BCG #6 Full Report - August 8, 2008

Happy Crazy 8's Day! (8/8/08) I feel much better than yesterday by contrast, though pretty tired and sore in the bladder region. Side effects have cleared up, so once the soreness improves I should be on track to "normal" again. Instillation was a piece of (sugar-free) cake. Dr. Hopkins looked at the log of the first five treatments and said it was consistent with his expectations - increasing symptoms week by week. He said to expect a bit worse for this round, and he was right about that! I also told him that I had chosen a doc in another state for second opinion via a roundabout way (Dr. Chuck), and that it was probably someone he knew. He was instantly curious, and it turns out the doc in question was a year behind Hopkins during urology internship and residency at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. Dr. Hopkins had high praise for his colleague, describing him as "brilliant, dedicated, and hard-working." Just the sort you would want for an opinion. Then he added, "Tell him that I taught him everything he knows!" jokingly, and gave me a note to pass on.We all hope that the BCG will do the trick, but Dr. Hopkins affirmed that there's no point in scheduling the next rounds of BCG until after the cytoscopic inspection on October 23 - Judgment Day. He asked if we had any questions and left us on our own.

I will be setting up a transmittal of records and scheduling an appointment with the brilliant doctor next week. Dr. Chuck also advised me to go ahead and do an "e-Consultation" with Dr. Lamm in Arizona - good for a potentially different point of view and a bargain at $300. I believe my insurance will cover the consult from the other doctor, but not the travel expenses or the Lamm consult. In the big picture it's a small price to pay. I will ask both of the docs to confirm the diagnosis, grading, and staging, review the treatment plan, and discuss alternatives for what should happen after the cytoscopy whether new growth cancer is observed or not. More on this topic will be discussed in a later post.

Even though the waiting room was empty, Dr. Hopkins was busy and running late. BCG was not instilled until 11:15AM (from our 10:30 appointment). Endless summer construction had shut down half of the northbound Interstate, and it took about 80 minutes to get home. Did my normal hydration routine, and side effects hit about an hour after I voided the initial BCG, earlier than ever in the past. They got worse quicker and lasted longer, too. I increased hydration to try to fully flush the system and ended up going 3-4 times per hour. This approach did the trick, but put more stress on the bladder and associated systems. By 5 PM I had a mild headache, a full blown stomach ache, abdominal cramps, bladder pain, no appetite, etc. No one of these symptoms amounted to much, but having them all for most of the day was pretty miserable. My entire day is well-summarized by the T-shirt at the left. (And no, I don't want one!) Visible side effects were mostly gone by 10 PM, and I was up every hour or so through the night draining out the remaining liquid. All the details are now updated at the bottom of the Installation Page (2/10 on the gross out scale). I was drinking a lot of iced tea (at room temperature, sweetened with stevia); water flavored with organic lemon/lime/orange juice and sweetened with stevia; and spicy lemonade* for variety. But apparently there's a soft drink made and distributed in the African country of Ghana that might have been more appropriate - see photo at right...

Friday has been much better. Got up early and started slow hydration. Been "going" a bit today (not nearly at yesterday's rate), and each time there's a tiny bit less soreness and discomfort. I'm hoping that the recovery will be as early as tonight or tomorrow, and it looks good so far. Thinking is much clearer today, though less than 100%, and so doing some light work and this blog have become possible again. Will probably start the new dietary regimen and resume the MCP this weekend or early next week. My mood and attitude are dramatically improved, for which everyone is thankful.

*To make 1 gallon of SPICY LEMONADE combine:
Juice of 5-6 large organic lemons (20-24 oz)
1.25 cups (20 oz) organic Grade B Maple Syrup (you can use Grade A, but it's expensive!)
While maple syrup is less severe than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup, it's still sugar, and it still yields blood glucose - cancer's favorite food. I suggest using only stevia (a natural leaf extract) as sweetener. Since concentrations vary, you will need to experiment to find the correct amount!
1 teaspoon of organic Cayenne Pepper
10 cups (80 oz) of purified or spring water(non-chlorinated water)
The resulting drink looks like tea, due to the Grade B syrup.
Can be served cold, cool, room temp, or hot.

If you just want to try it, one serving is:
2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
2 tablespoons
organic Grade B Maple Syrup
Sweeten to taste with stevia (a natural leaf extract found in health food stores)
1/8 teaspoon (or more) organic Cayenne Pepper
8 ounces of purified or spring water(non-chlorinated water)
Can be served cold, cool, room temp, or hot.

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