Ronni Gordon is  a cancer survivor and long-time journalist who has written about her journey, about health and fitness, and about how she and others have prevailed in difficult situations. She brings to her writing a mix of personal experience with knowledge about the health-care system and how cancer patients can navigate it. A graduate of Vassar College with a master's degree in journalism from Boston University, she is a freelance writer who worked in daily newspapers for more than 30 years. She has been published in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dana FarberCancer Institute magazine, and Cancer Today magazine. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her dog, Maddie, short for Madison (Avenue) in honor of her hometown, New York, and is mother of three grown children, Ben, Joe, and Katie

Ronni Gordon

Tags: Cancer | cancer | kidney | miracle

Seeing Bad News in a New Light

By    |   Tuesday, 12 August 2014 04:01 PM

One year ago this week, I was pacing around my kitchen, crying from some of the worst pain that I could ever remember. And considering what I’ve experienced in the past, that’s saying a lot.
It was early afternoon. I had just come home from the hospital after having surgery to remove a cancerous lesion on my kidney. I was taking a high dose of the opioid pain medication Dilaudid (hydromorphone), as well as extra strength Tylenol. But it wasn't working. I could hardly breathe. But I was afraid to take any more drugs.
I called the urologist who had performed my surgery. A receptionist said she would mark my message “Urgent.” But when an hour passed and I didn’t hear back, I called my regular nurse practitioner. I was so glad to hear her voice and to know that there was someone who would always call me back when I said it was important.
My nurse said it was okay to take more medicine. Someone from the urologist's office finally called back around 5:30 — when it was no help at all.
I thought of this story recently in the context of how something bad can sometimes turn out for the best. 
For instance, last May I was supposed to attend my cousin Nancy's 60th birthday party in California. But I developed double pneumonia and landed in the hospital on the very day I had expected to fly out of Boston.
During a 10-day hospitalization at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, I had a scan to determine the extent of my pneumonia. It showed something that would not have otherwise been found: a small lesion on my kidney.
The attending doctor told me that if the lesion turned out to be cancer, it was a miracle on top of the other miracles that had come my way. Finding it this early and by accident meant it could be removed before it had a chance to spread.
There is no routine screening for kidney cancer. Therefore, it’s usually only found after it’s too late to prevent it from spreading.
At the time, I found it hard to be as pleased as the doctor was, for my outpatient tests showed that it was indeed cancer. A surgery was scheduled for after I recovered from the pneumonia.
The surgery took care of the kidney lesion, and no further treatment was required.
It’s only now, a year later, that I am able to see my “miracle” in a different light.
By the way, I finally got to make that trip to California — and it was fabulous. I watched the America’s Cup and got to spend much more time sightseeing with my cousins than I would have otherwise.
And that surgery scar on my right side is now just another line on the roadmap of things I have survived.

© 2020 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
One year ago this week, I was pacing around my kitchen, crying from some of the worst pain that I could ever remember. And considering what I’ve experienced in the past, that’s saying a lot.
cancer, kidney, miracle
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 04:01 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
Newsmax TV Live

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved