FREE Patient and Survivor Conference in Northern California!

Other Stuff, Part 2: Kidney Cancer

 

 

From the Kidney Cancer Association:

 

REGISTER FOR FREE NOW!

2015 Kidney Cancer Association
Patient & Survivor Conference – Northern California

Saturday, August 15, 2015
8:00am – 3:00pm

Stanford Cancer Center

875 Blake Wilbur Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94304

Agenda has been posted. Click here to register for FREE today!

Learn about the latest treatments for kidney cancer, clinical trials and nutrition.

This conference is open to all patients, survivors, caregivers and family members. There is no cost to attend.

 Click here to register!

Click here for a list of nearby hotels. 

Please contact help@kidneycancer.org with questions or for more information.

Starting Cardiac Rehab

cardiac-rehab-fairfax

 

It’s started finally!   Tuesday, March 26, 2013 was DH’s first day in Cardiac Rehab, just over 8 weeks post-op.  This was an “intake appointment”, and much longer than the normal ones will be.

We got to choose when the future class would be – either Monday-Wednesday-Friday at 7:00 am or Monday-Wednesday-Thursday at 1:00pm.  Anyone who knows me knows that I chose the afternoon class.  I just didn’t want to get up that early and have to deal with early morning rush hour each of those days.

Diana, the intake nurse was very nice – in fact, everyone we met was.

First things first – money.  We found out that his insurance would pay for most but that there would be a $15 copay each session.  However, we did get a parking voucher saving us $5 on the parking garage.

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: pennstatenews)

We got a packet of information on all kinds of things, including food guides – what to eat, what not to eat.  Hooray!

I noticed a poster showing the image (right) for choosemyplate.gov.  I looked at that site when it first came out – and I’m looking again!

Diana was the one who set up the class times, as well.

Next was Claire, a nurse.  She checked all the meds and vitamins that DH takes.  She said that saw palmetto interfered with one of  his prescriptions and she suggested we take the list to CVS so that they can look for other interactions.

She did an EKG,  checked pulse in several locations, looked at the  scar, checked blood pressure on both arms (sitting and standing), listened to the carotids.

BP was  136/64 right,   112/60 left,   119/70 standing left.

She made an appointment with the dietician for Wednesday April 17 at  2:30, after a rehab class.

Turns out that there are patient meetings on the second Tuesday of each month.  We’re getting very busy with patient meetings, Mended Hearts and rehab plus doctor appointments!

 

They were out of t-shirts his size so we got one that was very large.  Another one will be forthcoming…sometime.

These shirts are special because they have a pocket for the portable EKG machine over the heart in addition to the obligatory logo on the back.  As luck would have it, DH was wearing a t-shirt with a pocket.

DH was hooked up to the EKG.  I gathered that he’ll do that himself in the future.

Next up – Shelly, an exercise physiologist.  She talked a bit, asked DH how often he got new shoes.  She said that it should be every 6 months.  Who knew?

She said to drink water every 15 minutes while exercising.

DH started off slow – Treadmill 5 minutes; Bike 15 minutes; Walked on indoor track for 4 laps

When he was done, we went to the Healthy Heart Cafe for a bit of lunch.

Wednesday, Day 2

We got there in plenty of time.  DH turned out to be the only person in this class, at least for now.

He did his exercises but was told he needed to eat breakfast in the future – his blood pressure was too low.

It’s becoming a habit – when he was done, we went to the Healthy Heart Cafe for another bit of lunch.

I had bought him a Groupon for a local garden shop as a Christmas gift.  Of course, I had no idea then that he wouldn’t be doing much gardening this year.  In any event, it was going to expire on March 30, so we went there after rehab and got a few things 🙂  They may all become house plants – we’ll see!

Absolute exhaustion by the time we got home.

Monday – Eight Weeks Post-Op

Monday

I’m happy to report that life continues to return to normal.

I was out walking the dog this morning, and it was snowy again.  The sidewalk was very slippery and it reminded me of that Monday two months ago when I was out with her and slipped and fell.  My shin still hurts a bit from that day.

DH has been out to several meetings and has won a court case – all without driving himself.  He’s still having to “pay” for a lot of activity by napping later.

He’s able to easily put on sweaters now that go over his head.

Tomorrow is our first rehab appointment.  We’re both looking forward to that for different reasons.  I’m eager to get my life back on a schedule.  He’s looking forward to being able to drive and become stronger.

We’re still mostly vegetarian.  I hope to get some food/cooking advice at the rehab meeting tomorrow.

DH went to church again yesterday for Palm Sunday, then we went out for breakfast again.  He’s found a healthy meal at a local restaurant without too much prodding.

He’s busy trying to find a timeshare in Japan that we could trade for although it will be a while before we could consider that kind of travel.

On the 20th, I had to make a very difficult decision.  There’s a Cushing’s Conference in Las Vegas next month.  I already had plane tickets but hadn’t registered for the conference or a hotel room.  I decided that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving DH alone for 5 days with a dog he couldn’t walk or a car he might not be able to drive.  I’m also just afraid to be away that long, just in case…

Hopefully, next week’s update will have more good news to report.

Monday – Seven Weeks Post-Op

Things are really getting more normal here as time goes on.  7 weeks ago, I never would have imagined it.

DH still can’t drive but he asked to borrow my car one day last week and I said NO.  Soon, though.

He’s able to put sweaters over his head now, a big improvement from a few weeks ago when he was cutting t-shirts in half and wearing 2, or using a safety pin to hold everything together.

Next Tuesday, March 26, he’ll go for his first cardiac rehab.  I don’t know if they schedule the “real” ones then, but this is more of an intake meeting and a test to see where he before he can get started.

I’ve started resuming my regular activities – on Saturday, I went to a 5-hour with no problem and I wasn’t spending my time worrying, either, although some mornings when he wakes up late, I’ll go check to be sure he’s breathing.


One thing I’ve done as part of our more healthy eating – I bought a soymilk maker.  I had one in my cart on amazon.com for a while, watching the price.  Then, one day, they didn’t offer it anymore.  I kept searching on amazon for several days and the next version became available.  I put that in my cart and watched.  On Wednesday, the price dropped to $119 – $20 less than the first one I’d wanted.  I jumped on that and ordered it Wednesday.  Thursday, it went back up to $139 so I played that right!

The soymilk maker arrived on Saturday and I made almond milk first.  Today, I have soybeans soaking right now and will make the first batch of soymilk in about an hour.

Bob's Red Mill

Bob’s Red Mill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just went on amazon to get a link to the one I got and found the price back to $119!  It comes with a small bag of Laura soybeans to get you started but I’d already ordered Bob’s Red Mill.

Yesterday, I was singing in the choir at church and DH decided to go along.  Before church, so many of the choir members and others went over to give him a big hug and say how well he looked.  During prayer request time, he stood up to thank the church for their prayers and folks started clapping.

After church, we decided to stop for breakfast in a newesh restaurant in the neighborhood.  While waiting in line, some neighbors also arrived.  They said they hadn’t seen either of us for a while.  I mentioned DH’s heart attack and it turned out that other man had had one too, about 15 years ago.  They had lots to talk about.  The other guy did a kind of at-home chelation which sounded a bit odd but it worked for him to remove calcium deposits.  It didn’t sound like anything I’d want to try!

This morning I was teaching piano and one of my students is the associate pastor of my church.  He said how powerful that DH stood up yesterday and demonstrated the power of prayer.

Not much else here – everything’s pretty normal except for not driving or walking the dog but those things will come.

Hooray!