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Kidney Cancer.

floralam88
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2009

My Mom passed away recently. I was in so desperatedly hurt. At the begining, she felt pain in her lower back, occasionally,she has a drop of blood in her urine. They did an Ultrasound on her, and it came back that a stone in her right kidney, no mass. The urologist didnot believe in that hospital, he has my mom do another ultrasound at other hospital, it came back the result that there is a cyst contain calcium that was in the middle of her kidney, no mass. But her kidney function was very normal, her urine flowing normally. He has my mom do the MRI/Pet CT scan and it showed that there are lesions in her right and left kidney and lym-node and on ther PET CT, this picture show some dark spot in her spine, and her pelvic bone.
But the urologist suspect it's kidney cancer. It was something that really shock to all of our family member. My Mom didn't smoke,didn't drink, and she ate healthily every day, how could she gets the type of cancer. The oncologist, said he can't give my mom medication until the biopsy show that it's really kidney cancer. He had my mom undergo the bone biopsy.
And the result came back no tumor identified. He then wanted my mom to do the Liver Biopsy,
it showed dead cells.

A few week laters, My mom developed blood clot in her both legs. And when we get to the ER,
the Admit Dr. is not willing to give her the blood thinner medication after he reviewed the MRI/Pet CT test that my mom had. He said, he rather my mom died of cancer instead of the blood thinner medication.

We don't have anyone in our family that has Kidney cancer. The first day my mom in the hospital, her kidney's function was very normal. After the 3rd and 4th day, my mom was very weak as they were giving my mom with 3 or 4 medications of antibiotic to treat what they called infection, as they see her white blood cell was little bit high.

My Mom died, I am just so in pain. I don't know if she really have cancer.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 400
Joined: Feb 2009

Hi there- My regrets to you and any of the rest of the family about losing your mom. It does sound like they did lots of tests, and kidney cancer is difficult to pin down.

In 2006, my internist ordered an ultrasound because I thought there might be a kidney stone. He also ordered the CBC and CMP, plus urine test. The urine had blood cells in it, but by then the ultrasound was back and showed a kidney mass and possibly 2 in the liver.
The occasional episodes of nausea & vomiting that only lasted from 6-24 hours were probably from the liver and gall bladder. Otherwise, I had no symptoms what so ever.

Six weeks later I had a radical right nephrectomy-12.5cm x 11.5cm x 8.0 cm clear cell RCC tumor; left lobe hepatectomy (liver) positive for RCC tumor; several test wedges out of the right lobe of liver; colecystectomy (gall bladder)removed due to a congenital drainage defect; and lymphadenectomy-positive for 2 of the 11 in the cluster.
Then, like mushrooms, in 2007 and again in 2008, I had single nodes removed in the abdomen.
No symptoms.

No one in the family has had kidney cancer, although grandparents did have some type of cancer. I didn't smoke, drink very seldom, was a PE and Health Ed teacher. The only thing that might have had an effect was the weed killer (2-4-D) that I used on an aggressive weed in our yard in the early 70's. That is the same thing as Agent Orange, and we know now that Viet Nam vets are being treated for problems related to the chemical.

So I just have to live each day and enjoy what I have.

I know work in and help run a business. I tore an ad out of one of the trade mags with a quote I liked. "Worry is not preparation...actionable information is."

To help deal with the hurt, do you have a pastor? have you called a Hospice to see if they have a Grief Support Group?, does the local hospital or cancer treatment center offer counseling help for survivors? I'm sorry your mom is not here for you; but now you need to focus on yourself and getting thru the mourning and grief process, however long it takes.
Donna

floralam88
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks Donna,
I did go to the support group. It helped a little bit. But sometimes, thinking back the sufferings my mom have to go through in the hospital, I just felt angry with the Doctor.
I felt that when they presumed one has cancer, they just don't want to try something treatment to see if they can prolong or save the patient life.

I just sometimes felt regret and unsured if I have taken her to the wrong Urologist cause
I basically took my Mom to see 2 Urologist, but I choose the one whom I later found is not a responsible doctor at all, cause I called him a few times with question, he didn't even reply my call.
No wonder my friend said to me before that a good doctor does make a big diffence in saving people's life.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 400
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm glad you are participating in a group. It does take time to heal.

What's done is over and you can't go back or try to outguess what happened. I went back and re-read your first post. Did your mom have kidney cancer? I can't say. Did she have something or several problems going on at the same time? Probably, yes.

The Dr.s will always try to do the least invasive procedure to get information for diagnosis.
And treating with any of the cancer drugs without a diagnosis of cancer would be absolute mal-practice, so that would be why they didn't use any of those drugs. All of the drugs that are currently approved for kidney cancer produce some very bad side effects. Most will make one nauseated and vomit, have diarhea, itchy skin, peeling feet or hands, mouth sores, weakness and fatigue, and that is just for starters. So try not to be angry with the Dr. because he didn't treat for cancer. And they are very expensive!

Palliative care is when the Dr. tries to keep the patient comfortable when he feels there is no treatment that can be offered. It sounds like this is what the Dr. did, but without really discussing the situation and prognosis with you and your mom.

Keep up your hope and know that you mom is no longer suffering or in pain. Now lets work on the pain in your heart. I care.
Donna

floralam88
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Donna,
Thanks for your advice. I am really trying to work on my pain everyday. It wasn't easy at all since Mom was so closed to me and the emptiness without her sometimes make me cry and felt so regret that may be I could have prevented this from happening if I did things differently. I read the cancer symptoms, but my Mom didn't have the symptoms that similar to be having cancer, likewise, Mom didn't have any lump,nausea,fatigue or excruciating pain.
She just felt pain in the lower back but not that type of severe pain. Her urine only once a while had a little bit drop of blood and I read that for patient with cancer, usually the urine will appear all pink. I just don't know. The unknown of what cause Mom died is really make me so deeply hurt.
In my heart, Mom is the person whom gave me so tremendous strength do deal with the hardship at work and in life, I have been working so hard because of her. Without Mom, I just felt so lost now. But I am very appreciated for your care.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 400
Joined: Feb 2009

As you are probably finding out, kidney cancer usually has few symptoms in the early stages. I had no lumps, no flank pain, was not aware of minute amounts of blood in my urine. As with most of the other people who have posted, the kidney mass (and others) were found by accident when being examined for something else.

I would suspect that your mom had no or few typical symptoms and was the type who didn't run to the Dr. for any little ache or pain. And I bet she tried to remain strong for you and available as your pilar of strength. By the time she finally admitted to needing to see a Dr., it was close to the end of her fight.

Personally, when I was first diagnosed, I was told I might have another 7 months due to the invasivness of the masses. Surgery was able to remove the active sites; but as we know,there have still been cells floating around, as I have had two separate recurrences a year apart.

Living your life without Mom will be difficult. Over time, you will develop the strengths that made her so important in your life. Then you can be there for someone else to lean on. Give yourself time to heal.

Enjoy the weekend coming up. Fix a cup of tea, put your feet up and read a good book. Pamper yourself-paint your toenails.

With love and caring, Donna

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