What You Need For BCG Treatments

Handy stuff to have on hand

Having been through several BCG treatments, I have compiled a list of what is helpful to have available and why.

Once you have the stuff, you may find the BCG Handling Blog Entry to be helpful!

NOTE: What I recommend below is OVERKILL. You will certainly not need all of it. Here’s the bottom line – You are about to undertake a creepy and unknown treatment with special handling required. The best way to relax and prepare and know that you are ready for anything is OVERKILL.

Before you start, you need to dedicate one toilet as your biohazard area, dedicated to only you, for the first day at a minimum. Make it close enough to dash to from wherever you are spending time – bedrooom, home office, living room, etc. This strategy protects both you and your family.

1) For men – get a dozen brand new “tighty whitie” pairs of underwear. Even if you are a boxer guy, you will want to keep the junk held snugly in place for the day of treatment, and potentially the next day or two as well. And those oh-so-stylish boxer/briefs will slow you down when you are in a hurry – don’t go there. The tightie whities will be softer if run through the wash once before use. You need at least two pairs per treatment – one for your 8 hour biohazard handling period, and one for the first night or two after. Treat these as disposable, especially the pair used during biohazard time.

2) Masculine Feminine Pads
So… Are you man enough to use “tightie whitie liners?” I had no idea such things existed. My wife suggested using some of her feminine hygiene stuff – but this process is demeaning enough – so NO GO. I suggested stuffing a small diaper (about the size of my hand) into the underwear to catch any leakage or accidents – especially at night. She found a suitable package of five, but for the same price (at Kroger – store brand) she found a pack of 52 “Guards for Men.” These don’t really show, except to make your abused and shrunken junk look bigger, and the embarrassment factor is offset by the safety factor – especially if the burning and urgency become unpredictable.

3) Loose, baggy, unlined gym shorts and long warmup pants
These can be found on Amazon or K-Mart, Wal-Mart and some sporting goods places. Probably won’t find them at Macy’s or Neiman Marcus. They are cheap and therefore disposable, and most importantly they are loose, soft, and thick. These are your best choice for your outerwear, both in public and at home. Thick and absorbent, they will serve you better than boxer shorts should any leakage or drainage occur. In cooler weather you can substitute loose, baggy, warmup pants that are easy to put on and take off. Fleece for cooler outside temperatures, light cotton for summer.

4) Water in small (16-20 oz) bottles
Put these everywhere – in each bathroom, on your nightstand, and near your pill-taking station. These will help you hydrate, ease the dry-mouth, and enable you to take pills. If you have to take drugs such as Lortabs that require food, you can also put some food like crackers, cookies, or peanut butter or almond butter and a spoon, or a bowl of walnuts, or almonds at your pill-taking station. (Because sugar and starch cause glucose spikes in the bloodstream and glucose is cancer’s favorite food, I have revised the instructions to avoid things like crackers or cookies and added alternatives in bold)

5) Old towels
Put these on the floor around the toilet to catch any unplanned leakage.

6) Incontinence pads
These are large, thin, flat, disposable diapers and can be hard to find outside medical places, but we found a cheap package of 18 (store brand) at our local Kroger. Use these under your sheets to protect your mattress, should the floodgates inadvertently open.

7) Antibacterial Wipes
BCG instructions universally say wash your hands and genital area thoroughly after urination, but they don’t say how and with what. Antibacterial wipes are a good place to start. Be careful when selecting these – Clorox and Lysol brands are clearly labeled “not for personal use.” Wet Ones antibacterial seem to be OK. Before your first treatment buy some and get the silly things “started” in the dispenser. Keep these near the toilet in your designated biohazard bathroom.

8) Box of XL rubber gloves
Good for handling your equipment and cleaning duties with the antibacterial wipes during the 8 hour biohazard period.

9) Big bottle of bleach and a 2-cup measure
Place beside the toilet for use after each urination. Be sure to rinse the measuring cup after use, to avoid bleaching things inadvertently.

10) Liquid, antibacterial hand soap
Even after using gloves, I found it comforting to wash my hands with soap and water after each episode.

11) Kitchen Timer
You need to allow the bleach to work for 15-20 minutes before flushing, so a timer can be used to remind you

12) Ribbon or other Reminder on toilet handle
The instinct to flush when arising from the toilet is very strong. Use some sort of VERY OBVIOUS reminder to NOT flush right away. I tied a spare rubber glove to the handle, providing both visual and tactile reminders.

13) Trash can liner or plastic grocery bag
Line your tiny restroom wastebasket with something. After your 8 hour toxic period it will be 2/3 full with antibacterial wipes, rubber gloves, man pads, and your once-used tightie whities. Tie off and drop in the garbage, and the restroom can be returned to general use.

Once you have the stuff, you may find the BCG Handling Blog Entry to be helpful!