"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Monday, May 9, 2016

coming clean...

...it has not been an easy path these last few months.  I had every intention of blogging more and complaining less and neither has happened.  I also had high hopes that the end of 2015 would be the end of some very difficult problems but as it turns out it was only the beginning.  You see, I've been holding out on you, afraid to let you in on my secret, trying to find the way out of the maze on my own; the only thing I've learned is that I can't do this on my own.

I have always tried to be up front with my type 1 diabetes fight of almost 50 years and some of it's nastier complications that come with time of illness.  I have tried to be honest with my struggles with depression in case someone else could benefit from my honesty.  But I hold back, always, for if you knew the 'real' struggles you would hurt yourself in my name.  We are all like that I fear, holding back just enough to survive.  I am no different and I know you all have your own battle scars.

See this beautiful illustration of two lovely, healthy kidneys;

these are not my kidneys, if they were we would not be having this conversation, I could wish you all a wonderful week and say good-night but alas, this is not so.

I always thought that type 1 diabetes would be the culprit, would take out my kidneys as it does so many others.  It is the leading cause of kidney failure and something that is always back in the windmills of my mind.  My kidney function remains remarkably good considering.  No it wasn't diabetes it is something completely unexpected especially at this point in my life.  I have kidney cancer.  I have borne this news alone for a few months while going through test after test and after seeing three doctors they all seem to be of the same opinion...cancer, both kidneys.

I must be some mutant child as there is no known diabetes or kidney cancer in the family although thyroid cancer is something both my sis and I have had and this is related to that.  I saw a surgeon last week and we have a plan.  The original surgeon recommended having both kidneys removed as the mass in each kidney is quite large, then I would need a transplant or dialysis.  I didn't like that idea at all.  New surgeon is going to try and save as much of the kidneys as possible hoping that the left over portions will do the job and keep me from more surgery or dialysis.  This sounds a little better, still in all it's major surgery...and soon.

shocked, numb, pissed, sad, relieved, wanting to hug everyone I see, spend time in nature, and find some healing place, putting my trust in the good Lord to guide me and the doctors, wanting to 'help' my hubby cope (this doesn't help his Parkinson's) wanting to run away, needing an umbrella drink or two, wanting more special days with my babies and their babies, so many thoughts jumble my mind all at the same time.....

My dear bloggy friends you have always been there for me and welcomed me with open arms when I started this crazy blog and I know you are there for me now, that you will hold me up and help me through and for that I am so very grateful.  I will do my best to keep you updated and if not me then my girl will step in.  For now I will try to keep on as if life is normal and drop in here when I can.  Love you all.


  1. Joanne, I'm lost for the right words, other than, as you say, courage, dear heart, courage. How unfair this must seem, and is, but with hopes that the surgery will leave enough for you to carry on without the hassle of dialysis or more surgery.Do you have a date yet, and are there more things to do before this? I send so much love and all wishes that you do have courage, faith, and much love from family, friends, near and those of us so far away.
    XXX from way down in NZ.

  2. Hey Joanne,
    Let me be just a small voice from your blogging world and tell you that I am thinking of you and sending you love and big hugs! Medical stuff can be very confusing and upsetting, so remember to be GOOD TO YOURSELF and that will allow your body to respond to treatment, okay?
    My words are just that words but the thoughts behind them are powerful! Take care!

  3. Oh, Joanne, I am so sorry to hear this news. I know diabetes can cause a myriad of problems, but we never expect the bad news. I had a step grandma that began losing parts of her lower limb. She ended up having her right leg removed just below the knee. I was diagnosed with Type 2 a few years ago. I thought I was doing pretty good because my A1C is at 6.4, but today, my Dr told me my creatine is creeping up. Now, I need to try that new drug they are advertising on TV. The metformin is too hard for my kidneys. My sister has also been diagnosed. I guess as we get older things begin to fall apart. We've had so many friends that have died of cancer, various kinds. I'll be praying for you, and watching for updates.

  4. You will be in my prayers, Joanne. May God comfort and guide you and give you strength.
    Take care. *hugs* ♥

  5. As always, Joanne, you are being your forthright self and this was what attracted me to your blog a few years back. Your honesty is inspiring and full of braveness.
    We are sending you positive and healing energy from coast to coast and hope that you keep your inspiring outlook, as difficult as it must be, so that this upcoming surgery will do what it intends to do successfully.

  6. Jojo, you have been continually in my prayers since you shared this on FB. You are a brave and strong woman and what you lack, God will give you the strength and courage to get through this. Know that we love you and are sending positive thoughts to you right now. Give your hubby a big hug as well (((Hugs)) and love you!

  7. Dear Joanne,
    May your heart indeed be conscious of its treasure.
    I pray that you are fully attended in each moment of this journey.

  8. I am so sorry to hear this news. My mom did dialysis for years before her first transplant back in the days where there were hardly any dialysis units and she traveled 4 hrs round trip 3 times a week for many years, then a transplant one of the first wave in the country. Then six years later rejection ( no cyclosporin yet) back to dialysis but at least a closer unit by now then to CAPD dialysis then a second transplant...She also had a triple bypass, 3 cancers and eventually diabetes also. Why am I telling you this? Because we were told she would not live past my ninth birthday. She passed when I was fifty, and outlived my dad by three years.I always believed her attitude which was angry and stubborn kept her alive. They know so much more now, keep praying, get in fighter mode and hold hope for the best outcome. <3

  9. Joanne, I'm at a loss for words but wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and hoping for some positive results to come your way. You deserve some good news for a change!


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