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Diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma

James1980
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2012

I stumbled upon this page while doing internet research on the condition I was diagnosed with last week. I never, ever thought I would hear the words "you have a 2cm mass on your kidney that we think is cancer and we'll need to remove it," in my life. To say I am scared is the understatement of the century.

I maintain a calm demeanor and tell everyone I am fine when they ask, but inside I am going crazy. The thought of surgery is intimidating.

Reading through some of the other threads has been so amazingly therapeutic. I don't feel alone anymore.

Until my surgery on 9/12, I know I am going to be stressing harder each day. Any advice on how to focus on something other than the mass on my right kidney?

sunlover_56's picture
sunlover_56
Posts: 110
Joined: Apr 2012

I had my left kidney removed on April 4th this year. 7.5cm tumor.. stage 2.. grade 1. Before the surgery, I was petrified!!.. couldnt sleep.. had a hard time even eating. I found this board and felt so much better just talking to all the fine people in here. I have to admit, that my doctor prescibed xanax for me. It really helped. At least I could eat after taking one. Dont be afraid to ask for something to help your anxiety. YOu wont need it for too long. I didnt. After the surgery and I got my path report I felt blessed that my cancer was found so early. Your mass, being 2cm, is really good news.. It was found very early too and more than likely the surgery will be the cure. Hang in there and keep visiting this site. It can be invaluable for advice, information and just plain "good ole" support from people who have been where you are now and care what happens to you.

~Judy~

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1658
Joined: Jan 2010

James,

I just wrote this long reply to tell you everything will be fine and it got lost in cyber heaven, Anyway at 2 cm everything will be fine and I expect a full and complete recovery from you after the surgery which all of us on this board are reqired to go thru to join our club.

Icemantoo

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

"which all of us on this board are reqired to go thru to join our club" - and that's accurate because caregivers go through it too.

iceman, since discovering the relevant inadequacies of Windows 7 (not so on a Mac!) I've got into the habit of highlighting the whole of my message (using Ctrl + A, or Select All in the Edit menu, or via a right mouse click (on a PC!)) and hitting Ctrl + C to copy my text to the clipboard. (Using "Select all" , then "Copy" from the Edit menu is equally effective but keyboard shortcuts are quicker.)

Then, if when I hit Preview or Post I lose my posting, I can just go to Reply again, re-type in my subject, click in the Comment box and hit Ctrl + V to paste my message back in from the clipboard. It can save a lot of grief and fury! It's a pain but repeat as required (and you shouldn't need more than 8 in any 24 hour period!).

[Depending on personal preference, you can do it all with right mouse clicks - i.e. Select all, Copy and Paste.]

[For those of us who don't know that it may be a handy tip?]

Bubbs21
Posts: 44
Joined: Jul 2012

James,

Like you I am a new recruit to the Kidney Cancer Club. My CT was May 31st and I received the results on July 19th. My appointment with the Urologic Oncologist was July 31. I am now waiting for a surgery date. I have 2cm masses on my left kidney. The plan is to do a partial laprascopic nephrectomy. I like others have been on an emotional roller coaster. Mine is complicated by severe blood pressure changes that affect my clarity of thinking and energy levels.

With the guidance of the group here, I have:

- gone to my GP for advice and guidance
- gotten a script for anti-depressants (it's starting to work)
- reduced my caffine intake
- keeping busy
- laughter

For me the hard part is not having a surgery date. But even that will be resolved soon. Your surgery is a few weeks away. In the scheme of things a few weeks is nothing compared to the life time of weeks you have lived and have yet to live.

Puruse the boards and contribute when you can. The group here is very positive, well informed and shares their experiences openly. Keep us posted on your journey.

Live well, love always and laugh often.

James1980
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2012

I can't believe they haven't scheduled a surgery for you yet. I suppose I am lucky that I am going to be at a wonderful hospital (Vanderbilt UMC in Nashville,) because they really wasted no time at all (even though the wait seems neverending for me, lol.) The mass was found on 8/3, they called me on 8/8, and I was in with an oncologist scheduling surgery on 8/13.

I'll pray that you get some kind of news soon. Oh, and I got some anxiety and antidepressants about 4 days ago. It's really taking the edge off.

InfoLady
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2012

James1980,

I'm new to this board and I am a caregiver-spouse, not the patient, so I have not walked that mile in your shoes. But I can tell you that you are not alone, and that the size of your kidney mass is quite small, which, in the grand scheme of things, is very good. To keep his mind off things, my dh invested in some guided meditation/relaxation tapes (he found they helped tremendously to relax and clear his head of swirling thoughts)and kept himself busy with some projects around the house and spent a lot of time with our kids. Fast forward, he had his partial nephrectomy 2 weeks ago today (his mass was measured at 3.6cm prior to the neph; path report actually came out as 3.3cm) and he's recovering nicely. Wishing you well...

InfoLady

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2066
Joined: Oct 2011

Welcome James. Quite a shock isn't it. Just keep the positives in perspective. You are going to be taken care of and that means that your future is bright. Dealing with the stress of cancer really does get easier with time. Good luck. Laugh, and make plans.
Fox.

