Haven't posted in a while. I am a 64 yr old male living in London.
Here's my latest issue. I have had lower left abdominal pain for a couple of months now which goes down to my groin and sometimes round to my back. At first this was diagnosed as IBS as I had constipation. Given laxatives which cleared the constipation but the pain stayed. Then the doctor suggested kidney stone, took a urine sample and found microscopic evidence of blood in urine. Went for a simple Xray and they saw two small 'densities', suggesting the existence of kidney stones, and suggested a CT scan. Was referred last week to a consultant urologist who was very thorough and kind, but he said it didn't sound like kidney stones to him as the pain wasn't extreme and it had been going on for so long. I have a CT scan booked for next week, and also a more detailed urine test - a 'urine cytology' test it's called, where I guess they look for more than just blood.
Then yesterday I got a letter. It was a copy of a letter that the consultant had written to my doctor. It was startlingly honest in its diagnosis. Main point was the last paragraph which said that because of my history of smoking I may have a 'urotherial tumor'. I know what that is. It's bladder cancer. He also said that he may arrange a 'flexible cystoscopy'. I know what that is too. It's when they stick a tube up your penis to see what's going on and maybe take biopsies.
Naturally I'm scared as hell. I see him again Monday week.
What interests me most is WHY he copied me in on such a frightening letter. Is it to prepare me for the worst, or maybe to terrify me into stopping smoking?
As an inveterate googler of symptoms and outlooks for illnesses I know that the prognosis for bladder cancer isn't good.
I haven't lost weight, I don't feel unwell - except for the pain, which doesn't stop me sleeping, and which tends to go away when I lie down, and gets worse during the day. The worst is driving. I notice it hurts more when I hit a bump in the road.
Any thoughts welcome.