So.......Terence ended up not having the surgery yesterday- re-scheduled for next week. It was an odd appointment. Most likely not odd for medical researchers on "clinic day", but definitely odd for normal people like us.
To start the day, we had his labs drawn. His creatnine count came down, showing that is ONE kidney(the left one) is doing good and it is draining and flowing well (Terence had a bypass done on that one; he has an external bag connected to his kidney which comes out of his back called a 'nuphrostomy'). His right kidney seems to have almost no function, no drainage; this is the kidney they were planning on focsuing on yesterday.
Since his labs show that his left kidney is doing what it needs to for his body to function, they said he doesn't need to have the bypass done on the other (right) kidney.
Terence said, "What happens if I don't get it done? Will my kidney die?". Answer- "Well, your right kidney already has so much dead tissue....and isn't functioning. But you can get the nuphrostomy tube put in....it won't make it healthier, it will just keep it from dying. It's a matter of quality of life. If you have the tube in, it's uncomfortable and hard to live with two tubes......you will have them for a long time, probably the rest of your life....."
Terence: "why would I voluntarily allow my kidney to die for the sake of inconvenience?" Answer: "well, you don't really need it, and it's an painful procedure and difficult to live with".
So this is palliative care. The goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering and provide the best possible quality of life for people facing pain, symptoms and stresses of serious illness. It is a treatment philosophy that is not meant to cure, because you are not expected to live very long.
Wait, what? How does your brain (and heart) process this?????? Tough to swallow. So we're not. That means we've chosen the road less traveled: the rough(er) one.
Terence decided not to let the right kidney die and to have the bypass. "It goes against everything I believe. I am fighting to live, and to let something in me die (by choice) just seems wrong"- he said.
So, he scheduled for the procedure next Wednesday. The thought is that this procedure is not considered urgent since his L kidney is already doing the work), so it could wait a week, giving him more time to heal and learn how to live with one nuphrostomy.
His PSA rose 40 points, so, hough he's still taking the Abiraterone "ABBY", it may only be for another week. Between this PSA rising and the cancer progression, he will start the next round of chemo within the next 14 days: Cabazitaxol/Jevtana.
I think his kidneys need a break before he jumps right in to chemo.
So, yesterdays visit was another blow to our hearts- the reality of palliative care hurts. The doctors assumption that the cancer will take you out. Perhaps that's the facts they read on the reports, but Terence and I need to focus on truth and life. The truth is that we believe that with men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. And Life? We choose life. No matter what. Otherwise fear and hopelessness will do us in quicker than the cancer will.
So......we are doing well. Overcoming a little discouragment, but the Lord's grace is more than sufficient for us: we are feeling it and are seeing it in ways that we never would if it were not for this rugged road we travel.