Blood in your Urine? Don’t Ignore it
Urology Awareness and Bladder Cancer
Originally published on: September 21st, 2021. Last modified on September 22nd, 2021
September is Urology Awareness Month and we have chosen to highlight the importance of early detection and knowing the symptoms of bladder cancer.
David, 75, a retired Bomb Disposal Operator from Clevedon was diagnosed with bladder cancer in October 2020. He knows only too well how important it is to get those early symptoms checked after he initially dismissed blood in his urine as a strain injury. David’s story featured as part of the Healthline Urology Awareness Campaign, which Bladder & Bowel Community are proud to support.
Read on for his full story.
I had one occurrence of blood in my urine after a day of lifting heavy slabs in September so I dismissed it. Two weeks later, there was blood in my urine repeatedly so I sent off a urine sample to my GP. I was referred to the Urology one-stop clinic and got my diagnosis the very same day.
I initially underwent the TURBT procedure (transurethral bladder resection), to remove two tumours, four were found and were graded as G3 aggressive. By December, three more tumours were found, and after a difficult decision, in January I underwent surgery to remove my bladder, prostate, urethra, seminal vesicles, lymph nodes and form a urostomy.
I now live with my NHS ‘bag for life’, I was told I wouldn’t see next Christmas without it. I’ve adjusted pretty well. Initially I had regular visits from the stoma nurses in hospital to teach me how to change my bag and general advice. I also came home with 10 extra inches on my waist from all the air I was pumped up with!
David shares how important it is to have people around you to help you through treatment. He tells us about the support he’s had from his family and what it’s meant for his recovery, but also what additional help he’s been able to find both in his own networks, and by reaching out.
Support has been a big part of my recovery
I’ve been married for 54 years, myself and my wife support each other through everything and we treated this as one of life’s hurdles. I also have two grown-up daughters who I’m very close to. Support groups such as my charity Clevedon Men’s Shed and other social groups such as the Facebook Bladder and Bowel Community Support Group have been a good place for me to talk. It helps that I’m generally a positive person and not much phases me. After six weeks I was back to my normal DIY jobs!
I can’t thank the Urology team enough at Southmead Hospital, Bristol for the treatment I received. The stoma nurses there are brilliant. I’ve had four follow up appointments since my surgery and all is well.
If I could offer any advice, it would be to recognise that blood in the urine should be an alert straight away. Don’t ignore or make excuses for symptoms. If you do end up going through it, then think positive, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Write down any questions you have for doctors and take elasticated trousers into hospital, you’ll thank me for it!
Stoma nurses play a vital role in the recovery and management of stoma care following surgery for bladder cancer, which is why the Bladder and Bowel Home Delivery Service employs a team of stoma nurses to help those who have any ongoing issues or questions following their surgery. You can find out more about the service here.
Bladder & Bowel Community were proud to support the Media Planet campaign to raise awareness for Urology Health. See the full article here.