Today I met with the renal specialist. As is usually the case at UCIMC, an academic health care center, a resident met with me first to ask questions, review the results of the tests, examine me and discuss my diagnosis. Every time I learn that I have an additional condition, besides my stage 4 cancer, it feels confusing. On one hand, I think, well, compared to the cancer, this is not a big deal. On the other hand, with stage 4 cancer no one really needs any other complicating conditions. Now, with my type 2 diabetes and, as I found out today, chronic kidney disease, stage 3, I wonder how all those years of being healthy and disciplined with nutrition and fitness could result in my dealing with these issues now. Including the cancer. On the other hand with the damage from some of the treatment, I suppose had I not been as healthy as I was going into all of this, it could be a lot worse.
My kidneys are functioning at 45 percent of capacity. While far from optimum, it could be a lot worse. What I learned today was that damage to the kidneys is not repairable; once the damage is done, it remains. The only treatment is to avoid exacerbating the condition by eliminating any sources of further damage: NSAID pain medications, certain other drugs that put a burden on the kidneys (hydrochlorothiazide, which I take for my blood pressure, along with amlodipine which my PCP just discontinued), high levels of potassium and salt. It is best to avoid CT scans with contrast as they use iodine-based solutions, whereas MRI scans use gadolinium and are, therefore, less toxic.
I will do some research on sites that might be helpful for educating myself about this latest development. On a good note after feeling like I had caught a stomach virus yesterday and running a slight fever for a few hours, all the symptoms suddenly vanished last night before I fell asleep. Now I am just wiped out and ready to relax for the rest of the afternoon.
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