There’s no two ways about it – chemo saved my life. I will never forget having an ultrasound when I was half way through my chemo treatment and being told that my tumour had gone. It was an emotional day.
But we all know chemotherapy is a double edged sword. It damages the happy, good cells as well as the evil, cancery ones. I knew that there may be a price to pay for pumping my body full of poison, but I hoped I’d get away with it.
Back in March, just a month after starting chemo, my kidney function deteriorated. The consultants were hoping that once chemo was over and done with everything would settle down and return to normal. It’s now been 6 months since my last infusion and unfortunately my kidney function is still rubbish. I feel fine. I don’t feel ill at all. But my blood tests tell a different story.
My nephrology consultant told me today that he thinks the kidney damage is permanent. There is no treatment. There is no cure. But before you all panic – it’s ok. There’s no reason why I can’t lead a full, normal life with my knackered kidneys. They are working well enough.
There’s a (small) chance the kidney problems are being caused by a separate, underlying (and maybe even treatable) problem, so I’ve agreed to have a kidney biopsy so that we can be sure about what’s going wrong. It doesn’t sound like much fun but nothing compared to what I’ve already been through.
I can’t pretend I’m not a bit fed up about all this. I just want it all to be over and it’s not. Not yet. And actually the reality is that it won’t ever be. Not totally. Unless the biopsy shows something that other tests haven’t revealed then my shoddy kidneys will need regular check ups and hospital visits.
But while I am feeling a bit sad about this i am definitely not losing sight of the bigger picture. Last year, if I’d had the benefit of hindsight, I would have made exactly the same choices and treatment decisions. Let’s be honest, living with the damage chemo has caused has to be way better than the alternative! Without that chemo I may not be here now. So I stand by every one of the words I wrote the day I found out the tumour had gone and I will be forever thankful for the poison that saved my life. ❤️