My “get out of jail free” card

  • Early this summer I started a process that I was bound and determined to see through. I have a good friend that needed a kidney and I had an extra, so I decided to donate mine. We were both 49 years old and I thought I would be a perfect match. I went through lots of tests to see if I was a match and planned on having the surgery this summer. The last test was a CT scan. I got disqualified as a donor because they found a mass on my left kidney. This week I went to a doctor to determine what it was and I found out it was cancer. It hasn’t spread  so I am having part of my left kidney removed. They will get it all and I should be fine. Yeah!

    I had prayed about giving up my kidney and was so set on it, despite a few warnings from friends. I feel that God prompted me to be willing to donate, and the testing process saved my life. The cancer that they found does not usually manifest symptoms. It most likely would have spread to both kidneys to the point that by the time I had symptoms I would only have months to live. I am so lucky!

    I am so grateful to God for this extra chance at life. It puts things into perspective for sure. I played monopoly all the time as a kid and the best card was the “get out of jail free” card. A new chance to go around the board. Well that is what I just got – a new chance to live longer and be here on earth. I am lucky, blessed and grateful. I have the most amazingly supportive husband and a wonderful family that is always there for me. Feeling so blessed today!

    p.s. My surgery is in July and I should only be down for a few weeks. I am sure the first thing I will want to do is check my garden!



    June 13th, 2013 | 55 Comments |

55 Responses and Counting...

  • Julie 06.13.2013

    Oh Melanie – I am so happy for you!!!! God was watching out for you. We are going through similar cancer with my brother-in-law for the last 5 years. Unfortunately he wasn’t so lucky. He had kidney cancer and had one removed and bladder cancer. He recovered but now has kidney and pancreatic cancer. Please keep following up even after you have the all-clear. J

  • Julie,
    thanks for your story and I plan to continue to get checked. I guess you never know until they really check you over.
    so nice of you to share with me,

  • God Bless you Melanie, Isn’t it wonderful how God gave you the insight to donate, all the while He wanted you to get tested? I will be praying for a complete painless healing for you.

  • Arlene,
    Ha! Painless sounds nice! thanks for your sweet words and prayers,

  • Praying for you and your family during your procedure and recovery. Also sending prayers for an outstanding surgical team. God bless all!

  • Mary,
    I am in the Houston, Texas area and the medical team is outstanding. Grateful for such high quality doctors to care for me.
    thanks for the prayers and wishing you the best,

  • Wow what a day you have had. So thankful it is going to work out. I always said you can’t out give God. If it were not for your generous nature you would not know what you know now. Will be praying for you and your friend!


  • Sherry,
    Thanks for prayers! Our shared faith in God is what gets us through times like these.
    wishing you well,

  • Super glad to hear you are going to be ok, I can only imagine how surprising this must have been! Good luck to you and your friend! <3

  • Pamela,
    Thanks for your support! I was quite surprised because I always thought I was invincible. and healthy! Now I know I am loved by God.
    blessings to you!

  • Yes, you are most truly blessed…God divinely guided you into being saved ‘physically’….I will pray for your complete recovery.

  • Kathryn,
    thanks for the sweet words and prayers for me. I feel loved from so many fellow gardeners! It is so nice.
    much love to you,

  • MessageI, like you, had one of those in 2003. I’d had some problems with my gall bladder a few times. (I was supposed to have had it the year before and didn’t) The last time I had an attack was a really bad one. I was hospitalized and they kept me in the hospital a while till I could have the surgery. . This time they discovered cancer… thank God my surgeon was a biliary specialist and could tell by feel that it wasn’t right or it, probably, wouldn’t have been found. Had to have more surgery than they intended including some of my liver (which grows back, by the way). God got me through it and 10 years later, I’m still healthy .

  • Carolyn,
    Thanks for telling me your story. I plan to keep getting checked for years and do feel so blessed that I found it. Such great news that you are healthy today.

