Friday, August 16, 2019

Simply Grateful

It's been a long time since I've shared anything here on my blog. Too long, in fact, but life really came hard and time away was necessary. There are so many things I want to share - and I will. I honestly hope to get back to being here often to share my comings and goings and things on my heart. Today I will just share the big reason I've been away so long. Later I'll catch you up with other things I've done through this year.

Life can take a major turn when we least expect it and that's exactly what happened early this Spring. Tests to determine the cause of continuing upper digestive pain revealed that my gallbladder was one hot mess! I knew where that diagnosis was leading but I was totally unprepared for a more serious health crisis that ensued. The ultrasound also showed that I had a large mass in my left kidney. Consultation with my doctor led to a CT scan that revealed that the mass was a large tumor. The tumor appeared to be renal cell carcinoma. Cancer. Not an easy diagnosis to hear. Your life can never be the same again when you hear the words 'very high probability that you have cancer'.

The kidney was high priority so I saw a kidney specialist first.  Due to the size and location of the large tumor, my left kidney would have to be removed - cancer or no cancer. Two surgeries would be required. My kidney specialist would remove my kidney and a general surgeon would remove my gallbladder.  I asked if it was possible that I could have both surgeries done at the same time. His answer was a relief. Yes, the two surgeons will coordinate one surgery - one surgeon and his team will begin the surgery and exit the operating room. The second surgeon and his team will take over and finish the job. Two surgeries in one! One hospital stay; one anesthesia and recovery.

I had surgery early in May and stayed in the hospital for three nights while my body began to adjust to life with one kidney. My remaining kidney is strong and healthy - that's good news - but the best news of all was the phone call from my kidney doctor with the lab results from my tumor. He had joy in his voice when he told me - NO cancer. Benign! The percentage of possibility for this outcome was very small. But many people were praying for me. I was at peace no matter the outcome because my life is in God's hands. But this news brought tears. Tears of gratitude. And such relief.  We laughed together on the phone as tears poured down my face. Because of the type of tumor I had I will have to have a yearly ultrasound for the next two or three years, but I am healthy and doing well.

Recovery is long and slow when a kidney is removed. I knew this going into surgery so we planned for me to live life at a slower pace as long as I need to. It's amazing how God created our bodies to handle this situation.  A Bible verse I learned as a child has taken on a whole new meaning.

Thank you God for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Psalm 139:14
New Living Translation

During recovery my remaining kidney is adapting to life on its own. It's actually enlarging as it adds more filtration tissue to handle the load it carries. It's strong and healthy and working exactly the way it should.  This could take up to a year. While that happens fatigue is an almost constant companion during this process. I never understood fatigue before. I have been exhausted in the past but this is different. It's the feeling that I'm a big rag doll. I can't push myself and I run out of steam quite fast but the fatigue is getting less and less and one day won't be a part of daily life. It's beginning to taper off and I'm so grateful to have a day here and there with no fatigue. I really am doing great. I'm able to do some simple tasks again - slowly - and, if you could see me, you would probably say I look good. I look healthy - and I am healthy.

The support and prayers and love I've had from my family and friends who have walked this journey with me means more than words can say. My life has changed. I'm different now. I'll never be the same again. I don't take life for granted. Each day I thank God for another day to live and to serve Him.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise You!

Psalm 63:3
New Living Translation

There's no way to describe what I feel in my heart except to say that I am simply grateful!

With A Grateful Heart,




  1. {{{{{ ♥ }}}}}
    continuing to pray you through,
    knowing our Lord's best for you is in the
    palm of his hand .. holding you tenderly
    and guiding you in this path of restorative
    health and REST. i love you, friend. ♥

  2. Wonderful to read your health adventure here. So happy you are getting better each day.

  3. What a wonderful outcome from what appeared to be a very dire situation. I am so pleased that it is over and you are on the road to recovery.

  4. Oh dear lady, praising God for this slowly but surely healing process for you. Praising the Lord for the awesome news. God surely found favor in you through this process. I will pray for a full and total recovery. Hugs and blessings to you. Cindy

  5. pray your total recovery is swift


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