of us are here to tell the tale. The CT scan is standard procedure to give them a clearer picture and to check there is nothing else going on. The op is called a TURBT (resection of bladder tumour). The tumours will be shaved away under general anaesthetic. Sometimes it is just a day surgery or overnight stay. A biopsy will be taken and sent off for analysis. This will determine a stage and grade. The stage (T) is how far the tumours have progressed and the grade (G) is how aggressive the abnormal cells are. It takes about 2 weeks for results. These results determine the next step. The earlier these things are caught, the better. There is usually a follow up consultation to discuss the results. Any further questions, pleas ask. There is a wide range of experiences here. I hope it goes well. Best wishes.

Best wishes to All,   rily.  What is a Community Champion ?

Edward99
Posted by

Thank you very much. That makes things very clear and thank you also for such a quick reply. I do have a couple of questions. I assume the CT scan is to see if the cancer has spread. Is that so? And if so, will my dad be informed before the op in 10 days? I’m going to stay with him after the op. He’s 77 but pretty fit. How long does recovery take post op and chemo wash? Thanks again 

rily
Posted by

Hi Edward. The CT scan is usually precautionary just to check if anything else is going on. Your father will not be given any information on the day of the scan as it has to go off to be analysed by others. This usually takes a week to ten days. The scan is more use for future reference as they can compare any future scan to see what changes there are. Prior to the op, the surgeon will sit down with your father to explain the procedure. If the scan results are in, they will be discussed. The anaesthetist will also speak to him first. Recovery depends on how deep they have to go, but in general, people are up and about within 24 hours. Some people take a bit longer to get over the anaesthetic than others. Just need to take things easy for a few days and drink lots of water to keep things flushed out. Your father will wake up with a catheter in. This stays in until the urine runs clear. For a few days afterwards it can be quite painful when peeing. Described as like peeing broken glass, but this gradually subsides. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Best wishes to All,   rily.  What is a Community Champion ?

Teasswill
Posted by

As rily says, recovery varies after TURBT. I stayed in overnight as was very nauseous & severe cramps after urinating. Took me about 7 - 10 days to feel clear headed again after anaesthetic & a similar time for the pain & frequency of urination to subside to a level where I could pick up normal activities out of the house again. Otherwise I was up & about as usual but needed a fair amount of rest.

It's unlikely they'll give any feedback until all results are in & they will discuss what the appropriate treatment will be. Hope all goes well.

Denby
Posted by

Hi Edward, just to cheer you and your Dad along, my husband is 75 and doing quite well despite or should I say because of, a year of assorted TURBTs, BCGs, rigid cystoscopies and Mitomycin and 'flexi's [flexible cystoscopies]. When you have the grade and stage as mentioned by Rily, we will all be able to contribute much more that is appropriate for where your dad's cancer is on the two scales.

Best wishes,

Denby

Inanna
Posted by

Hi Edward

This time last week I had my first TURBT and a week after I took my first gentle walk along the seafront stopping to get some chocolates.  I think keyhole surgery is truly amazing.  I have to say I did not find it painful urinating but I drink a lot of water so it  helped me I think.

You and your Dad are in the right place in this forum, I am so grateful to everyone on here.  You have raised questions that apply to me too, thank you

Love Inanna xx

I know that I don't know
Edward99
Posted by

Thank you to all that have contributed. I went out yesterday for a walk and realized I felt less anxious and more positive just by hearing from others. I will suggest my dad joins at some point but he’s a stubborn old mule. Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge and I’m sure I will back soon! All the best to all of you. XX

Edward99
Posted by

Hello again. So, my father is going in for his first TURBT on Friday. I’m going in with him and was wondering if there are any questions I should definitely be asking before and/or after his surgery and also some advice on recovery post op. My father is 77 and quite fit but I want to make sure I do all I can for him regarding food and drink etc...Hope that’s ok. thank you. Edward 

rily
Posted by

Hello . The surgeon should sit down with your father prior to the op. to explain the procedure. You should be allowed to sit in. This is when to ask any questions. They should have he CT scans back, so ask if it seems to be confined to the bladder (which is good). Also any indications from earlier tests as to how developed things are. They may not be able to answer until after they have gone in. The doctor will have better information post op.

The anaesthetic is brilliant. A needle in the back of the hand and the next thing you are waking up in recovery. I had no problems with the anaesthetic, but a few people have some after effects. My first TURBT, I was in for 4 days, but the two follow ups, I went on my own. Just needed to be picked up. The hardest part is the couple of weeks waiting for the biopsy results.

If he goes down in the morning, there is a good chance he will be out the same day, but it would be best to prepare for an overnight stay just in case. Slippers, dressing gown, drinks and toiletries. They usually give you a cup of tea and toast after you wake up. Best wishes.

Best wishes to All,   rily.  What is a Community Champion ?

Inanna
Posted by

Sending my best wishes to you and your father.  I agree with Rily the anaesthetic was fantastic. I remember asking if it was OK for me to empty the cat litter then I opened my eyes in the recovery room. Amazing.

I will be thinking of you and your father on Friday please keep us in the loop

Love Inanna xxx

I know that I don't know
Teasswill
Posted by

Can't think of any specific questions other than what to expect, timescales, procedures. There really isn't much they are likely to tell you at this stage - sometimes you get a bit of feedback straight away, sometimes not. Depends how deep they have to go, how many tumours etc as to time needed to heal/ need for catheter etc. He should be able to eat as normal afterwards but does need to drink plenty. He will need to rest a lot for a few days & take things easy for a few weeks.

If he doesn't get a follow up appointment within a few weeks, worth chasing up.

Richard 1944
Posted by

Hello Edward77 and welcome to the community. I am a couple of years younger than your father. I had an ultra scan to begin with then TURBT a couple of weeks later. Certainly not painful. A tumour was removed but the surgeon said there was something else going on so arranged a CT scan. This showed that the cancer had spread through the bladder wall to the lymph nodes, liver and lungs. However, the cancer is often only in the bladder. The good news is that in either case there is a range of treatments available. Your father's oncologist will explain the best treatment for him. I had 9 cycles of gemcitabide and cisplatin. Both drugs through a canular interspersed with saline drips. Takes about 6 hours. Food and drinks are provided. After a week the second part of the cycle was only half hour of cisplatin. 21 days respite before the next cycle to help the body recover. Your dad will have a blood test and oncologist appointment before each cycle. If blood counts are OK the next cycle can go ahead. Mine was postponed for a week twice. This seems to be quite normal so nothing to worry about. The nurses on the chemotherapy suite were very caring, truly fantastic.

I had CT scans after cycles 3 & 9. Both showed that all tumours have shrunk. I am now on a trial drug rucaparib. Tablets taken at home with a view to keeping the tumours at bay. Side effects of chemotherapy vary with individuals. I had fatigue but no nausea or vomiting. Your dad will be given anti-nausea tablets to take home.

Advise your dad to try to have a positive attitude. My wife and I found this a great help. Family support is invaluable. Our daughter attends all appointments. 

Plenty of water is advisable. At least 2 liters a day. Daily walks is also a good idea. Some days I can go further than others. 

There are lots of us on this site with a range of experience, so there is always someone to answer questions. Nothing is too simple or silly to ask!

Our best wishes to your dear father. Hope all goes well.