Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy Kidney Birthday to Me!!!

Hola everyone!

Today is a special day… Today is my “Kidney Birthday”.  

kidney cancer survivor
5 years ago today, I became cancer-free.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I remember everything: what I was thinking, how I was feeling, what I was wearing, even what my doctor said to me right in the OR.  I remember how we wrote on the right side of my stomach and my abdomen.  He signed it with a Sharpie… he marked where he was going to operate.  I knew exactly how he was going to remove my right kidney along with the 5 inch cancerous tumor growing on it.

The 3 weeks between my diagnosis and surgery, have been the most intense time I have ever lived.  Nothing compares to it, not being in the Army, not even Basic Training.  I don’t think anything will ever compare.  Scans, tests… preparing physically and mentally for the surgery and then the recovery process… Intense.  Stressful.  But I did it.  We did it. 

I have the most wonderful team of doctors anyone could ever ask for.  I feel blessed for that.  And I have the most supportive, loving family in the world.  They never let me loose myself in my own mind, in my fears or in Google.  I was never alone, for they were all carrying me or more like we were all carrying each other through that time, and I think we all became stronger as a family because of it.

The OR waiting room in Puerto Rico hospitals only allow 1 family member to accompany a patient.  Other family members can wait in the lobby of the hospital if they so desire.  I had 10 people with me that day, right in that packed waiting room.  I had my support system with me while we waited for my name to be called up to get prepared and rolled out to surgery.  It looked like a party, although it didn’t feel like it… We were joking and laughing, trying not to think of the time ahead.  Trying to make time stand still for a little while.  Or trying to turn back time.  It doesn’t matter.  They were there, and I was there, looking at all of them, trying to engrave their faces, and their love, into my mind forever.  And I did. 

Today, I am cancer-free.  I’ve reached the 5 year mark! I AM CANCER FREE!!  And I think their love has had something to do with it.

Happy Kidney Birthday to me!

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