Less Good News

I had my meeting with Dr. Neuwirth this afternoon. The news was not that good. The two polyps were actual T1 tumors, which he removed during the TURBT last week. The good news is that BCG treatments should be quite effective against further tumors. The bad news is that it is my bladder that has to undergo these treatments. Dr. Neuwirth seemed hopeful, however. I start the BCG treatments in two weeks and I have to go once a week for six weeks.

BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) is a bacterial preparation of a strain of tuberculosis vaccine.  It is instilled in the bladder with a catheter and needs to remain there at least two hours. The last instillation in 1998 lasted 12 years. So if this works as well as the list time, I’ll be 82!

I felt like I had just lost an important tennis match – kind of down and low energy. Fortunately, Lady Catherine (my daughter’s best friend) came for dinner and took a lot of the sting out of the news. After she left, I spoke with Mala and the girls and could feel their love and concern. Their reaction was surprisingly calm, as they have a lot of love for me and know that my mindfulness practices and integrative medicine with get me through.



As mentioned in the introduction, I had my annual checkup this day. It was actually six weeks past one year, but I was prepared to even wait longer to go in, due to twelve years of a clear bladder. For the first time, Dr. Neuwirth found two small polyps in my bladder. I was surprised when he removed the scope without taking samples for biopsy like he usually did. He told me to get dressed and he would come back and talk to me. When Mala came into the room, he told us that he found the polyps and that I would need a CT scan and a TURBT (transurethral resection of the bladder tumor). So we go busy making plans for a CT scan on Friday and out-patient surgery one week from Friday.

The combination of Mala’s infection and the dense material I saw in my urine had led me to prepare for something like this. I had resumed my imagery and mindfulness practices around a healthy bladder, so I didn’t take it too badly.

When we got home, I started down the road of research on bladder polyps and called Michael Broffman. Michael was encouraging and said that in his experience, the polyps are usually benign. We’ll see!