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

Hi James,

Almost three years ago I was right where you are except that I had lost several people close to me to RCC which only increased the anxiety. My tumor was 4.2cm resulting in an expected prognosis of cured by surgery, yours is significantly smaller making it even more likely that this is the only thing you will ever need and you will have many decades to tell people about the time you HAD cancer. Trust me, soon this will all be nothing more than a small bump in the road. The iceman didn't tell you he recently passed his 10yr anniversary and that his neighbor is 17yrs post op.

The waiting is the hardest part of the whole deal. Keeping your mind occupied with other things like projects you want to start or finish and making plans for a little down time during recovery helps. One of the best things you can do for yourself is start a simple exercise program like walking which will help prep you for the surgery and aid a lot with recovery. Hang out here, read the stories of other club members, ask questions, vent if/when you need to, we're here for you. Keep us posted.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

James, as others have said above, it could all be so much worse. Hell, my Wife and I have just got over a major bout of panic. I could not figure out where I'd put the chocolate eclairs I brought home half an hour ago. It was difficult to know who was more anxious - me about possible brain mets or my Wife about the eclairs.

The exhortation Bubbs gave at the end of her good advice is pretty apt. I must lead such a sheltered life that I'd never heard it, or its variants before. It sounded like a quote so I investigated and found this interesting bit of info about it:

http://www.inspirational-sayings-in-action.com/live-laugh-love.html

Whatever its origin you could do worse than follow that counsel.

James1980
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you for posting this. You're panic over the eclairs, while scary for you I'm sure (LOL,) cracked me up. You seem to be a very inspirational person. Thank you for taking time to make me smile!

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

:)

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 394
Joined: May 2012

For the last six weeks, I have had a cough. Probably nothing...but I keep worrying about lung Mets....

I am two months out of surgery, and each time I cough my side hurts.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

It's no surprise to anyone that your side hurts when you cough. You mention in your following post that you suffered from a lot of pain and incision issues. I'm now in the happy position of feeling more or less no pain. However, after my first op (open nephrectomy) the pain was almost unendurable, even on massive doses of morphine plus paracetamol. For two or three days I was barely able to move in bed and was paralysed with fear that I might cough or sneeze - so much so that my breathing became more and more shallow until I could hardly breathe at all. (Once I was able to cough and clear some unwanted material, everything rapidly improved.)

A useful tip I got from one of our valuable contributors here was to hold a cushion firmly against the incision area when you cough - it certainly helps to dampen the pain. I took to holding my side with both hands if I needed to cough while out for a walk.

Don't worry unduly about your side hurting when you cough and I doubt whether you need to worry about lung mets.

However, you should be concerned, I think, about a cough that's gone on for 6 weeks. See whoever is necessary (GP first) to investigate.

Stevewmass's picture
Stevewmass
Posts: 34
Joined: May 2012

I too stumbled on this week site shortly after my diagnosis, and It has been a life saver for me. I have spent a lot of time reading and rereading many of the post, when I felt alone and scared. The day I was told that I had cancer, and I would be losing part or all of my right kidney, my doctors assistant sat down with me and told me part of her story with Cancer. She told me that the best thing I could do was get a notebook, and in it write, tape, or staple every business card, email address, name and extension for every doctor, nurse, hospital, clinic and lab that you visit or use. She also said to get copies of all my reports, test results and copies of all scans, x-rays etc. that were done on me. Also to include all medicine, dosages your medical history and family history and a place for questions, you would not believe how much time this has saved me. I did this one afternoon when I was feeling alone and scared, I found that me me it gave back to me some control over my cancer and made me realize that cancer was not the end of my life. My tumor was 2.7 cm Stage 1 grade 2 and it was removed 2 months ago. I am a newbie but you will find a lot of wisdom and strength here.

James1980
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2012

Wow, I haven't had a free second to log on in the last few days. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of comments and support. I have written down a lot of your recommendations; I will put them to use! I feel very lucky to have stumbled on this site. I will keep everyone posted on how everything goes (I've actually got a mental countdown to surgery clock going on right now,) I'm just ready for this to be over and done with.

Thanks for all the kind words.

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 394
Joined: May 2012

2 cm RCC has a near 100% cure rate. Also, there are non-surgical treatments (I do not remember the name) that may be appropriate for smaller tumors. Worst case, they should want to do a partial nephectomy (if the Dr says radial Nephectomy ask why and get a second opinion). If the tumor is under 4 cm, partial is an option. Note I am not a Dr, but am repeating what I was told.

Odds are, after surgery, there will be no other treatment.

And, for me, I was getting a CT scan to rule out appendectomy, and was told that digestive system is fine, but secondary finding were a 6 cm mass on my Kidney which is not an emergency, but had to be addressed quickly. I talked to my primary care Dr that day, and the urologist two days later. Kidney was removed on June 19. Recovery has been hard....not from kidney issues, but pain and incision problems. I will take those over cancer issues any day of the week.

Good Luck!

ourfriendjohn's picture
ourfriendjohn
Posts: 72
Joined: Jun 2012

James,

I particularly agree with Gary when he suggests walking to strenghen your body before surgery. It, and some serious meditation, helped me through the period before surgery. My initiation was almost one year ago and is thankfully just a memory now. Best wishes for a quick recovery.

Keep the faith,

John

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