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Two cancers

LizzyC
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi! I'm new here. Been searching online for anyone who has/ is going thru multiple cancers. Almost 2 years ago I had a melanoma removed. I got over that easily. I figured it was a one-off, you know? Other than a big old scar that reminds me, I didn't spend much time worrying about it.

Then last spring they found kidney cancer. It was not related to the skin cancer but was a new primary. I had a radical nephrectomy at the end of June and it's not so easy getting past it this time. In both cases they got all the cancer and I just have to do 6 month follow ups.

Now they find I have 2 "precancerous" conditions in my esophagus and in my colon.

I feel like the various types of cancer are fighting to see which one gets to take me out! It's stressful. I started seeing a psycho-oncologist and now I'm on Zoloft and that's definitely helping my mood.

I try to think positively but that's easier said than done. :). I just turned 60 (if that matters) and I feel like I'm too young for all this. I know people die at any age but I had plans and now my life is all pills, doctors apps., blood work - definitely not what I had planned. I feel baly that I'm whining about it on here so I'll stop but would love to hear from anyone with a liitle experience or wisdom or advice.

Thanks!

Lizzy

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1868
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi Liz. You are not alone. I am also 60. Radical nephrectomy in march 2011. Crap load of mets that followed. But fortunately I'm responding to a clinical trial drug and should be around a long time.(my fingers are crossed) But earlier this spring they removed a basal cell ca from my back. During the procedure, the Dr. said that she did not like the look of a forhead dark area. Yep. Melanoma. Removed by a plastic surgeon. Sheesh. I'll tell you what we profess on this forum. Don't waste your life and your time worrying and dwelling on these things. Too much energy that could be put into positive thoughts. Take care of yourself, move on,and live. Take your meds as necessary. Smile. Tell crummy jokes (we like those).Do something fun. Cherish life. You are not alone here.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1471
Joined: Jan 2010

Lizzy,

I was a lot younger than you when I was diagnosed with RCC (58) and had the surgery the week after I turned 59, ten summers ago. At this point I cannot worry about the other things I have such as: Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease, Gout, possible surgery for restricted airways in my mouth, a bad knee and I haven't thoght it worth mentioning until now, pre cancerous polups in the colon. So what. None of these are going to kill me unless they get a lot worse and all are under control. And by the way my mother is a Colon Cancer survivor going on 40 years (she will be 91 on Thanksgiving). Ten years ago I fought and beat a disease that could of killed me (RCC). As you and I get older we face new medical adverseties. Lets fight the one's we have and know about and not worry about the ones we do not have yet.

And by the way welcome to our club.

Icemantoo

LizzyC
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you Fox and Iceman. I'm sorry any of us has to go through these but I am glad to know I'm not alone. I will do my best not to worry. Perhaps as time goes by I'll get better at it.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1471
Joined: Jan 2010

Lizzy.

I am glad to hear you took my tough love positively. I had worried that I came on a little strong.

Icemantoo

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1868
Joined: Oct 2011

Liz, the concept of "living" with cancer does get easier with time. Although I think about it constantly myself, I don't look at it any different than if I had diabetes, baldness, or needed glasses.Wait, I am balding and I do need glasses! The "perfect" body is no more. But it is good for another 100,000 miles. Sort of like being a virgin. Or not. Just another day. Don't let it run or ruin your life.

vittoria01's picture
vittoria01
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2012

Congratulations, you transmit so much positive '

vittoria01's picture
vittoria01
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2012

Congratulations, you transmit so much positive '

tmcjay's picture
tmcjay
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi Lizzie,
I also have 2 primary cancers. I have rcc in my right kidney, and I also had surgery to remove part of my esophogus due to esophogus cancer. I also had chemo and radiation for the ec cancer, and am now waiting to have partial removal of the kidney. My oncologist told me that kidney cancer and esophogus cancer occurring at the same time as primaries is becoming more common and they don't know why. Just lucky I guess.

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 409
Joined: Nov 2011

Mind if i ask if you had smoking habit

tmcjay's picture
tmcjay
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2012

Yes I do mind.

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 409
Joined: Nov 2011

Meant no harm i asked only because i did smoke right up to the day i was told i had cancer and i do feel their is a elavated risk of contracting the disease if one chooses to smoke,well the stats do not lie and smoking is one of if not the worst life style choice a person can make.

lbinmsp's picture
lbinmsp
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

Yes, there's another one here! First, I am so sorry about what you're going through but I can tell you've got a great spirit and amazing inner strength. Having said that - I want you to know without a shadow of a doubt - that you can and should whine now and again! You deserve it - you need it - helps let out steam - helps keep you on course, I think. And, this is a great place to do it.

I was 54 when I was diagnosed with RCC. Had the nephrectomy - moved on. Four and a half years later - diagnosed with a very early breast cancer. Had surgery, radiation - moved on. Six months later found the RCC had moved to the lung. Had surgery - moved on. Five years after that - RCC back yet again (now I'm 65). There are some others here who also have/had multiple cancers - and it just sucks (ok, not a great word to use - but it says it all, as far as I'm concerned). Of course we all have a lot of more age-related, non-cancer issues - but those are just part of life.

