August kicked off with the joy of being back home for recovery, though I wasn’t quite as independent as I’d have liked to be. There were some tasks that while I could have done them myself, but they left me so tired and would take so long that I had Tiah help me with them. We had frequent visits to the hospital for blood work and consults, carefully monitoring my blood work to ensure the blood thinners were in a specific range.
My kidney function was not improving as quickly as the oncology doctor wanted to see, so I was sent back to the infusion center to get extra liquids in my system. Thankfully, after a week of that I met a target number and was able to end that. I was referred to a kidney doctor for a closer look though. With my kidneys getting closer to normal, the doctor began scheduling further testing.
The visit with the kidney doctor was a breath of fresh air. She reviewed everything leading up to the visit, as well as the testing she ordered, and didn’t have anything to be concerned about. The stats they look at for kidney function show me close to normal, and it’s possible my new normal is a bit higher than average, but that’s ok. It seems as though my kidneys might not return to 100% perfect, but they are good enough that there is nothing to worry about. The only thing to remember is any future medications need to take the reduced kidney function into account when determining a dosage.
Follow Up Tests
With the end of August approaching, we were hoping for more good news from the oncologist. The test results however, showed some things of moderate concern, and they began working on setting up appointments at Mayo in Rochester. The primary cause for concern was the remnants of the tumor around my stomach. It had shrunk from about 8 cm down to 5 cm, but with current technology, they don’t have a fool proof way to determine if what’s left still has cancer or if it’s just a fluid filled sac. They also wanted the Mayo lung doctors to have a closer look at my continued shortness of breath.
With that we were in a waiting game to see when we would be heading for Minnesota. The persistent cough was finally beginning to go away after two months as well. I had been living for weeks with tissues and a spit cup near me at all times and that was getting to be less necessary too. Less frequent naps were bringing more normalcy to the days as well. Also in August, I was able to celebrate my birthday with burgers and a Blizzard Cake, courtesy of my wife’s family. Tiah even arranged for some friends to join us for the evening. All in all, August mellowed out as the month of recovery went by, but there remained anxiousness for the unknown of what we would find at Mayo.