Just before my surgery for breast cancer we learned that a dear friend back East is facing final stage kidney disease. This means he needs a new kidney, or he will have to do dialysis day and night, at home. I was teaching a writing class when I got the sudden impression that I should offer him my kidney.
So, after class, I left a voice message for his wife, then drove home and told Bob. “I figure if I’m already under anesthetic, then it’s one hospital stay and one recovery.”
Bob just stared at me. “They can’t do that—they can’t do a mastectomy and a kidney operation at the same time!”
“Oh, please,” I said. “People come in all the time after a traffic accident and they need five things done at once. What are they going to say—‘We’ll fix your punctured lung, but those broken legs are going to have to wait’? Of course they can do it.”
He asked if I had considered the risks and that maybe this should be a couples decision, not one I make by myself in an impulsive moment. Ah. Okay, I forgot about that part.
“What are they going to do,” Bob went on, “tape it up in a Styrofoam cooler and then if it doesn’t make it, come back for the other one?”
I’m pretty good at smirking. “I’m sure they can deliver it.”
“We don’t even know if you’re a match,” he said. “And you’ve had kidney stones twice!”
True, this might become a deep discount kidney sale, given that my kidneys like to churn out stones.
“And you’re a cancer patient!” he continued.
Okay, maybe I am not the optimal donor. But my “as is” kidney is still on the clearance rack if he wants it.
The next morning we had another biopsy, and the women who mails off the tissue samples met us with a rolling refrigerated case. I nudged Bob. “I’ll bet a kidney would fit in there,” I said. He explained my “hare-brained idea” to her and she laughed until she cried.
And that’s when I know my work here is done.
Aren’t you curious about the kinds of books I write? Most are humor but some are straight-up whatever. Check ‘em out here.