Hello wonderful people…
For those who don’t know my mom Judi was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. But, to tell her story we need to back up a bit…
2006 was the first time we heard cancer and mom in the same sentence.
She had a tumor in her right kidney, and without surgery it would be fatal.
They were able to completely remove the tumor along with her right kidney and ureter. The procedure saved her life, but left her with only one functioning kidney.
Most people with a single kidney live a normal life without any short or long term problems.
Fast forward to 2019…
What was supposed to be a routine urogram for kidney function, turned into an emergency hospital stay.
My moms lonely left kidney was failing.
From there all of us were introduced to Dialysis and kidney transplant.
Since then her whole world changed.
Spending nearly every other day and hours at a time in a dialysis clinic.
Dialysis treatment helps your body remove extra fluid and waste products from your blood when the kidneys are not able to.
A necessary treatment to keep her alive, but not living. It’s a rough process.
She has suffered through major blood pressure issues, constant medication changes, swelling in her extremities, fatigue, loss of energy, appetite and weight loss. Not to mention the emotional and mental toll that this type of prognosis and treatment takes.
Her catheter she left the hospital with transitioned to an AV Fistula, a surgical procedure that connects a vein onto an artery, usually in your arm. This creates a larger blood vessel that can be accessed regularly for use during treatment.
Of course mom likes to be dramatic so her fistula has become the talk of her local clinic. Its large and in charge. It’s size resembling a garden hose in her arm most days. Often it’s very painful to access and if not accessed properly causes extreme swelling and bruising of her arm. Several times it’s been at risk for Aneurysm because of its size and repeated punctures that can weaken the vein wall in some patients.
Because of that she has had numerous venogram procedures to monitor blood flow and fistula reduction surgeries to control blood flow to avoid major cardiac issues.
Awaiting transplant became even more cumbersome in 2020. Mom made a long stop in the ICU, when a medication issue almost killed her, then shortly after we heard that word again…
Mom was given news of an oral cancer. Resulting in a procedure to remove a portion of her tongue, and months of therapy to regain normal speech.
Transplant protocol now said we would have to wait two years before she could be considered again
The past four years have been such a struggle for her. Countless tests, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, treatments and every type of scan you can imagine.
But most days you wouldn’t know it.
She’s a loving wife and mother. She remains present with her family and friends, and has remained my biggest and most fearless supporter.
The BEST grandma, insisting on time with them regardless of how she feels.
She is a model dialysis patient and very close with the techs and physicians who provide her treatment.
She continues to work 5 days a week and answers calls with a smile, often becoming a trusted friend to her clients.
Which brings us to where we are today.
Cancer free and so grateful to be back on the road to transplant.
I’ve watched my mother take this all on with grace. Never wanting to be a bother.
She’s endured so much, suffering the loss of my baby brother in a terrible accident in 2000 and my big sister just 3 years later to a senseless murder. A murder she still continues to fight to solve, all while she fights for her own life. She’s so strong, but shouldn’t have to do it alone.
I’m asking those that know and love her to consider donating to her cause. And I’m also hopeful for the kindness of strangers.
Donations will go towards costs for transplant. Even with insurance coverage cost are staggering and will average $85,000 out of pocket.
As we tackle this as a family we are also asking anyone who is open to becoming a live donor to please visit the Mayo Donor Registry. The average wait time for a transplant is 3-5 years, which is precious time she may not have.
If you see it in your heart, The Mayo donor registry has great information on becoming a living donor if you are interested.
You are able to apply for a specific recipient.
Her blood type matches are A and O.
I’m thankful to everyone who has supported my mom through this process. Especially her husband Randy who has been there every step of the way, often putting his own health aside for hers.
Thank you for simply taking the time to read this. Even if you are not able to donate, please consider leaving a positive message for Judi, and send her some love as she navigates her journey ahead