Have you had the new 'pre cancerous conditions' biopsied? Or can they be biopsied? I don't know where you live but there are some really great places doing cutting edge research on RCC and melanoma and you may qualify for a good clinical trial. I've learned that many of the drugs currently in use for RCC were approved initially for Melanoma - and many of the current trials are focusing on these two cancers together. HDIL2 is a good example - first approved for melanoma - now being used for advanced RCC.

My oncologist wanted me to see a geneticist - besides my own cancers, I had family members with unique and non-familial cancers. However, my insurance wouldn't cover the cost of seeing a geneticist so I opted out. The feeling was that my family was somehow missing the 'anti-cancer gene'. I don't understand this at all but apparently there is some 'gene' that fights cancers from the moment a cell is recognized in the body. OK - nuff of my non-existent scientific knowledge.

Please keep posting and let us know what's happening with you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

LizB

DogRescuer's picture
DogRescuer
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2012

I'm 64 and had Stage 2 breast cancer 3 yrs ago with surgery and chemo. Then last Feb I was diagnosed with Clear Cell Kidney Cancer--stage 3 so I have to get scans every 3 mos. Next one is Sept 20th--ugh, dreading it. I totally agree with you Lizzy, having one cancer is bad, but having 2 is horrendous. It does a job on you mentally and emotionally. I wished I could send you a private message, but I don't know how to do it on this board. Anyone know???

Last week I went to the kidney cancer support group and there was a genetic counselor there who talked about hereditary cancer. She also mentioned 'syndromes' which involve a mutated gene and can result in a cluster of conditions. While reading a handout, I learned about Cowden Syndrome, which can include cancers of the breast, uterus, thyroid and *newly discovered* kidney. Since I dinged 2 of the boxes along with LOTS of thyroid problems with me as well as many family members, she asked me to call her. I have an appt with a genetic counselor next Thursday. There are some conditions which I don't have like a large circumference head and certain skin conditions. There's a study out of the Cleveland Clinic that I might qualify for--there's no cure but it would provide me a free genetic test. When the affected gene is working, I believe, it controls cell/tumor growth.

OK to prove I still have a sense of humor through all this, here's my funny:

Do you even remember when pills weren't a part of your 4 food groups?
Me neither.

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

In the left column are coloured side-bars. The upper one, coloured brown and headed CSN has a menu item (third from bottom) labelled "CSN Email" . If you click on that you'll find a very useful and friendly facility which is self-explanatory.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1868
Joined: Oct 2011

........."pills as part of the 4 food groups"........That's funny!!!! Sometimes I have told patients who take a lot of pills that if they put them in a bowl and covered them with tomato sauce it would be a full meal.

DogRescuer's picture
DogRescuer
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2012

Maybe we should put them all in a Halloween bowl and pretend it's our personal candy. It's all in the perception, huh?

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 409
Joined: Nov 2011

I have been dxed with RCC and also TCC of the bladder.

Tahiri
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Lizzy, I had two cancers as well, basal cell carcinoma of the skin 12 years ago when I was just 48, and RCC removed from my right kidney a year and 2 months ago at age 59. Also had a benign 1 cm angiomyolipoma in the same kidney where my RCC was. As of today I am free of cancer and feeling very well, doing my routines, working, traveling, and most of all enjoying life. Two months after my right nephrectomy I went to Lourdes to paid my promise and I travel by car half France and half Spain. So, dont worry cancer is common now, and treatments are much better than years ago.

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 621
Joined: Mar 2012

I am so wondering if all of the radiation from frequent scanning is causing multiple cancers. Especially of the esophagus. My mom had breat cancer at 63' now at 80 RCC and possibly something on her esophagus. How do they treat esophagus cancer? Can Votrient be used for both? Just wondering if anyone knows. Wishing everyone the best.

vittoria01's picture
vittoria01
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2012

HI LIZZY
I had two primary cancers:
thyroid and kidney

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 621
Joined: Mar 2012

Lizzy, how did they treat the two precancers? Hope you are doing well.

Cafewoman53's picture
Cafewoman53
Posts: 733
Joined: Jul 2010

I have Fallopian tube cancer and after surgery and six rounds of chemo the pet/ct scan discovered my renal cell cancer. So even though my first cancer is very deadly it probably saved me from dying of RCC. Surgery and scans are my only treatment for the RCC so I actually forget about it, because I am getting more chemo for my Fallopian tube cancer.
All you can do is deal with whatever happens, I do take Ativan if I get overwhelmed sometimes because I want whatever time I do have with my family to be about living and not about dying. The death process begins the moment we are born and no one has escaped it yet.
My older sister died this past May when she fell asleep and hit a tree driving home after working a 12 hour shift as an RN. I am so angry, the one advantage of being sick was I thought at least I won't have to suffer the loss of any of my sisters or brothers ! I am dealing with this but it is worse than being told I have cancer.i have four beautiful granddaughters who keep me grounded. They are so much fun and full of life they keep me happy.The treatments and prognosis are no fun but they are keeping me alive and that is all that. matters. Make sure you do what makes you happy whatever that is. You are young,60 is the new 40 . Stay strong, cry when needed,and don't let being sick keep you from doing what makes you happy. He'll being sick is more reason to spoil yourself! You are not alone.

Colleen

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

Great post Colleen and a fine object lesson to everybody in how to cope with the very toughest of breaks. Rock on!

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