My BCG experience has so far been pretty mild. Certainly not on the level of ADR in England. And now he's sunning himself on a beach in the Azores today without a care in the world. So life does go on. What to expect for the last one? A quick instillation from Dr. Hopkins, followed by a pretty rough day of hydration and voiding. It's not so much the physical pain or burning, but it's rough because you cannot sit for more than 15 minutes, or lie down for more than 30 - the last 5 of which are occupied with fidgeting and clock watching. And you have to sit to pee and do all the special biohazard handling, which can be tricky when you are in a hurry! Last time the side effects started 4 hours after instillation and lasted nearly 4 hours, the longest to date. But with the hydration regimen there's no extra physical discomfort, because there is plenty of fluid to clear everything out each time. There is a chance that tomorrow could last even longer, which means I shall have to keep up the 32 ounces per hour input/output pace perhaps even past 7 PM. Still, it's only one day of running to pee every 20-30 minutes, then hourly through most of the night. I wonder if all that counts as exercise? My bladder sure feels like it! Details of the instillation and subsequent voiding and side effects will be posted on the Installation Page sometime tomorrow evening.
If all goes well Saturday begins my three months of freedom. I will probably try to ride the bike somewhere and work a 5-day week next week for the first time in a long time. I wonder if I can get used to that again! We have our air tickets to travel to Acapulco for a week in September with another couple, celebrating our 25th anniversary two weeks in advance. I should also work in a couple of three or four day weekends for some motorcycle trips - doesn't matter where, as long as the weather is good! And I may have some business trips in there as well. Then Judgment Day on October 23. A clear reading there will improve all subsequent odds, so all your prayers and well-wishes should focus on that date!
In other news my good friend Dr. Chuck researched two lists of potential doctors from which to get my second opinion. While urology and oncology are not his fields, he's been around enough to know the difference between valuable experience and attributes of a doctor from less good, or even questionable. He selected two clear winners from the pack. I am working to set up consultations with both - one via mail (my records) and telephone, and the other via mail (records) and probably a personal visit out of state. I will fill you in on exactly who and why they were chosen in a future post - if the details work out OK.
Another teaser for later - my company, in addition to the excellent benefits that pay for most of this including my time off, has hooked me up with a Personal Health Coach. Her name is Crystal, and she is a Registered Nurse based in Maryland. She calls every week or two in a pre-arranged appoinment for half an hour. Since the doctors are prescribing medical advice and treatments, she steers clear of those areas except to say, "Do what the doctors tell you!" Instead she is focusing on dietary habits and practices. Since Kathryn is in charge of the kitchen, we use a speakerphone and take the call at home in the evenings, so we can both participate. Crystal has suggested some radical changes to our diet, and most of it is pretty easy to implement. We have also learned that there are some basic cancer facts that I was unaware of - Cancer loves sugar (and starch that turns into sugar); Cancer hates oxygen; Cancer likes an acidic body environment and does poorly in alkaline body chemistry; chlorinated water can kill healthy bacteria which then cannot fight Cancer. Immediately for us that means using bottled spring water (until we get a house treatment system, which we may or may not do), eliminating all sugar and most starch, limiting meats and increasing fruits and vegetables proportionally. There are some other more radical changes that we are going to try over the next month, and I will share them with you when we decide they are helping - or not. I was really clueless about the sugar. I was using Oreos to cushion my stomach for drugs post-surgery, for goodness sake! What a bad idea that was!!! But it's not difficult at all now to say, "No thanks!" to the cake and donuts and candy that's always floating around the workplace. I love sugar as much as the next guy, but I have no desire to feed the cancer cells! And living at altitude means less oxygen, which is bad, but that can be improved by the deep breathing exercises. That's something I should be using for more than reducing stress on instillation days. So there are many things to occupy future blog postings even during my upcoming 3 months off of active cancer treatments. Stay tuned!