It feels like I’ve been waiting for the results of my kidney biopsy for soooo long. It’s been almost 2 months since I had the procedure and I knew I wouldn’t find out the results until yesterday’s consultant appointment – so I managed to push it to the back of my mind. Cancer has taught me many lessons but one I’m trying to learn to is not to worry about health matters until there’s something to worry about. I live each day on the assumption that I’m cancer free, fit and healthy – to do anything else would drive me crazy. So anyway, I haven’t allowed myself to worry about my results. But as I sat in the hospital waiting room (for over an hour!) I did begin to feel a bit queasy. My imagination ran wild and I could feel the panic bubbling away. To be honest I always feel like this waiting for any consultant appointment now and I doubt that will ever change.
When Dr Oh told me I have untreatable, stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease as a result of chemotherapy damage my heart sank. It sounded like I should have worried after all! But he was quick to reassure me that it sounds worse than it is. So as my mind was racing forward to how I would live my life on dialysis and wondering how to get on the transplant list he was explaining that my kidney function is stable, blood pressure fine and there’s no protein in my urine. These are all positive signs and he fully expects my kidney function to stay stable.
In fact, he discharged me – there’s nothing more he can do for me. It’s all down to me now. I need to live a healthy life. So now I have to:
- watch my weight – I always have have done!
- eat healthily – I need to work at this. I’m fairly sure skipping lunch because I’m too busy and saving my dinner calories for wine isn’t classed as healthy eating!!!
- not smoke – I don’t.
- stay within recommended alcohol limits – despite having a very healthy social life I mostly do stay under the recommended 14 units of alcohol a week. This week *may* have been an exception!
- exercise – yep I’m already back on the treadmill to try and keep the cancer away!
- keep my blood pressure in check- it is fine right now and I’ve never had a problem with it. I probably should work on my stress levels though!
- avoid ibuprofen
- cut back on salt
- keep my fingers crossed that I’m not one of the unlucky minority that goes on to develop kidney failure – my fingers, toes and anything else crossable are permanently crossed anyway!
Having CKD puts me at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart disease. But thankfully, there’s no sign of that yet. This is just another reason to look after myself.
It’s not great. But I’ve so much to be thankful for. I’m still here for one! The CKD could be worse. My kidney function is currently sitting at 45% – it has a long way to deteriorate before dialysis becomes necessary (15%). Even with the benefit of hindsight I would have followed exactly the same breast cancer treatment plan and fully accepted the resulting kidney damage.
No regrets ❤️