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Sometimes, you do everything right and it doesn't matter

June 15th, 2017 at 09:09 am

Well, everyone. This week has not worked out the way I had planned it at all. It's been a life-changing whirlwind, to say the least.

Apparently, at 42, despite the world's most boring medical history -- no prescriptions, no problems, relatively fit, non-smoker, thin, and no family history. I have cancer. Yep. The big C. Kidney cancer.

I'm blindsided, of course. I went to the Dr. on Monday thinking I had a UTI. Turns out it was a kidney stone, so I ended up in the ER. When I thought I was about to go home and it was over, the doctor told me they found cancer or something like it on my kidney. I was admitted. They did more scans. It is cancer.

They say this is good news, that this kidney stone saved my life.

Kidney cancer has no symptoms and it's usually found only when it's spread and it's too late. They say even though the risk factors are obesity and smoking, most of the people who get it don't have either of those. They're like me. No reason to get it, it's just bad luck.

There aren't many effective treatments once it spreads. It's a death sentence. They tell me it hasn't spread, that I won't need chemo, but of course, they won't know that for 100 percent sure until they take it out.

So tomorrow, I go to the hospital to have a kidney removed. I really didn't see it coming. Not at all.

So yeah. Of course I'm scared. I've never had surgery before, and I'm terrified of that. (Hell, I just got my first cavity last fall and I thought that was traumatizing!)

But, I'm even more terrified of dying before my work is done. I have two boys to raise, I have a mom I promised I'd take care of in her old age. I promised to put her to rest. I can't leave before her. I just can't.

So yes. They say it's good news, and I hope that turns out to be true. I really really do.

But in case it's not, I want y'all to know this community has been wonderful these past ten years. You have helped me through a lot of transitions and hard times, and I value all of you. Thank you all!

Wish me luck!

36 Responses to “Sometimes, you do everything right and it doesn't matter”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    Oh Thrift, what a curveball out of nowhere! But yes, if you must have cancer, catching it early is the best possible thing to happen.

    Surgery is quick from your perspective. They wheel you in, tell you to count backwards from 100, you don't even get to 97 and suddenly you are waking up feeling groggy.

    I will be sending positive thoughts into the universe for you.

  2. stephanie Says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Sending prayers your way!

  3. scottish girl Says:

    I'm so sorry. I'll be sending positive thoughts your way.
    I've had surgery twice, it is quick.
    Hugs.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Oh,Thrift, lots of thoughts and prayers coming your way and towards your family. If it helps at all, a good friend found out the same thing last year--the same way, with a kidney stone. He's had his kidney removed, and is doing great.

  5. NJDebbie Says:

    Thrift, I am so sorry you are going through this, but I am relieved that you have a good prognosis. I will be thinking of you and praying for a speedy recovery. I am confident by faith that you will have many year together with your boys, hubby and your mom. ((HUGS))

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    Prayers for a successful surgery and recovery! Yes, you have a long life yet to live, may this be a small bump in the road.

  7. starfishy Says:

    wow, i'm so sorry to hear this news, what a shock. but amazing that the cancer was found due to a kidney stone. good luck tomorrow...i hope all goes well and that we are reading new posts from you soon.

  8. Butterscotch Says:

    I understand your fear of surgery. I had my first surgery in my 39 years of life last month. It was also an emergency so I didn't have much time to think about it before when they told me I had to have the operation. But I'm the 5 or 6 hours that we had to wait for the right kind of surgeon to be available I was terrified. Mostly of the anesthesia. I was worried I would have a stroke like my great grandmother, or they would mess up and leave medical supplies in me - my imagination really went nuts so I understand your fear.
    The best thing I did was tell the nurses how scared I was. I told the surgeon how scared I was. I cried to the anesthesiologist! It was the best thing to do because every one of them took the time to explain to me that they do this every day, that they would take care of me, and that they understood. Vocalizing my fears rather than holding them in was so helpful. No one thought I was "being a baby".
    And then when i woke up it was like a blink of an eye. It didn't even feel like I had been to sleep, literally it was like I blinked my eyes in the operating rooom and then opened them up in the recovery room.

    I understand how nervous you are and you're going to be okay.

  9. Laura S. Says:

    Thinking of you during this difficult time. I know words can only be of so much comfort, but this community is behind you. I hope you have a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing from you soon.

  10. Carol Says:

    Dear Thrift,
    We value you, too. So much. So I will also be sending prayers and caring thoughts. The very best of luck tomorrow and good healing thereafter!

  11. rob62521 Says:

    I am so sorry to learn this. You are in my prayers. Hope the surgery goes well. It sounds like the doctor is optimistic if they say it hasn't spread because usually they just say they will check to see if it spread and not give you so much hope. It is amazing how something as painful as a kidney stone can actually work out to be a miracle.

  12. laura (deacon's wife) Says:


    You got this, Kid! Surgery and recovery! I will restate the obvious: the cancer diagnosis sucks; but about providential timing! Never thought I would be happy to hear that someone has a kidney stone.

