2 Years in the Mono Kidney Club
Today will mark 2 years since I discovered I had kidney cancer after waking up and hemorrhaging from the tumor inside my left kidney. Shortly after I had surgery to remove the cancer and the kidney and there began a new lease of life. I have reread my 12 month reflection on this life changing event and realise how much difference a year can make. Back then it was still raw in my mind and I was still suffering painful reminders with ongoing pain. In an effort to put the experience behind me as far as I possibly could I had moved hospital trusts and been discharged from consultant care preferring to see only my GP. I didn’t want continuing check up reminders nor did I want to return to a CT machine regularly. Instead I went for the ‘if it ain’t broken why fix it’ option whereby I would seek medical advice if I was unwell rather than ‘because’ I’d been unwell. When I read other accounts of cancer discoveries I’m struck by how often there is a prolonged waiting, suffering and not knowing period. I was lucky I din’t know and didn’t have to wait or suffer till I woke up on Wednesday 13th march 2013 and Wham! In sharing my journey on this blog I have been fortunate to cross paths with others going through similar and follow their progress also. I am struck by how incredible some of those accounts are. In particular is Lisanne Vos who’s own experience is awe inspiring and can be read here Are You Kidneying Me I have kept in touch with other members of the ‘Mono Kidney Club’ who’s stoicism and bravery is incredible and has without a doubt inspired me to push on when things have become tough. One of the best pieces of advice I received when my cancer was discovered was from a GP who said, ‘Don’t Google It!’ This was after leaving hospital following surgery and having 101 unanswered questions about kidney cancer. Unfortunately as is usually the case when someone says ‘Don’t do it…’ I have to push that button. In my case though I skipped the patient information links and settled on The James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer This charity has been a Godsend and by it’s phone help line and website advice has helped keep me informed and positive. I was going to write a Hopes & Fears kind of blog today but the truth is the fears would just be stating the bleeding obvious. As for hopes, I have many but I’ve learnt that sometimes sharing them isn’t always a good idea, especially if they don’t come to fruition. I have many though, hopes, dreams and goals. One of which I reached yesterday having starting running a few months ago I took 30 seconds off my personal best time which was a big achievement. I don’t compare with other runners as I prefer to run my own race in my own time which I have done pretty much with this kidney cancer battle. Apart from the incredible love and support my family have given and some wonderful friends, this was a personal fight and one that only I can conquer. My Mono Kidney Club experience has not been easy but 2 years on I can see that without it my life may not be as focused and positive as it is now. Losing a kidney to cancer isn’t something I’d want to go through again but I have to take the positives and there are many. 2 years, 1 kidney, they’re only numbers. The here and now is, I’m here and now is the time to get on with life and live it to the full.