Apr 05, 2009 - 1:05 am
Last week (March 21st) I was admitted to the hospital for what my primary physician thought was appendicitis; testing showed I had a tumor in my kidney about the size of a grown man's fist. I had a nephrectomy -- my right kidney was removed, along with, presumably, all of the tumor.
My urologist who performed the surgery told me that he got all of the tumor and that no additional treatments would be necessary. I will be going in every three months for follow up tests. However, he indicated I was all but "cured."
I recognize that you can never be sure that all of the cancer was removed. However, I am confused about whether I am more or less cured. If the kidney is gone, can the cancer return anyway? If I had stage 2 renal cell carcinoma, the statistics suggest that I have about an 80-85% chance of recurrence.
This is rather new to me. What does that statistic mean? A recurrence in the other kidney? I recurrence where my old (right) kidney used to be?
I recognize that these are questions I need to ask of my doctor, which I will do, but I don't meet with him for another two weeks (still recovering from the surgery, which took place earlier this week). It would help settle my mind some if I simply understood what I was dealing with here. Any insights would be appreciated.