Renal Cell Live!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Like Mother, Like Daughter

"Her kidneys are failing. Blood tests showed high levels of creatinine and BUN, indicating that the kidneys aren't working efficiently anymore. As waste products build up in her system we'll see more frequent episodes of the confusion that you saw yesterday. She's also pretty severely anemic. There are several causes of anemia, and most are associated with kidney failure. Chiefly, the kidneys secrete a hormone, erythropoietin, that stimulates red blood cell production in the bone marrow. As they fail the red blood count falls."

The doctor looked up at this point and said, "But I don't really have to describe all these symptoms to you, do I?"

The doctor in this case is our vet Dr. Randy, and "she" is my darling little Maggie. We've known Dr. Randy for as long as we've lived in the area; he and his partners have taken care of six housecats and probably 20 strays that have ended up in our hands over the years. We know them very well, and they know us equally well. So they all know about my cancer and the attendant problems I've had.

We can expect probably to lose our baby in the next 8-12 weeks. Fortunately I'm home most of the time to keep an eye on her. If she gets confused or panicked, I put her in my bathroom where there's a litter box, food and water, and her favorite afghan; she responds well to being in a confined space with familiar objects. When I have to leave the house for extended periods of time I'll leave here in there with the door shut so that she keeps calm and I'll know where she is when I get home.

I know that my Blogger profile says I have no children but that is a lie. My children wear fur coats and are eternally two years old, and give their love unconditionally. How ironic that she's experiencing some of the same problems I have myself. Given my most recent post, this is doubly ironic - I talked with Dr. Randy after posting. What wouldn't I give to be able to stop her deterioration? Would I share my own drugs with her? I can't, but I wish I could. The nurses at the James clinic would probably love her, but I doubt she would return the feeling; she only really loves her Mom and Dad.

Each one we lose leaves a hole in my heart.



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