The spring of 2007 (my 13-yr-old niece's BD to be exact)*, I had surgery to remove my spleen, the tail end of my pancreas, and "as long as they were in the area," the biggest kidney tumor on my remaining kidney, which they no longer refer to as a kidney but a remnant.
They were "scared" to touch the remnant but the risk was too great not to try. The spleen had to go because it was in the way of the surgery, The pancreatic tumor was in a fortunate location where they predicted I wouldn't need meds or a change of diet in the future.
This time the CCC experience was a bit more intense. I was hooked up to more bells and whistles than I ever have been, and 24 hrs after surgery it was determined the little "Kid" wasn't working. But I pointed out I was awfully wet around my waist and incision, and they did some tests and realized the kidney just wasn't hooked up right and needed re-plumbing. So the next day I had another surgery and we held our breaths awhile until it stabilized.
I was there 9 days before being moved to a regular floor. It was depressing. A true floor of heart-break. Either patients were just out of intense surgery or they were there for a 'hail mary' pass. My neighbors were dying every day. The nurses were so thrilled to see me pacing the halls later in the week b/c they seldom see their patients recover.
As typical of abdominal surgery I lost 15 lbs. (the only silver lining to these surgeries, though I wouldn't recommend it). They ended up removing half my pancreas, so I don't need meds, but I have problems with certain foods and can get very ill from a too greasy meal of cheeseburgers or pizza, or from too much dairy (and I adore cheese and ice cream) -- small price to pay, still...
*not the first time. I have missed every family member's BD or have had an operation on their BD. I missed so many holidays I insisted the schedule be pushed so I wouldn't end up away - but time and circumstances seem to conspire against me sometimes....
Next: 2009, and status to date