WE ARE HERE TO HELP!
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
If you’ve been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you’re not alone – although it may feel like it right now. Your medical team has likely explained the extent of your disease and how they plan to treat it. But,you may feel like you have more questions than answers. Are you feeling emotional stress? Fear? Uncertainty? Like your whole world will change and you don’t know how to cope? Do you wish you had someone to support you, not just at every medical appointment, but when you’re alone and thinking?
Well, all of those feelings – and many more you may have – are very normal. After all, the word “cancer” has a way of scaring you. But there are many of us who have lived with bladder cancer for many years – and we’re here to help you.
Remember that those who love you are also frightened. Ask for their understanding, love and support, and be patient with them – they will travel on this cancer journey with you.
You’ve already taken the first step if you’re reading this. The next step is to get some reliable information about what’s ahead. We suggest that, initially, you DO NOT start surfing the web. There’s way too much unreliable, inaccurate, confusing or highly-technical information out there.
Start off by downloading and reading one of our Patient Guidebooks. One is intended for those facing radical cystectomy, another for those with nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer and the third covers bladder preservation strategies for muscle-invasive bladder cancer. These guidebooks have been written by people just like you in language you can understand. While you may not know what type of treatment you will have, you’ll be better prepared and more knowledgeable when you meet with your urologist. Just click on the link below to download them.
Some urologists are more knowledgeable about bladder cancer than others. To help ensure that you get the best treatment:
In many cases, Bladder Cancer Canada can help you with some recommendations through our Patient Support Program. We can also help you get other opinions from urologists who may recommend other treatments. As you go along, you may be faced with deciding among different options. Be sure you understand your options and talk them over with your significant other, family members, or close friends. You need to be comfortable with your choices.
Meeting with your urologist can be pretty intimidating and it’s easy to forget what you want to ask. We suggest writing down your questions BEFORE your appointment. You can either take notes or even tape record the meeting. Better yet, take a family member or friend with you to listen and take notes – allowing you to focus on what you want to find out.
Here are some of the questions you might want to ask. We’re sure you’ll be able to add to these suggestions. Reading the Patient Guidebooks first will give you a better understanding of things like “stage,” “grade,” and other things you may want to ask about.
Never put off a doctor’s appointment or test, even if your check-ups are clear. If you are scheduled for tests or check-ups every three months, six months or every year, it is critical that you keep the appointments. There can be a high rate of recurrence and it’s important to catch recurrence when it is treatable.
Find out what you can do to improve your health and strengthen your immune system. This may include asking for a referral to a nutritionist or dietitian who can help you with your diet. A basic exercise routine is also a good idea.
When you have any tests or blood work done, be sure to get copies of the results and keep them in a safe place. Ask what the test results mean or research the terms used in the results, so you understand them.
Reach out to other cancer survivors. Your experience will help others. That’s we’ve all done here at Bladder Cancer Canada – it’s like becoming part of a warm, supportive family.
Start exploring this website. The “Facing Bladder Cancer” section is packed with valuable information you can use.
Join our discussion forums and start sharing with other patients, family and caregivers. Ask questions – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how helpful our forums can be. Just click on the “Discussion Forums” button at the top of the page.
Most importantly, remember that we’re here to help you. Please feel free to contact us any time you have questions – or just need someone to talk to.