Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A whole (somewhat) new ballgame

With The Boy doing as well as he has been doing since the Thanksgiving fiasco, it's been easy to sit back and think that he's a normal kid with some weird private activities, namely spending a week a month at the Hotel St. Barnabas for some quality time with Grandma. It's months like this that we're snapped back into the very, very cold reality of the fact that my son is desperately ill. Not only that, but it's easy to focus on the whole cancer thing and to forget that he's a kidney patient, also.

As Dr. Rifkin said, way long ago, we are truly choosing our poison. Either we're risking that the cancer is going to kill him now, or we're risking that chemo side effects will give him leukemia or some other nasty cancer later, or we're risking that the chemo and radiation will demolish his remaining kidney and give him dialysis or someone else's kidney at some point between 2010 and 2045. Yes, there's a small chance that he could get through with no cancer side effects and no major lifelong kidney side effects, but there's also a chance that the Kansas City Royals will win the World Series this year.

(For the non-baseball fans, that means the chance is less than or equal to a snowball's chance in h-e-double-hockey-sticks.)

The Boy is on three drugs right now, designed to keep his hypertension under control. Hypertension is caused by the kidneys, of course, because the kidneys regulate blood pressure. Kidney distress like The Boy's = high blood pressure, and The Boy's BP has been dangerously high at points over the past week or so. He's taken them somewhat willingly, for the most part, although last night he fought a bit.

We had to buy a home blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on The Boy. It's somewhat comparable to the hospital numbers; not lifesaving accurate, but accurate enough that if it spikes or dips we can alert the authorities. Scary, no?

He's home, and they got home around 9:30 last night. He'll be back at the Valerie Fund Center at 9, and likely spend the day there today and tomorrow. They need to Foley catheterize him on Thursday, and we need to collect a full day's worth of urine to check for protein accumulation. Yum yum - dumping The Boy's pee into a jar, while he wears a big straw stuck up his urethra. Gotta love it.

But, at least he'll get to play on his swingset today. That's very, very important. And, it was REALLY nice to get to snuggle with my whole family last night at bedtime, even if The Boy is still a Momma's Boy right now.

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