Apr 14, 2012 - 10:47 am
I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a 43-year-old postop day four now out from a 15% partial nephrectomy for a 12-mm, T1a, Fuhrman grade 2 clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Like many of you, I ended up here completely by blind luck. Less than a month ago, I had some weird abdominal pain going on, classic for gallbladder pathology. I almost didn't even get the ultrasound done because the pain disappeared as quickly as it had come on, but something spurred me to keep the appointment, and after a lovely three-week rollercoaster ride of tests and consults and education, I chose the robotic partial nephrectomy. My urologist had given me the choice of watchful waiting with surveillance, and even said we could hold off on the surgery until the fall, but I have twin four-year-olds who have already lost a mother to malaria (they're adopted). I knew I had to get in there to figure out what we were looking at and so that we could obtain maximal results. It sounds like, at least for now, this is it. In less than a month, I've become a cancer survivor. I almost feel like it's cheating to claim that title for myself when I've watched friends and family really wrestle with theae demons.
I was just discharged yesterday and my husband and daughters are making sure I'm getting in my daily walks and taking care of myself. While I can't say it was enjoyable, as the mother to two small children, this seems like one of the better ones to get, assuming it's caught early. I sure have some wonky DNA, it seems, as I have absolutely none of the risk factors for this cancer, and I'm still a bit wary of another shoe dropping, but, for now, I need to get my girls raised and I'll take every minute that I can get toward that goal!
Are there any studies out there for the lower-staged folks? I am a huge believer in research and medical education and if I can help further that body of knowledge, I'll do so.