Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stage 3, Stage 4, Potato, Potahhhto...

Good Day, Readers,

I say good, because today, after a couple harder ones, it IS.

On Thursday I weaned down to 30 mgs/day of Pred, which is exactly half of what I started on back in late January and MAN did I feel it, both in the extreme fatigue dept, (felt like I had been hit by at least a Smart car, for two days).  Then there was the returned pain--in the the knees, (osteoarthritis), due surely to the ultimate anti-inflammatory drug that is Prednisone, decreasing in the ole system. Was creeping around like Mr. Magoo for many hours of the last two days.

Coupled with the physical down-ness of these past two days were the results of the latest blood tests I got back on Saturday.  Not good.  And by not good I mean a decreased kidney filtration rate enough to put my beans squarely back in the Stage 4 Kidney Disease saddle.  The other kidney-related numbers too were worse than that last test.

I can't lie and say that seeing those numbers didn't bum me out, but on the upside, at least all the electrolytes are still well within normal ranges and the lymphocytes too haven't taken any major hits since last time.

It must also be noted, (and thanks, P for doing so), that considering I'm on so much LESS prednisone, the fact that my kidney health is not much worse than it is is a positive.

I must also factor in that the previous tests that showed such improvement were done quite soon after a chemo session and this one last time, was done over two weeks since the last chemo.  No doubt, the next blood tests will fair better as they'll be done soon(er) after this Tuesday's coming chemo day.

All in all, I'm just real glad to at least so far today, (and it IS only noon), to be feeling pretty good and mostly painless.

Guess I just wanted to check in and share the ____news as of late.

Here's a pic of my bro's dog Bartly, simply because I love that sweet bastard and this pic makes me smile:
Guessing/hoping too that with each new wean down, the few days that follow will be a bit of a challenge but will hopefully get-used-able and the pain and fatigue of each adjustment will do a fade out with the passing time.  It's a learning process, bit by bit.

Funny as I've been more voracious than ever lately, hungry like the wolf MUCH more than I was back on 60 mgs of Prednisone/day.  Good thing I tend to snack on stuff like roasted green beans and rice cakes and berries.

It's great to be keeping active each day too, with long, fast Tony-walks.  It's important to strike when the iron's hot in the mornings when the Pred is still in my system.

Met a whole bunch of great dogs while hoofin' it 'round the river today.  I even met a charming English-speaking Dutch woman while on the trails and we exchanged numbers. The walks are as good for the spirit as they are for the ole ticker.

Oh, and in that dept, my blood pressure for the last month has been STELLAR.  Readings like 110/65@55bpm IN THE BED and BEFORE the meds of the day taken are the norm now and that's great to see.  My ankles have never been slimmer too.  Didn't realize there were so many bones in those things until now and I see clearly that they WERE very puffed up for a long time before the hospital crisis too.

Living, learning and healing.

'N that's all she wrote...


: J


Pascal said...

Yes this time the blood test results are a mixed bag, with some better wrapped in worse...

It had to be expected apparently, and from where I stand you're doing a great job keeping your fighting spirits up, ma grande! : )

(merci Bartley for the help btw) : D

Jude said...

A mixed bag of emotions about this, but I will definitely take the upbeat, positive side to heart. I guess it makes sense that you will be going through some osteo pain and having different readings at this point.

You will kick it's ass girl, I know you will. ((((hugs))))

Jude said...

Oh, and Bartly is adorable!!

Kirstine said...

Hey Nita,
I just tried to post a comment and then lost it..oh well, its just
'Juan of those days' I guess.

I'm so proud of you embracing your new lifestyle and diet, its something that took me a long time to see the benefits, but its worth it! I'm still working on eating better..
I stumbled across a good diet/food documentary. You may have already seen it! It really dives into the billion $$$ business of fad dieting, there are several peoples stories of changing their diets for health reasons and very interesting...thought you might like it, as it really shed some positive light on how important these changes are.
You can watch it for free from this link
Keep smiling, miss you
KB xxxx
PS. Love the pic of Bartles!

Juanita Grande said...

Isn't he, Jude? And SUCH a sweet and floppy guy too! There's a few great shots of he and I on my fb page if yer keen to check out more.

And thanks for your vibes, I'll take my positive side too, and try to remember to take it much easier when these days of extreme fatigue hit. Starting now, with a bath followed by a needed nap, it seems...


: J

Juanita Grande said...

Thanks for the link, KB-belle and for your support as usual. I'll check out that film likely tomorrow morning when my gas tank's closer to full.

In the mean time, always so glad to hear from you and best with your own eat-well goals and executions.

I miss you too and hope we can have another chinwag soon.

Give that Barty a big hug for me wouldya?

And of course, smeeches for you and the dear Fam,

: J

Barish said...

Hello J, give uz some Grande news ;)

Love and hellos de La Sublime Porte,



Unknown said...

Hey JG.
Was so glad to see the video of your great news about stage 3 and then this today...Ahhh Me! Well as the doctors used to say to me when my mum was ill with her heart,2 steps forward, 1 step back....but you will get there sweetie. We are all cheering you on with every post. Just something to note, I guess you probably already know this but I will mention it anyway, the puffy ankles thing is related to blood pressure. When it gets too high, your body retains water and your ankles swell, like as if you are dehydrated. I get it all the time when my pressure is high. The doctors gave me a fluid tablet with my BP meds to stop the swelling, trouble is then you are wanting to pee all the time. Glad you had a good walk with Tony. Dogs are the best medicine when you are down. Keep your chin up babe, things will get better. XOXOX Nene

Juanita Grande said...

Thanks, cher Nene and yes, I gotta remember, especially in times when its tough to heed my own advice and just take 'er juan day at a time.

As for the BP info, ta and yes, I was aware that edema is related to pressure, (that was actually a big part of the letter to my ex-GP I recently wrote as I'd been noting it for years and of course, being brushed off for years by him and his obviously not accurate method of taking BP a la man.)

A bit scary as it make me wonder just how HIGH the BP had beem and for how long preceding hospitalization.

Well, water 'n bridges now...

Off to walk my medicine ball!

Thanks for reading, Nene. Always warms my heart to know yer checkin' up on me.



Anonymous said...

I was a bit alarmed that you made it to stage 3 only to slide back a bit... I can't even imagine how you must have felt! Then I read on about the decreased prednisone -- considering the side effects that's a great improvement right there!

Focus on the day in the near future when you are in robust health and this all will be just an interesting story to tell -- you can do this!

Cheers, nobby