Today is the first day of spring and a huge milestone in the fight to win back my health.
I headed to the doctor this morning for my routine monthly checkup. I had spent almost a week preparing to renegotiate my treatment plan knowing that my lab work from last week showed another marked improvement. It is no secret that I loathe taking prednisone – especially since I can’t maintain my weight even though I am a vegetarian who works out six days a week. Which is exactly why I fought taking it as long as I could. The last two months I’ve had to sit back and watch the number on the scale slowly inch upwards. Yes, slowly. BUT, when faced with the prospect of a small weight gain every month, for an open ended length of time, for a minimum of the next TWO YEARS, that you can do nothing about, it is very discouraging. I was prepared for this “renegotiation” to require a LOT of willpower and I was prepared to bully my doctor if necessary. I wasn’t asking to change my treatment, just how long I had to endure it before I could come off of it. When she said “I agree” with zero resistance or hesitation, it threw me right off balance. Wait. You agree? What’s going on here?
Then she said the best four words I’ve heard in a very long time: “You are in remission.”
I didn’t realize (because clearly she failed to tell me) that I have been in partial remission since December. And now I am in total remission.
Not sure it has fully sunk in, even still.
Yep, still crying tears of joy every time I think about it. Luckily I was able to hold it together until I got to my car…
That isn’t even all the great news! I only have to be on this successful treatment plan for a year total from the time I was in partial remission. She said she’d been thinking about it and the recommendation is to do the treatment for one to two years but since I’m doing so well she didn’t think I really needed the two years like she told me initially. So here I’d been thinking I had two years from the pie-in-the-sky goal of being in total remission whenever that was when in fact I only have to continue until THIS December. That is less than the time it takes to grow an entire human in my womb. I’ve done that twice and both times it felt like the time flew by. Eight and a half more months and I’m done. D.O.N.E. – DONE!
But wait, there’s more! I’m doing so well, complained enough, and proved that my fear of weight gain was a reality so well (I love data!) that she also lowered my dose of the dreaded prednisone. It is like winning the lottery without even remembering you had bought tickets. An end in sight AND a lower dose of the worst drug I’m taking.
I’m not sure I know how to be this happy.
As amazing as it is, it has only been eleven months since I first showed signs of this crazy disease. I didn’t even get my diagnosis until ten months ago. And now I have officially kicked it in the ass all the way to the curb. Fuck you, kidney disease, I’m way stronger and I’ve proven you are no match for me.