Neither of my kidneys actually has a story. Yet. But one of them might embark on a life changing journey which we're at the very beginning of.
Monday, I go for blood tests to see if my kidney could be a potential match for my brother. If blood and tissue types are compatible, we move to the next step.
Now that I'm writing I realize this isn't really the beginning of the story. I've known for my whole life I might be in this place. And I've always graciously offered up an organ should it be needed, in a light-hearted, breaking difficult conversation sort of way. There was never any real thought behind the bequest.
Now it's really on the table. And still, there's not any thought behind the decision. It's not a decision. If my brother can use my kidney, it's his. End of story.
And beginning of story.
The transplant coordinator told me yesterday that should things move forward I'll have the most thorough physical of my life. That's both cool and scary. I'm sure this 46 year old body has all sorts of issues I don't know about that might not ever garner attention. But, I could soon be minutely scrutinized.
I'll have to deal with my subway anxiety, as the hospital is way uptown. My surgery fears. I'm not a fan of losing control and the thought of being knocked out fills me with dread. The reality of living with one kidney instead of two.
But, and this feels crazy and right at the same time - I'm excited. That maybe this will help. That all the years of eating well and exercising has kept my body in good shape to handle this. Maybe, on some level, it was even for this. To know there's something I might be able to do, instead of merely observing, is a gift.
And my gift when it's done? A tattoo of Japanese cherry blossoms around my left ankle. A true symbol for me of life and beauty and rebirth (sorry mom - I know the nose piercing was hard - hope you can handle this).