Questions about support
What impact will bladder cancer have on my life?
After surgery, you may worry about your prognosis, postoperative voiding, sexual activity, relationships with family and friends, and the impact of cancer on your social or financial situation.
It is common to worry about the cancer coming back. Most people who have been diagnosed with cancer, or their loved ones, will probably have these worries and thoughts. If you feel worried, contact your doctor and find out the risk of cancer recurrence. You can also ask the doctor about psychological support if you would like to talk with someone. A patient organization can also offer support.
Cancer treatment can affect your sexuality. Feelings of depression and fatigue can also have a negative effect on your sex life. If you feel the need to have someone to talk to, you can ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist. If you have a partner, it is important to talk with them about your feelings. There are many ways in which you can be intimate. If it is difficult for you to be sexually active, be near each other, touch each other, give and take hugs, and just sit or lay down close to each other.
The side effects of treatment can make it difficult to fully participate in social and economic life. Changes in your daily life as a result of the disease or the treatment can lead to isolation. Talk to your doctor or nurse. They can help you find the support and treatment you need.
During treatment, you will be away from your work. Talk to your boss about the best way for you to get back to work. Perhaps you could work part time or in a different function.
Discuss the possible financial consequences of your treatment with your health care team. They might be able to direct you to people or places where you can get advice about your economic situation or even financial help.
What if my bladder cancer cannot be cured?
It is common to worry about the cancer coming back. Most people who have been diagnosed with cancer, or their loved ones, will probably have these worries and thoughts. If you feel worried, contact your doctor and find out the risk of cancer recurrence. You can also ask the doctor about psychological support if you would like to talk with someone. A patient organization can also offer support. Ask your health care team about a patient group near you.
Sometimes recovery from bladder cancer is not possible. When treatment is no longer successful you may be offered palliative care to make you more comfortable.
Palliative care is a concept of care with the goal of optimizing your quality of life if you cannot recover from your illness. During palliative care, you and your loved ones are supported by a multidisciplinary team. Together you address physical, psychological, social, and spiritual questions. Palliative care includes controlling your symptoms and medical treatment for pain management.
The palliative care team can provide care in the hospital or at your home. Another option is hospice care. A hospice is an institution which provides care during the final phase of your life.
Where can I find support and other information resources?
A cancer diagnosis can make you look at life in a different way and you may realise you now have different priorities. This can affect your work or relationships and can make you feel disoriented and uncertain. Talk to family and friends and take all the time you need for this process. If you do not feel comfortable addressing these issues with those close to you, you can ask your health care team for a referral to a psychologist. The psychologist can give you the tools to deal with these feelings and help you to realise the changes you want or need.
A local patient organization can provide support and more information about your disease or practical matters. Ask your doctor or nurse at the hospital or your family doctor about a patient group near you. You can also search the Internet. Be aware that not all information you find online is reliable.
My friend or family member has bladder cancer. How can I help?
A cancer diagnosis affects not only the patient but also the people around them. As a loved one, you can offer support in many different ways. Sometimes you can help with practical things like laundry, gardening, or grocery shopping.
It might be helpful to go to the doctor together. You could offer to drive to the visit or help formulate questions to ask during consultation. Being there for the consultation can also be supportive. You may remember different things or focus on other details that you can later discuss together. You could also ask the doctor how the treatment may affect your lives in terms of caregiving and psychological effects.
My friend or family member has bladder cancer. Where can I get support?
The diagnosis and treatment of cancer can be very emotional for everybody involved. Cancer treatment is intense, and your life may change suddenly. Questions about prognosis, effects of treatment, and death will come up. As a friend or a loved one, you can be there and listen. You don’t need to have the answers.
If you feel you need somebody to talk to, approach your family doctor or the medical team to get support and referrals. Patient organizations also offer support for family members or friends of people who have been diagnosed with cancer.
My partner has bladder cancer. Where can I get support?
A cancer diagnosis can put pressure on your relationship. Often talking to each other becomes more difficult because of the time and energy spent on treatment. You may decide to discuss any difficulties with a therapist.
You may experience a similar degree of stress, anger, and depression as your partner with cancer. You could feel exhausted, both physically and emotionally. This can be a result of the responsibilities of caring for your partner and taking on extra tasks at home. Be sure to make time for yourself and think about your own wishes and needs.
Cancer treatment can affect your sex life. Try to talk to your partner about your feelings. There are many ways in which you can be intimate. Be near each other, touch each other, give and take hugs, and just sit or lay down close to each other.
It is normal to worry about being left alone. If you feel you need somebody to talk to, approach your family doctor or your spiritual advisor. Patient organizations also offer support for partners. They can also help you find people or organizations who can help you with practical details like legal and financial issues.