My name is Phil Kelly and I have experienced bladder cancer.

Let’s start with the good news first – I have recently passed the important cancer survival timescale of five years post initial diagnosis. I’m alive – and well! So that’s all good!!

True – I no longer have a bladder (nor a prostate and various other ‘bits and pieces’). I now wee into a urine bag on my abdomen (a urostomy pouch). But then, I had the most aggressive form of bladder cancer.

Most people with bladder cancer don’t and will not need radical treatment. For me, some things have changed – but I am leading a full and very active life, doing most of what I used to do before, enjoying various UK, European and some long haul holidays, spending as much time as we can manage with our grandchildren, going to music gigs and continuing to partake in a sensible level of social drinking.

When I talk about my experience of having bladder cancer, I usually describe myself as being one of the lucky ‘unlucky ones’ – it had been a bit of a roller coaster experience, especially during the first couple of years. But - and it’s a big ‘but’ - I might not have been here and I am. You could probably say that I am now ‘cured’ – though I don’t like to use that word – not wanting to tempt providence …

Enough! I’m getting ahead of myself – let’s go back to the start of my bladder cancer story.......

Click here to read more of Phil's story on the Action Bladder Cancer UK website