Facebook pixel

Please Wait...

Newcraighall member shares his experience on living with bladder cancer

Newcraighall member shares his experience on living with bladder cancer

Johnstone Shaw is a member of Bannatyne Health Club Newcraighall and a retired Edinburgh GP who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in his early sixties. He is helping to raise awareness about the seldom discussed disease in collaboration with Maggie’s Centres UK, who are partnering with the UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow this year! 

Johnstone Shaw was an ‘extremely fit and healthy’ 64-year-old due to regular sessions at Bannatyne Health Club in Newcraighall Road, Musselburgh.

As a GP, when he found blood in his urine following a rigorous spin class at the health club, he realised it was likely to be bladder cancer.

He went to see his doctor and was referred for investigation at Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, where his diagnosis was confirmed.

Johnstone needed radical surgery, which included having a urostomy, where his urine is delivered into a stoma bag.

He has received support from the Maggie’s Centre, based at the hospital, which helps people take back control when cancer turns life upside down with professional support for anything from treatment side effects to money worries.

Now, four years on, Johnstone is back to living a ‘reasonably normal’ life including attending the health club at least three times a week and taking part in cycling classes. 

Now, the 68-year-old is doing his bit to bring attention to the disease during the UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow this month, who have partnered with Maggie's.

Johnstone, who is now retired, said: “Getting used to having a urostomy took a while, but is a small price to pay. My advice to anyone with symptoms suggestive of bladder cancer. Get sorted asap! And keep cycling!”

He is urging anyone who sees blood in their urine or has repeated urinary tract infections to get checked out by a doctor.

He said: “Returning to exercise was not easy, but my Gym Buddies at Bannatyne have been really supportive, which has been very much appreciated. “

Johnstone, who lives in Edinburgh, added: “During my stay at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh I stayed in touch with my friends at Bannatyne and the amazing reception staff, who sent back very much appreciated moral support.

“Who knows, my cycling coaches Aitken & Audrey may have saved my life. As well as, of course, my wonderful bladder cancer surgeon!”

Johnstone is an inspiration by demonstrating how you can live with cancer and stay fit by cycling!