My name is Glen Speed, Jr. In 2005 I was informed by my Doctor that my kidneys were only functioning close to 10%. As you could probably imagine I was shocked and in disbelief, as I was in pretty good physical shape and I was a lead singer for (Timeless Soul) a Motown Philly Review. At that time I weighed 225 lbs.
So in 2007, just 2 years later, I gained 35 lbs of water weight and weighed 260 lbs. My kidneys were no longer filtering the water I drank and the waste was not being filtered out properly. I was informed that I would have to immediately begin dialysis 3 days a week for 5 hours each time, which was very scary news.
I was able to try home dialysis which ended up not working out well for me. I contracted 4 blood infections over the course of a year. I almost died from one infection as it settled at the top of my spine and ate through 3 of my cartilages. I had a fever of 175 that spiked as high as 210. My wife was told to call my family because the doctors did not know if I would pull through. I was in the hospital for 7 days.
So in late 2008, I had an operation to have a port put in my arm so I could start dialysis at a local NW kidney dialysis center. I was taken care of very very well there. Unfortunately, in 2009 I again contracted another blood infection and was hospitalized for another 7 days.
Dialysis was severely harsh on my body, but in 2010, I was able to sing a little bit for my friends and that made me feel good. My kidney function was only at 7% by this time. With it being this low I could no longer urinate at all, so I was added to the transplant list.
I was very happy to be on the active list for a kidney, but in 2011 at the very end of my annual physical I was asked to stay a little longer. A Dr. Porter came in and informed me that I had prostate cancer. What a shock that was. I was stunned by this news. After I gathered myself together, I simply said "When do we begin?" I also asked what my PSA was. PSA stands for Prostate-specific antigen. A norman PSA level is between 4-7. Well mine was 32...Yes, 32! It was in late stage 3. We went over our options and I decided that radiation treatment would be best for me, which my doctor agreed. This meant that I would now have to go to dialysis treatment 3 days a week and go to cancer treatment 5 days a week, for 7 straight week (Sigh).
The one thing I can say to you all, is to keep a good and positive attitude if you have to go through this or any other tests in your life. I believe in God and that pulled me through.
Well, after the 7 weeks were completed I was declared cancer free. I was happy, but in pain. When on dialysis, pain is something you have to get used to. The way I looked at it was,"It could have been worse and a lot of people are suffering way more than myself." I had to look at things in a positive way!
In 2012, I was informed that I was being taken off the transplant list because the policy states I wait 2 years before being reactivated. Well, this put me into a deep depression. I almost gave up on everything. Being that close to receiving a kidney or at least knowing you're active on the transplant makes all the difference in your attitude. I have some pretty great friends that saved me.
In 2013, I was reactived on the transplant list again. In July of this year, I was contacted and told a kidney was headed my way. I was overjoyed with this news and I cried like a baby! Shortly after receiving this news, I got another call from the nurse telling me that someone else was up for this same kidney. The kidney went to a young man that needed it more. I was good with that, as I have lived 51 good years and the young man was in his 20's and he needed it more. So on August 1st, I received another call that I was up for another kidney. I was happy again. Lol, well shortly after that I got another call from the nurse saying another person hit on this kidney also and they needed not only the kidney, but the heart and liver as well. I found out that it was an 11 year old girl that needed it. As you can imagine this was a no brainer for me. The little girl definitely takes priority over me for sure. I knew I would get one soon. Just 3 days later on the 4th of August, I was finally told by the transplant nurse..."This is your kidney." I went straight to my hospital, Virginia Mason here in Seattle for pre-op prep. On August 5th, I finally went in for my kidney transplant. The operation started at 7:30 am and was completed at 2:00 pm. It is normally a 3-4 procedure, but they had to put the kidney on the left side because it fit better and they also had to redo the veins as well. Surgery went well. Shortly after waking up, I began taking pictures of all the nurses. They are truly life savers!
I came to this site to ask for a little help financially. As you can imagine, the medical bills have piled up quite a bit. I have a hard time asking for this type of support, but I was informed by the person that referred me to this site, that I needed to stop being so prideful and humble myself as there are people that want to help. I hope so. Thank you for your time.
Glen Speed, Jr.
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