It's been 23 days since I heard the weird whiz and clunking inside the MRI chamber.
It's been 22 days since my doctor made the call
Nineteen days since another doctor let me know the original findings were accurate.
Sixteen days have passed since we confirmed a surgery date.
Seven days since I scheduled a second opinion.
Four days since my last panic attack.
Moments, thought, since my last, "what if?".
You see, I had an MRI Feb. 1, looking for a problem with my gall bladder, but Feb. 2 my doctor said they incidentally found a mass on my kidney. "You need a cat scan ASAP". She told me this as I was, literally, on my way to the hospital to have my right knee replaced.
The next morning, I told my orthpeodic surgeon I needed a recommendation for a urologist. The day after I got released from my knee surgery I went to a urology center and had a ct scan. The doctor there told me my options were 1) surgery. Apparently, taking biopsies of kidneys is a little tricky and not worth the hassle. While I didn't need to undergo a surgery right away, I would need to get it done sooner than later. He told me he would try to preserve as much of my kidney as possiblle, but it is likely I will lose the entire left kidney. People live healthy and well with just one kidney. So it's a big deal, yes. But it the big picture, it's not that big of deal. And could be a lot worse.
You know, of all the things I figured I might have to deal with in my medical life, kidney issues were totally not on my radar. Stroke, heart diesase, anxiety, addiction -- these are checkmarks in my health history. A kidney with some sort of growth on it? Never would have guessed.
I have to admit it feels a bit like I've been inhabited my an alien life form. It's trying to colonize.
This reminded my geekly little mind about the movie and play "Little Shop of Horrors". In it, this alien plant lands in this tiny little flower shop and slowly reveals itself as a blod sucking monster. Seymour, the hero of the show eventualy does battle with the plant, which he's named Audrey2, in honor of the love of his life (not knowing at the time the plant was a blood sucking alien). So, I decided, if I have to go through this stuff, I might as well have some fun with it.
Here's the deal; I have good health insurance, a huge supportive and loving network of family and friends and I don't have a grown up job that I need to worry about losing. I also have a strong faith life so I believe in following the journey and trusting that whatever is meant to be, will be.
My left kidney is now named Seymour. The tumor/mass thing? Audrey2. And we're ready to do battle. When I decided to get my knees replaced, I decided it would be all party of my transition from ordinary housewife into the new bionic woman. I changed my text tone to the bionic sound effect. Changed my ring tone to the theme from Wonder Woman. I will be a new Bionic Wonder Woman hybrid. I haven't come up with a name for my alter ego yet.
So, my left kidney Seymour is putting up quite a fight with Audrey2, although we don't know if she is colonizing for good or evil, little Seymour just doesn't have the infrastructure to support a colony of any kind and Audrey2 will have to go. But then, I felt bad because my right kidney will have to pick up the extra work. She'll need some credit. So I asked my son what he thought I should name the other kidney.
"You know that girl that wears the scarf in her hair and flexes her muscles?' he said.
"You mean Rose the Riveter?" I asked him.
"Ya, Mom. She had to go to work and pick up the slack when everybody else left, right That's what your right kidney has to do."
I love that kid.
Before you start think I'm a complete nutjob, let me tell you this process helps me. It helps me separate myself, my identity from the mysterious mass. I don't have a tumor. Seymour has the tumor. I have the ability to control what happens to Seymour. Seymour and the tumor don't get the power to control me. It may sound silly, but it helps me.
This weekend, I head for Salt Lake City and the University of Utah Kidney Clinic. In this region, this is the top of the line and their staff will take a look at my records and give me their opinion on what we should do. We will make a weekend of it and take in some volleyball and basketball while we are down there.
There's a lot going on in my medical life right now, but I figure it's just an overhaul. While I'm certainly going to continue my 49 and Fablulous celebration, by the time I turn 50 next year, I figure I'll be running with all new parts.
I'll keep you, my precious soul warriors, posted on Seymours battle and mine. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
With much love, Queen Givemebeer of Karmalot