Thursday, September 01, 2005

Our Date with Death: By Isidro Sid Martinez

We are all so good at never considering our date with death. It seems like it is so far away that we doubt that we will ever have to face it. Sometimes something happens that exposes us to our mortality and then we go back to living as we usually live. We try to get things back to normal as soon as we can! Our loved ones also want it that way. It is like the odds of our death are no longer a consideration.

I want to let you know I speak form experience. I recently was found to have a very large tumor on one of my kidneys. According to the doctors, it was so large that it required immediate removal. The diagnosis was renal carcinoma in late stage. How could this be, I never had any symptoms, I felt just fine, but there it was on film. A tumor the size of a melon. The doctor said the prognosis was not good; at this stage it would probable spread. The tumor had probable become soft and would fall apart upon removal, making this a very difficult operation. I was told to get my affairs in order and report for surgery. On June the 21st I went into surgery for 5+1/2 hours. An artery sprung a leak and I required several pints of blood. The tumor had been removed along with the kidney, the adrenal gland, lymph nodes and two ribs. So there I was, still alive, but dreading the possibility of the cancer spreading and chemo and radiation, and all the pain.

Two day after the surgery the pathologist determined that my cancer was not renal carcinoma but something else, onco-sarcoma. A rare form that forms many layers of scar tissue and does not spread or recur if totally removed. Fantastic news, I had been spared, and I had dodged the death bullet. Now the healing begins. It has now been a little over two months. I am still in pain and the huge scar look really bad. My flesh has developed a ridge along the area where the rib was removed. It swells and gets irritated, by evening it is very uncomfortable just to walk or sit.
The chemo is horrible but I am told it is necessary insurance, just in case some cells are still in my system.

So now we get to the point of it all. I dodged the death bullet this time. What are the odds? My spouse became very distant, she was depressed, she wants thing to get back to normal as soon as possible. Why are they NOT back to normal now! Like I can forget this ever happened and just go on! I wish it was that way, but I have some physical processes still going on that keep reminding me. Even if we could forget, does it make sense to not consider our own mortality.

"Salvation belongs to the time before death. If you don't break your ropes while you are alive, do you think your ghost will do it after".......Kabir. Is not now the time to live, while we are alive?


At September 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one can know what it feels like unless it has been experienced

At September 22, 2005, Blogger Juan Sepulveda said...

Sid I feel for you. I can only add to your comments, focus on the positive aspect of the situation. I know it will be very hard, but it is more benefitial to have a positive outlook for the future than concentrating on how tragic our past has been. Best of luck to you and your family,

At September 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sid, healing takes time, not only physically but emotionally. You have gone thru quite an ordeal and the body needs time. There are always reasons why things happen and we don't know at the time why. I pray for you and Luz.

At September 26, 2005, Anonymous Renal cancer survivor said...

Renal cancer is not an easy one! Especially since they typically remove a rib or two. The flesh around the rib area no longer has any support so you get this big bulge on the side of your body. It pushes out when you cough or sneeze or when you sit down. The body has never built-up any muscle in that area since it had some ribs for support. The other concern is mainting the health of the remaining kidney! Good luck. I had my operation over a year ago, I still feel the effects, I guess we'll never be 100%.
The previous post talks about reasons why things like this happen, like this was something good or mayby you were paying for some bad deeds. Look the reasons don't matter, it is in the past. You gotta just live with it or not!
It is now always your choice.

At September 27, 2005, Anonymous Renal Cancer survivor said...

I made a spelling error in my previous post. My last statement should read "It is not always your choice"


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