Chapter One: Diagnosis
Chapter Two: Donor?
Chapter Three: Dialysis
Chapter Four: Transplant
Chapter Five: Recovery
From My Lens

An update from John. Written June 21, 2001.

I know. I know.

It has been six months since my last update. I have no other excuse other than my being a huge slacker. But honestly, there has been nothing to report. Amber threw me a one-year kidney anniversary party back in March. That was great. She invited a lot of friends and we partied the night away.

Other than that, I've had two blood tests in the past six months and both turned out well. Creatinine is holding steady at 1.8. It is not perfect, but it's fine with me. I must admit I get jealous when I hear from fellow patients touting their 1.0 levels. . .

Dad is doing excellent also. Other than slightly high blood pressure, he is in excellent health. At least that is what he tells me. I'd hate to have to return the kidney.

I wish I could say the same for my mom, however. A few weeks ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer. My family just can't catch a break this millenium. She started chemotherapy last week and handled it very well. I went with her one day and was amazed how similar it is to dialysis. She walks in, sits down in a comfortable chair surrounded by fellow patients, gets hooked to an IV and sits there for an hour or two while modern medicine does it magic. It brought back a lot of memories. I just hope this helps her as much as dialysis helped me.

Now for a short diatribe. . .

Anyone who says smoking doesn't cause cancer or believes "it won't happen to me" is full of #$%@. Excuse the language folks, but I'm irritated. Especially since in the last few months I have received e-mail from a few readers wanting to donate, but can't because they smoke. What a waste. Not only are they hurting themselves, but they are robbing a loved one of the gift of a new kidney and a better life.

In other news. . . The New York Times published an in-depth look at the organ trade in their Sunday magazine. It is entitled This Little Kidney Went to Market. It is an excellent look at the pros and cons of buying and selling kidneys. I get a lot of email regarding this practice and I have yet to form a strong opinion, but I admit I am a lot more intrigued after reading this piece. Check it out.

That's all for now.


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