Happy Birthday Bladder

Three years ago today, I got a new bladder.  Cancer in the lining and muscle of the bladder and nearly 4 months of chemo that did not help meant that it would have to go.  I would arrive at the hospital at 5:00 am (usually my favorite time of day) and after a couple hours of prep and 10 hours of surgery, I would have a new bladder constructed from about two feet of my small intestine.

This is how I looked shortly after surgery:


Because I had a catheter in for 4 weeks, it would still be a while until I would know if the new bladder really worked correctly.  Fortunately, it did.  And then getting control of it after a lot of physical therapy and core strengthening.  Never was I so motivated to work my core.

These cancer anniversaries are very emotional for me.  Each represented  a major step in the cancer journey and each represented a leap of transformational change in my life.  As it says in James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you go through trials of many kinds.”  It was not pure joy in this picture, I am shocked at how pale I look.  The pure joy came later when I learned to rely on God’s strength and not my own, among many other lessons, which I have chronicled on this blog.

I get another CT scan and checkup in less than 3 weeks.  If this scan is all clear, the probability of the cancer returning drops significantly and I can extend the time between scans to at least 6 months from my current 3 months.

Thanks for being with me on this journey.  I believe the three year old birthday will be called the “terrific three’s rather than the terrible three’s.”


A Boomer In Transition



4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Bladder

  1. You were also greatly blessed in having who I think is the most talented surgeon available for neobladder! I too get emotional thinking back on your treatment, recovery and transformation in addition to your positive energy and ability+ willingness to do so much to help others going through the same thing! You were a model patient and I never once heard you complain! What an attitude to be celebrated!

  2. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Dean’s neo-bladder, Happy Birthday to you! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself. It seemed appropriate!) I agree with Diann, your model patient attitude is to be celebrated! We are cheering you on still, Dean, from Tucson, and while we have never seen or met your now 3 year old bladder, we are happy it came into being. Dean we are praying for you and your scan in three weeks. We thank God for how He has extended your life and has given you MORE life in the life He’s given you, and this amazing journey He’s taken you on. We are grateful to have been a small part of your journey. So today, this Friday, we celebrate! We love you and Tammie and all the family!

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