Ok…. So here’s an update (might be graphic if you get a weak stomach talking about hospital stuff… don’t read)…. My life has drastically changed in the last couple of weeks…. A week and a half ago, I went to the bathroom between classes and it was pure blood. I ran to the hospital. I wasn’t in any pain, but I was scared. I had a kidney stone I passed without any problem in March…. I wondered if I was just gonna pass a stone. That’s what I hoped atleast…..
I went to the new military hospital and went to the floor for a consult. I went in a hospital room where they didn’t do a very indepth check. I wasn’t weighed, they sent me to some student and checked my blood pressure without a stethoscope. I was a nursing major at one point, and I knew from watching the blood pressure pump that the numbers were off. They said I had 155/100. I could watch the numbers too with my eyes and it looked like 130/85. It seemed very off. So i was sent back to the doctor to go through questions. Why was I there. I told them i was peeing blood. I also told her to take my blood pressure with a steth. She said it was 130/80. So i was frustrated already that I knew more about medicine than some people there. She sent me off to get a urine exam. When I peed in the cup, it looked normal. No more pure blood. I was relieved. The exam came back with high protein, looked like i might have an infection, and there was a little blood in it. I kept saying….. “it was red like cranberry juice.” not just a little.
She said i probably have kidney stones and she sent me home with an anti-biotic and ibuprofen. I said I want an ultrasound to see how many stones i had. She refused to give me one. I said I want to pay for one privately and she still refused. So when she left the room, I snapped a photo of her computer screen with my exam results and left. I run all my medical stuff down here by Margarita’s Gynecologist. He is amazing. Dr. Hugo Vaca Perez….. You rock and might have saved my life. I highly recommend him. So…. I send him my results and he says…”Tom, you need to go get an ultrasound now.” So I went across the street from Pricesmart to an ultrasound clinic and got a private ultrasound. The guy spent about 1 minute on the right side of my abdomen and I knew it wasn’t good when he was taking about 10 minutes on the left.
He looked at me and said I have bad news. I had a “mass” about 11x10x9 cm in my left kidney. He then told me my kidney is only about 12 cm long. I asked him some questions and he said that 90% of these are tumors. My heart just sank. He said i should go to the hospital monday to get it looked at.
That 5 minute car ride back to my house was the longest of my life. I cried and cried and yet I knew nothing. I just knew I wanted to see my daughter grow up. She wouldn’t understand if something happened to her daddy at such a young age. Not only that, but probably wouldn’t remember me too.
I went home, we cried, we went back to the hospital and they ran a couple tests. The Dr. originally sent me home Friday night and told me to come back weds. So we went home and went to bed…..
Then I woke up.
Saturday that horrible sight when I went to the bathroom was back. But this time with blood clots and pain. We went to the hospital. They checked me in and it started to move along. Luckily I have some friends who know people in some high places in our insurance company and also parents of students who are respected Doctors. After a few phone calls surgery was scheduled. I was told for maybe 4-6 weeks. I was in a lot of pain. My School and the administration was very supportive. Thank you Susan and Liam. My parents came down because I honestly thought I wasn’t going to make it that night. It was because a clot was blocking my urine and I hurt. I was so scared. I have never shed so many tears in one day thinking about my family and Mia.
They took me into surgery to remove this blood clot. That went well. I think it was Sunday night where the head of surgery came in and said “I talked with a friend of yours who is a doctor. We are going to move this along a little faster”. So some strings were pulled. Thank you, and you know who you are. But the dr. said we were going to do the surgery Thursday now instead of 4-6 weeks. So praise the Lord!
After lots of tests, CT scans and x-rays. They confirmed it was a tumor. Then the Dr. tells me that 90% of tumors in the kidney are cancer. That still hasn’t hit me yet.
So that week was a blur. They removed the kidney laparoscopically. But the Dr. has never seen a tumor that big inside a kidney. So they had to make a bigger cut to get it out whole. He says it looks like it was all inside, but they also removed 2 glands that were swollen. We are praying those glands didn’t have cancer in them. If they were swollen because of what was going on with my body, then we are lucky. I just know when the doctor told me 20% chance for complications I imagined it could be the last time to see anyone. I kissed my daughter and wife and family goodbye and prayed that God would take the surgery over. He did.
I left the hospital Sunday afternoon. So now I sit here at home watching monday night football with my baby girl and I have a tube and pump coming out of my side (I go tomorrow to remove it). I’m in a lot of pain and it hurts to breathe standing up. I honestly cant stand and talk at the same time because I can’t breathe.
We are now waiting for 2-3 weeks to get the biopsy back and see if those glands have cancer which would mean the cancer is in my body. If so, through pulling some strings, I hope to be in chemo in January. If not, then praise the Lord!
So that’s the whole story. The hospital food was horrible. I can’t eat like a pig anymore because my 1 kidney can’t handle 4 cheeseburgers at once. So A lot is changing. But please continue to pray about this biopsy. I could have a long road ahead of me if the results are not good….
Thanks for all of your prayers. Love you all. And God Bless You!
ps…. I will say this. Once everything got moving, the military hospital treated me very well. I did pay for a private room, but the care and nurse attention during my week there was wonderful. I highly recommend it!