The daily hydration therapy worked! Mom saw Dr. T from Targeted Therapy today, and she (the doctor) actually smiled! She’s Greek and kind of pinched looking to begin with, and last week she was very grave when she said we had to try to “salvage the kidneys” but her forehead didn’t look quite as frowny today.

Mom’s creatanine level was 1.2, which is one tenth of a point away from her baseline, which they established right before she started taking the study drug. This is the good news that caused the nice Greek doctor to smile. Dr. S, the kidney doctor, would be very happy, too. He was glad the creatanine level had decreased when we saw him last Thursday but disappointed it had not gone down more. (He is a very nice Indian man and the Chief of the Nephrology Department. He told us on Thursday that the Targeted Therapy doctor called him and pleaded with him to fit Mom in last week. We like him very much.)

Mom’s calcium level was 8 (woo-hoo!) and her potassium and phosphorous were up, although not high enough yet. Dr. T said she felt comfortable starting Mom back on the study drug but at 60 mg instead of 100. And Mom will have to continue with the potassium and phosphorous supplements and the hydration therapy at least 3 days a week. (She can drink a gallon of water on the other days. Which is a lot harder to do than it sounds. Although Mom did manage to do it yesterday!)

{You should see two elementary math teachers – Mom was a third grade math teacher, big time math! – trying to calculate how many cups are in a gallon and how many liters equal one gallon. There is a popular third grade math lesson called Gallon Guy/Gallon Girl that I’ve never taught but Mom taught a lot, and it is kind of a visual memory trick. That is, if you can remember it. (16 and about 4, if you want to know.) }

We are trying to get a  PICC line for her. Once we do that, it will be easier for her to receive treatments, and I think they can draw blood from it, too. We are also going to arrange for her to have the infusions at home. Which means I will have to learn how to change the dressing. Me, providing nursing care at home. Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy said you have to take a class and watch a video and then demonstrate that you can do it in front of the nurse before they will give you the supplies.  EGADS!!!

Mom had an infusion today (it’s just saline, no meds) that was scheduled to start at 7:00, but we stalked the study nurse and must have looked pitiful enough that she called the unit and got us in at 4:30. Then when we got there, the nurse said it was only going to be a 5 hour treatment. We were so happy!

{Did I mention how on Friday night the nurse programmed the computer incorrectly? How S got to MDA after dinner and found out that instead of 2 bags at 3 hours each the nurse input 2 bags at 6 hours each and now a 6 hour infusion was going to be a 9 hour infusion? No? Well, she did.}

So, it’s 11:47. Another long day, but soooooooo much better than last Monday’s long day! The weekend was a challenge, but Mom soldiered on (with a little prodding from her infantry) and managed to see AJ and our friend C in their matching yellow Easter dresses and eat some ham.

Isn’t that what Easter’s all about?

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