Maybe it's my choice of TV shows, but I always thought that acute renal failure was a cause of death that was listed on a death certificate, not something one could recover from, especially twice.
Apparently my kidneys are very vunerable now, weakened by 100+ doses of Avastin over almost 8 years and all the instances of proteinuria that has caused; by 40-50 CTs with IV contrast, especially those every-6-weeks scans like I've had since August 2012 while on the clinical trial; and by two separate instances of dehydration since the first of the year - one in January after my last IV contrast, and again in February with pneumonia. I had been fatigued and nauseous a lot lately, trying to drink enough, but having trouble keeping food down.
Anyways, got up last Thursday morning, stumbled to the restroom, and -- nothing. My kidneys had stopped working. I had a 9 a.m. appt for radiation, so I went on to that, and stopped by to see the radiation oncologist afterwards. He sent me straight to the emergency room. It took 3 days of pouring IV fluids into me to get any output from the kidneys. In the meantime, my body swelled so much my skin started to crack, and my creatinine rose to almost 9 (typically 0.9 for me). Finally things started turning around, although it took 8 1/2 days before I got to come home. The hospitalist, plus one nephrologist, wanted to put me on dialysis; the older and wiser nephrologist insisted we keep to the course and stick with the fluids a while longer.
I've never been that scared for myself before. Being in the hospital, and watching things go downhill those first few days was terrifying. My family and my priest kept me from going insane.
I'm not sure what's next for me. While in the hospital, I finished radiation treatments on the lung nodule that caused the pneumonia. Another 3 weeks and we'll do a scan (WITHOUT contrast) to see how things look. In the meantime, I'm getting blood work every week to keep an eye on kidney function, but I'm not pushing for them to run a CEA. Knowing that number won't change anything. Right now, my body isn't up to any treatment. The research onc and my onc had each previously talked about another trial, but I'm not sure if I would be allowed on one if I can't have scans with contrast now. My onc had also talked about returning to irinotecan, but with the severe nausea and diarrhea that it causes for me, I no longer think that is an option.
I tell friends and family that I have had my share of miracles over the years, and I truly believe that. Right now, though, my body needs rest and recovery before I can even contemplate what's next.
Best wishes to all, and prayers for pain-free times,
May 06 Stage IV CC: liver,ovarian mets
Oct 07 inoperable lung mets
Feb 08 - Apr'12 chemo
allergic to oxaliplatin, irinotecan
Aug '12-Feb'14 Genentech PD-L1/Avastin trial
Mar '14 -radiation to largest lung nodule
still recovering; looking at trials again