I remember the exact feeling I had when I heard the words…and we found an 8cm mass on your left kidney which we believe is malignant. He and Jenny were in the room but I was sitting cross legged on the exam table and I saw and I heard white noise. I’m not sure if my reaction would have been different had I been alone in the room with the doctor…I just knew at that moment, I didn’t want to communicate, I didn’t want to say anything, I wanted to just listen to my synapse which at the moment were just humming as they were trying to make a nerve junction up there; but, they had not been forced to make the same connection since 2001 when my Dad died. I wonder if it would have been better had there been an app for that?
I had plenty of time between diagnosis and surgery to think. At first, I read a lot of the medical web sites from Mayo to Web MD. I did not read a lot of opinions and stories from the general public. I knew that my situation was unique and I would not learn anymore about my situation no matter how many also unique opinions and unique circumstances I allowed to complicate my thinking process. I finally found the Kidney survivor’s website on Facebook…it seems to be pretty matter of fact…not so many opinions rather individual stories in their own brief words. This helped me the most. There seemed to be a random enough mixture of stories to make anything seem possible. From the very worst – to the very best outcomes….and a room full of support for everything in between.
I’m now 4 days post nephrectomy. I have one angry little incision for which I require my pain pill…a lot of other little plugged holes still have some discomfort – but there is a difference in pain tolerance. The pain I’m feeling right now on THE scale might be a 3 or 4. 4 days ago, I might have rated the pain a 6 or 7. There are probably no 2 people with exactly the same response and thoughts about this major event which will be a yardstick in our timeline. All of the before and after I was diagnosed with cancer life marker. There is nothing out there to read which will tell you what is going to happen to you. It is an abyss from which we are supposed to draw strength from within ourselves and live each day a little better than the day before.
Until next time….