Hi folks! I am a PN student and I usually post at the LPN corner, but I need some cancer advice. My dad had a cancer removed form his bladder his week. Basically they did a TURP. It has spread into the bladder wall so he will be having a urostomy performed when he heals from this past surgery. Anyway, other than passing some blood he has felt fine for several months. Until they take out his bladder I don't think they will know if it is the lymph system or not.
Heart disease runs in my dad's family. He has had 2 bypass surgeries and is your basic cardiac pt with all the usual meds involved with that. He is 68, retired, but remains fairly active on the farm helping my brother with milking or hay, repairing machines and stuff. But he takes good care of himself and rests often. Cancer does not run in my dad's family that we know of, so you can imagine our surprise.
I just want some of your feelings on this kind of thing. If anybody has experienced this in their own life or at work tell me something. Don't sugar-coat anything for me either. Give it to me straight. Is this the kind of thing that a person can live with for a number of years even if it is invasive cancer, or what? How does a person with all his other meds and things handle chemotherapy/radiation?
I read that even found early that there is an 85% 5-year survival rate. It sounds good but is it really? What qualitiy of life? Since his is at the invasive stage, his chances must be lower than 85%.
I would really appreciate some feedback if ya don't mind.
Aug 2, '02
Hi Jill.....so sorry for your dad's present health status. May I recommend that you go to the first page of Allnurses where you can click on a topic to read about this medical condition your father has. I have found the articles there to be very helpful, so I hope they will be the same for you. ((((((((hugs))))))) My prayers will be with you and your family. :kiss
Aug 3, '02
Thanks you, cheerfuldoer! I appreciate your note, but I have read allot about the condition both on the web and in all of my books. At this point it's all beginning to sound the same. I have even talked to my family doctor. But what I am asking for is personal experience with actual people, not just statisics. It seems that most urinary diversions are a pain in the butt. The books talk about the leaking and UTI's and infections, but I have known about people in the past who have ostomies and have never heard how it put a damper on their life. It is understandable that any urinary diversion, not being the natural way of eliminating will not be wonderful, but I read one story about a man who after three months of rehab is feeling better than he did before his surgery and he was 80 at the time. Now he has a whole new life. That sounds great, but is that usual? Are stats just stats or are they closer to correct than people with success stories?
One of the things that was comforting to me was in my med/surg book under signs and symptoms, it stated that signs of metastasis are pelvic pain, and anemia from losing so much blood. My dad has only had painless hematuria. That's it, although the cancer is into the bladder wall. Judging by that, it hasn't metastasized, but then again there could be one little cancer cell that has just reached the outter surface dancing for joy and hasn't started causing trouble yet. See what I mean? I suppose my statements are nothing new. I think that most people in my position have the same thoughts running through their heads. We have to cycle these thing through our heads to make sense of them.
Anyway, than you for your post. have a good week!
Sep 2, '02
Hi Jill....about 7 years ago my uncle was diagnosed with Prostate cancer...at the same time we learned that he also had Hodgkins...but he did great.....he had a TURP and was radiated for the prostate and the lymphoma....he regularly had his PSA done and it has always been 0....this summer he was having difficulty urinating and went to have that checked out just to find out that he has bladder cancer now....he was given a grim outlook....nothing they can do because he has already been radiated in that area.....the cancer is starting to invade the rectum....he was told that he would eventually end up with a colostomy and a urostomy....go home and wait for some sign that you are in need of those such as bleeding or excruciating pain....the doctor told him that he wouldn't die in 2002 and didn't think it would be 2003 but after that he couldn't give him any promises....well, in August the pain was excruciating and he wasn't urinating much....has to wear Depends because of the "dribbling"....so we took him to the emergency room.....he was told HE WAITED TOO LONG!!...why did he wait so long? he said he waited because he thought he was to wait until he couldn't stand the pain any longer.....in the ER they put a Foley cath in him and immediately got a return of 1200cc....he now has bilateral nephrostomies and is receiving chemo....the doctors have given him 6 months to live..... We didn't know that my uncle wasn't voiding.....I would have sent him straight to see his doctor had I known.....he has a high tolerance for pain and he was just waiting until he couldn't take it any longer.....I just wish his doctor would have been more specific with him as to what he should watch out for....tell your dad not to wait "too long" if he's having any problems....it could mean the difference between life and death......my thoughts are with you and your family.
Sep 2, '02
Hell Jill. I have worked on oncolgy/BMT unit and have some experience but this year a good friend of mine had TURP then had the same surgery your dad will have . They thought they got it all. HE felt fine. 6 months later he developed back pain, now has boney mets and is undergoing chemo/rad with a 25% chance of living the year. It is not uncommon to get it all and have no recurrance. However there is a certain % of people,who despite having the tests to rule out boney mets, still come back with boney mets. If they get mets the chance of living out the year are not good. I hope I did not upset you. I only can go on what I have seen.
Sep 3, '02
Thanks you everyone. I apreciate the time you took to write to me. My dad is having his bladder removed tomorrow in Kansas City at KU medical, their teaching hospital. He is going to be part of a study where they manage his pain with a single injection into the epidural space. They call it dura-foam; a morphine injection that is supposed to manage his pain for 2-3 days with one inject. The cancer is in the bladder wall but not through it. The dr there gives him 18 months to live if he doesn't have this done and an indefinate life span if he does. I realize the possibilities of metastisis, but it is worth a shot. So far he has had no pain at all. Just a little blood in his urine. He is doing well but very thoughtful these days. Kinda goes off and gets into that thinking mode. I suppose he needs to do that. Remember him in prayer if you will.
Thanks to all!