BCG and septic systems

10 years 9 months ago #34287 by Kimberly
BCG and septic systems was created by Kimberly
Hi everyone--
Just had TURBT #2 yesterday - much easier this time around (earlier in the day than the first, no random sample taken from around the bladder) and I feel pretty good today. The doctor didn't find any signs of new growth (could that happen in just six weeks?), so that's something to be happy about.

Now we wait for the pathology report and see what the doctor proposes. After the first TURBT (Ta/high grade), he recommended the second one, followed by BCG.

I will be looking for a second opinion, probably Univ of Colorado, but I suspect I'll be going the BCG route.

Today's question: I've read about the protocol of bleach in the toilet on BCG days, but I live in a house with a septic system, and bleach is advised only in small quantities so the good bacteria in the tank can do its job. 2 cups of bleach x multiple pees sounds like it will overwhelm our system.

Have any of you BCG veterans had to deal with a septic system? Should I just plan on getting a hotel room on those days?

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10 years 9 months ago #34292 by Cynthia
Replied by Cynthia on topic BCG and septic systems
The septic question is a good one and one I have done some research on. You are right it can do damage to your system also remember besides multiple pees it goes on for weeks so it adds up. The best answer to the question is to get a hotel room close to where you are going to have your treatments and check in with your brown bag of bleach. In my case that meant Boston so I would spend the 2hrs I was holding it shopping in the Beacon Street area and would head back in time to void.

Cynthia Kinsella
T2 g3 CIS 8/04
Clinical Trial
Chemotherapy & Radiation 10/04-12/04
Chemotherapy 3/05-5/05
BCG 9/05-1-06
RC w/umbilical Indiana pouch 5/06
Left Nephrectomy 1/09
President American Bladder Cancer Society

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10 years 9 months ago #34293 by mmc
Replied by mmc on topic BCG and septic systems
Be careful about that shopping idea. I think it works for some but not all. I stopped at a grocery store one time on my way home (I don't have septic system so that wasn't a problem for me).

I had problems with BCG and when the spasms and urgency and pain hit me, I was halfway down the aisle. Left my cart and quick walked to the bathroom. Flushed like 5 or six times. It just hit me now that I didn't go to them and tell them I needed to pour bleach! Oh my. I think because I was in pain and having issues and just wanted to get home. I think I even left my groceries in the aisle. :(

Mike

Age 54
10/31/06 dx CIS (TisG3) non-invasive (at 47)
9/19/08 TURB/TUIP dx Invasive T2G3
10/8/08 RC neobladder(at 49)
2/15/13 T4G3N3M1 distant metastases(at 53)
9/2013 finished chemo -cancer free again
1/2014 ct scan results....distant mets
2/2014 ct result...spread to liver, kidneys, and lymph...

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10 years 9 months ago #34388 by abeach
Replied by abeach on topic BCG and septic systems
HELP! I am on a septic system and never think about it. And to my knowledge have not had any problems but how would I know? I did the 2 year BCG regimen from 2003-05. Started back in Fall of 2009. For 3rd round 3 weeks ago they cancelled the 3rd treatment and said no more. So I have flushed many gallons of Clorox into the system. And now I don't know what to do or look for. Can anyone help me or give me advice?

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10 years 9 months ago - 10 years 9 months ago #34389 by Cynthia
Replied by Cynthia on topic BCG and septic systems
I was a Realtor working in rural areas so I know more about septic systems than I want to. The problem with septics is they work on bacteria, that is how they compost what they do. Bleach kills off both good bacteria and bad. This can cause your system to stop working properly, bladder cancer and a floating septic system just want anyone needs. Call a septic guy that has been around for a long time and tell them what you are dealing with and get their advise. I had talked to a guy I knew about pumping the system after BCG and adding good bacteria back, we were not sure and we did not want to be wrong about it working. When I have seen this discussed most agree that you are better off to go somewhere they have municipal sewer with your little brown bag of bleach to be on the safe side.

Cynthia Kinsella
T2 g3 CIS 8/04
Clinical Trial
Chemotherapy & Radiation 10/04-12/04
Chemotherapy 3/05-5/05
BCG 9/05-1-06
RC w/umbilical Indiana pouch 5/06
Left Nephrectomy 1/09
President American Bladder Cancer Society

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10 years 9 months ago #34393 by Kimberly
Replied by Kimberly on topic BCG and septic systems
There just doesn't seem to be a definitive answer to this. I have asked many people and read many points of view on bleach & septic. The conventional wisdom answer is that the small amount (1/4 cup) used in a load of laundry a couple of times per week should not present a problem. Everyone here knows that BCG would represent a whole lotta laundry.

I think most septic installers would love to sell you some enzymes or whatever to stimulate the good bacteria growth in the tank, but frankly, you add those enzymes every time you (for lack of a more adult way of saying this) make a number two. However, it seems that flushing the BCG down the toilet is adding a whole bunch of very bad bacteria. I can't even imagine that the municipal sewer systems want this any more than our septic tank does. Adding the bleach might cancel out everything, but then trying to get the levels right might be like sawing a little bit off each leg of a dining room table and hoping that everything levels out nicely.

Let me ask this question for those of you that have been through this: Do you stay in your doctor's office for the duration and have it drained out while you're there? Or do they inject the BCG and send you on your way? One conversation I've had with my doctor's office is that for the first of the two hours, you are lying down, and every fifteen minutes you rotate 90 degrees. (Why do I picture a chicken on a rotisserie?) For the second hour, you can do whatever you want, except pee.

Do you spend the second hour at the doctor's office, or are you supposed to rush right home with your bleach?

Assuming that I stayed the full two hours at the doctor's office and peed it all out there, then for the six hours afterwards, could I just use the same toilet at home and NOT flush until the six hours was up, and then only do the 2 cups of bleach that one time?

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