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My story revolves around my kidneys: Great little organs that control fluid balance, blood pressure, and excretion of toxins. For 13 years mine have chugged along even after damage from necrotizing glomerular nephritis. Essentially my body's immune system targeted my kidneys and started to kill off the glomeruli (the essential filtering parts). My kidney function has been decreased ever since. By God's grace, in 2004, I was cared for by very smart physicians who got me through high fevers, and courses of prednisone and being immunosuppressed for 13 years. Over these years Anita has be instrumental in taking charge of our health. We haven't been healthier than right now in our entire marriage.
Fast forward to Oct 2016... cough... cough... cough.... hmmm. Viral bronchitis. Pneumonia confirmed by a chest x-ray. The coughing and shortness of breath lasted through the first part of December. I had my regular endocrinologist and nephrologist appointments and according to all of the labs they drew everything was going great! My A1C was 6.8, which is amazing for a Type I diabetic. All of my kidney function tests were stable. No need to worry but after these appointments. To help my immune system my nephrologist held the immunosuppressive drug for a week. I don't know if I was just hypersensitive because in the past I had a relapse of the glomerular nephritis after not receiving my medication (that was because it was so expensive - $800 every 100 days!). Watching everything while I was off, if anything was out of round I'd go in. I felt some flank pain so booked myself to see the nephrologist. My normal doctor was out of town so I saw someone else. Not knowing me she called for an abdominal ultrasound.
By God's providence this series of event occurred to find some some tumors in both of my kidneys. I hadn't had any imaging since 2005 and since then something "unusual" had appeared. This finding necessitated additional diagnostic imaging; MRI, chest CT and more blood work.
Anita came to my appointment on December 29th. My nephrologist came in even though he was on vacation to break the news: Renal Cell Carcinoma. Kidney cancer. Normally, they only see it show up in one kidney but in my case I hit the jackpot and have both kidney's affected. If that isn't enough bad news to digest treatment is complete removal of both kidneys meaning every other day dialysis.
Dear reader, let me tell you the shock that my wife and I felt, the pit in the stomach feel you get when you know life just changed, and the helplessness of the moment. More importantly through this site we hope to testify to the Peace that our Lord Jesus provided in this most dark moment and the continued grace we have felt in every moment since.
If you are a believer, you will see God's hand; If you are questioning, know that he uses situations to let His face shine; If you don't believe, know that you are loved and cherished.
Matthew 19:26 - Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
*I dedicate this story to Our Lord and Our Lady of Guadalupe.