Nov 09, 2012 - 12:54 am
It has been a total roller coaster year for me. I underwent right shoulder surgery in mid-Dec 2011. 6 weeks later I was experiencing severe shortness of breath and was diagnosed as having acute congestive heart disease. The chest x-rays not only revealed the enlargement of my heart but also that my lungs were full of "nodules". 3 CT scans, a PET scan, and a biopsy of my right clavicle later, I was ultimately diagnosed with Stage 4 renal cancer that had metastasized to both my lungs an many places on my bones, most notably my right clavicle (6.5 inch of bone erosion by the tumor) and my thoracic spine on the right just below the 12th rib (4.5 inches of bone erosion by that tumor).
My left kidney was removed on 07/09/12 (agression level 3). Prior to surgery, it had grown from the size of a tennis ball to the size of a softball in just 6 weeks time. Following 4 days in intensive care, I was sent home and placed on Sutent therapy. While my lung tumors have responded to the Sutent and have reduced in size, the bone tumors have continued to grow rather aggressively and become quite painful. I underwent radiation therapy a month ago and am now waiting to see if it had any beneficial effect. I also am getting infusion therapy of Zometa every 6 weeks to try and stimulate bone strengthening.
At this time, I am trying to hang in there. Given my employer's closure of my office location, I had to retire on disability given the cancer treatment and several orthopedic problems (post surgical knee, back, and right shoulder) that preclude me from driving to a new office 2 hours away.
Sorry if I provided too much information, but I have little contact with others right now. It was so much better when I was working and had others to interact with beyond the medical staff treating me.