Just over 2 years ago I was at home on a Saturday night getting ready to go out. In a matter of minutes I went from feeling a bit 'off' to a screaming heap on the floor. My partner called an ambulance and I was taken to hospital with what they believed was kidney stones.
Tests showed a ruptured blood clot in the kidney and I was rushed into surgery. After draining the clot they discovered a mass inside the kidney which turned out to be a renal cell carcinona. For some reason I had no initial fear, I just thought "they will take it out and I will be ok".
Three days after the diagnosis was confirmed I was standing in the shower and it all hit me and I started to sob uncontrollably for at least 15 minutes until the water ran cold and I had to get out. This was my release, but it made me strong and determined that nothing was going to stop me beating this.
I had to be there for my children and grandchildren. On the first Tuesday of October 2006 (3 weeks before my 50th birthday) I had a right nephrectomy and adrenalectomy (right kidney and adrenal gland removed). I woke to a world of pain as I guess I had still convinced myself before they operated it would just be a matter of operating, removing the bad bits and moving on.
Today I had my abdomen CT scan, which I have every 6 months, and thank God all was clear and I live to fight another day.
I guess what I learnt is that we all have to face our demons but if we just face them head on we can beat them. I know I live in fear every day of a recurrence but I also know that if that happens I will not sit back and let it win.
Cancer teaches you many things, like who you really love and who loves you. But most importantly how strong you really are and what is important to you. I have changed my outlook on life quite dramatically and have decided this was another learning experience and I have come through with flying colours.
I wish you all the best of luck with your journeys. God bless. Debra