Friday, October 19, 2012

Repeat of test showed improvement.

The repeat of the blood test for creatinin showed a drop from 2.3 to 2.1 so we're good for now. But I'm scheduled for another test in only 3 months.

Relieved? Yes we are. Thank you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Surviving a Neo-Bladder

I just got the results from my blood tests (we had hoped that this was all that was needed for my latest post-surgical checkup).  But the tests show that my creatinine level has risen from where it had been since the surgery to something a little higher. I will re-test in a week to verify and then my surgeon/urologist may want to meet and talk things over.

My friend called again to tell me he is still contending with tubes, nephrostomy bags, stents, fevers, antibiotics, office procedures, and hospital stays while the doctors scramble to solve his declining kidney function.  You will recall that we met when he was in the hospital recovering from this same surgery while I was recovering from mine. A few weeks ago he went in for follow up tests and his creatinine levels had spiked (much more than mine). [See 'Are You Kidney-ing Me?' blog entry]

Now that I have learned that my levels have started to go up - after being steady for 2 years - I am a little scared. I've looked around the Internet for information on kidney problems following Neo-Bladder and found a study which concluded that a rise in creatinine levels is normal after this surgery. [click here to view article] It also found an increase in occurrence of hydronephrosis (ie. problems with the kidneys).
"A relatively large number of patients developed hydronephrosis. Five [out of 31 patients studied ] were related to stricture of the distal ureter and another with suspected upper tract recurrence. Our stricture rate was 17.9%; most authors report a lower stricture rate between 1% to 8.5%..."
This study only followed 31 patients over one year period after surgery. It sites a lack of long-term data. I'll keep looking ...

I've already been treated for this in my left kidney and now I'm afraid I will need the same for my right. Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, we're getting a great, soaking, two-day rain here in Madison, Wis. We'd have given a lot for one of these this past summer. This will help recover our reserves for next year's growing season.