Original Dx:  Single TCC, stage Ta, grade III

Original Dx:  Single TCC, stage Ta, grade III/IV

I reported occasional flecks of blood in my urine for nearly two years to my primary care physician, who studiously ignored me.  I finally demanded to be referred to a urologist.  The uro found microscopic (occult) blood in my urine and scheduled me for an IVP series (negative) and cystoscope (positive).

Had my first TURB on 6/25/2001 with a 2cm TCC removed and sent to the pathologist (see stage and grade above).  I completed my first round of 6 BCG instillations on 9/14.  No side effects at all except for a little tiredness and some burning during urination for the first couple days.  Had to fight for the BCG, as my uro insisted that I didn’t need it.

My first post-TUR scope was scheduled for 10/30.  I fired my uro because he seemed to ignore the truth in favor of an unrealistically rosy view of reality.  He said that he’d "gotten it all" and that I’d never have to worry about BC again.  From all I read, he didn’t have a clue.

My first follow-up cyctoscope with the new uro showed a small tumor in the general area (left wall) of the first tumor.  The TURB was performed on 11/27/01 and he removed TWO tumors (big surprise).  When I asked the new uro how there could be two tumors when only one showed up during the cysto, he said that the flexible scope had poorer resolution than the rigid scope and often missed small tumors.  Great.  Fortunately, the pathology report came back optimistic–both tumors remain Stage Ta and the grade actually declined to 1 and 2 respectively.

Six BCG + Interferon instillations were scheduled to begin on 1/11/02 following the O’Donnell protocol.  First BCG + Intron A went fairly well.  Some drops of red blood in urine and discharge with burning.  Felt a little ill the second day, then fine afterwards.  The rest of the series was unremarkable–occasional headaches the day of and day after instillation, some soreness when urinating, a few drops of blood with start of stream, and dribbling towards the end.  The cystoscope was scheduled for April 5th.

The cystoscope was negative.  So was the urine cytology.  What a relief (guarded relief, of course).  Started the first maintenance round of BCG + Interferon on April 19th.  Three weeks of this and then next scope in June.  The series went smoothly, with only the occasional burning the day of the instillation and that’s about it.


It’s now the end of January, 2006, and I’ve remained NED (no evidence of disease) since my second TURB–nearly 4 1/2 years now.  I still receive three instillations of BCG + IFN maintenance once per year, and have my scopes every six months, but am feeling guardedly optimistic.  I strongly believe that the BCG + IFN combination has been the most significant factor in remaining cancer-free, but I also credit my intake of supplements, including megavitamin/minerals, Astragalus Root, garlic, L-Lysine, Flax Seed Oil, Fish Oil, Lycopene, Coenzyme Q-10, probiotics, and others, plus a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables (primarily broccoli).

cbutler Author