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Bladder cancer diagnosed too late


My Mom, Joan Clayton, went to her regular doctor in August of 2007 with bladder problems. Instead of referring her on to an urologist when the symptoms did not improve, they kept trying different creams, antibiotics, powders, etc. She saw 3 different doctors, 5 different times, over a period of 4 months, after which she figured she had a prolapsed bladder and would have to live with it. She started to pass blood in July 2008. Her doctor gave her ANOTHER course of antibiotics in August 2008. I didn’t know how much blood until I saw for myself. I made her an appointment with an urologist we like really well. He couldn’t see inside her bladder because of all the blood and scheduled her for a larger scope in the hospital the next day. Turns out she had bladder cancer. She had a tumor the size of a baseball that had infiltrated the bladder, was into the fatty tissue, into the lymph system and also a lesion on her liver. The urologist’s opinion was that it had been there for a least a year (which coincides with the time she started having problems and went to her primary care doctor). He did surgery, and removed what he could, but it was too large and by this time she only weighed 119 pounds and would not have been able to withstand major surgery such as having her bladder removed. She had surgery September 9th and she died October 24th, 2008. We took care of her at our house for the last week and a half of her life. We had just lost my husband’s Mother in July of 2008 and we had been taking care of her for the past 5 years so we were with her as well when she died. Both Mothers died at our home with us and their granddaughters by their side. If any of the original doctors would have taken the time to refer my Mom, (instead I did it), she’d still be alive today. The tumor would have been small enough to remove and she would have been strong enough still for any surgery that may have been required. Now she’s dead all because of laziness and incompetence. Written by Elizabeth C., daughter of Joan.