1 Kidney, 2 kidneys…3 Kidneys???
To the readers of my blog I wanted to share the news that on April 25th I am having surgery to have one and possibly both of my old kidneys removed. My new kidney is still working GREAT and I couldn’t be happier about that. I have been asked (by family and friends) why the doctor doesn’t take out the old kidneys when they do the transplant. I wondered the same thing myself. The answer to that question is that they don’t usually remove them because it’s a more invasive surgery. They don’t even put the new kidney in the same place where the old ones are located. My new kidney is actually located in the front lower part of my body.
The reason that I am having the kidney(s) removed is that during a regular visit with my transplant doctor, she felt that my blood pressure was higher than it should have been, especially since the transplant. So she scheduled an ultrasound to make sure there wasn’t a “kink” in any of my arteries that could cause the blood pressure to be high. During that ultrasound they found that there was something “suspicious” on my right kidney and I was referred to a urologist. After a few more tests (including an MRI) the radiologist came to the conclusion that there was a small mass on the kidney and there was a chance that the suspicious small mass could be cancerous. His recommendation was to have the kidney removed. The urologist and my post-transplant doctor agreed. They were both concerned about kidney cancer, which I was told that there was a 50/50 possibility. Neither doctor wanted to take a “wait and watch it” attitude and of course, neither did I.
My husband and I met with the surgeon twice after the initial visit. We have faith and confidence in him. He put our minds at ease when he told us that once he takes the kidney out, if it is cancerous, the cancer would be gone because it is isolated on that kidney. He also suggested that since I was going to have the surgery anyway I should think about getting the left kidney taken out too. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. To get both kidneys removed would be a surgery that would last between five and six hours and I didn’t like the idea of being under anesthesia for that long. After explaining that to him, he said that my concerns were understandable and we agreed that if he could take both kidneys out in a four-hour window that’s what he would do.
So that’s what I will be doing early Monday morning when most of you are getting ready for work or drinking your first cup of coffee. By the way, this type of surgery is called a “nefrectomy.” The hospital stay is usually 2 – 3 days and the recovery period is usually 6 weeks. I’m nervous but ready for the surgery. I don’t want anything in my body that doesn’t work and that could possibly harm my new kidney. I can honestly say that after thinking this whole thing through, I am at peace with it. My new kidney has truly been a godsend and I feel wonderful! After I had my transplant I remember feeling that the journey I’ve been on wasn’t over. This surgery is just another step on that journey.
You all know that I believe in the power of prayer. So I would appreciate any and all prayers you would like to send my way.
Speaking of journeys, my friend and fellow blogger Anne R. has been going through a lot of twists and turns of her own in her efforts to donate her kidney. To read where she’s at on her journey, please visit her blog at: http://www.anne315.wordpress.com/
* June 12, 2011 is the Lansing Kidney Walk – Cooley Law School Stadium – Registration starts at 12pm & the Walk begins at 1:30pm
* If you’re thinking about donating to a cause this year – besides your own of course – please consider donating to the National Kidney Foundation or sponsor my group, “Freda’s Kids,” at the Kidney Walk.
* Please visit my personal Kidney Walk page where you can learn more about Kidney disease and even donate online:
* It is tax-deductible