Biopsy results from the lump removal last month
As Dr. Liu predicted, it is not cancer! It is just an angiolipoma. That means a benign tumor composed chiefly of fat cells and containing an unusually large number of blood vessels. Don’t let the word “tumor” trouble you. It’s benign; not breast cancer and not neuroendocrine cancer. Dr. Liu says that I just a lumpy, bumpy guy.
BCG Immunology treatment started
Friday, I had the first of six BCG treatments to try to prevent the bladder cancer from recurring. BCG is an immunotherapy which means a treatment which will strengthen the patient’s immune system against the disease. I have read that this therapy can get rid of bladder cancer in 70% of the cases. It hopefully will keep it from recurring.
The treatment for me is to be done every Friday for six weeks. After that, there will probably be treatments every Friday for three weeks on a quarterly basis for a few quarters.
So what is it? BCG is a live, weakened form of tuberculosis in a saline solution. 50cc of this solution is placed into the urinary bladder via a catheter. I am then sent home with the instruction to hold it for one to two hours. (Not that easy for me!) I have to thoroughly clean myself after each urination and neutralize the toilet with bleach for the first 6 hours. Possible side effects are infection, pain, flu-like symptoms such as fever and feelings of discomfort and tiredness. These may show up or increase with each weekly treatment. Of course there is a long list of other possible side effects which are less likely, including BCG (tuberculosis) infection. You can imagine the shock of seeing the nurse who will do the treatment showing up in a hazmat suit!
Having had the first treatment, I can attest to some pain the first couple of days and tiredness and also fever two nights in the middle of the night. It also seemed to trigger my carcinoid diarrhea this whole time.
Here’s hoping that it works and that the side effects don’t get much worse!
May we all have the best possible outcomes.