  • So grateful you were prompted to help someone in need and unfortunately you couldn’t help the way you had planned you ended up helping yourself with Heavenly Father’s guidance. What a women you are Mel! I’m so very grateful you are sticking around~you are completely irreplaceable! I love ya Mel <3

  • Sherri,
    Ha – not sure about irreplaceable but thanks for the sweet words and being such a dear friend to me! love ya too!

  • Praying for a quick and full recovery Melanie! Thanks again for letting Dad and I come by! We learned a lot and really appreciated your time and help! Hugs! Lisa

  • Lisa,
    Thanks! Your dad is so smart and you both are lucky to have each other. Come by anytime! thanks for prayers!

  • Hi Melanie!
    I will be lifting you in prayer as you go through your surgery and recovery. God is Good! He does amazing things as you can well attest to! Praises to God!!! HUGS!!!
    nancy 🙂

  • Praises to God for sure!
    thanks so much Nancy!
    wishing you well,

  • Melanie, I too have been diagnosed with a kidney mass, but fortunately it is benign. I am so thankful that you are going to be okay, and please don’t have any fear. Fear is the greatest crippler of all. You are so loved, and in the prayers of so many. Love, me

  • Josie,
    Thanks for the kind words and prayers – I didn’t know you had a kidney mass, Fear is a crippler and thanks for reminding me!
    you are a ray of sunshine to so many!

  • Will certainly keep you in prayer. God is good all the time.

  • Patricia,
    God IS good all the time. love your message and thank you!

  • Wow what a wonderful story …how blessed you are to get a second chance!!!
    Love you gurl!!

  • Sussan,
    love you too gurl! thinking of you today and happy for my second chance!

  • I am so happy you will be okay. Isn’t it so interesting how things work out sometimes? The sequence of events saved your life. Such an incredible gift from a God who is always good. Good luck with your surgery and recovery and we will all be looking for your emails.

  • Judy,
    I will for sure stay in touch about how things are going – I feel so blessed to have a community of friends and gardeners – all so so wonderful to me!
    thank you much!

  • I am so thankful that you have found it early! So thankful to our Heavenly Father for esrly detection in your unusual circumstances. Praying even now for the process. We love you!!!

  • April,
    Our shared faith in God is what gets us through times like this. Thanks for being a rock in my life!
    love you,

  • Heavenly Father, thank You for Your mercy! How awesome are You! Praise You Jesus!!! Thank You for moving on her heart to donate and out of her willingness- her life was spared. May she continue to honor You and bless us through the care and stewardship of your earth!

    I have enjoyed your blog so much and I have bought the plans for the raised beds.

  • Missy,
    I will continue to praise and honor God all the days of my life! Thanks for being so sweet and kind. Stay in touch and let me know how your garden is growing!

  • Melanie! I am soo happy that they can get it all out with surgery! My mom told me about this and I have been praying for you. This is amazing!

    Love you!

  • Lindsey,
    Yes for sure they will get it all – so happy to have found it.
    thanks for your love and prayers – my family is the best!
    love you,

  • Kim

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad everything will be OK, and what a blessing that things worked out the way they did. We’ll all be here cheering you on during your recovery. Hugs!

  • Kim,
    So grateful for loving caring cheerleaders like you – I appreciate your kind words!
    wishing you the best!

  • You are so blessed!! Such an amazing story! I will be praying for you and your family!! Thank you for sharing how God is working in your life and giving hope to others!!
    Much love to you!! Colette

  • Colette,
    He is a God of hope. I have found that to be true in my life. I know He knows me and loves me as he does you too.
    thanks for taking the time to be so kind!

  • Wow wow and wow! God is amazing! This post touched my heart! Praying that everything goes smoothly!

  • Yolanda,
    Thank you for your prayers and yes God is amazing for sure! He knows and loves me and he knows and loves you too!

  • Wow Melanie!!! Your story gave me goose bumps. How amazing for you. I will be thinking of you and sending you lots of love and good wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Oune,
    Thanks for the love and good wishes. I feel so lucky to have some many blog friends with love and support!

