BCG Maintenance Series 7 - First Round - 8 October 2012

It's been over a year since my last round of BCG - the longest gap to date.  I was happy for the time off and curious to see how my body would react.  Would my resistance be greater due to increased recovery time, or less (making symptoms worse) due to elapsed time allowing my body to drop BCG resistance?  There was good news and bad news here.  The bad news is that the symptoms were worse than Round 1 a year ago.  The good news is that my new protocol of adding electrolytes made the whole ordeal shorter and much easier to bear.

The appointment was at 8:30, and we were there early.  The doctor came in right on time (about 8:40), but the staff had not finished the urinalysis or BCG prep, so he went off somewhere and my BCG (1/3 dose) was not administered until about 9AM.  The doc was back from his trip hiking the Andes and Macchu Picchu.  He reported that the scenery was amazing, the vistas breathtaking, and no pictures could capture it.  During the day he handled the altitude well (more than 15,000 feet or approx 5,000 meters), but at night he was not able to sleep because of hypoxia and waking up gasping for breath.  Having spent nearly a week above 12,000 feet (4,000m) without sleep, he looked quite haggard and worse for the wear.  He worked slowly and methodically (quite unusual) and the administration procedure was easy and hassle-free.
On the way back home I hydrated slowly and was able to hold for the full two hour period.  Side effects began earlier and were more severe, but I felt generally better due to the addition of Gatorade sports drinks to supplement my normal hydration fluid - black tea at room temperature.  My wife was able to find Gatorade G2 with half the sugar - but still plenty of it.  I sipped it slowly throughout the day, and continued the next morning.  But being up every 60-90 minutes all night to urinate had significantly dehydrated me, so I would have been better off to pound a liter of the stuff first thing the next morning.  Lesson learned!  Next round will be on Thursday, only 6 days between #1 and #2.

While the urinary symptoms were worse than last year, the time duration and misery index was much less thanks to the Gatorade.  Last year I definitely over-hydrated and created severe electrolyte loss.  You can find last year's data in this post.  This year's round 1 table appears below.  Click to enlarge and view the details, unless you are squeamish - in which case you are done reading now!


A Dived Ref said...

Hi Steve - wishing you well for the next 2 rounds and glad you have found something that helps the side effects. I was away last week and so unable to send you a "good luck" message but do so belatedly now :-) Keep up the good work. David

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve- Like you, I had T1G3 bladder cancer about 1 1/4 years ago. Like you, I also noticed my second series of BCG maintenance treatments caused more pronounced side effects than the prior series. I suppose the good news with that is the treatments are working as they should. You have a wonderful site which has been a great help to me. Thanks for all your hard work. John

Steve Kelley said...

Thanks guys for the kind words and well wishes, and sending the same back to you!