    Catch you on the flip-side! Prayers for tomorrow and the short-term. (hugs)

  13. MonkeyMama Says:

    Oh no!! I am so sorry to read this.

    I can somewhat relate as my husband is the "healthiest" person I know and he's been battling a brain tumor since his early 30s. What I wanted to say was the plus side of taking care of yourself is that you will most likely recover from surgery very easily. Nothing is foolproof, but it will certainly increase your odds, help your recovery, and improve your long-term prognosis.

    We value you and your contributions, also. Good Luck! Will be thinking of you and your family.

  14. LuckyRobin Says:

    Oh, my goodness. I am so glad they caught it early. I will be praying hard for you. I have had so many surgeries now I am pretty blasé about them myself. I go into them expecting I will come out just fine on the other side, but I can imagine its a lot more frightening for you since you have never been through it before. You really do just go to sleep and then wake up as if no time has passed. It is very normal to be worried about your kids and your mother. Sometimes life doesn't go as planned, but I have to think that with them catching this so early, life will go on as planned with about a six detour in there for healing. Hang in there. Tell yourself over and over that you are too stubborn to die. For some reason saying that always bring me reassurance. (((HUGS))) Also, make sure you have adequate care for your children afterwards. You will not be able to keep up with them for some time afterwards. Having someone who can do the household chores for several weeks is also pretty important, because it is not something you should be doing as it will sap all your strength and divert your energy from healing. You might think you'll be up to it, but doing it will change your mind fast. So be prepared for that.

  15. snafu Says:

    I totally understand how terrified you feel caught in an unanticipated, serious medical situation. Sending prayers and best wishes for the very best outcome. I know from experience it's very important to hold on to a positive outlook and feel confident that everything will be fine.

  16. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I'm so very sorry to hear this, this is heartbreaking!!! Sending you prayers and hope and good thoughts for the best outcome possible, hugs {{hugs}}

  17. CB in the City Says:

    You are indeed very lucky. No, it wasn't lucky to get cancer, but to catch it early, and to have it lodged in an expendable organ was very lucky indeed. I'm sure you have a great prognosis and a long life ahead.

    I have had seven surgeries, some major, some minor. As others have said, you just go in and go to sleep -- except it seems like you wake up a few minutes later! You will have many professionals watching over you who are dedicated to your care. Think about all those wonderful people around you and you will feel less frightened.

    And you have all of us rooting for you, too!

  18. Bluebird Says:

    Thrift, I'm so very sorry this has happened to you. Saying prayers for you and sending well wishes. The surgery will go great, praying for a wonderful prognosis, and I hope you're back to your writing and gardening in no time! {{hugs}}

  19. Kymberlee Fisher Says:



    #CancerSucks! Frown

  20. PatientSaver Says:

    Yes, cancer sucks, but I think it IS good news they found it. You are in good hands. But I understand how frightening this can be. Do you have any guided meditation tapes around? There are some that help you recover from surgery faster. I will be thinking of you. Be brave. Bring some headphones and calming music you can wear til they anesthetize you.

  21. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    I echo everyone else's sentiments. While it is a very sucky thing to go through, it's good that they caught it early. Sending thoughts and prayers your way!

  22. TurtleLover Says:

    Prayers for you! I know somebody who recently had same surgery ... she was an older woman and came through just fine .. :-) I will pray the best for you.

  23. Trying to get ahead Says:

    Praying for you and a positive outcome. You have many good years left to live. Smile

  24. kashi Says:

    Oh my gosh - thinking of you today!!

  25. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    My thoughts and prayers for a safe surgery and speedy recovery. I hope you are okay.

  26. ceejay74 Says:

    Ugh, that is a sucker punch no one wants to get!! I don't have much to add to the awesome comments already made except I'm thinking of you, pulling for you and very hopeful for you based on what your doctors have said.

    The only thing I can add is that when you come through a life-threatening situation, life is all the sweeter and more appreciated. I was in a car accident after college that I would have died from if not for the Fire & Rescue folks and the doctors who performed emergency surgery. It was terrifying, but I've never taken life for granted since then.

  27. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I hope your surgery went well, and you recover quickly.

    {{hugs}}

  28. scottish girl Says:

    Thinking of you.

  29. Dido Says:

    Sending prayers that all has gone well with the surgery and that they have your pain management well taken care of and that you heal well and that the surgery takes care of things. ((Hugs))

  30. LuckyRobin Says:

    I really hope everything went well and you get a great prognosis. Praying for you.

  31. Laura Says:

    Hope you're on the mend! Prayers for a speedy recovery!

  32. Kiki Says:

    Thinking of you in recovery today!

  33. Petunia 100 Says:

    Hope you are doing well, Thrift. Smile

  34. My English Castle Says:

    Thinking of you and hoping all went well.

  35. kalrose Says:

    Praying for a speedy recovery!

  36. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I am keeping you in thoughts. I am so sorry you are going through this and hope all goes as good as possible.

    My son in law had a similar experience. They accidentally found the cancer on his kidney and removed the kidney. That was a few years ago and he is still cancer free.

    Hugs to you as you recover!!!

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