Well, the BCG / Interferon treatments didn't work. Although the CIS cancer in my bladder isn't worse, it's still there. So in a few weeks' time the surgeons will remove my bladder, create an ileal conduit (tube made from a length of my own small bowel) which then gets sewn on to the ureters that descend from the kidneys, and bingo. Empties into little plastic bag, which I then empty by turning a tap on.
I even get a hysterectomy thrown in - just how cool is that for a "buy one, get one free" deal?
A couple of days ago I visited another woman who has had the same surgery, who very kindly showed me her stoma, bag, etc and explained how it all works. OK, the surgery and recovery are not what you'd call a walk in the park, but they're "do-able."
And the prize bonus? About a year after this lady's surgery while on a trip to the Austrian Alps, someone dared her to write her initials in the snow - something men can do easily but is usually impossible for us girlies.
Not so when you have a urostomy, however. She waited until her bag was full, turned on the tap, squeezed and voilà
. And now she's dared me to do the same thing next winter...I can hardly wait...Photograph stolen from a delightful blog called The WetAss Chronicles by US journalist Tim Zimmermann ... thanks Tim, hope you don't mind.