My Leukemia, Part 15

There are no words big enough to describe the pain…

No matter. I need help. NOW!!! If I wasn’t scared to death of Covid at the time, I would have rushed to the emergency department.

Instead, I squeezed myself into my oncologist’s schedule.

In the meantime, my recent Eyes to Thighs PET Scan report came in.

Summary Report: Some lymph nodes, deeply buried in my abdomen, became so enormous that they were compressing my left ureter (the tube that connects each kidney to your bladder). Diagnosis: Hydronephrosis. In layman’s terms, my left kidney was swollen and dying because it couldn’t drain normally. That’s why I had that horrible taste in my mouth. That’s why the horrible reflux persisted. That’s why my left leg was swollen. That’s why I was in constant, horrific pain.

Finally an answer.

Things moved quickly from there.

We hit the pain harder with opioids, jumped on the inflammation with steroids, and pushed to have a stent installed in my left ureter to allow my left kidney to drain properly. A low-risk Interventional Radiology (IR) procedure. Done for kidney stones all the time. Twilight sedation. Fully expecting to go home the same day.

No big deal, right?


Shocked awake, not from a nightmare, but into a nightmare. Screaming through my clenched teeth as I realize I’m hospitalized. Blood and urine squirting everywhere. Where’s the damn emergency button? My roommate, who I’d yet to meet, presses his. The angels known as nurses were there in a matter of seconds.

continue… My Leukemia, Part 16

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