Six years ago today, I received some upsetting news about my health. I had been sick with repeated kidney infections for about a year and the doctors had no idea what was causing them. I was in and out of the hospital, exhausted, and just down right tired of being ill. Finally, a doctor in the ER did a CT scan of my kidneys and told me it looked like I had a cyst on my left kidney. They sent me with a referral to a women’s Urologist and another CT scan with dye was done. A few days later, the nurse called me and said, “We need you to come in first thing tomorrow morning to go over your results.” I knew something wasn’t right. They don’t tell you to come in over good news. The next morning, on February 28th, 2014, the doctor told me that there was a 90% chance that I had kidney cancer. She told me they were sending me to a Urology surgeon to get more information. I left right after. I had gone by myself. I was kind of numb at first, but as I was driving down the highway, I started shaking so bad I had to pull over to the shoulder. I sat there in my car, all alone as cars sped by, and bawled my eyes out. I was terrified. I had 4 little boys, all in elementary school, and up to that point I had only met 1 person who had survived a cancer diagnosis. Everyone else I knew who had had cancer had died from it. I called the hubbs and let him know and then headed to my parents house to talk to them.
I ended up having a partial nephrectomy on my left kidney on May 6, 2014. The doctors were able to remove all of the cancer. I am 6 years in of NEDS(no evidence of disease).
That diagnosis changed how I view the world and everything that goes on in it. Some of it good. Some of it bad. In some ways I am a much stronger person. I no longer fear dying the way I used to. I learned to be at peace with it. I learned that it is inevitable for everyone. I have learned that there is always something worse and I try my best to appreciate what I have. I don’t always succeed in that. We all complain about piddly things, and I do that often at times. On the other hand, the diagnosis made me a bit weaker in some areas of my life. I have always been a sensitive person, but I seem to be even more so now. I don’t handle stress well at all, and for some reason my anxiety has increased with a lot of things.
That day definitely changed me. It has shaped me into a new person that sees the entire world in a new light. But, I count my blessings that I am cancer free and able to see my babies grow up. A lot of cancer patients don’t get that luxury. I am one of the lucky ones.