“To be fair, for at least year and a half I was peeing blood, so I was nineteen when it all started. I was too scared to go and see the doctor.”

Hi, my name is Otis and I’m 22. I like women, beer and going out with my mates. I like going to the gym here and there and stuff. I’m just an ordinary lad who likes the odd drink and a fun life.

Had you heard of bladder cancer before?


What were your symptoms?

To be fair, for at least year and a half I was peeing blood, so I was nineteen when it all started. I was too scared to go and see the doctor. I knew something was up but I just pushed it to the back of my mind. My mate though kept on my case and persuaded me to see my GP. The doctor said I should have gone in to see him earlier. He was great and put me at ease. He booked me straight in for a cystoscopy and four days later they found the tumour. It all went a bit quick. That was about ten months ago.

What was your initial diagnosis?

I’ve got Grade 3 Ta, so although it’s small it’s very aggressive.

What has your treatment been?

I’m on my third week of my BCG treatment, although they had told me I might have to have an unlicensed version of the drug from India because of the current BCG shortage. At the minute they have supplies in my hospital but I know I’m one of the lucky ones. The treatments make me feel a bit dodgy the following day, but other than that it’s not too bad. I have another few weeks to go on the treatments and then I’m having another cystoscopy to see how they’re working.

How has it changed your life?

It has changed everything, especially with work. I can’t really work at the moment. I’m a self employed builder specialising in insulation, rendering and stuff like that, so it’s heavy lifting all day long. After a TURBT procedure I’m not allowed to lift anything heavy for six weeks, so I’m doing odd days here and there between treatments. I really wish I had a different job now! I am hoping to get to work a bit more in the spring.

I’m in the really early stages of diagnosis and treatment and I keep thinking what could have happened if my mate hadn’t nagged me to go to my doctor. Because my cancer is aggressive they told me I had two options, BCG or having my bladder removed. I don’t really want to have my bladder out because then I can’t have kids and that naturally. I really want to have kids so that made the choice for me. My family are more worried than me. Sometimes I think that I have to make them feel a bit more comfortable about the situation. It’s hard to see the people I care about upset.

Why is this campaign important to you?

It’ll help. I wanted to let young people know, by telling my story, that they can get it an all. I also thought it would be good for me to be around people going through the same thing.

Are you going to beat it?

Yeah, defo, one hundred percent. I just look at it as an inconvenience. I want to get on with my life.



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