Monday, May 10, 2010

Four Years Post-Op Kidney Cancer Surgery

Yesterday was my 4-year surgery anniversary.  Amazing how time flies.  If anyone had told me then that I’d have four years to live, it wouldn’t have seemed like “enough”, though.

Four years ago yesterday was also the first (and only!) Cushie Cruise, leaving for Bermuda on Mother’s Day.  I wasn’t able to go due to financial reasons, but a very kind Cushie Angel made it possible.  I got new clothes, and was very excited.  I’d never been to Bermuda.

So, along comes this surprise cancer.  I told my surgeon-to-be while still in the ER about this cruise and he said no way could I go.

I ended up getting out of the hospital the day before the cruise, the day before Mother’s Day, and the doctor was right.  There would have been no way I could have gone and enjoyed this cruise.  It was a few weeks before I could even walk, and several days before I could consider getting off pain meds.

Another lucky Cushie got to go in my place, so all was not lost.  I got to use my new clothes on a “second chance” cruise and I’m now 4 years cancer free!

Happy endings all around!

Here’s a review of the cruise by other non-Cushies with lots of pictures: http://www.cruisereviews.com/RoyalCaribbean/ExploreroftheSeas115.htm

If you’re a member of the Cushing’s Help message boards, you can see cute pictures of “Penelopee Cruise” at http://cushings.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=16494.  Penelopee was made from someone’s 24-hour UFC jug.  The pictures and captures are a real hoot.

At four years post-op, I have no signs of my cancer returning or showing up in another organ.  (Hooray!)  I do have an enlarged lymph node between my lungs but that seems stable at this time.

Energy levels are still very low thanks to the combination of post-pituitary surgery panhypopituitarism, the removal of one adrenal during kidney surgery and low-functioning remaining adrenal.  Beats the alternative, though!

Daily (l-o-n-g) naps are a must and, I guess, will always be.  Doctors haven’t seem to come up with any ideas for extra energy for me.

I don’t have any lingering symptoms from my bout with cancer, so it’s all good.

As I learned to say in church yesterday, despite my illnesses, “I am blessed!”