Nov 01, 2013 - 9:50 am
My name is Joan. I am 51 years old and a mom, and wife, and work as a secretary. I have been reading a lot of your posts and I feel like you lovely people are the ones I can tell my story/concerns to....
Back in May I began noticing a lot of discomfort in my stomach. I chalked it up to needing to eat "gluten-free", menopause, gall bladder, etc. Then my mom got really ill and then on July 2 passed away (lung cancer). My summer was engulfed with dealing with grief, so my tummy issues were ignored. By the end of September, I thought it was time to get this looked at. My family doctor retired, so I had a new, young doctor looking after me. He sent me for an ultrasound, and the next day, the nurse called to say they saw that my kidneys were swollen and they were rushing me for a CT scan. A few days later I was at the hospital ready for the CT scan. The receptionist handed me a brown envelope and asked me to give it to the technician. I went to the waiting room - and of course - read what was inside. It said ****Patient does not know. If you need more information, please call the office. Large mass on right kidney. Likely carcinoma". I felt shock for a minute, and texted my husband. He googled and responded that kidney cancer has a high rate of curability. I had the scan and in a couple of days returned to my family doctor. He told me that I had a "cyst" the size of a baseball on my right kidney. He said according to the radiologist's report, it was cancer, but he said "you are so young and otherwise so healthy! I don't think you have cancer." So he referred me to a nephrologist. My friend is a nurse and when I told her this she was puzzled as to why he referred me to that. Several days later I still had not heard about an appointment with the nephrologist. So I called and spoke to the receptionist. I conveyed my concern about the nephrologist vs. urologist. She relayed it to the doctor. The next morning I received a call from the nurse saying the nephrologist reviewed my case and he could not help me. I should see a urologist....a week of waiting time wasted. So another week goes by and I go to see the urologist at the urology clinic. He immediately tells me that he is not the doctor for me but the urologist who does this kind of thing is on vacation, but he looked at my case and he didn't want to wait any longer. He said it is cancer, and my tumor is as large as my kidney! 13 cm. And it is as big around as it is long. He said that given the size, they want to refer me to another specialist - a uro-oncologist - who has a lot more experience with this kind of thing. He has excellent credentials, so I am comfortable with that....but it means more waiting. He said it looks like it hasn't spread anywhere and sent me for a chest xray. I told him that I noticed since July that I have been experiencing edema in my feet and hands. He said my other kidney looks good but he would check my blood test results - only to find that my family doctor forgot to send them my blood test results. So he tried calling but could not get through.
Sorry....this is a lot to read!! I am scared because with this new information (size of tumor) I have been googling a lot and not seeing good things about how size of tumor relates to spreading.
I am trying to be brave - not many tears, trying to reassure my adult children, etc. But deep down I have a bad feeling - the bad feeling only began since my appointment with the urologist.