Five months ago today seemed so far away. September 5, 2021, was my kideyversary with this gift of a kidney. What a year! It has been a tough year, the most challenging year I’ve ever experienced medically.

After my 6-month kidney biopsy, I was informed that my kidney had a bit of inflammation, so they needed to raise my immunosuppressant medication. Deep in my gut, I didn’t like how much they raised my meds, but I didn’t mention my concerns and did what I had to do. Within a week, I began to feel some discomfort in my stomach, and a week after that, the pain just progressively got worse, to the point where I couldn’t eat. I felt such horrible stomach pain. My nephrology team thought it might be gastritis due to the raising of prednisone. They also had me be tested for EBV (Epstein-Barr virus) since my donor did test positive for it, and I needed up testing positive for it as well. 5 weeks later, I kept complaining that my kidney transplant team set up an endoscopy on April 21. The endoscopy showed I had ulcers in my duodenum and was told I would be getting my results for the ulcer biopsy in 7 to 10 days. That, for me, felt like an eternity because I wanted answers at that time, my pain was not getting any better, and I just wanted to know WHY.

On April 23, 2 days after my endoscopy, I woke up with the need to use the restroom and lots of pain, which was not unusual, but I had bloody diarrhea this time. To be honest, I thought I was going to die. I went to my local emergency room and asked to be transferred to UCSF (University of California San Francisco), where I got my kidney transplant. Once I was at UCSF, the pain was still there, and they were managing my pain. I was able to have some liquids once I had pain meds.

Once I was at UCSF, I informed the doctors that I was not leaving till I felt significantly better. Within a couple of days of being in the hospital, the preliminary results of the ulcer biopsy showed that I had EBV and CMV (Cytomegalovirus), which they were already treating me for, and they raised the antiviral meds. I also developed a mysterious fever, and they tested me for so many things, practically everything under the sun. A week after I was admitted, they were ready to discharge me. Some of the tests they took when I was feverish didn’t turn up anything, and there were some tests we were still waiting on. We were also still waiting for the final ulcer biopsy results. The morning of the day they wanted to discharge me, the nephrologist walks in and says he has bad news. I was informed I had PTLD (Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease). He went on to say Thursday you’ll start Rituxan and Friday Chemo. I was in shock. I didn’t know how to react. Not once did cancer ever cross my mind. Not once!!!

This one-year Kidneyversary is awesome! I am so grateful to God for carrying me through it all. I am not in the clear yet, but God is good, and he has given me strength. That doesn’t mean that I do not have my moments of worry and fear Because I do. However, I trust in my Lord Jesus Chris. I try to surrender to him daily and in everything. As much as I do not want any of this, I see blessings and God’s hand in it all.

No matter what you are struggling with:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

““Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Trust isn’t the Lord in everything. It is easy to say it and maybe not live by it. I know that all too well. When you’re in the thick of your suffering, it can be challenging. But believe me when I say that I COULD NOT do this without God. He is my strength, my shield, my creator, and my Father.

Prayer for you:

Father God, thank you for your love, grace, mercy, kindness, provision, and constant faithfulness. Praise be to you, Lord, praise be to you. Father, I pray that my story and my journey glorify you Lord and only you Lord. Father, I pray for anyone reading this. No matter what they are facing or what season of life they are in, they surrender and give it to you. May your holiness and glory shine in their lives. Father, thank you so much! I love, praise, worship, and trust you. I pray this in your magnificent name Jesus! Amen!

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