TYLER, TX - It's a word Virginia Shull's been waiting to hear ever since she was diagnosed with bladder cancer almost three years ago.
This fall, she heard the word remission.
It was a journey that started with multiple doctors visits and tests before she was told she had cancer.
There was a tumor on her bladder and it had also invaded the muscle lining. Her doctor told her she should have her bladder removed, but there were multiple options.
With chemotherapy, Shull had a 40-45% chance of survival, with surgery, it was also a 40-45% chance of survival. Her third option was both with a 75-80% chance of survival.
She chose both.
With surgery she could opt to have a neo-bladder constructed out of her intestines or have a bag. Shull chose the neo-bladder, and told me the option is not a guarantee.
"It may not work. It will never work 100%." Shull said.
She also said that the doctor won't know if it can be done until you are in surgery. After 3 months of chemotherapy, Shull underwent therapy. For Shull, the surgery was a success, and she woke up with a neo-bladder.
She credits chemo and the surgery for still being here, because of treatment she has been able to see her son get married and watch her granddaughters get older.
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