5.31.2012

O Fun!

I think I have enough on my plate. You know - a little dialysis here, a little dialysis there, blood pressure crashing, blood pressure over the top, blood won't clot, blood runs amok, weight rises, weight falls better than any weight loss program I've ever seen.

Now there's a spot on one of my kidneys. This was discovered during one of the gazillion (seriously) tests I've taken over the last three years to get on the transplant list. And that's another story. (I'm on the list, but since my COBRA ran out, now I'm on hold until I get Part D insurance under Medicare.)

Anyway - there is a spot in the top center of my left kidney that might be renal cell carcinoma. And then it might be just a cyst filled with blood vessels. But they can't do a biopsy because they don't want to risk the chance of spreading cancer cells. This is all in preparation for that coveted day that I get "The Call" for a new kidney. After the transplant I will have no immune system and any cancer cell - I mean ANY single cancer cell - will explode into a rampant, full-blown, fatal cancer.

So - I saw a surgeon a couple weeks ago and he is "certain" it is cancer and I need to have my left kidney removed. There is an upside to this - my kidneys are so huge that it is amazing I don't look pregnant. They are overtaken by cysts, and the cysts have cysts, and the mutilated, deformed kidneys are each about nine inches long, probably 8 to 10 pounds a piece, and are taking up valuable space for a new kidney.

I got a second opinion yesterday and this new surgeon suggested that I have BOTH kidneys removed because they are not functioning. They don't filter any of the toxins that kidneys normally filter. They don't help produce oxygen in my red blood cells. What little urine I produce is only a psychological benefit - my mind thinks I'm doing just hunky dory because I still pee - dialysis is just a thing I do every other day. I'm perfectly fine, thank you very much. Only, I'm really not fine - my insides are squashed by my bully-bad kidneys that are doing nothing but continually growing and forming more cysts.

Surgery is scheduled in three weeks. And I'm kind of scurrying around tying up loose ends because this is a pretty damned serious surgery.

Also - if this little questionable cyst turns out to be cancerous, I am on hold on the transplant list for two years. So - the clock is ticking.

5.24.2012

Troy

Sometimes, you are very lucky when a unique person comes in to your life that makes an immediate and lasting impact on you. Sometimes, you are stunningly blessed to have this person just enter your life for a moment. Such a person was Troy. Troy Moody was a truly good person – a man without pretense – a man who was best described as gentle and kind, with a whopping sense of humor and an impish grin and a sparkle in his eyes.

When you were with Troy, in a crowded room, he would make you feel as if you were the one in the room making other people feel good about themselves. It was magic. He was gracious and generous with his wonderful spirit and you in turn would take on his aura and spread it around. Magic.

Troy was killed in a motorcycle accident May 19. His loss is terrible beyond words. Although I haven’t seen him in several years, his impact on my life has been vibrant. I think of all the people he has stood with at meetings, or who have sat at one of his seminars, or used his firm for some trial or some court case and I think about all the parts of Troy that are imprinted on each and every person he touched. He’s gone from my world, but he is also ever-present. I have friends I met through Troy, and I have friends who have worked with Troy, and every one of us has been eternally changed by his simply being in the same room for a moment in time. And I think of all the people I have not met, throughout the world, that have been touched by an interaction with Troy and then I know, we are not alone. He is there, in each one of us, straddling the whole world.

Sometimes, we are lucky and we meet a man, filled with God, who leaves a lasting impression of life, of life out loud, totally and innately good and true. Such was Troy Moody, my friend.

Oregonian Obituary

5.13.2012

It's Mother's Day!!!

It’s Mother’s Day – MY day – when I am supposed to be the Queen for the Day, waited on hand and foot, breakfast in bed with burnt toast and undone eggs and relishing every single little bite.

Only, not today – both my sons live out of town – one near Moscow, Idaho with his very pregnant-with-twins mother-to-be wife – and one who lives near Laughlin, Nevada. Both sons will have their fill of mothers today – wife and mother-in-law for one, a gazillion-million grandmothers flying in to Laughlin to gamble, hit the slots, drink fluffy low-alcohol drinks, gamble, twitter, giggle. . . . and gamble. . . their way through their day – for the other one.

But I have a little mother living right here with me – my new kitty that adopted our house as her new home six weeks ago. Unknown to us, she arrived already knocked up. And so we spent days thinking, isn’t she cute – she’s eating so much that she’s getting a little chunky.

And then. . . .

She had three kittens last week – and it gave me pause to think of mothers of another kind – animal mommies. Mothering is totally instinct for animals. They don’t even think about it. For that matter, they don’t even know they are pregnant. They don’t attend birthing classes. They don’t have showers. They don’t cry at the drop of a hat when they get panic attacks, thinking of all the future days of breast feeding, changing diapers, running after a two-year-old getting into trouble, leaving them on their first day of school, ALONE, arguing with a teenager, watching them graduate, planning their mega wedding, holding their “baby’s” first baby (all this thought in one blink while worrying about giving birth in three months). Animals don’t do any of this.

And most animal mommies are instant single Moms of multiple babies. Right off the bat! And they just go along with it. No trauma. No, oh-I-wish-I-could-go-out-and-spend-time-with-other-adults-partying-all-night. No being depressed that they are all alone in this parenting thing. They just take care of it.

My kitty is just a natural mother. She attends her kittens twenty-four/seven, and allows herself brief little breaks maybe three or four times a day. No complaints.

She did, however, MOVE her kittens from the Kitty Castle to a hidden, hard-to-get-to place in the corner of our bedroom, at the foot of the bed where I have stored stacks of winter blankets, shoes, books. There is this one small open spot just big enough for a small-sized mama cat and her three kittens to curl up and nest – unbothered by humans just having to pick up the babies and examine them. Hell no – I’m not going to do that again – she might find a place I can’t get to at all. This way, I can hang over the edge of the bed and “look” at the kittens, while petting the Mommy and telling her what a good job she is doing.

Happy Mother’s Day, Gracie Kitty!

Now, I’m going to stare at my cell phone and send mesmerizing, hypnotizing thoughts to my two sons to call me.

Oh, dang it all, I’m just going to call them myself and tell them Happy Mother’s Day. After all – if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have this special, be-kind-to-me day.

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