Right now is a pretty rough time in my life.  In fact, I think there has only been one time I had it rougher:  when I was young, 7 or 8, I was in the hospital for a few months for renal failure.  I have very little memory of it, but I know it was tough on me and everyone around me.

It seems like most of the people I know have or have had at least one disease that is serious in their life history.  This is mine.  The lasting effects are negligible, just some medicine-controlled high blood pressure and a slight recommendation to watch my sodium and protein intake.  But it was a very acute disease at the time, with treatments including dialysis, steroids, and chemotherapy.

I guess I’m writing this post to help out people who are searching for hope because they or a member of their family have this disease.  My understanding is that most people who had it as bad as I did didn’t pull through, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  Twenty years of my life are living proof of that.

One anecdote I remember from the time was this:  I was having a hard time keeping down any food that I was eating.  I don’t remember if this was during the first stages of the disease or the chemotherapy, but I was not able to eat without vomiting.  My family asked the doctor if we could order a pizza, and he said it was fine, since I wasn’t going to be able to keep it down (pizza is very high in sodium and sodium is filtered by the kidneys, so too much is apparently bad).  So, anyway, I ate 3/4 of a medium cheese pizza with no problems.  Therefore my nausea must have been caused by the hospital food!

I still google my doctor now and again to see what he is up to, and if somehow my case was published in some journal somewhere.  If it was, I have yet to find it.

I remember one person who worked with kids at the hospital who helped me draw pictures of space and planets and things.  I don’t know if I even remember her name, though I think it might have been Allison or Andrea.  Remembering that makes me want to do good for other people like she did.

A special thanks to everyone who visited me when I was sick.  I probably don’t even remember many of you, but you helped me and helped make me who I am, and I am very appreciative.


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