2nd BCG Maintenance Series (2 of 3) - February 5, 2009

After having a pretty easy time three months ago with a 1/3 dose of BCG, I was expecting to have the same last week. While it wasn't awful, it was not as easy as hoped. This week I expected it to be a little bit worse, and I'm pleased to say I was wrong again. It was much easier to handle and I got through it all without incident. Travel to/from the urology clinic and instillation were routine. Symptoms started 3.5 hours after instillation and peaked quickly at hour 4. Low grade side-effects lasted well into the evening, but were easily dealt with. All in all a decent round this time. I did show Dr. Hopkins my Misery Index chart, and he liked it a lot. He was pleased to see the big difference between the 1/3 dose BCG and higher ones, and he was not at all concerned about the variation between the last two. Check out the updated chart for yourself:

For those interested in the gory details, they are described on the Series 2 Backup Page (7/10 on the "ick" scale, from last week).

I also revisited the BCG schedule that Dr. Lamm recommended, and scheduled out my best case scenario to complete the BCG regimen. It was a bit of an eye-opener to see that my BCG treatments will complete in the last half of the year 2020! Guess I need to start thinking out beyond April...

Other bladder cancer news:

David F. in England is slowly recovering. He was hammered with a nasty cold/flu after his last cystoscopy and biopsy (in hospital with general anesthesia), and that nastiness progressed into a wicked ear infection. David had good news/bad news from his scoping - no cancer or pre-cancerous cells, but atypical cells were observed. So David, who thought he was "all done," now has some more BCG and scopings to come. Schedule and duration still TBD, but not likely to go through 2020!

HK from Canada reports all clear from his cystoscopy and starts another three doses of BCG maintenance next Tuesday, February 10. HK had a rough time tolerating the BCG before, so I hope he can convince his faceless, socialized system to drop his dosage. I sent him the "misery graph" above to use as ammunition.

Andy P. (also in England) has had a bonus diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a new experience for him as well. This is on top of an upcoming in-hospital cystoscopy on Monday, February 23. That UK procedure is brutal. Overnight hospitalization, catheter, saline wash, etc. And they remove tissue from six areas to be thorough. I'm man enough to admit I appreciate the gentler (albeit more frequent) flexible scope approach used in the USA.

Wish us all the best, and keep us in your prayers. It's clear they are having positive effects!

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