Mar 17, 2012 - 6:49 pm
Thought I'd join up and read about the journeys that others with similar situations to my own have taken. Honestly, I guess I'm hoping to see and hear from long time survivors who've had renal cell carcinoma like mine.
A little background on me- in November of last year, my Nana (grandmother who raised me) was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. She was 81 years old. I was with her every day but three for the fight. She passed away on Feb 10 of this year. It was awful. She was in so much pain- it was horrible to see.
A little over 2 weeks later on Feb 26 my wife made me go to the ER for a really high fever and gastric problems. While there, they ran a CT scan and found that I had a large tumor on my left kidney. The radiologist came to see me that night and told me flat out, "you have kidney cancer". He was convinced based on the size and shape of the mass (and he was right). In light of what we'd been through recently, I was floored. I'm only 30 years old. I NEVER thought something like this would happen to me at my age.
I spent that night in the hospital bed on my phone reading about kidney cancer. After meeting with all the doctors, I had my left kidney removed via laporascopic surgery on Feb 29. It was renal cell carcinoma, clear cell type. The doctors staged it as Stage 1B. The tumor was Fuhrman grade 2. It was 5.8x4.6x4.3cm in size. The tumor was limited to my kidney with no evidence of capsulare or lymphovascular invasion.
I had a myriad of other scans done before the surgery- MRIs, CT scans, ultrasound, X-ray, the works. They found a 2mm mass on my spleen that they believe is a hollow cyst and a 2mm mass in my lung that they also believe is benign and not related to the RCC.
My recovery from the surgery has been going well, with the major exception of me being absolutely terrified of the cancer coming back, spreading, and my persistent fear that the two small masses on my spleen and lungs are something bad. I guess seeing my Nana in so much suffering and dealing with this all myself so soon afterwards has me reeling.
So...hoping to hear from other survivors, the longer term the better. Looking for reassurance I guess. Anyone else have minor "spots" show up on scans in the lungs, spleen, or elsewhere that were benign? Any LONG term RCC survivors here? I like my life; being only 30 and having had this has really thrown me for a loop.
Thanks in advance for any words or insights you can offer.