Chemotherapy and Dialysis: Looking for others who have had both

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Aug 11, 2021

Have you been diagnosed with a condition that requires chemotherapy (oral or infusion) ? Do you have chronic kidney disease that also requires dialysis?

What is your story, please? I will be starting chemotherapy [oral only at this time], and am also facing the real possibility of starting dialysis. My current eGFR is 18%. I would prefer to do peritoneal dialysis.

Looking for others with this combination of treatments.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Kidney & Bladder group.

@gingerw boy, that’s a tough decision to have to make. I haven’t had either but i used to work on a dialysis unit. It was sometimes tough scheduling the dialysis around medications. If the doctors can work together, then it is doable. What type of peritoneal dialysis would you have? Home dialysis where it runs at night only or routine dialysis where the solution is changed out several times a day? I certainly commend you, Ginger, for home dialysis alone isn’t easy. Would you have a peritoneal dialysis nurse nearby if complications pop up?

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@becsbuddy

@gingerw boy, that’s a tough decision to have to make. I haven’t had either but i used to work on a dialysis unit. It was sometimes tough scheduling the dialysis around medications. If the doctors can work together, then it is doable. What type of peritoneal dialysis would you have? Home dialysis where it runs at night only or routine dialysis where the solution is changed out several times a day? I certainly commend you, Ginger, for home dialysis alone isn’t easy. Would you have a peritoneal dialysis nurse nearby if complications pop up?

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@becsbuddy Thank you, Becky! I spoke to my nephrology office yesterday. Fortunately, they are all for patients doing home dialysis, if they are able to and already medication compliant. They know my history and are cheering me on for nightly peritoneal dialysis. The closest dialysis center is about 30 miles away. We spoke frankly about having enough time to have the catheter placed. I know I need to be evaluated for peritoneal, so that will come before too long. Seeing that chemo starts tomorrow, we will be watching things closely.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@becsbuddy Thank you, Becky! I spoke to my nephrology office yesterday. Fortunately, they are all for patients doing home dialysis, if they are able to and already medication compliant. They know my history and are cheering me on for nightly peritoneal dialysis. The closest dialysis center is about 30 miles away. We spoke frankly about having enough time to have the catheter placed. I know I need to be evaluated for peritoneal, so that will come before too long. Seeing that chemo starts tomorrow, we will be watching things closely.
Ginger

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Wishing you an easy day tomorrow, Ginger. Have you had this chemo before? I hope it all goes well with no side effects. But mainly, i hope it does the job! Hugs

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@loribmt

Wishing you an easy day tomorrow, Ginger. Have you had this chemo before? I hope it all goes well with no side effects. But mainly, i hope it does the job! Hugs

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@loribmt No I have not had this or any other chemo before. Pretty sure I can handle the side effects if any. Just worried about the kidney issues and chemo.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@loribmt No I have not had this or any other chemo before. Pretty sure I can handle the side effects if any. Just worried about the kidney issues and chemo.
Ginger

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You’re made of pretty ‘tuff’ stuff, Ginger, I know you’ll deal with any side effects when and if they appear. Just remember you don’t always have to be brave. Some days are just the pits…

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@knitgirl I just read your message in another discussion about your husband's bladder cancer and being on dialysis. I'm wondering if he had chemotherapy while on dialysis. @gingerw may be facing that situation in the near future and is looking to hear from others who were on dialysis during cancer treatment. Would you mind sharing?

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@colleenyoung

@knitgirl I just read your message in another discussion about your husband's bladder cancer and being on dialysis. I'm wondering if he had chemotherapy while on dialysis. @gingerw may be facing that situation in the near future and is looking to hear from others who were on dialysis during cancer treatment. Would you mind sharing?

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Fortunately no my husband did not go through chemotherapy. He came out of surgery with a port installed to start dialysis immediately. Again, because of the interdisciplinary team he was seen by several different departments during his 9 day stay in the hospital. He was able to wait until 2 months after surgery before starting dialysis. This blessing gave his body time to heal from surgery first.

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@knitgirl

Fortunately no my husband did not go through chemotherapy. He came out of surgery with a port installed to start dialysis immediately. Again, because of the interdisciplinary team he was seen by several different departments during his 9 day stay in the hospital. He was able to wait until 2 months after surgery before starting dialysis. This blessing gave his body time to heal from surgery first.

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What tips might you share for someone who is soon to start dialysis? What do you or your husband wish you had known?

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The Jacksonville Mayo Nephrology Team is amazing. My husband was seen regularly for 4-5 years before beginning dialysis. The team includes doctors, nurse practitioners, transplant team, social workers, dietitians, home dialysis team, and center dialysis technicians. We were seen and educated by all of the above several times throughout the 4-5 year period. By the time dialysis began we felt confident and understood what dialysis entailed. My husband is on the transplant list and we are doing home hemodialysis treatments 4 times per week in the comfort of our home while be closely monitored by the Mayo. My husband is still followed by the entire team. The Mayo makes it as easy as possible as all aspects are coordinated and all members of the team are kept abreast of my husband’s current condition.

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@colleenyoung

What tips might you share for someone who is soon to start dialysis? What do you or your husband wish you had known?

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The average person has little to no inkling of what going on to dialysis entails. I am lucky my husband was on peritoneal dialysis for 5.5 years before his transplant, and I think of that as him getting a master's degree in PD dialysis! I will have vein mapping done this coming week in preparation for placement of a fistula, and am curious what they might say. I had melanoma surgery on right forearm in 2008 [32 stitch scar!] and am left-handed. Normally they defer to the non-dominant arm for fistula. My tip is to write down questions, be active in your own treatment, listen closely, lean on your support system.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@loribmt No I have not had this or any other chemo before. Pretty sure I can handle the side effects if any. Just worried about the kidney issues and chemo.
Ginger

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Hi, I went thru chemo and radiation with severe kidney disease. I faired pretty well although the nephropathy is horrible. Putting your feet in ice water may prevent Nephropathy. I wish someone had told me this before I had chemo. My chemo was almost 5 years ago. My Kidneys are failing now. Karen

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@kbirk

Hi, I went thru chemo and radiation with severe kidney disease. I faired pretty well although the nephropathy is horrible. Putting your feet in ice water may prevent Nephropathy. I wish someone had told me this before I had chemo. My chemo was almost 5 years ago. My Kidneys are failing now. Karen

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@kbirk Thank you! Reading about putting my feet in ice water really gave me the shivers! They figure the neuropathy is from a combination of the chemo [Revlimid] and the myeloma itself attaching to some nerves. Are your kidney issues a result of the chemo?
Ginger

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