Thursday, July 27, 2006


I went in for my quarterly cystoscopy yesterday. A cysto, to put it most succinctly, is an examination wherein a urologist sticks a tube up your dick so that he can look at the inside of your bladder. It’s a charming process I’ve been undergoing for the past 2½ years since I was first diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Blood in my urine discovered during a routine annual physical near the end of 2003 alerted me to the problem and led to my first cystoscopy, which showed a malignant tumor which needed to be cut out, which led to my first transurethral resection, which means they stick a different kind of tube up your dick to cut out and cauterize the offending mass.

Without going into a play-by-play I’ll only say that I was told what I had wasn’t particularly dangerous because it was on the surface and could be easily removed. No post-operative chemo or radiation was necessary. But still and all I had to go into the hospital, be anesthetized and get surgically violated. Then I could go home. Not surprisingly I was left with a sore dick and it hurt to pee for a while.

That was it for more than a year. Quarterly cystos and everything was fine. Then they found another one. Another trip to the hospital. Another surgery. Same pathology – not a dangerous tumor (some people like to call tumors polyps – sounds nicer. I’ve learned that any growth is, in fact, a tumor) and no problem. Just an uncomfortable annoyance.

Then beginning late last year I started to hit the jackpot. Every cysto revealed a new growth or growths, all small, all on the surface, all not to worry about. One new wrinkle has been a help; now this surgery can be done in the doctor’s office, with a local, takes about a half hour, and go home.

Yesterday’s exam was the third in a row that revealed a growth. So on Aug. 15 I’ll go in and have it cut out. Bummer!
So this’ll be my fifth bladder operation. I haven’t been able to find a way to prevent them from recurring. Double Bummer!!


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