Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc

Worried wife of a husband with re-occurring bladder cancer treated with bcg, having lower back pain and changed mood?

by Dolly

QUESTION: My husband has had re accuring bladder cancer which was treated with bcg but since then his doc says his urine samples is still showing abnormal cells but doing no other tests to finding out why?

He is tired, all the time has lower back pain, always cold and his mood has changed so much it scares me as he is normally easy going but now is unreasonable and gets annoyed for the slightest thing.

He sleeps very badly up frequently during night to wee, but also has at least five bowel movements, day and night.

Sadly he smokes 40 cigs a day and drinks 5 pints a day also. His mum died of colon cancer at 60. He gets angry if i ask him to cut down. But i see my husband turning into a cranky depressed sick man and am lost as to what i can do he is only 62 and we have been married for 40 years?

ANSWER: Hi there,

First of all, you have to know that BCG vaccine is used for the treatment of early stages bladder cancer. In addition, this treatment works in most of the patients, but there is small number of patients, who are not so lucky.

In such situation, I would like to ask if your doctor has talked about radical
cystectomy, which is an operation, during which the bladder is going to be removed. Is this intervention applicable to your husband? What does your doctor state?

Generally, after this operation, reconstructive surgery is going to be executed, so your husband will have bladder again.

  • I understand that this is very hard period for you, but you have to do everything possible in purpose to convince him that the operation is the only solution (in case he does not want to).

    However, find a way to explain this to him delicately, because I’m sure that it is hard even for him.

  • With regards to his mood changes, they are typical for cancer patients, because they are afraid of the disease (psychological part) and because of cancer spread to their brain causing damages there (organic cause).

    Most of them are trying to escape this reality and they are using alcohol for this, like you said about your husband up to 5 pints a day.

  • Regarding the lower back pain and the frequent urination during the night, they do confirm bladder cancer. These symptoms show that the cancer grows and this requires immediate medical attention and operation.

    I hope you can find a way to convince him, but remember try to be delicate, don’t you dare forcing him, because he will refuse every treatment or help.

    Hope it helped!


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