The last three years has certainly been a true test of my faith. As many of you know in September of 2015, I had a triple bypass operation. During my convalescence I started hemorrhaging from a blood thinner prescription.  After a battery of tests, it was determined that I had Bladder Cancer. My family and I met with my urology team at Madigan Army Hospital and decided that Chemotherapy would be the best course of action. Over the next 35 months, I had over 80 chemotherapy treatments trying to contain the cancer to my bladder.

In September of 2017, I once again met with my urology team at Madigan Army Hospital to evaluate things and plot our next course of action. At that time, we decided that chemotherapy had done all it could do, and we needed to do a cystectomy (removal the bladder) to ensure that the cancer didn’t spread to any other part of my body.

I can honestly say, that I truly had no comprehension of the impact or changes I would encounter having a cystectomy would do to my life. On October 10, 2017, this surgical procedure lasted over seven hours, as my wonderful surgical team removed my bladder and forever changed my life. Since that time, I now have a NEW NORMAL. I am living my life as a BLADDER CANCER SURVIVOR.

I am sharing my story with you because, I want to be a voice or advocate for early detection and screening for BLADDER CANCER.  My outcome may well have been a different story, had I not gone in to find out why I had blood in my urine. Since my diagnosis and treatment, several people in my church and local community have also been diagnosed with BLADDER CANCER. I am so glad to be a resource for them, as they navigate treatment options.

On behalf of my family, I want to say thank you for supporting us in raising money and resources for the Bladder Cancer Awareness Network and the South Sound Ostomy Support Croup.