Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whew! A busy week, but a good one.

We just got internet back today after our move this week, so I can give you an update from Wed.'s Dr. visit. And it is good news: Glenn's kidney function has gotten even better. It had gotten down to 9% function and went to 11%, then 15%, and now 19%! We don't know why, but the Dr. is even more convinced it's because there is something else going on to cause the function to drop besides the original diagnosis of Light Chain Deposition Disease and that it is responding to the chemo. Probably the only way to find out is to do another kidney biopsy, but the nephrologist doesn't want to do that if not absolutely necessary because Glenn has already had two kidney biopsies and the neph. Dr. said it's with the third one that he has seen problems with bleeding in his experience. But whatever it is, the Oncologist in G'ville is very pleased at the improvement.
Glenn also had a consultation with the vascular surgeon and he will be having surgery to have  an access placed. It takes about 4 months for it to be ready to be used (for dialysis) and we don't want to have emergency dialysis if that scenario occurs. We, (the Drs. and we) want to be ready for it when it becomes necessary. That was about to happen when his function was at 9%. That's why the Dr told us at that time to come back prepared to be admitted. But it did get a little better at the next visit so we were able to hold off. God has been so good to Glenn with not having to go on dialysis. That is his prayer and what he has been requesting people to pray for. As I have mentioned before, he has been feeling better, so he is working on getting a program on the radio again and feeling like he can be useful in some way.
 I am soooo glad our move is over. This was probably the hardest move I personally have done, physically. You would think it would be the easiest since we were only moving about two blocks away. But I think that's one reason it was the hardest, since we did it over three days instead of one grand move. Glenn can't lift much at all so I did 90% of the moving, and Thursday the muscles came and did the heavy furniture. My lesson learned is to just do it all in one day when I have the strong people to move things. Between moving Tues., Wed., and Thurs., and going to G'ville Wed. and Fri. and staying up till 2:30 putting the kitchen together, I was so exhausted that I didn't get up today until 2:30 this afternoon. And did it ever help! We still have a mess to get organized. We don't have as much space as we moved from so it's creating a problem trying to arrange the furniture in a functional way. Even Glenn, the logistics major, hasn't figured it out yet. Still, I am glad the moves are over and we can settle in and feel at home now.
We go back to G'ville this coming Wed. to have his labs done because some of it isn't up to what it should be and is, in fact, continuing to fall, so the Dr. wants to check it and see what it does this week. So, I'll be back after that visit to fill you all in. Thank you for hanging in there with us.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

oops, sorry I've been away so long.

Wow! I did not realize it's been so long since I made an entry here. Again, no news is good news. Glenn has continued to feel better and has gotten the itch to work and to have a radio program again. Problem is that he can't really make commitments because we don't know how he will be doing at any given time. He's working on a couple things, though, that don't require a commitment of time.
We get the keys to our next place this Tuesday afternoon so we can get all the stuff moved that I can move, which should be a lot. The big and heavy stuff we will get moved Thursday night when we can get the muscles over here. In the middle of that, on Wednesday Glenn has an appointment for chemo treatment in G'ville. So we've had a week "off" and now the busy week begins, which I am glad to be entering. I feel so useless when we don't have anything planned.
That's about all there is to tell you today. I'm sure there will be more to report after our G'ville visit, but I don't know when I'll be able to get to share anything with you since we will be in the middle of moving as well. So be patient and I'll report to you as soon as I can.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Our visit to Shands-G'ville today was encouraging. Glenn's labs showed that his kidney function improved again! Now he is on the cusp between stage 4 and stage 5 (renal failure). The oncologist thinks there is something else going on with the kidneys besides the Light Chain Deposition Disease that was damaging his kidneys and that the chemo is what is causing the kidneys to improve the way they are. Glenn is being referred to a nephrologist there at Shands-G'ville for that reason and to get him ready for the dialysis accesses to be done there. That way the accesses can hopefully have time to heal before they have to be used. When Glenn does have to go on dialysis, he can have it done locally, we're pretty sure. We really like, and are very confident in his nephrologist here, but he agrees it wouldn't hurt to get another set of eyes on all this.
Glenn will continue to have chemo every three to four weeks indefinitely and has to stay on steroids as well.  He continues to feel pretty well and his energy level has improved so that he doesn't have to rest most of the day like he used to. We are so retired people: we like to go to the grocery store and we have opinions about which ones we like to go to. We go together everywhere, just about, esp since we are a one-car family now. That has really worked out well. He lets me have a "me-day" whenever I need it to just go off by myself as long as I want for the day.  I find it sooo refreshing to do that. I usually wander around malls and other stores aimlessly, and treat myself to something good to eat. :-)  So it needs to be when we have a few extra dollars. Actually, thinking about it,  I'm about ready for one again.
Got your message, Dr D.S. Thank you for letting me know that you are keeping up with this regularly.
I want all of you to know that your prayers and encouragement have been the reason Glenn is doing so well. So keep up the good work!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rolling the ball along

Thought I'd fill you in while today's activities are still fresh in my head. Glenn had his first visit at the VA. I have to say they lived up to their reputation with me: not good. Glenn says they were actually more efficient than he expected. I say they move cattle well. The Dr. was not at all impressive, which was a disappointment because I had heard that the Dr.s were better than they used to be. But, sadly, not here. Anyway, we will be able to get his Rx's for cheap. The rest of the care is yet to be determined.
At any rate, we also saw the nephrologist today. We gave him the G'ville oncologist's cell phone number, which I had saved when he had called once a while back and the neph. called him right then while he was with us in our appt. They are putting together a plan to get Glenn's fistula and peritoneal catheters placed soon. Finally we've got the ball rolling with that. I hope we will have specifics Wednesday when we go to G'ville for his next appt. there.
Aside from that, we got a definite date when we will be moving to our "permanent" house: Feb. 23, a Thursday. We have to be out of here by that date because they've got to get it ready for new residents to move in by the 1st. At this point we can't get into the next place any earlier than the 23rd but I'm hoping that will change and we can at least move boxes ahead of the move date. But it's all good. We'll be settled soon.
Thanks everyone for your faithfulness in following us. You're the wind beneath our wings!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Busy agenda this week.

Tomorrow Glenn has a long day: VA appts at 7:30am and 1pm, then nephrologist appt at 3:45. The good thing about this schedule is that we are able to consolidate two days of appts into one. So now we will only be out at appt.s two days instead of three this week. He has an oncologist appt Wed in G'ville. So two long days but that's ok. I'm glad he get to see Dr.s now. I talked to the nephrologist this week to see if he would talk to the G'ville oncologist to maybe set up a plan to get Glenn's dialysis accesses placed, whether it is a peritoneal catheter placed or a fistula, or both. He wants to do pd (peritoneal dialysis) so he will also have to have the fistula placed as a back up source dialysis to be able to do hemodialysis if something goes wrong with the pd cath.  He's feeling pretty good, except that the steroids make him feel weird, (no smart remarks from any of  you please. I know it's a huge temptation [pqb]).
 We are off to our Super Bowl party now. Good food and fellowship. Who cares who wins?!