Should I accompany my husband for his BCG treatments?

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My husband, who is 81, is starting his first 6 weeks BCG treatment on 3rd June.  He was very sore after the two TURBT operations and on the way home from the second one was very distressed when he couldn't hold on and wet my car seat.  Not a problem for me, I was driving and it wasn't safe to stop when he needed to pee so I just cleaned up.  I'm wondering how you chaps manage after your treatments as what I don't want is my husband stopping enroute home on a busy road if he can't hold on.  Its only about a 40 minute drive but his bladder was very weak and reading the schedule of treatments and cystoscopy follow ups it all looks very punishing.  His bladder is much better now but it would be very helpful to have an idea of how long each BCG installation treatment lasts and whether you went alone or was accompanied?  Thanks in advance for your comments

  • Hi Janpet, we had the same wet carseat issue after my husband's treatment. Next time I made sure to take a towel and a plastic bag with another towel on top which he was happy to sit on. He also wore track suit bottoms which are very quick to pull down in a hurry. He ended up buying Tena men pants via Age Concern as recommended on here. He's almost 80 now, this was around five/six years ago. I also bought a pee bottle with lid [beware, lid only splash proof!]. The instillation only takes minutes, they may ask him to stay in for the hour's holding first time but second one, off you go.

    I always drove him as he has a very bad leg from an old fall, and I can drop him near Urology's door and park or wait further away.

  • Hi Janpet,

    Welcome to the group and sorry to heard about your husband.

    When I have my BCG I stay in the hospital for the two hours you're supposed to hold the BCG in the bladder for. My wife drops me off and picks me up a couple of hours later. Mainly because we only have one car and she often needs it for work. Although to be honest I don't really need her there.

    She doesn't stay with me and I'm happy to be on my own. After my first wee, I'm allowed to leave, but I do have a feeling of urgency which can be very uncomfortable at times.

    It was suggested to me to not drink anything 5 hours before hand to help hold the BCG in, so having an empty bladder should help.

    Some people have the BCG inserted and are allowed to leave straight away, and do the 2 hour's at home.

    BCG is a live vaccine and has to be washed off any contact with the skin  asap.

    Do you know if your husband will be staying in? 

    Best of luck.

    Kindest Regards 


  • Hi Trevor, I've read about how toxic the BCG is and I did mention this to the hospital last time we saw them.  They did say that he would have his treatment in the hospital and stay in the hospital for the two hours. What a good idea not to have anything to drink for several hours beforehand.  Thanks for your helpful reply.  

  • Thanks very much for your helpful reply.  Looks like towels and plastic would be good for us.  I guess that we'll have to wait and see how he reacts and then I may end up buying Tena men's pants. 

  • Hi Janpet,

    I'm really not sure why some have to stay at the hospital and why some can go home straight away.

    They would allow my better half to stay after the BCG is inserted if she wanted, so I'm sure you could also. Noting you have a fairly long drive,. I would also add that I'm there waiting a while before they insert the BCG ( doing tests etc).

    They also make me "rotate" every 15 mins too help coat the bladder and spread the BCG. Again I'm not sure if this was because of the location of the tumor or if it is something that they just do. 

    I really hope it goes well for you both.avd keep us all posted.

    Good luck.


  • Once I receive the BCG, I go home and lay down rotating every fifteen minutes until the BCG has been in the bladder for two hours. When I start passing the urine, I experience significant urgency for at least the next five to six hours. I could not imagine staying in the hospital for the full two hours and then trying to make it home after I have passed the BCG. I don’t think I could control my bladder for the 20 minute ride home. 

  • Hi CDN,

    I often have I struggle with the urgency after my first wee, the constant feeling of needing a wee a few hours after.

    I think I'm going to look into leaving instead of waiting in the hospital, it would make things easier for me. My next BCG course should start around July and I'll see how I get on now I've had a 6 month's break since my last course.

    I don't mind staying but sometimes my journey home can be very uncomfortable, it' seems we always catch every red traffic light on the way back.

    Although when I get home I rarely actually wee, it's just that horrible feeling.

  • For me, post TURBT I had retention issues on the way home. Bought Tena Men to use just in case. Luckily no accidents, but close call on the way home after all the TURBT's

    With BCG, I turn up and 15 mins later am driving myself home. So far managed the 2 hours retention of the BCG, but I do go to the loo on the ward/ clinic just before BCG instillation so I have an empty bladder to start with. Done 12 so far and starting my next 3 soon.

  • Hi Tortoise,

    Thanks for your post, I was fine with the TURBTs.

    ,Just some discomfort driving home after the BCGs. They keep me in hospital whilst I wait the two hours, but I think I'm going to mention about leaving and doing the 2 hour's at home.

    I also don't drink 5; hours before hand and the bladder is also drained with the catheter. I think it's more the desperation feeling rather than actually needing to go, this lasts for about 24 hours then I'm more or less ok. But can be a tad horrible driving back home.

    I completed my 12th instillation in Jan this year and should also be starting my next course soon. So I've had a six months break, so it might be better this time. I have my 3 monthly biopsy booked on 14th June and should s couple of weeks after that.

    Thanks again for your post, I think I need to ask why I'm kept instead of being allowed to go straight after the BCG is inserted.

    Take care 


  • Hi BFG

    After the 2 hours I am drinking lots with subsequent very frequent visits to the loo. It was just keeping it in during the drive home that I was addressing.