BCG at Full Throttle

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Well, I went in for BCG number 13, at 0830 4 Dec 2015.   After the “Hi, how are you” pleasantries – I asked the burning question (and yes this was a question – the burning feeling comes later) about the dosage.  She said – “Full dose, everyone can get it now”.  This was actually something that was bothering me mentally…. would the press releases actually reflect reality that the production facility in the States was up to full production capacity? Making 850,000 doses a year…..

That is cool to hear.  The Canadian facility has been approved now, and should be shipping in the new year.  They make a different strain of the BCG, so I don’t know what the impact really will be down the road.  I am not sure if Edmonton/Alberta Health/Cross Cancer Institute has a “Canadian content” rule.

To refresh everyone on BCG – Bacillus Calmette–GuĂ©rin is a strain of Tuberculosis that is used to fight Bladder Cancer.  It is considered Immunotherapy, not chemo therapy.  The reason it is called Immunotherapy is that the treatment is meant to trigger an overdrive of your own immune system, which will fight the cancer.  I have a couple other posts about it in past blogs.

The interesting part of this, is that for at least 8 hours after treatment, I am a walking biohazard…. I read a blog from another cancer patient  to think we are more like superheros maybe…

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Don’t think it will sell many comics books, so maybe not.

If you haven’t read my past blogs, the short version is simple – with the 81 mg put into a solution of 150 ml saline, and inserted into my bladder, it will eventually need to be removed.  During the removing process, substantial disinfecting and cleansing protocols must be followed for at least 8 hours to protect myself and my wife, but also to prevent the TB solution from contaminating the sewer system.  I am not sure a bit of TB is actually that bad a thing, in the big scheme of the Edmonton sewer system – I can only imagine what else has been poured down there over the years.

The process will likely be repeated a few more times, I have noticed in online readings that 3 years of BCG (every 6 months for the second and third year) seems to be the expected course of action.  That would mean that I have likely 3 more sessions after this session (which would put me at 24 treatments) as I am at the 18 month point now.

Only a number of hours into todays treatment, I will update you on the 24/48 hour side effects that come along in a post before christmas.