Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How Did They Find The Cancer?

Here's a frequent question we get. And I am glad people ask, because they might not be getting checked for cancer when they should be.

Heidi's breast cancer was discovered on a routine mammogram in 2004 - no symptoms at all. Heidi was dissatisfied with the local radiology team and asked for a second opinion at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. SCCA found breast cancer on the other side as well, using an MRI instead of a mammogram; in fact, they caught the larger tumor which the mammogram had missed.

In spring of 2008, I started seeing blood in my urine and despite Heidi's concerns, I figured it was a weight lifting injury or something else that would clear up. So I ignored it for months. Finally it got bad enough for me to be willing to go to a urologist. They did a KUB (abdominal unltrasound) scan and found a mass in my bladder. They went in with a cystoscope and confirmed I had a large bladder tumor.

So.. please dont postpone your own routine screening (mammograms, PSA levels, etc) and dont ignore symptoms like I did. And dont be afraid of asking for a second opinion.

Here's wishing you a cancer-free life!

- Joe


  1. I just found your blog. As a fellow cancer survivor, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Also...Great Blog! You are a credit to the cancer blogging community. I have added you to my blogroll, “Cancer Blogs Lists” with over 1200 other personal cancer blogs at, a cancer networking site featuring a cancer book club, guest blogs, cancer resources, reviews and more.
    If you have not visited before or recently, please stop by. If you agree that the site is a worthwhile resource for those affected by cancer, please consider adding Being Cancer Network to your own blogroll.
    Now that you are listed, you can expect to gain a wider audience for your thoughts and experiences. Being Cancer Network is a place to share and communicate.

    Take care, Dennis (

  2. Thanks Dennis!
    I have gladly added Being Cancer to my Blogroll..great community there! - Joe

  3. Two cancers here as well. Both discovered when WE notice something amiss on annual exam readings and WE requested further testing. Dang! Wish we weren't so darn smart! *wry smile*

  4. Hi Joe and Heidi -

    I was happy to have found your blog site! What a generous way to reach out to those diagnosed with cancer and provide inspiration by sharing your own story. Thank you!

    My name is Becky Walker and I work with Navigating Cancer, a free website to support the cancer community. We host a Blogger Directory on the site and would be happy to include your blog. It would be the first listed for bladder cancer Joe, and Heidi you're in good company with breast cancer. It may not be the company you wanted to surround yourself with, yet as you know, these women are amazing! Here is the link for you to view the directory, where upon you can add your blog to the list

    Please feel free to look at the other features on the site, such as the resource library, tracking tools and the experiences and discussions posted by our members. We welcome your participation on any level. If you have any questions I would be happy to address them.
    Have a wonderful day!