Thursday, May 24, 2012

Farewell, Scarless Belly

Tuesday. The biopsy results finally came. I had quite a sleepless night the evening before with the phone by my side waiting for the doc to call, for I just knew it would be first thing in the AM. My phone rang at about 7am, which jolted me awake, and I stumbled out of bed to answer. To my dismay, it was only the service guy trying to get into my condo in Chicago to fix my renter’s thermostat. Ugh. That call about gave me a heart attack.

At this point, I was exhausted from a poor night’s sleep, but wired with anticipation. The doc then called about an hour later with the news, and he said that it was what he had expected, a renal cell carcinoma cancer. Wow, it was quite strange to hear someone finally blatantly say it like that. I have cancer. It really seems so unreal because aren’t you supposed to feel really sick when you have killer inside you…albeit a silent one? Anyways, he added that it was actually a very rare type (only 2-3% of cases) of this sort of cancer called a chromophobe renal cell carcinoma instead of the typical clear cell cancer, and this all was very very good news. He continues that this Grade 2 (on a scale from 1-4) cancer was not very aggressive and has been less likely to cling on to and destroy other organs. The cure rate for patients like me is way higher than those with the true ‘garden variety’ renal cancer, and with this news, I had to take a huge sigh of relief. The docs would not need to do any chemo (thank god I get to keep my hair for the wedding next year!) and would be ready to cut me open and just scoop all this crap out. My brother asked if we could bring the goo home in a jar. His girlfriend (a nurse) simply stuck up her nose and described how disgusting cancer really smells. I had no idea it had a distinct odor, but apparently it does, and it’s something you never want to smell. I think my insides might need some fabreeze when this is all said and done. And with all that, we agreed not to bring the tumor home in a jar.

Wednesday. My parents and I headed from Springfield up to the Mayo and Adam and his mom joined us from Elgin. At 3:30, I had my first MRI, and all my loyal fans waited patiently for me in the lobby. Like I had mentioned in an earlier post, I had had the opportunity to help design an MRI room at my last job, so it was cool to finally be the end user. Once, I had heard that the magnet is so strong, you could put a strawberry (which is full of iron) above the epicenter of the magnet and it would simply float, and when asking the doc if he had ever heard about this he simply said, “awww, sweet!, really?” Guess I just gave him something to do in his downtime, ha. In any case, I went through the motions and let them zap me with magnets for almost an hour to get all the images they needed before tomorrow’s surgery.  Not really much to do while laying still in this tube looking at the plastic tube above you except listen to the clinks and clanks and beats the machine makes. I think you could easily take all those sounds and make a really sweet dance beat. I could just see us all now in some underground club fist pumpin to some MRI beats. What?!

 It really did feel like summer here, and to celebrate my last night of double-kidney-ness and a scar-free lifestyle, we went out for drinks, appetizers, and a great dinner at a local wine bar we discovered our first visit here. Ironically, we noticed that the guy sitting behind us at dinner was the same guy ahead of me for my MRI appointment. Seriously, what were the odds of that? Is this town really that small?


  1. Bridgette, we'll be thinking of you!!! Goodluck with surgery and kick the shit out of that cancer!

  2. Please be sure to have Adam post how it went, as soon as he can after the surgery. You have a whole lot of people in SW France pulling for you!

  3. Bridge - Welcome to the scarred belly club! I'll be praying and thinking of you all day. I know it's a lot to ask but as soon as Adam knows something could he let us know? You have a LOT of people who care deeply and I know will be anxiously awaiting news.

  4. Bridgette, I love your sense of humor and positivity through all of this. You are going to kick this tumor's ass. Thinking of you guys!

  5. I'm sure Adam has his hands full so I thought I would give an update. I just spoke to Bridgette's brother, surgery was a success!!! Kidney was removed, cancer did not spread and no complications. She is in recovery right now.