Thursday, November 18, 2010

Little Kidney: 1, BK Virus: 0

BK Virus: 0 copies in last two blood serum tests.

It looks like the antiviral forces of Cidofovir and Leflunomide have scored at least a temporary knock-out of the BK Virus. I don't know whether the BK can come back, I guess that's the next area of inquiry, but for now it's gone. The test was taken Tuesday before my last Cidofovir infusion. As of now, no more infusions are scheduled. For the time being I will stay on Leflunomide. My next appointment at the Clinic is in two weeks, so some of these questions should be answered at that time. As usual I didn't think of these questions while at the Clinic yesterday morning. (I never think of questions while I'm with doctors, they always come later, just like smart things to say in conversations at parties!")

The next step is to see if the kidney recovers from the ravages of the viral inflammation. Creatine was 3.5 yesterday, up from 3.1 a month ago. My blood pressure has been running high the last couple of months, that can't have been helping. I have new dosages of meds to control that problem. Remember that the main side effect of Cidofovir is its toxic effect on the kidney. I'm hoping that stopping the infusions will gradually allow the kidney to recover. Another topic to investigate.

But for now, I'll take a deep breath, smile and relax.

One more thing for which to be thankful next Thursday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beginning Year 3 Post Transplant

It was between verses of the last hymn Sunday as we (the choir) stood alongside the congregation that I realized that I had just passed the second anniversary of my transplant. It was strange that I hadn't been aware of the date as the first anniversary had been such a huge emotional event for me. It's not that I just forget about it, but rather that being a transplant recipient has become an integral part of the natural fabric of my life.

So rather than look back a second anniversary, I will look ahead to beginning year 3.

Besides, the big date this year was turning 60 a few weeks ago. Ouch, that hurt. 60 might be the new 50 and that's middle age, but 70 is next and that just damned old!

BK Virus is still the medical news. The number of copies in the serum tests have been as high as 3150 and the last number was 650, a new low. Had a Cidofovir infusion today and will repeat in two weeks before I see the doctor again and get results. They also doubled my leflunomide prescription to see if we can get this thing eradicated. 

Yikes, the nurse today was so stiff. Today was the third infusion he's administered and the second in two weeks. Yet he never smiled or showed any sign of recognition. Jeez! I work retail and remember customers and I see way more customers than he sees patients! Other nurses greet me by name so it doesn't seem so unreasonable...

Anniversary also means it's time for a Glofil test.  Glofil gives a detailed look at the Glomular Filtration Rate which is the ultimate measure of kidney function. Hydration is the name of the Glofil game. Preparation involves drinking water until it's leaking out your ears and then ingesting an Iodine stain and receiving an injection of radioactive sodium iothalamate. Then as you drink more water over the next three hours, blood draws and urine collections measure how well the kidney filters the solution out of the blood. Dallas Transplant administers the test several times during the first year post transplant, then it's done on an annual basis after that. I'll get the results when I go back to the clinic in a couple of weeks.