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Homepage – Forum Forums Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Returning to work and a resuming a "normal" life….

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  • #7832
    Chris Lee

    I have a question for those of you who been through this…

    It’s been a month since I was first admitted to hospital, diagnosed and had my first TURBT. I have another one scheduled for the 28th of June and, hopefully should start a course of BCG treatments shortly after that.

    I realize that every one is different, but about how much longer should I expect to be off work? When can I expect to resume a “normal” life?

    Right now I am still quite anemic (hgb is 95g/L) so doing what I would normally do is not always possible (I get tire easily and sometimes get dizzy). In my professional opinion as a hematology technologist it should take about 12 weeks for my hemoglobin to reach the normal range. That’s if there is no more blood loss. Should that be my time frame or should I expect a more extended recovery?

    BTW….I know the decision to return to work will ultimately be made in consultation with my doctor and as of yet, when ever I have been talking to him, the furthest thing from my mind has been when do I go back to work. I’m just trying to get a feel for what’s to come…




    I found that it took me about a month to recover from a TURBT. If you are anemic I suggest that you consult with your doctor about an iron supplement. You will recover faster if you can speed up your iron rebuilding process. There are good products at the health food stores. I took one called Floradix. However check to see if these would be right for you as some of the natural things can conflict if you are on any prescription meds. I was instructed to avoid heavy lifting and heavy house cleaning for 4-6 weeks. I wasn’t working at the time of my first TURBT so I just went back to routine very carefully over about a month. The second time I was working part time retail and since the job involved lifting and a lot of bending I took 3 weeks off and returned on a half schedule for the first 3 weeks back and then worked back to a normal schedule. I didn’t drive for about 2 weeks afterwards each time as my blood pressure was low and I was feeling dizzy at times. I also knew I was a bit anemic and didn’t have the energy I normally would have. I was also told to abstain from sex for about 4-6 weeks.

    If you have a second TURBT scheduled prior to the BCG I would think you’d be off work for at least until the end of July unless the doctor otherwise deems you fit enough. Some do go back to work after a few days but it depends on how you are and what type of job you have.

    As a veteran of 21 BCG treatments I will warn you that fatigue is a big factor for some. It was for me as was feeling like I had a hefty dose of flu for 2-3 days after each one. I wasn’t working for my first 6 week round so it didn’t matter but 2 years later when I had to do a repeat due to a reoccurrence I was working part time. Once I got back after the TURBT I informed my supervisor that based on previous experience I knew that I would need 3 days a week off. I took the day of treatment off and the following 2 days to allow myself to rest and recover. Some people have very little in the way of side effects. Unfortunately you won’t now until you get into it. My suggestion is clear your schedule as much as possible for the summer to allow yourself time to deal with this properly. If you are to proceed with BCG you generally start about 4-6 weeks after a TURBT. The wounds from the surgery have to heal first otherwise your bladder will suffer more inflammation from the drug. BCG in itself can cause inflammation in the bladder wall lining so the less injury to the bladder wall at the start the better.

    I would basically say the next 3-6 months are going to be a bit crazy but take your time and use the time to get well. I hope that my info has helped. Take care and keep us posted.

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