A Note from the Commissioner
Note from Dan Sharadin, CWPA Commissioner:
In May of this summer I donated a kidney to my wife, who had advanced kidney disease for many years. Before donation the hospital runs you through a host of tests to ensure you are not only a match, but healthy enough to undergo the surgery, as well as function with one kidney afterwards. After going through days of testing and giving enough blood to satisfy a vampire, I was cleared for the surgery.
After the surgery the staff monitors you very closely for several weeks. During that period my temperature spiked to above normal and I was readmitted to the hospital for a couple of days for additional testing. They ran through a battery of tests and could find no reason for the fever so they sent me home. Afterwards I received a call from my surgeon saying that in reviewing the second set of tests they discovered a tumor on my pancreas. When they went back to the initial tests taken before my surgery it was evident there as well; they had simply missed it. He could not explain how that had happened since the process for clearance is very thorough. The surgeon explained that had they seen it initially, it would have disqualified me to be a donor for my wife.
Fast forward to today--I have been through more tests and a biopsy. The tests were inconclusive, although they are certain the cells are abnormal. They do not think the tumor shows cancer at the present time, but they are concerned it may develop into cancer if left alone. Accordingly, they want to remove it ASAP.
While I have no idea where any of you stand on religion or what your personal beliefs are. I can tell you from my perspective that I feel blessed that God was at work in this situation. The radiologist missed the tumor in the first review of my CAT scan, which allowed me to donate my kidney and save my wife’s life. Had they seen it, I would have been disqualified as a donor. Danna’s kidneys had failed by the time she was due for surgery, so she would have been in a life-threatening situation had I not been able to give her my kidney. Then I had the “mystery fever” which forced more tests. They could find no reason for the fever and the only byproduct seems to be the fact that it required additional testing, which subsequently revealed the tumor. Had I not had this inexplicable fever, they never would have ordered another CAT scan.
The doctors are all clear about one thing. These types of tumors never show any symptoms until it is too late, at which point the individual has just a few months to live.
So in reality, what seemed like a mistake initially helped save my wife, and the second round of testing that seemed to produce no results at the time eventually saved my life. Donating my kidney really saved both our lives.
As to my recovery, I am told it will be similar to the first surgery. If that is the case I should be back in the office on a part-time basis in about 3-4 weeks and full-time shortly thereafter. I will be reviewing email from home before that time if you need to reach me.