kate bohdanowicz writer

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A slight shift or monumental problem in my journey to being cancer free?

Never one to be accused of overblogging, this is my first post for over a year. But what a year. I’m sure people had bigger things to worry about than my lack of posts.

I had intended for this to be a celebratory post as this week marks the fifth anniversary of the ‘end’ of my cancer treatment, and thus, technically it means I’m ‘cured’.  Pinpointing when you hit the magic five years is difficult as the start date is different for surgeons and oncologists. So my big op – having my bladder removed to be replaced by a neobladder – was actually five and a half years ago. And when I look in my calendar, I see that this week five years ago, I had a pre-op for something or other, and I did have six-hour surgery four and a half years ago to fix the fistula in my neo. But this week five years ago is when treatment for cancer ended officially, so I’m sticking with that.

As anyone who has ever had cancer knows it’s never really over. Especially if you’ve had life-changing surgery to your body. The after effects of bladder cancer have left me with reduced kidney function (officially chronic kidney disease so one perk was that I got my Covid jab early) and I do think if anything is going to get me it will be that.  

I’ve now been told there is a ‘very slight shift’ downwards in this function, and so I have a scan next week, and some other tests and the word ‘procedure’ has been bandied around, which really makes me uncomfortable. It’s all a worry and I wish it would go away, but I also feel fortunate to be under surveillance (my sister laughs at this, but that’s what the oncologists call is). I’m hoping it will be a case of ‘keeping an eye’ on me. 

I’m eternally grateful for the treatment I had, but I just don’t want any more.  So the champagne is on ice, for now.

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