It was 6:15pm on November the 10th 2016 when I went into the emergency room at the adamant encouragement of my wife. That was the day my life would forever change.
Initially I was diagnosed with stage 4 Bladder Cancer and given 3 months to live. Thank goodness that proved to be wrong. However as it turned out, I did have Prostate Cancer which led to my kidney issues. I was admitted with a creatinine level of 25. I was sick beyond what I could imagine. In addition, at the time, my son was just turning 11 years old and I was the sole provider for my family.
We were told all of the things involving Dialysis and I had an emergency catheter placed in my thigh in order to start my dialysis program. This is where everything got extremely confusing. I know that health workers have great intentions but it seems that so many times it’s more about “checking the box” instead of checking the patient. We were given so much misinformation concerning everything from treatment to diet.
My wife took the initiative and began to study, and study, and study. As I battled to Prostate Cancer through radiation and surgery she developed a plan which in most ways went against the grain of what is accepted as the standard treatment for an ESRD patient. After doing what I was told to do for a few months and going to Dialysis 3 times a week for 31/2 hours a day, we made a decision.
Because of my cancer I was not a candidate for transplant. There had to be another way. So we modified my diet drastically. Our theory was, if the food introduces creatinine to my body< then I would not eat it. We monitored my labs weekly to see what effect my diet had. Virtually all meat was removed with the exception of the occasional piece of fish or seafood. I began a regiment of supplements which had not even been mentioned by any of my nutritionist or my nephrologist. And we continued and we waited and we watched. Then things started to happen.
I was producing urine so I questioned the removal of fluids during dialysis and was able to get that stopped. My numbers started going down. The staff at the center was asking what I was doing, my Doctor actually started listening to us about how we were treating my illness.
Then he decreased my time on dialysis, my numbers dropped. Then the number of days, and still my numbers dropped. Now I am only doing 2 days a week for 2 hours. My Creatinine Levels have actually gone to low 3’s and now into the 2’s. He is considering removing me from dialysis if this trend continues.
I am a National Television personality, my work depends on my ability to work in Live Television. I am now back on Live, my life is coming back and I can see a time when things will be as normal as possible. Granted my case is a little different, but people need to know there are alternatives out there. That just going along with the treatment without questioning and researching on your own is not always the right path. The changes in lifestyle and diet are something I know I will have to live with for the rest of my life but because of those changes I now see a future. There are no words which can credit my wife enough with what she has accomplished for me and us. Without her, I quite simply would have died. You need a partner to support you, help you and guide you. There is a way forward, I promise you.