The Ubiquitous Bladder - An Observation
It’s Not Mine, It’s Urine. I have to laugh. I remember when I was first diagnosed. I had never heard of bladder cancer. An unknown animal I never knew existed would try to kill me. The word bladder kind of has a shudder factor to it for me, like the word alone gets eeeeeeehhhhbwhuuuuuuu out of me. Before the animal I had an iron bladder, developed out of necessity as I would drive 80 or 90 thousand miles a year. When travelling with rookies and stopping every hour or hour and a half, even in side ditches I certainly felt superior. ‘You don’t have to?’ ‘No, I have an iron bladder.’ How many times I could say that over the years. A couple of beers and my name in the snow, no mike either, Michael thank you. Sometimes I could even eek out the C on a restart. Memory retention is one thing, but for driving nothing like some old fashion urine retention to get you there and home faster. We went to Colorado in 1976 and Vanessa was about 6 months pregnant. We stopped every 45 minutes there and back, regular as clockwork and regardless of where we were. It is a fond memory often recalled. Such is my life now for a year. My interval runs 1 to 2 hours. No spelling my name now, lucky to squeeze out the M. Where I used to stand, make horse noises and boil the water in the bowl I now pathetically sit and make a noise somewhat similar to wind chimes on a timid day. So bladders are part of our life, an unspoken but vital part. I imagined all kinds of horrors when I was first diagnosed and indeed some have come true. Certainly mine has become the home of the animal whose presence continues to grow and prosper at my expense.
When I found out and decided to share my fate with coworkers and friends I knew it would not be enough to just say I had c. So I published this journal for those who want all the details. The B word could just not be left out of the equation. Yuck, or yuk, or eeyuk, however you want to spell it. To my delight the word I thought would be so unacceptable is quite the opposite. It took the affliction for me to notice all the products made for the bladder and sold on television. Why there is an entire industry and no doubt thousands employed toiling away to produce that which sooths, heals, seals, controls and cleans up after. All for the little old bladder. Let’s face it the liver doesn’t have it near that good. Still, despite it’s celebrity status products for the bladder are often advertised as ‘shipped in a brown paper wrapping’. This puts these products on the same plane as porn, or my college degree, both of which are mailed in brown paper (of course I have no direct knowledge of the former). So the bladder is still socially unacceptable at the end of the day.