Cancer…the word everyone loves to hate! People living healthy lifestyles get it…people living unhealthy lifestyles get it; with seemingly no rhyme or reason.
I have known most of my life that at some point I would develop cancer. No, I am not a pessimist but interestingly enough, there is a doctor at the Mayo Clinic doing a study on our family. Up the maternal side of our family, every woman has died from some form of cancer.
A couple of weeks ago I heard the words….renal cell carcinoma…..Shocking!
After having the flu for several days and becoming very dehydrated, I decided it was time to visit the hospital. At the very least I knew I needed some fluids and good anti-nausea medication. So bundling up in my jammies, yes those who know me know I mock people who are in public in jammy pants so that tells you how bad it was, I went to the ER.
For this all to be in perspective, I should say I have not been feeling well for a while now; nausea, lethargy, weird digestion issues (insert your own joke here) etc. After lots of blood work, several bags of fluid and a belly scan, the ER doc, in all his bedside glory, tells me that sometimes when looking for 1 thing on a scan they find something else and that I have a mass on my kidney that needs to be dealt with the next day.
If I had any doubt as to the seriousness of his statement, it was confirmed when promptly the next morning my PCP was calling me to come in to their office. I had a very long chat with my doctor, whom I LOVE by the way, and he told me he couldn’t believe he was saying these words to me, but it appeared I had renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) and that the next day I would have an MRI to stage the tumor and make sure it had not spread anywhere else in my body and that by Thursday I would have surgery to remove the kidney. After a few tears, a hug from my doctor and then my reconciliation with the news, and a few bad kidney jokes, I went off to tell my family.
The next day I went in for my MRI and then took the scans over to my doctor. When I said he was moving fast I am not kidding….the potential for surgery that week, was a very real possibility.
On Valentine’s Day I got the best news I have ever received in my entire life…..”We were wrong! It is just a Hemorrhagic Cyst that ruptured and it will heal itself. Oh, by the way, we know why you have been so sick. Between the kidney and your gallbladder all your parts are not functioning fully. We need to do a little surgery and you should be as good as new.”
So last week I had my gallbladder removed. However, in true Jean fashion I couldn’t just have it removed and go home…no I had to develop complications and in the form of the last month, they had to find other things wrong.
This week now means some more tests, but more importantly, it means I am finally on the way to great health again and I! Can’t! Wait!
There is no good way to thank my mom, family and friends for all their help through all of this, but I want to give them a shout out here. I couldn’t have gotten through the last month with out everyone! I have the best support system ever!!!