Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Dreams of death

This is a morbid post. I dreamt last night of space ships, taking us to a room on a distant world. Pipes began to ooze water, and thick Kawasaki-green sludge that filled the room, then the planet and all of space between. The others were struggling to return to Earth, and blaming me for taking them there, then left me to drown in slime, alone and immovable as they returned home.

Today the summons came to attend the urology clinic at Addenbrookes, so on Friday I face Mr William Turner, a specialist in Reconstructive Urology at the Aggressive Bladder Cancer Unit. Their site blurb informs us: "Muscle invasive bladder cancer — because of the high risk that the cancer will spread from the bladder to other organs, the treatment for muscle invasive bladder cancer is often more intensive. It may include chemotherapy, surgery to remove the bladder and other organs, and radiotherapy." Then, to make sure the message gets home, "The outlook for people with muscle-invasive bladder cancer is not good....a complete cure is not often possible. Around half of people diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer will die within five years."

I suppose, on the optimistic side, this means my odds of being here in five years are 50:50, which is better than zero, but at what cost? Having seen it close to from the surgeon's side of the OR table, I dread the idea of radical cystectomy. Now I do wish there were people I could talk to who've been through it, and learn about it from the patient's side of the table.

Once, to dream of space ships was to dream of adventure and excitement. But then I was young, and those dreams, like the patients, are long gone. Despite the care and love of a supportive family, I feel quite alone as I wallow in these dark thoughts.

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