New Year, New Calendar of Treatments - January 1, 2010

First off I want to wish all of you (mostly anonymous) readers an optimistic and joyous new year for 2010. Whether you have cancer or you are supporting someone who does, your own positive attitude is a key element under your control that will help everything else work better and pave the way for staying ahead of bladder cancer, or any cancer. Do not accept that cancer is a death sentence, a done deal, but accept that working together with the doctors on the remedies they know PLUS doing some additional things can indeed keep the cancer at bay. And all of this is leveraged even more by positive attitudes. Read more about the importance of attitude here.

One thing I did after my last cystoscopy and all clear report a few weeks ago is update my treatment calendar. I initially published this calendar almost a year ago. And while it helped me to visualize what lies ahead, and many of you have looked at it, I am forced to admit that it is really difficult to interpret. Even Dr. Hopkins' eyes glazed over when I showed it to him. So I decided to re-work it and make it more clear. The thing that makes it difficult is that we have to line up three timelines: the cystoscopy schedule from Dr. Hopkins, the BCG maintenance schedule from Dr. Lamm, and the CT scan schedule from Dr. Hopkins. Complicating this fact is that the BCG and cystoscopy are driven from different start dates.

Here is Dr. Hopkins cystoscopy plan that he outlined to me verbally: Visual inspection via cystoscope every 3 months post TURBT for the first two years, every 6 months for the next two years, and then annually for life - as long as no cancer is detected. Along with each scoping we will do a urine cytology test. The start date for these is late May, 2008, when I completed my second TURBT. Additionally he requires a CT scan 12 months post TURBT then every 18 months. Dr. Hopkins is always quick to point out that there is plenty of leeway in these timings, as there is nothing requiring precision in this other than convenience for human beings to use calendars.

Here is Dr. Lamm's BCG maintenance schedule for me, to which Dr. Hopkins has agreed. After initial 6 BCG, maintenance series of (up to) three at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months, annually to 6 years, then at year 8, 10, and 12. Since the initial 6 BCGs were 2 months after the TURBT, this gives a slightly different start date.

Given all of this, I created a different timeline for cystoscopy, BCG, and CT Scans - forcing them a few weeks now and then to line up properly. And everything pretty much works until the year 2015. Uncharacteristically for me, I am not going to worry about that for a while...

So here is the treatment calendar as of today. Am I depressed that BCG continues until 2020? Not at all - I look forward to being alive and fine at that time, and a bottle of resveratrol-laden red wine to celebrate!


Suzan St Maur said...


I was first diagnosed with papilliary tumor T1G2 in 2003. Had one TURBT then observation for a few years, then recur but this time of CIS. That has been kept under control with further scrapes and BCG treatments. Recently I moved on to BCG with Interferon which, although common in North America, is only just being introduced here in the UK where I live. I'm due my next "poke and peek" in about 4 weeks' time so we'll see if it has worked...

In the meantime, for some light hearted looks at various cancer stories, go

All good wishes


Mike said...

I have my first check up with the scope on Monday. I had surgery on July 15th, so it has been 6 months before my first scope check. I had a complete cat scan at 3 months from my legs to my neck and everything appeared to be ok.
I would like everyones good wishes for Monday.
Thanks, Mike

Suzan St Maur said...

Good luck for Monday Mike - the first "poke and peek" after surgery is always a nervous time. You'll be OK, you'll see!


Lee said...

just checking in to see if all going well. good luck in this 2010 year!

Mike said...

For some reason the doctor wants to do the check next week in the hospital as an out patient,and wants to take multible biopsies. He never did it this week.

Mike said...

I went to the doctor today and got a good report.He said he seen nothing with the scope and the biopsies all came back good.I am thankful that the first 6 months show no new cancer. I know I have a long way to go before I can relax with not worrying. I go back in May for further test. Thank you everyone for your prayers because we know God does answer prayers.

Kathiesbirds said...

I clicked to enlarge but it still muddles my brain. I think I need a scheduler (Gus) to interpret this for me! I'm glad you understand it. Does Kathryn?

BTW, I'll be glad to buy you that bottle of wine!

Anonymous said...

A quick update: cysto on 1-17-10, some redness, probably scar tissue. Urine sample sent out for cytology.

2-5-10 Cytology results: atypical cells. Had a BCG treatment. Return for a cysto in May.

Ron McWold