A bladder cancer diagnosis just before your wedding day

Mr Major Atherley, 69, from Kingswinford near Dudley, was due to get married in just three months when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Thanks to Mr Peter Cooke, who performed robotic surgery on Major just a month after his wedding day, Major is now loving married life.

This is what Major told us about his story.

“I had no idea what was going on at first. I’d go a long time without using the toilet, then would need to go a lot. I was struggling with a burning sensation and a few infections. After going for a few scans, I was starting to get a bit concerned.

“I was totally stunned when I was given the diagnosis. I had a meeting with Peter Cooke and I asked him to be direct with me and he was. I had all the faith in the world in him right from the start. I just felt comfortable with him and had confidence that he completely knows what he’s doing.”

Peter went on to perform robotic surgery on Major just a month after Major’s wedding day. Peter gave Major a neobladder. This is a process that sees the patient’s bladder removed, and a new bladder created from tissue taken from the patient’s bowel. It’s a relatively new procedure that is best performed by robotic surgery.

Thanks to training that was funded by The Urology Foundation, Peter and his team are now equipped as one of the best urology robotic surgery teams in the country. Thanks to the skills they acquired through their TUF-funded training, Peter and his team are able to give their patients the best life possible after their surgery.

“There was a bit of discomfort after the operation and Peter was great in coming up to the ward to talk through everything with me. He was very informative and as direct as I asked him to be,” reflects Major.

“But after the initial discomfort, there is a vast difference between how I felt before the operation and how I felt after. I used to feel lethargic and tired, sometimes in a lot of pain. Now I feel 100% better, both mentally and physically.

“I’m just trying to keep myself active; keeping my fitness levels up is my main aim and my key desire. I’ve got my life back to normal.

“My wife has been behind me every step of the way through this journey and now I love being able to enjoy our marriage. My wife and I just love being together. We share everything together and it’s such a joy to be able to do that.”

Major and his wife celebrated their first wedding anniversary on 27 June 2018.

“I would recommend Mr Cooke and his team to anyone in the world, I really would. I had total confidence in everyone I encountered and now, if I have any problems or worries, all I have to do is pick up the phone.”

When you donate to The Urology Foundation, you help us to train urologists to provide the best treatments around. It means people like Major get a chance at a normal life after bladder cancer.


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