Thursday, November 19, 2009

Here's the latest in the giant kidney saga:
A renal scan showed some function in the giant kidney, but not enough to outweigh the negatives.  However, during the scan I experienced pain in my good kidney, so the doctor ordered another test.  It was called a Bilateral Retrograde Cystoscopy.  I was completely unconscious during the procedure, but it was cold in the O.R. and I may or may not have shouted, "I was in the pool!" at a group of giggling nurses.
This test revealed a small tumor in my bladder and a healthy good kidney.  The tumor turned out to be benign (insert sigh of relief here) but in the interim the Dr. noticed a cyst on my good kidney in the previous CT scan. So this morning I had an ultrasound on it to make sure it wasn't something scary, because apparently a simple cyst on the kidney isn't anything to worry about.  The test was good, so now I'm going to be scheduled for surgery to have the gigantic kidney removed.  Hopefully I'll be all recovered around the same time my arm gets better and I'll be able to get back to my normal routine-- minus the mexican coke.  Gotta take extra good care of my one remaining kidney.

I want to thank everyone for your prayers and support.  There have been miracles in this ordeal, not the least of which is feeling the love of friends, family, and God.  Thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On this day ten years ago we started down a road I had longed to walk my entire life, and I had wanted to walk it with you as long as I had known you.  But in spite of that lifelong desire to walk this road, I was ill equipped to do so.

Now, ten years in, I am filled with regrets and rejoicing all at once.  I regret so many bad choices, miserable failures, and angry words.  And I look at myself and at my failures and I wonder what there is in all that mess worth redeeming, worth salvaging when it's so obvious that I have failed.  Yet I rejoice in our abiding love for each other and for our children.  I rejoice in our family, the collective greatness that anchors us in spite of individual weakness.

This year I have come to appreciate the power of the family.  It's something hard to describe.  Though there are numerous examples in nature that illustrate how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, yet in the living of it, in the flood of the experience, the magnificence defies description.  I love our family.  I am proud of our family.  There is safety in our family.

And so we continue down this road:  now much better equipped and much more aware.  We are a little worn but not jaded.  We are refined by our trials.

And the most important thing I want you to know as we continue, hand in hand, is that had I known it would be this hard, I would still have begun that walk with you.  Had I known the challenges we would face together, I would still have chosen you.  In the mess of myself that I often survey, there is one shining thing to salvage and it is the me that I can be when you are by my side.  It glimmers like a pearl in the mire.

I love you Kaerlig.  Thank you for being my family.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I have a gigantic kidney.  All the doctors are like, "That's one impressive kidney." and "Holy cow!" and "I've never seen a kidney that large."

And I'm holding up my right hand high (because my left arm is broken) and I'm like, "High Five!" because what else do you say to a doctor who tells you your kidney is gigantic?

Here is my impressive kidney (it's the big blob on the left smashing my liver into a thin paté).  It's about as big as a football (a NFL football). 




I wasn't feeling too hot and the doctor sent me to the hospital to get a "virtual weiner" (as my 8 year old calls it).



It is a tube placed into the kidney to drain it (a Nephrostomy tube).  I told the nurse that a nephrostomy sounds like a refreshing beverage.  It could be because I was extremely thirsty at the time after not eating or drinking for about 3 days.



Imagine 1.5 liters of urine hanging out in your kidney with no place to go.  Imagine the relief you would feel if this was in your bladder and you finally peed.  That's how I felt after getting this out.



My wife made me smile for this picture...but for the first time in several days I could actually kind of do it.






P.S.  This post was written with a lot of help from my wife Kaerlig who has been gracious enough to do a lot of things for me these past days, including giving me an enema which we have agreed to never speak of again.