I guess my life has never been ordinary, so I should have guessed my health would eventually take an unordinary turn too. I’ve never been one for anything traditional – my career, my city, my marriage, my motherhood path, my education. So it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise when I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (also known as kidney cancer) 5 days after my 29th birthday. People get diagnosed with cancer all the time unfortunately, but I got all kinds of special attention from my doctors for my cancer, because the average age of a person diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma is 64. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, it is “very uncommon in people younger than age 45.”
Very uncommon? Sounds about right.
Being diagnosed with cancer is like getting run over by an 18-wheeler, then a train decides to come along and finish the job because the 18-wheeler just wasn’t enough. It doesn’t simply take your breath away – it’s like having everything inside of you ripped out in an instant. No less than 30 minutes before the poor ER doctor who had the misfortune of delivering this life changing news to me came into the room, I was worrying about going into work late the next morning because I had a report due and needed more time to work on it. 30 minutes later, I was still worried about having enough time, but for an entirely different, and much more morbid, reason.
For now though, I’m short a kidney – hence, the blog title. To be clear, I’M not single, but as my older daughter hilariously said one night recently, my kidney is. That pretty much sums up how the past 2 months have gone too. It’s been sickly funny, uplifting, devastating, fearful, depressing, anger-filled, traumatizing, serendipitous, inspiring, and hopeful. It’s shown me some amazing things about the people in my life, and it’s taught me lessons that I wonder why I had to learn now. It’s brought out the best in me, and the worst in me.
And it’s not over yet.