Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One week post-onset of dialysis

You wouldn't believe how skinny Glenn is now. He lost at least 25 lbs. of water in a week from dialysis,  which is really too much too fast. It has really taken a lot of energy out of him. And with his abdomen being full all the time he hasn't been able to eat as much as he used to. I wish I knew how to post pictures on here so you could see. His arms and legs are like skin and bone. His abdomen is only big because he has 2 liters of extra fluid in it all the time. We were very grateful that the nephrologist told him he could cut down to infusing 2 liters instead of 2.5. That last 500cc was extremely uncomfortable and caused him pains. He is feeling better after each exchange (of fluids) now.
We had 2 of the 3 kids here for Father's Day, and one of them, our daughter, fixed a wonderful dinner for all four of us. And our other son called to wish him a happy Father's Day. He had a nice day with them.
Today we went to G'ville for his usual visit. Long story short, the Dr. decided to wait for 6 more weeks to start Glenn on chemo again. (I think we would have gone back sooner but the Dr. is going to his home country of Israel for a month). He felt like Glenn's numbers are pretty good and he will check the "markers" when we go back to see if anything has changed. The markers are the lab values used to assess the status of his disease. His blood counts were good today, but his chemistry, specifically his potassium, was very low so he got some by IV. His blood pressure has dropped quite a bit and he can hold off on his blood pressure meds for a while and we will monitor it until we go back to the nephrologist in a couple weeks. Hopefully we will just be in a holding pattern for the next few weeks while he gets the dialysis under control. And hopefully he will be on the all night dialysis by the time we go back to G'ville. He had to do a fluid exchange while  we were there today, which is the process of his dialysis. He has to do it 4 times a day and we were there quite a while so we had brought along his supplies to do an exchange. Worked out well because they gave him a room with a bed so he could lay down for a while, since he was feeling really drained, (no pun intended!)
So that's where we are on this Wednesday, the 20th of June. Hopefully the next entries here will be very  boring and unevent-filled.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A new era

I am so sorry it's been so long. I thought I had made an entry last week when Glenn  saw the nephrologist and oncologist. Sorry.
The neph. basically said it's time for dialysis. We'll be seeing him once a month now. The oncologist was going to start Glenn on a maintenance chemo schedule but Glenn wasn't feeling well that day so he decided to wait a couple weeks and give him some more time to heal from the surgery. So we go back in a week to start on that. It will be pills every other day. I'm curious/concerned to see what kind of effect this new chemo will have on him. It's good he's had this time off of chemo for a while. The oncologist gave us a good report of the bone marrow biopsy. He says that Glenn is close to remission. One of the numbers needs to come down some more. Oh, I should also tell you that the oncologist said that if Glenn can go into remission and stay that way he can be eligible for a kidney transplant. That's the first time he's ever given Glenn hope for a transplant. The disease he has would attack a new kidney so that's why he hasn't been eligible for a transplant until now. Well, not now, but there's hope for that now.
Today Glenn had his first peritoneal dialysis training. He had one cycle. It is basically filling the abdomen with a fluid that will draw out the waste in the blood that the kidneys can't now. That stays in for a few hours, then he empties that and fills again. Right now he will be doing that 4 times a day. After about a month he will be able to do night dialysis where a machine does it for him while he sleeps. That way he has his days open. We are looking forward to when it starts helping him feel better. I don't know, yet, what kind of effect the dialysis will have on the chemo, or the chemo on dialysis. Tomorrow we go back again for more training, and again the next day. After that, we are on our own. Glenn was extremely apprehensive about today, understandably. But he did real well and did all the steps the nurse showed him to do. I was quite surprised because I thought he would  want me to learn it and eventually teach him, but the nurse gave the instructions directly to him and he took it on. The only thing that really bothers him still is having that tube sticking out of his abdomen. Doing the procedure didn't seem to bother him. He hasn't been able to take a real shower since the surgery, but in about a week or so he will get to again. The surgery sites have to heal completely first.
Going through today really wore us both out. Glenn's was mostly from being so tense about dialysis starting today. Mine was probably from being anxious for him. And there was a lot of learning we had to do and that in itself is exhausting. All that is to say that I'm going to bed now!