Pat Ziegler

First post: Jul 12, 2022 Latest post: Apr 5, 2024
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29

I think we are all still trying to wrap our minds around this.

Dad was having some back/flank pain and was passing some blood in his urine. It would come and go, so he thought maybe he was passing a kidney stone. He started passing clots of blood in his urine and thought he for sure had just passed a stone and was getting better. When symptoms didn’t improve, dad decided to make an appointment.

June 7th Dad went for a Cystoscopy (bladder scope) and the doctor saw some “redness and irritation” on his bladder and some inflamed vessels. They decided he would set up a biopsy to see what we were dealing with.

On June 16th Tena took Dad to Sioux Falls for Dr. Arend (Urologist) to do a bladder biopsy. When Dr. Arend went in for the biopsy, he found a tumor. He extracted the tumor and took a little extra in case there were roots around it. He sent him home, stent in place, and said pathology should be back in about a week, and they would remove the stent in 2-3 weeks. He went home having quite a bit of bladder spasms and pain with urination. Each day he felt a little better from that.

On June 22nd I took Dad, and we met Tena, at Dr. Arend’s office in Sioux Falls. I had a nice drive with dad – sometimes chatting, sometimes in silence. Dad mentioned that he had googled some things, so he thought he knew about what to expect at the appointment. I told him not to google. Due to my profession (Nurse) I was also prepared for what we might hear at this appointment.

We sat in the waiting room, an old friend of Dad’s was there, and I think that kept his mind off things for a few minutes while he chatted. We didn’t wait long, and they called us back to see the doc. The nurse got him all checked in and we waited only a couple of minutes before Dr. Arend came in.

He talked about the biopsy and removing the tumor and what he was worried about when he saw it. And then the tough conversation started…pathology results. He said it was indeed a malignant tumor. He mentioned that when he saw it, he was first very concerned due to the shape and placement, that it may be rectal cancer. Dr. Arend said, as odd as it is to say, he was pleased with this diagnosis as rectal cancer would not have as positive of an outcome.

The diagnosis… bladder cancer. Staging/grading of the cancer will be more definitive after more tests. But for now, Stage T2 Invasive Bladder Cancer. There are more details of staging based on lymph nodes near the bladder and if the cancer has metastasized at all. These are things we don’t yet know.

Dr. Arend said this is an aggressive bladder cancer and we need to treat it aggressively. “If you do nothing, you won’t be here in 2 years” – to which Dad responded with, “let’s get started”. Dr. Arend stepped out and called the oncologist we will be working with. Dr. Solomon (oncologist) requested a chest CT and they were able to squeeze him in for that before leaving the office. I know this comforted each of us as we felt like we weren’t just “waiting” but something was being done. We got news that the Chest CT was clear!

What we know for now:

·      Dad will need a full-body PET scan to see if the cancer has metastasized (waiting for this to be scheduled yet).
·      He has an appointment with Dr. Solomon (oncologist) in July.
·      Dad will need to have a port placed for chemo
·      Dad will undergo 4 months of intravenous chemotherapy
·      When he has recovered from chemo, he will undergo a Cystectomy (removal of the bladder) and they will create a urinary diversion (Urostomy)

Thank you for all the love and support and for keeping everyone in your prayers through this journey.  We will do our best to keep everyone updated as we navigate this.

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