Friday, February 4, 2011

a glitch in the road

This morning, after frantically looking for missing homework, getting everyone out to school on time, and walking an unwilling puppy across freezing sidewalks, I sat at my desk to catch my breath. The phone rang. It was my nephrologist, asking if I had a few minutes to talk.

That is never a good sign. He wasn't calling to chat about the superbowl or my weekend plans. He was calling to let me know I'd failed my third urine test. They found microscopic hematoria or, to those of us who have no idea what that means, there were red blood cells in my pee. And now we need to find out why.

My heart started pounding. My hands were shaking as I took notes. Renal cancer. Bladder cancer. Kidney stones. Irritated linings of various things. At a certain point I couldn't take anything else in.

We next talked next steps. The double dip kidney cat scan, both with and with contrast. The bladder scope during which a camera is inserted into my urethra to check out what's going on inside. Another 24 hour urine extravaganza. And then, perhaps, a kidney biopsy should they not be able to solve the mystery.

And the transplant? It wasn't sounding so good.

As soon as the call ended I burst into tears. Heaving sobs. I couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't process anything. And I couldn't tell which was worse - being terrified about what could be wrong with me or how desperately I didn't want to disappoint my brother.


I panicked. I called Jon and freaked.

But then, I breathed. I let go as much as I could. Instead of dwelling in what ifs, I went through my day. I met friends for coffee. I went to yoga. I talked to Jack's teacher, ironing out issues that have been building up over the past few weeks.

I can't change things. What I can do is live and deal and be, and handle whatever comes next.

As I spoke to the transplant coordinator, who was calling me sweetheart by our last conversation, we discovered I'd gotten my period right after the test and that could have thrown the results. I realized, after their office had closed, that I'd actually gotten my period the night before the test - I had no idea having it was a problem. No one asked. I didn't mention.

So here's the deal: I'm not going to panic this weekend. I've got cat scan mania booked for Wednesday morning. And pee test number four lined up after that. I believe, with all my heart, that all will be fine in the end.

And if there end up being more hurdles to overcome, they're part of this journey.

To throw in a Sanskrit word (in honor of my new book): swaha.

It is what it is.


  1. I got a pap smear when I was at the end of my period, and was told I had precancerous cells. A repeat test at a different time cleared that up.
    I would be pretty confident it was your period, so take it easy!!

  2. I am so proud and impressed by you throughout this journey. Love you!

  3. Holy Shit! Sorry... couldn't help that one. I've had a similar experience with a pap smear as well - a horrible false/positive for something that wasn't wrong. Certainly my fingers are crossed and I suspect all will be well. You're strong and healthy (and you looked fabulous yesterday)!

    You are my sunshine!
    XO Michele

  4. I've had a similar thing happen. Ah, the scares that turn out to be ok...The relief is almost worth it!

  5. Sending good thoughts. This transplant is going to happen and it's going to be a success. I'm already anticipating (and visualizing) that blog post! Hang in there, you're doing great!

  6. They should have asked you about your period, sheesh. Hang in there. You are so right, it is what it is and it isn't what it isn't. Keeping you in my thoughts and my fingers crossed for you.

  7. I picture you writing again very soon how your period was the culprit, all is well, and the transplant was a go and was successful. Be strong, be healthy, be well.