In a couple of hours I will have my first of three weekly BCG treatments for my first maintenance therapy. This was the outcome I was hoping and praying for. While it will not be a lot of fun, it's far preferable to another surgery, and certainly better than radical surgery. I will put details on the blog later.
A fellow in Toronto, HK, contacted me a couple of months ago with questions about BCG - whether it would hurt or not. I advised him that the instillation should not hurt, especially if he could relax and use the deep breathing techniques. The side effects are highly variable, and sometimes there is a lot of discomfort. On his last TURBT surgery they did "bake" his bladder for a couple of hours with Mytomycin, which is the standard of care. He then went through six courses of BCG and re-inspection, basically the same treatment and timing as my case. His BCG symptoms were worse than mine, which is not particularly meaningful for prognosis. Yesterday he had his post-BCG cystoscopy. His outcome was the opposite of mine, and new cancerous growth was observed. He is going to have another TURBT next week, on Wednesday, November 5th, and he would benefit a lot from our prayers and support.
This morning he sent me a link to share with all of you. The site is prepared by the European Association of Urology, and it has a lot of the basics of bladder cancer explained and diagrammed. Additionally it shows graphics, photos, and quick-time movies of most of the procedures used to treat the disease. As such, sections of it can be pretty high on the gross-out scale. So be warned - it's not for for the squeamish! Check it out for yourself by clicking on the link for Management of Superficial Bladder Cancer.