I was pretty sluggish for the first two and a half days after my first treatment. The tiredness got better as the treatments went on. I usually slept for most of the day of the treatment but was pretty much with it after that. I also had a pain in my bladder - and still do. I found out that you really need to watch what you eat. Spicy and acidic will really cause pain. Keep your diet rather bland - during the whole time of the treatments and for a while afterwards. I am not sure how long afterwards, though, because it has been five weeks since my last one and I still am having pain. Keep a positive attitude. I figure that this is nothing compared to chemo and radiation!!
I must be a wuss, because I really did have some after effects. I was pretty tired and had a headache during the afternoon of my treatment day, and I woke up the next morning feeling sluggish, with a little bit of a sore throat. I had a lot of burning and stinging when I peed, which seemed to be getting worse, not better, so by 3:00 pm yesterday, I called the uro's office and asked if I could take some pyridium. By the time that kicked in last night, I was thanking the genius who invented that stuff.
Certainly by yesterday afternoon -- especially given all the water I drink -- any residual stuff should have been gone, so would the stinging have been leftover from the catheter insertion?
Can't say that I'm looking forward to the next five, but let's just get this over with!!
How did your first BCG go? I hope that it wasn't too bad for you. I know that I was extremely tired and fatigued for a day and a half after the first one. Of course I have Diabetes to contend with also which throws a monkey wrench into the treatments. I would say that I hope it was pleasant for you but I know that is not the way to phrase it. I hope that it wasn't bad for you. Keep us posted as you go through the next five rounds. I completed my first six about four weeks ago. My body seemed to react to them better as they went along. I was still fatigued for the day of the treatment but was usually able to bounce back fairly quick. I am interested in hearing how your body reacts to the treatments since it is fresh in my mind. If they are similar then I guess everything the body did was somewhat normal. By the way, what stage and grade is your BC? Good luck and keep a positive attitude! Thank goodnes that they have BCG for a reatment - it could be a lot worse!!!
As has been said already, drink lots of fluids 1/2 before the end of your holding time.
Ask the doctor for an antispasmodic and the pyridium (that's the stuff that turns your urine bright orange). It is good to have them on hand. Then, depending on your symptoms you take the appropriate one.
I wore my regular clothes and my treatments were in the urologists office. I suggest against going shopping or anything after you have the instillation and before you empty. I had some major frequency/burning/spasm issues in Safeway one day when I though I could just stop for some things on the way home.
Read all of the information on the BCG label. If the doctor doesn't give you a sheet with all of the information, look it up online.
Never get the treatment if you have gross hematuria (visible blood in the urine). The uro should do a urine test each time you come in, prior to administering the BCG.
Plan on taking it easy the afternoons you get the instillations. Side effects can increase in intensity over time so if you have little effect after the 2nd one, don't plan a party after the 3rd because it didn't really bother you.
If you are not going to drive yourself and you are nervous you could ask the doctor about 5mg of Valium prior just to relax a bit.
If you do have a reaction early, the dose can often be reduced significantly. Some doctors start at 1/2 or 1/3 dose strength and there has been no evidence of reduced efficacy. That means, even the lower doses seem to do just as well but have a lower probability of strong side effects.
Good luck with the treatment. It is great stuff with a fantastic success rate for CIS.
Another tip the nurse doing my BCG told me about, which can reduce some of the burning and pain when voiding, is to start drinking a lot of water about 1/2 hour before the two-hour "holding" time is up. She said that helps flush the BCG out more quickly. I usually drink fluids normally for up to about 2 hours before the BCG instillation, and I've always managed to hold the BCG without too much discomfort for the full two hours. However, since coffee and tea supposedly have a diuretic effect, I do cut down on those on BCG days. If my treatment is in the morning, I just skip the coffee altogether, but if it's in the afternoon, I do have one cup in the morning.
For spasms, I'd been given prosed to take beforehand (turns the urine a lovely shade of blue), and they've now switched that to vesicare. I also take ibuprufen sometimes. Because I started having more severe side effects by about treatment 15 (fever, pain), I'm now getting the BCG at 1/3rd dosage and the symptoms are definitely better.
Best of luck with your treatments.
Small TA Grade 1, May-06; recur (2 tiny), same, June-08; TURBTs both times. BCG begun July-08, dosage to 1/3rd May-10, completed treatment December-11. All clear since 2008.