Thursday, August 25, 2011

The good, the great, and the ugly.

Well, I've got good news, I've got GREAT news, and I've got sorta sucky news.  Normally I'd start with the great news, but since the great news requires you to understand the sucky news, I'll start with that one.

Short recap: insurance was denying the PET scan that Dr. Le (my oncologist) was requesting.  PET scan is the thing that checks for cancer.  Insurance said "No.  Only every 6 months, not every 3."  So, they were going to have to do a CT scan instead.  The problem with a CT scan is that it requires 2 things: drinking the most God-awful concoction that I have ever had, and then putting a contrast dye into my bloodstream.  Last time I tried to get this done (b.c.  haha!  Before cancer!  I'm so witty...) they couldn't do the intravenous contrast dye because my creatinine level was too high.  (Creatinine level measures basic kidney function.)  When they did the CT last time, it felt kinda pointless since the scan only showed a "thickening of the walls" in my small intestine.  That's it?!?!  For that massive tumor in my intestine, all it showed was a thickening of the walls?!?!  If that's all it can do without the contrast dye, I'll pass. But they were still telling me that this was the only test I could have.   However, they decided to double check, see how my creatinine was doing. So that's where we left off last time... Prayer to get approval for a PET scan. 

The sucky news is that my creatinine was significantly high.  My Nephrologist immediately ordered a 24 hour urinalysis.  I got to collect my pee for 24 hours.  Ewwww.... So, I got the call today about how that had gone.  Conclusion? My kidneys are only functioning at somewhere between 40%-50%.  Not renal failure, but not great either.  Of course I immediately googled what percentage renal failure was.  It is around 20%.  When it is approaching that, they start talking about dialysis and transplants.  I've already had 3 family members offer a kidney:)  My family rocks.  I feel VERY loved!  Next step: I am going in Monday morning to have an ultrasound of my kidneys.  Not sure what that does.  From what I remember last time I had that done (sometime in high school), the left one is sorta shriveled and gimpy.  I guess it's just a matter of finding out how much gimpier it has gotten since then.  

So, the good news is that the doctor that the kidney doctor who normally takes 6 months to see is fitting me in next Wednesday!!! Eaaaarly... (before school.  I'm sure I'll be all bright eyed and bushy tailed for class... cough... sarcasm...) On one hand, it's pretty awesome that he is getting me in so soon!  On the other hand... Should I be concerned that he's jumping on this so fast?  In my past experience, when they rearrange their schedule for you, it's not a good sign... But for now, I'll just chose to think it's because he likes me so much.

The GREAT news is that after haggling with insurance about how I can't have the full CT scan because of my kidneys, they have agreed to let me have the PET scan!!! Wooohoooo!! No nasty barium!!  I'm pretty stoked about that.  That will take place, also eaaaarly tomorrow morning.  (like be there by 6:30).

Between now and next Wednesday afternoon, I have 4 doctors appointments, and 2 procedures.  Phew!  It'll be a busy week!  Thank God for modern medicine!!