A few days ago I spoke about what was one of the worst times of my life, when my youngest daughter was in and out and in the hospital with ITP and spinal meningitis. One of the times I did not speak about was when my husband Jim had to have his right kidney removed because he had kidney cancer. This happened back in the summer of 2002. Terrible summer, his father died and at first the kidney cancer looked like it might be in his liver too. Kidney removed, back and forth to Louisiana between all those medical appointments and surgery visiting his father in the hospital after his first heart attack and stroke through his death. Torture.
Torture made even worse by members of my old church. I'm going to have to see if I can find the disc I saved my old Diaryland journal on where I chronicled the step by step angst of that summer of 2002. During the time we were walking through this the two most difficult to deal with people at my old church, Tommy and Tina Smith, inserted themselves, taking everything up a few notches of awful. One incident around the time of the surgery ended with Tom chasing me with an upraised fist threatening to beat me for being a a hateful unsubmissive woman who did not know her place. I chronically it all at No Longer Quivering in a series titled 'Who Was That Masked Man?'
Well, today was walking right back into what seems like it might be a hard place again. Jim started urinating blood yesterday, called his urologist at UVA and we were there much of the day. It isn't an infection and it's not as likely to be a kidney stone based on his lack of all pain. Only thing conclusively ruled out is infection. Could be his prostate bleeding, or...... and I hate to even think it.... cancer either in his remaining kidney or the bladder or prostate or somewhere in the urinary tract.
They wanted Jim to come in tomorrow, on a Saturday, to get that MRI, but were not able to get pre-authorization in time from our insurance company. We leave for Costa Rica on Tuesday before daybreak. So the MRI is happening the day we get back. At the current level of bleeding, which seems to be off and on, the doctor thinks the travel will be alright. I am not convinced, but if we don't go we will be out close to a thousand bucks on airfare. The hotel rooms are still in cancellable and refundable status. Same with the rental car and the tours.
So it's going to be a delicate dance. If it's a kidney stone and it's shifting it is possible it could shift and shut down his kidney. This happened once before and when it happens it gets very serious very fast. He could start bleeding more while we're gone. I know that they say Costa Rica has good hospitals but I don't want to test that idea right at this moment.
I feel like running into the woods and screaming out my terror right now so loudly. Or breaking down and crying, but I can't. I know because of how awful it was the last couple of times with Jim and his kidney problems that I need to stay calm for him. He's barely holding it together.
The toughest moment of the day was when they wanted Jim to schedule to have some sort of test where the doctor runs a scope up Jim's penis and looks at his bladder and prostate to make sure there's no cancer there. Jim was out and out refusing because the test is invasive and painful. I was just not having that, pleading, cajoling, yelling at him to DO IT! He finally agreed after seeing how I was adamant about it. It has to happen. This is too serious to put off. I wish they'd have been able to get insurance approval and do all of this before our trip. I'm going to worry the entire time. Damn, and I was so looking forward to a stress free relaxing vacation in the most beautiful place on earth.
Not to mention what type of monkey wrench this might toss into our three years worth of planning this move. I just tentatively put a deposit down on a 20 foot shipping container to move our things. That's refundable too fortunately.
Damn, damn, damn!