  • A tender mercy that when we try to save someone we many times end up saving ourselves. Mark 8:35. “But whosever shall be willing to lose his life for my sake, and the gospel, the same shall save it.” Love you and will bring in a meal for the family!

  • Kimberly,
    Absolutley love the scripture – thanks for being an inspiration to our family.
    love you,

  • Melanie,
    Thanks for posting this on your blog. It’s so amazing how God works! I know He has big plans for you. You will be in my prayers!

  • Sheri,
    Thanks for your prayers. I know He is watching over me and loves me, as well as you too. He does have big plans for me, glad to still be here!

  • Wow, that’s an amazing story, and you are so blessed to have taken that route towards helping someone else, only to find that you were the one in need! So thankful your cancer was found early and is operable!

    I have a friend currently building two raised beds for me from your plans, so I’m now researching to figure out WHAT I want to plant! I’m fairly new to gardening, so probably should start out fairly simply. (But the list keeps growing! LOL)

    Do you have a source to buy non-GMO seeds? (Perhaps that’s elsewhere on your site and I just haven’t found it yet . . .)

    Thanks, I love your site and I’m sure I’ll be coming back to it frequently!

    Best wishes for a surgeon with a steady hand and a speedy recovery resulting in a long life with your family and garden! 🙂

  • Caron,
    Hi! So exciting about getting two new raised beds! Let the fun begin! I have a blog post on what to plant found here:

    That is the most common question I get asked. I do not have a source for non-GMO seeds but I would reccomend looking online as seeds are so cheap to ship – so it seems worth it to find them online.
    Welcome to the world of gardening and thanks for your well wishes for my surgeon. I plan to get out to my garden as soon as I can after surgery.
    Stay in touch and let me know how your garden is growing. Online garden friends are the best!
    good luck to you!

  • Melanie,
    I am so sorry to hear about the cancer. I know what you are going through, as it has been a long road with me and breast cancer. Ever since I was first diagnosed with cancer, I felt as peace, knowing that the lord was in charge. I am grateful that mine was caught early, (even though it led to a double mastectomy, and many complications after). May you feel the love of those around you! My kids have been my greatest support with all I have been through these last 2 years. And I know, without a doubt that I have angels watching over me. May the Lord bless you, and may you feel the arms of those who have gone before, around you as they help you through this. Please keep in touch, and know that you are in the prayers of many. You are well loved!!! If you need a friend or a visit, just let me know!
    You have always been a great example to me. Love and prayers to you as you endure this, and to your family as well! Hugs and Prayers, Pam

  • Pam,
    Thanks for the words of kindness and encouragement! You are a true fighter and such a great example to me of someone that keeps going even though the trials keep coming! You and I both have angels watching over us and for that I am forever grateful!
    Much love to you!

  • Oh Melanie! I am so glad it was found in time. Just proves that G-d does indeed work in mysterious (to us) ways and is always there when we really need him.
    I just found your blog via Pinterest and those wonderful raised garden bed plans of yours… I just purchased them and can’t wait to get my garden started, albeit a bit late this year but there’s still time to grow some veggies!
    Be well and my prayers are with you and your surgeons!
    Hugs from a new friend,
    Beth P

  • Beth,
    Thanks for the prayers and well wishes! I have been so blessed to find some great gardening friends through my website. Please stay in touch and let me know how your garden is growing. So happy to have a new friend.
    Thanks for being so kind,

  • This story has God’s work written all over it! It’s amazing how He uses our ‘own decisions’ to truly lead us in the direction He is guiding. A serious of ‘coincidental’ events. I’m happy they found it in time! God bless and I’ll pray for your speedy recovery.

  • Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for your wisdom and prayers. I am so happy they found it too!
    best wishes to you!

  • […] For the past two weeks I have been gone on vacation. I volunteered as a counselor for our church girls camp for one week and then spent a week with family and friends on my favorite river in Hunt, Texas. I had friends and family water and check on my garden while I was away. My garden got tons of rain, so that helped too. My kidney surgery is tomorrow morning at 8 am so I will be out for probably another week. For the amazing story about my surgery, read this post. […]

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