I wanted to take a minute to say that I am deeply grateful for all the support that I (and Denise) have received over the past few months. I have read every comment here, every e-mail, every post card that came via US post. I am so far behind in the showing of gratitude, that I know when I finally do feel well enough to write, that I will never catch up. So, please take this as a heart-felt thank you. I know Denise feels the same. This is a tough road to walk and I know that neither of us could have made it this far without this overwhelming support of our friends and family.
I will throw in a bit of news from today. My progress, speaking of symptoms, still seems too slow for me. I was able to walk about three miles today, in between episodes of cramping and diarrhea. I met with my team at the cancer center too. If things continue uneventful, I will be discharged back to Anacortes on July 12th. If a minor hiccup (such if the diarrhea has not slowed down by then) I may need to stay until the following week. If I were to get an infection, all bets are off. Please pray that I can avoid infections (the majority of stem cell transplant patients require a re-hospitalization due to infection). If things continue without a hiccup, this tunneling catheter in my chest will also be removed on my birthday, July 11th. That would be the greatest birthday present I’ve ever received.
The tunnel catheter was place in my chest as an emergency on January 17th at Peace Health Hospital in Bellingham. At that time, we did not know why my kidneys had failed, but I was in desperate need for dialysis to save my life. The thought at the time was that I would have the catheters for about 4 weeks. It turned into six months, six long months.
On that day in Jan (the 17th) the two main toxins (creatinine and BUN) were 12.5 and 156 respectfully. A normal creatinine should be below 1.2 and a BUN below 21. While I was doing dialysis, the best that we could get the toxins down to was a creatinine around 3.5-4.5 and a BUN of around 50-60.
Ten weeks ago we stopped dialysis. As of today, my creatinine is 2.4 and my BUN has been bouncing around 21-23 (yes, normal at times). This has been an unspeakable blessing, meaning that I’m done with dialysis for good. This not only gives me a much better chance for a quality of life, the ability to travel outside our immediate area, and a much better prognosis for surviving my cancer. Thanks so much for your prayers.