Bladder cancer: the testimony of a patient

The testimony of Arlette, 63, affected by bladder cancer ...

How did you discover your cancer?

It was during the summer. My GP was on vacation. I started having repetitive urinary tract infections. Like cystitis. In the space of four months, I have collected five! It was hot. At first, I thought it was because I was not drinking enough. It happens these things. I had regular urinary infections. Not often. But in the course of life, many times anyway. So, I did not worry too much at first.

When did you go to consult?

At the end of the fifth week anyway, I went to the doctor. My doctor's replacement begins to worry and finds that it is not normal. So he gives me an ultrasound. And there, surprise! We discover a size in my bladder that blocks my right kidney which is all atrophied. From there, it did not stop anymore.

That is to say ? What did you do?

It was chained. Hospitalization in urgency, then in urology. A first operation to save my kidney and make a biopsy of the tumor. Then, a second operation. There, I removed the bladder, the ovaries, the uterus and a piece of the vagina. No choice. I thought we could treat that with chemitherapy or radiotherapy. But it was absolutely necessary to remove the bladder. I can tell you that I did everything to talk to the surgeon so he would not do it. But he explained to me that it was that, or I would not get out of it. Good. When we have to ...

What solution do you have to urinate?

In fact, a new bladder was reconstituted with a piece of intestine. I am probing by the navel. Of course it's not terrible, but you get used to it. That said, it still took me several months to get used to it. I was doing reeducation. Well ... it's true that I'm struggling ... again now. First, I'm afraid it's getting infected and there's a kind of shame. I can not have sex anymore. I feel totally mutilated. But I am alive. I think that if we had waited a little longer, I would not be here to give my testimony.

You smoked?

Yes. I have always worked in a bar-restaurant. And it's true that since I'm 17, I smoke like a man. I always drank a little. No problem with alcoholism, no. But the cigarette, yes. And when the doctor told me to stop right away, I did not see the report. I did not know that tobacco gave this kind of disease. I thought it was limited to the lungs. And the hardest part of all that, you'll believe me if you want, it's been quitting. With all the stress of discovering the disease, I still wanted to smoke. For now, that's fine. I am a little depressed. It's not easy to live it all. But I hang on.

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