Apr 23, 2012 - 1:44 pm
I’d like to tell you about my weekend, but for you to fully appreciate it I need to retell my story with a bit more detail. I apologize for the length, but it is a good story and I swear every word is true.
About 27 years ago my neighbors, Bruce and Kim, were signing their sons up for wrestling and since my boys were roughly the same age wondered if we might be interested, long story short we spent the next 12 years sharing rides to practices, tournaments, etc. and became very good friends.
In the spring of 2005 my son and his new father-in-law were going to the state wrestling tournament and invited me to join them. During the course of the day the conversation turned to a motorcycle trip that Bob (the father-in law) was planning out west and by the end of the day I was invited to go along, I hadn’t ridden a motorcycle in about 20 years at this point. What’s important here is the wrestling connection that got me back on a bike.
October 29, 2009 the day of my accident and subsequent RCC dx. I was following Bob that night, last bike in line, as usual, so there were no witnesses to the accident. When the guys realized I was missing and turned around they found a mystery lady kneeling in prayer beside by motionless body on the side of the road, they thought I was gone. When help arrived the mystery lady disappeared and since she was not a witness the police never even recorded her name which saddened me as I wanted to at least thank her for her kindness. In early December a couple weeks after my surgery Kim’s aunt on the other side of the state invited her to tag along to a jewelry party she had been invited to. When she introduced herself and told the group that she was from west Michigan another lady mentioned that she recently attended a wedding on Kim’s side of the state and wondered if they would like to hear an interesting story about her trip. She said that upon leaving the reception her GPS instructed to turn right out of the parking lot, instead she turned it off and told her traveling companion that she felt compelled to find a different way home and turned left. She said she then took the next left she came to and had driven only a short distance when as she rounded a curve she came upon a man lying in the road next to his wrecked motorcycle at which point Kim exclaimed “OH MY GOD, I KNOW HIM!”. Turns out my mystery lady was a trauma nurse, while I still remember nothing from that night, she tended to my immediate needs, directed my friends to traffic control, advised the arriving EMT’s of my condition and then quietly returned to her car and drove away. Kim got her name and address and we have exchanged several letters since.
About a year and a half ago we moved my mother-in-law into a nearby assisted living facility, a few months later Bruce’s dad took up residence there as well. My mother-in-law passed away peacefully surrounded by family Sunday afternoon. During the vigil on one of my hall way stints I ran into Bruce’s dad and he asked if I had heard about Bruce. It seems he had been having trouble peeing blood and had gone to the ER where they ran a bunch of tests and found a mass on his kidney. I made a mental note to get in touch with him as soon as I could.
Sunday evening Kim called with condolences while Bruce was visiting his dad and we wound up talking at length about his condition, tumor size, options, you all know the drill. Then she told me that in the ER that night when the doctor delivered the news she said to them “I know how devastating this seems, but there is hope. Two years ago I treated a man following a motorcycle accident, he had surgery a few weeks later and he is alive and well today.” Bruce said “That sounds like Gary.” The ER doc was speechless.
So it is that my good friend has become the 8th person in my life to be diagnosed with this effing disease and I can only hope that the circle is now closed. While I am glad that my experience will help make things easier for Bruce, my hatred of RCC is yet again renewed.
Thanks to all of you for being there for me,