January 21, 2008
Kevin Reynolds works full time doing public relations and special events for Cincinnati Public Radio. He also volunteers for the American Cancer Society. Home hemodialysis has given him back “a comforting sense of normal” he is grateful for. This is his story.
It’s been five months since I began home hemodialysis, a treatment that takes place while I sit comfortably in my recliner in my family room surrounded by pictures of my family with my wife and daughter on the couch nearby and all the amenities of my home close at hand - my books, my laptop, my remote and my TV.
How did I get to this place? The short answer is cancer got me here - malignant tumors in both kidneys caused me to lose them in separate surgeries just two months apart. We were fortunate that at a modality training session on the day before I was to enter the hospital for my second nephrectomy, we learned that there was such a thing as home hemodialysis.
It is astonishing the level of normalcy that I have attained through home hemo, a level that I truly thought would never be possible again. So, here I am today, fully entrenched in my life as a dialysis patient, but working hard not to let that define me totally. I am, more importantly, a husband, a parent, a son, a friend, an employee, a co-worker, a volunteer and hopefully a well-rounded human being.
In spite of my lack of kidneys and in spite of my almost daily dialysis, I’m leading a life fairly close to the one I lived before all this happened. Had you asked me a few months ago if I thought this was possible, I would have said, “No way.” But time, love, patience, modern technology and the support of great professionals has made it possible. Home hemodialysis has meant all the difference in my life and my family’s life. It’s given me back a comforting sense of normal, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.
Learn more about home hemodialysis at www.davita.com/home.