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just diagnosed

BG
Posts: 85
Joined: Jun 2011

I went in for elevated liver enzyme scan, during the scan they found a 3-4 cm tumor on my right kigney via ultrasound by chance, and confirmed by CT scan yesterday. They will take a wedge of my kidney, not sure if open or laprscope, I go to urologist tuesday of next week to discuss. I am a 48 year old male, and freaked out, i have a 3 ayear old boy and six year old daughter.

The doctor beleives it is stage 1, and I do too based on siz, hope it is confined. He said it did not invade the renal vein. He said there was a 94% prognosis out 5 years, I hope he is correct.

What recomendations would any board members have? I lost my father to cancer severl years ago.

BG

Thank you very much for your responses, support, words of wisdom, encouragement. I stumbled across this website and am very thankful I did. As my children sleep in the fort I built them in their room, I am trying to educate myself!

BG

swijak
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2011

My story is similar. I'm a 49 year old male with a 3 year old boy. I too have lost several people close to me from cancer. I was diagnosed December 2010 with a 10cm tumor on my left kidney. I and yes I too freaked out.

I had a radical laparoscopic nephrectomy. The tumor was a stage 1 Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma. The surgeon confirmed the cancer was contained on the kidney and had not spread.

The first couple of days after the operation were rough but it got much better as time passed. I was out of work for about three weeks. I REALLY enjoyed the time I got to spend with my son while I was home.

The good news is that six months later I feel great and my prognosis is about 85% out five years. I still get a bit worried when I go for follow-up scans and blood work but so far so good!

When dealing with my three year old son I took the direct approach; He went to all my doctor’s appointments and explained that “Daddy had a bad kidney and it needed to come out and was nothing to be afraid of.” He visited me in the hospital for limited times as I was in a bit of pain and didn’t want him to see me in any distress. He handled it fantastically; better than my parents and siblings! He was fascinated with my sutures that he called my ‘zipper’. He would carefully lift my shirt and look at the incision. He even sat on the exam table when the doctor took my stitches out and asked the doctor if he could see my kidney. He still asks periodically to have my zipper put back in so he can see my kidney.

For three months after the surgery we would have this type of dialog every night when I would get home from work:

Son: “Daddy to you feel OK?”
Me: “I feel great!”
Son: “Then can I jump on your stomach?” (too much ‘Hop On Pop’ from Dr. Seuss)
Me: “Not just yet…”

From what I understand most RCCs are very curable. My best advice is get informed, find a doctor you trust, and enjoy the time spent recuperating with your kids!

Swijak

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1654
Joined: Jan 2010

BG,

Based upon the description of your little rascal you will be fine. It is no fun being told you have Kidney Cancer and than have to go thru major abdominal surgery right out of the gate. Do not worry about the 94% survival rate. For the most part that means that you have a 6% chance of dying from something else in the next 5 years. Get the little rascal out as soon as possible and get on with the rest of your life. There are plenty of stories on these posts of pre and post surgery similar to what you will be going thru. The surgery is not fun, but it beats the alternative. My surgery was on 8.1.02 and I am doing fine.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

ejneary's picture
ejneary
Posts: 64
Joined: Mar 2010

Having your mortality shoved so squarely in your face is a hard thing to deal with especially in your 40's. Add two children and that multiplies the stress and anxiety by many many times over. Freaking out is a totally normal and natural reaction to what you have just been handed. First, though this is a frightening disease and the news on the web is all bad, you are in a fairly good position from your description of the diagnosis.
Though this is a very scary situation, there are many here who have been through this and some going through it now so you can do this. Take a deep breath and do some research on your urologist to make sure that you have the best that your provider has to offer. Also, make sure that they assign you an oncologist. The job of the oncologist takes over when the surgery is done and the urologist claims that you are cured. You want to make sure that they are watching you closely once the urologist does their last CT after surgery. The oncologist should offer regular scans to make sure that there is no recurrence.

Finally, make sure that you don't let this disease take away precious moments from your kids. Though it is difficult to not think about it, especially when you are looking at your kids and your mind starts to formulate the worst case scenarios, you must not let these awesome years with your kids be taken away by those scary thoughts. I loved when my kids were that age and have the best memories in the world!!!

Worry when you need to and not before that.

fatmomma's picture
fatmomma
Posts: 95
Joined: May 2011

That happened to me in 2007 at the age of 43 and my son was five at the time. Had a ct scan for something else and found a spot on my left kidney. Did not have any kind of symptoms. I had a good prognosis. My doctor removed the entire kidney. Report came back negative surgical margins (contained). He didn't even remove any lymph nodes. Didn't have to do any treatments of any kind. I do, however, have to have a ct scan every six months. The day I came home from the hospital my husband had to pick up my prescription and met up with an old friend of ours and she was telling my husband the same thing happened to her six years ago. I see her every now and then and she's doing great. Keep us informed.

FM

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