Before the procedure
to keep the BCG solution as undiluted as possible while it’s in the bladder, refrain from drinking beforehand. I don’t drink anything for about 4 hours before.
My BCG is ordered in packs of 3 from Medac – it has a reputation for producing good quality clean BCG. I’m thankful that the shortages of a couple of years ago seem to have passed. It’s. It comes in a little squishy pouch with a catheter tube attached kept in a fridge until needed.
As with Mitomycin, first I empty my bladder then undress down below and lie on a couch. The doctor cleans the urethral area, empties the bladder even more with a catharizing tube and then inserts the BCG catheter. It’s quick and uncomfortable rather than painful – although men have a longer urethra and can have a more uncomfortable time apparently.
While the BCG is in the bladder
– best case 2 hours – patients are encouraged to move around to distribute it evenly. During the second dose I did yoga for an hour. It was a perfect way for me to move around, relax and distract myself. Standing on my head meant the BCG got to every part of my bladder!
Just before ‘pee time’ it’s recommended to start drinking. Drink some water, some more water and then even more water!
The first BCG pee
should be followed by bleach down the loo to kill the active bacteria before it enters the waste water. Afterwards wash yourself and your hands thoroughly. Drink as much fluid as possible, water, herbal tea and juice to literally flush everything out.
- brace yourself for many trips to the loo over the next few days and nights
- stay warm especially your bladder
- keep your schedule as free as possible.
Side effects are individual and unpredictable but plenty of rest and no stress is a good plan. Talk to your doctor if you have a fever lasting more than 2 days or bleeding. Good luck!
I mentioned Katie Phillips and her interesting and informative podcast “Talking with Cancer” last week in a blogpost. Well she has reached out to people with cancer and asked them to submit a 2 minute voice note to her that she’ll include at the end of her podcast. Well this week the topic is ‘Bio Tech’ and immunotherapy (rather apt) and she’s kindly included my voice note and a lovely shout out about the blog. Have a listen to the whole cast (I’m up in the last few minutes).
If you have a cancer story to tell in 2 mins then record yourself and send it to Katie at email@example.com
Thank you Katie 🙂