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On September 21, 2016, Bill went to see his primary care physician because he was experiencing symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Fast forward to January 2017 after multiple tests and visits with different doctors and specialists, we found that it was not a UTI but was actually a tumor in his bladder. Bill's urologist scheduled an outpatient cystoscopy and removed the tumor. He was fairly optimistic that it was non cancerous and said he would be calling back within a week with the pathology report. On February 3rd, 2017, Bill's urologist asked to see him in his office. We were both scared, shocked, and knew what he was going to say. Bill had bladder cancer. The diagnosis was high grade papillary urithileal carcinoma. It shook our entire world. Our entire family, household, and friends were heartbroken to hear this news. Even our dogs seemed to sense that something wasn't right. This was the day we all began to look at things differently. Here is this rock we have all leaned on and turned to all of our lives being diagnosed with the most frightening thing we'd ever heard. So frightening we could barely utter the words from our own lips. Bill couldn't sleep, because he said the word carcinoma kept echoing in his mind. We cried a thousand tears that weekend. And then we all prepared ourselves for this battle. We prayed and reached out to others for prayer. We did research and wrote down questions we wanted to ask his doctor. We started organizing medical files and made sure we had everything sent to Vanderbilt in advance from all of Bill's doctors he had seen since he had moved to TN to make sure there would be no delay in the start of his treatment. We laughed, we cried, we spent moments listening to inspirational music and reading scripture. We prayed more. Bill has never been much of a praying man, but that has changed over the last few weeks.
We met his Vanderbilt urologist on February 14, 2017. Bill liked him because he was a real straight shooter. He had a great team of staff members and appointments, tests, and procedures were all scheduled that day. His next cystoscopy would be on March 2, 2017, and the doctor hoped to get a better sampling of the tumor and to be able to remove all or most of the tumor that was invasive (in the muscle wall of the bladder) without tearing or perforating Bill's bladder. When a tumor is invasive papillary it grows towards the muscle wall kind of like spread out feelers. He was very concerned because of the location. Bill's tumor is located at the top of his bladder and is dome shaped and points towards his urethra. This type of tumor is considered a high grade tumor because it is invasive. If it had been contained to the inner layer and had not spread past that Bill would be able to keep his bladder. Once it is in the muscle it becomes much more dangerous and can spread outside of the bladder to bones or to other organs. We are still waiting for the pathology report to come back from the biopsy that was done yesterday. We should hear something by the end of next week. The doctor told me that he is most certain that Bill will need to have his bladder removed. What he doesn't know is whether or not the cancer is outside of his bladder. This would change things dramatically. It really reduces the survival rate once it has spread outside of the bladder. We are not going to think about that. We are focusing on the facts. We know that he has cancer. We know that it is invasive and the doctor is sure he will be removing the bladder. We know Bill will be going through chemotherapy soon. Please be praying for him throughout this entire process. Please pray for miracles. God is still in the healing business. He is the Almighty Physician. There are some things only God can do. Please pray for wisdom and guidance for his medical team. Bill has been in so much unbearable pain for months. Please pray for him to have relief from his pain.
I will be updating you as soon as I have new information. Please share Bill's page!! Let all of his friends know how he is doing. He would love to get cards or letters in the mail. Let me know if you would like an address and I will be happy to give it to you. Bill has brought so much joy and happiness to so many of our lives. He needs our love and support!! Let's all join together and help him win this battle!!! God bless you!!