Thursday, August 10, 2006

So Much News

Venita's Birthday

Today is Thursday, August 10, 2006, V's 54th birthday. She gets to celebrate it out without her final infusion of chemo (see the previous post). This was slightly disappointing because Cindy (an FDMB member) was going to come up and play her cello in the chemo room for a couple of hours.

Family Visit

V's brother Les and his wife Donna left Tuesday after a week-long visit. It was fabulous to have them here.

Les has MS, and he and V were able to share the trials and stumbles of having peripheral neuropathy. Unfortunately, Les's neuropathy is permanent whereas V's is chemo induced and she is expected to fully recover. Because of their troubles walking and the heat for most of the visit, we did no "fun" things like the zoo or gardens.

As Donna likes to say, Les is handy as a shirt pocket. Despite his MS, Les did numerous jobs from V's honey-do list. Among his achievements was the installation of two ceiling fans. The one in V's bedroom (with a remote control) is just the ticket for a woman with chemo-induced hot flashes.

We ate like crazy during the week, which made V very happy after her recent bouts with inappetance and mouth ulcers. Donna is a fabulous cook. Les is on a diet for his MS that involves little to no fat and no red meat. So while Les would eat main courses like crab legs, the rest of us would get a little of that together with our red meat. Yum.

The only downside of the visit was V's strong attraction to Les and Donna's cigarettes. But she held strong, and today marks 5 months of being smokefree.

Ennis's Diabetes and Max's CRF

Ennis and Max saw the vet last week.

Ennis is currently at diabetic blood glucose levels. Vet confirmed that Ennis has severe periodontal disease. He had a dental cleaning with several extractions in April, and there is nothing right now to "dental." Vet said some of his patients with this condition need periodic antibiotics (maybe quarterly) to push down the infection. Ennis has now had a 5 day course of ABs. That has reduced his BG levels, but he is still on insulin.

Max is diabetic, but not currently needing insulin shots. He has advanced from "early chronic renal failure" 6 months ago to god-awful official CRF. Urine specific gravity 6 months ago 1.030; now 1.017. Urine draw from cyscocentesis was almost clear. He's lost another 1.5 lbs in the last 6 months; down to 12 and 1/4 pounds.

Venita was told about early CRF 6 months ago, given certain meds, and told to change Max's diet to lower protein and phosphorus. He's been taking the blood pressure medicine regularly (and he did have a reduced BP), and V only got with the potassium gluconate and the derm caps liquid (fatty acid) supplements a few months ago. She bought the new food 5 months ago, but never pushed it because she got caught up with her own health problems. Vet said no subQ fluids yet.

Venita will be "consulting" with Julie because her diabetic Smokey also has CRF at about the same stage as Max. V chatted with Julie today and she has done alot of research on CRF foods and fluids.

Surgery Scheduled

The left breast mastectomy/expander implant is currently scheduled for September 22. That date was selected based on the expectation that there would be a chemo infusion today. Without that, the surgeons may be able to move the surgery back two weeks. V will try to remember to call today for a reschedule.


Alice said...

First of all Happy Birthday to you. So glad the visit went well and you ate well. Glad the chemo is over.Also glad you're still off the cigs. Sorry about Ennis's FD and Max's CRF. I hope they both feel better soon. I will be sending my good thoughts you way for the upcoming surgery.

Love Alice

julie said...

we will get through this damn CRF together just like we did with FD...our boys are fighters and we will figure it out so they can be here many more years!