Sep 16, 2012 - 12:39 pm
Hello everyone. I have been lurking this board on and off over the last three months or so and decided to sign up. Not sure what to post so I figure I an start with my story though not unlike the others I have read.
Well this all began for me back in December when I started with the flank pain. I am not one who enjoys going to emergency rooms unless bleeding profusely or carted in not under my own volition. To me they are places for people who are really sick. This flank pain was intense so I went to one of the local private 24 hour emeri-centers since it was Saturday morning.
Well after a few xrays, some blood taken, a punch to the kidney and told to schedule a sonogram later in the week they sent me home with some Vicodin. On Monday afternoon they called and strongly urged me to go to the ER for a sonogram as they saw some odd results in my blood work related to the liver. Mind you at the time I was a a heavy drinker so odd liver reports was not a surprise to me or the emergency room doctor. Well nothing was found. I left with the impression that there is nothing wrong and could be related to GERD or constipation with the help of the internet. The pain did go away for a few months.
Eventually I got a new family dr after many years of not seeing a doctor because of the constant pain. HE sent me for a blood test again and the day after the blood tests this ride began. Gross Hematuria and a clot the size of a half dollar shot out. What a way to start the summer! Well I called the new dr and all they said was - errr you should go to the ER.
I spent the next 9 hours of hanging out in the ER with an IV to hydrate me. Medical students coming ad going to practice their ultrasounds a few cat scans later, the doctor comes in and says You have kidney cancer that extends into your Inferior Vena Cava. They can cut it out and give you radiation and you will be fine. Call a Urologist and an Oncologist.
Well what a weekend. I get home and do a google search of the prognosis, knowing nothing more than I have kidney cancer, which at the time may not have been the best idea. Saturday is my parents 50th wedding anniversary, and this is probably not the best time to bring up to my family knowing that my Dad's side of the family has not such a good history with cancer. So now I get to sweat this out over the weekend silently.
Monday morning i am watching the clock waiting to call the Urologist and the phone rings a half an hour before they open for the first appointment... The MRI for the Vascular surgeon was scheduled, the cytoscopy was scheduled and 20 days later the surgery was performed and the Vascular guy said he was barely needed and it slipped right out and urologist says No more cancer! 5 days later i am sent home.
The pathology showed Stage 3 Clear cell "10 cm in greatest dimension" with a "3-4/4 nuclear grade by fuhrman" with extension to the IVC. The report indicated T3 N0 MX but I am assuming that is t3b since it did invade the renal vein and extended into the IVC.
I guess I am healing pretty well. Six weeks out of work, I have no more lifting restrictions (other than trying to lift a refrigerator according to the surgeon, I think he was showing his humor) and I can ride my motorcycle again (if work would stop interfering!). A few remaining aches around my rib and the scar. Some aches in the back where the kidney was but feeling good nonetheless.
Now I get to deal with this wonderful (is there a sarcasm font here? ) mind game of "You have cancer" and the next day "You Do not have cancer!" while waiting for my first 3 month follow up CT (Oct 1) with so much confusion about what the Doctors said and what I read in the pathology and what i searched through NIH, the medical journals etc. and and what i do not understand.
At least i have more questions for my next appointments than the "what do we do from here?" first appointment.