Contributed by Maureen Wicks (pictured with her husband)
I started seeing blood in my urine in January of 2017. I remember thinking at the time that this was unusual, but I quickly shrugged it off and hoped it would go away. It didn’t. At the same time, I remember walking by the TV, and a Bladder Cancer Canada public service announcement was airing. It said “if you see red, see your doctor”. I ignored it the first time, but I continued to see blood in my urine, and I continued to see the commercial on TV. It was like I was purposely being drawn to the TV to see that commercial! Finally one day, I stopped in my tracks and said back to the TV, “Yes, I see blood and this is not normal”.
I followed up with my family doctor, got a referral to a urologist, who then referred me to a urologic oncologist. In the meantime, I went on the Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC) website and found all kinds of easy-to-understand information about bladder cancer and joined in on the Discussion Forum, where I could anonymously ask questions and get answers from others with bladder cancer or survivors. This really helped put my mind to rest. I contacted BCC when my appointment with the oncologist had been deferred by three months, and they immediately went to bat for me, contacted him, and had my appointment moved up by six weeks! The folks at BCC are frequently in contact with me to see how I’m making out; they even put me in contact with two people who have urinary diversions so that I could ask questions and talk about the procedures with someone who’s been there.
I have to say that I am totally blown away by the amount of support and encouragement the people at BCC have given me! I have just undergone my 2nd TURBT and am waiting for the results. I don’t know what my immediate future holds, but I know BCC will be there for me!
If you or someone you know needs support or guidance with their bladder cancer journey, give BCC a call at 1-866-674-8889.