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new diagnosis

newcomer83
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

A few weeks ago my father went into the hospital because he was having stroke like symptoms,only to find out that he has stage 4 renal cell carcinoma that has spread through his lymph nodes to his lungs and his brain. The reason he was having the stroke like symptoms was realated to the multiple small tumors in his brain were bleeding so the kept him in the hospital for a week of iv steroids and started him on 10 treatments of radiation to the brain. I am told that the tumors in his brain and lungs are inoperable related to how many of them there are. The primary tumor started on his right kidney (although they can not determine if there are tumors on his left kidney or not) and is currently approximately 16 cm large. We spoke with the urology surgeon whom told us that the surgery to remove the right kidney (which would be strictly palliative surgery) would be very risky related to how close the tumor is to the superior vena cava (the largest vein in the body) but taht he would be willing to do it if all my fathers doctors were on board and felt it was in my fathers best interest but his oncologist does not think my father should have the surgery so we started oral chemo (nexavar) this past week. I feel very happy that my father is not having any pain with a tumor this large and so far the only symptoms of chemo he is having is the hair loss (which my father is devastated about cause he has always had a full head of hair)but I want to do all I can do to help my father.I have even made his an appointment at the cleveland clinic to have a second opinion to make sure that he is getting the very best care he can receive. I feel like I am rambling on but just need to get all this off my chest. I am not sure what to do and any suggestions would be appreciated.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi newcomer,

We lost my father-in-law to RCC under very similar circumstances nearly 12 years ago, at that time there was virtually nothing they could offer in terms of therapy or hope of survival, keeping him comfortable was our only option. Today there are several drugs and clinical trials showing promise fighting this disease, but much depends on your dad's willingness and desire to fight. His age and physical overall condition aside from the cancer are important factors as well. There are many stories here from people that are fighting and beating the odds, read them and encourage your dad to read them too, it can be done. The second opinion route you have chosen is a very good idea and if your dad is up for the fight you need to make that clear on your visit. I like the phrase "Attack with extreme prejudice", for me it describes the attitude required in this battle. Keep us posted, the group here will help any way we can.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

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