Dec 16, 2013 - 1:31 am
I learned about my renal cell kidney cancer on Monday, November 25, 2013. I had experienced symptoms (anemia, fatigue, fever, chills, night sweats, 30lb weight loss, loss of color to skin) over the past year and a half. After several months of blood tests with no change in iron or hemoglobin, my internist referred me to a hematologist/oncologist. The hematologist ran a CT scan and upon meeting for the follow up bone marrow biopsy appointment, informed me that the CT scan showed a large growth within my left kidney. Things moved quickly after that. The surgeons removed the left kidney with sizeable 10.4cm growth and 10 lymph nodes via open radical nephrectomy on December 4, 2013. The cancer cells were deemed grade 3, stage 3, encapsulated in the kidney. After surgery, CT scan, bone scan, and chest x-ray, there has not been a presence of the cancer cells in the chest, bone, or other organs to-date.It's been almost two weeks since surgery and I feel good. I've got tightness and minor pains in the large incision when I get up, bend, or squat (they cut from navel to the side of my flank, so a good amount of real estate). So why am I posting? I am not sure how to feel. I had felt physically and emotionally terrible for so long, not knowing what was wrong, then all of a sudden I am diagnosed with cancer, treated, and home in a week. I know I had cancer, and given the aggressiveness, I understand there is a good chance it will be back, but I am having trouble connecting with what I went through. Has anyone else out there had a similar experience of helplessness followed by speedy diagnosis/treatment? Right or wrong, I have always had the impression that other survivors knew what they had for some time and had a chance to see it, deal with it, and come to terms before treating it. I feel like those steps were skipped with me or out of order and I am not sure how to start. If anyone has thoughts, I would appreciate them. Thank you.