Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 2016

A long overdue update! Overall, John is doing very well.

Many people with kidney failure develop issues with the parathyroid gland.The main purpose of the hormone produced by this gland is to keep phosphorous and calcium levels consistent in the blood. Among other things, phosphorous and calcium regulate blood vessels, bones, and heart function.John takes phosphorus binders with every meal, and is taking Sensipar to get his hormone level in check. He has responded well to both of these medications and his recent blood tests show that phosphorous and calcium are within desired levels.

Recently John began passing some urine (which really should NOT happen because he has NO kidney function) At times there was blood in the urine.The urologist checked for bladder cancer and found none. He ordered a CT scan of the abdominal are and the radiologist saw a problem in the transplanted kidney--the one that just failed. He named it 'cancer', which was a surprise for us because kidney cancer has not been on our radar.We went to the Beth Israel Transplant Center in Boston for a second opinion and a treatment plan.They wanted to take the kidney out immediately, so the transplant surgeon removed it on March 16.The pathology report is cancer. John's immune system was attacking the kidney, and it was bleeding and deteriorating.Now he's down to 3 kidneys, none of them working. Hope to add a functioning kidney soon!

The squamous cell carcinoma battle continues, new spots are developing. This respite from immunosuppressant drugs while on dialysis should have slowed the cancer a bit, but he is still checked every few months. He has lesions removed every 3-6 months.

This week brought pneumonia, John thinks it may have been brewing since the March 16 surgery. Hope that the antibiotic kicks in quickly.