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Goes in for emergency gall bladder surgery. And oh by the way you have cancer in your kidney

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2014

So I just join the network and decided to post my story.


I am currently 41 years of age and was recently told I have kidney cancer (by the ER doctor). Now before I get to that story I should back up a bit and start at teh beginning when this all started.

At the age of 28 I was told I am a diabetic and was told I should change my diet and take medication (something I always have trouble maintaining). At 32 I had a vascetomy done as my wife and I did not want anymore children. The doctor at the time seemed to have problems with my left testicle but managed to complete the job and it was done. This seems where my pain troubles start. Now don't get me wrong it is not intense or anything like that but more like a dull sesation that normally started in my lower back on the left side. There was nothing I could do make it feel better. Massages, cold/hot compresses, pain medications such as Tylenol, etc. The pain then started to move down towards my left testicle (the same one that had given the doctor issues). At this point in time I decided to visit my family doctor to see what can be done. It was decided that a CT scan would need to be completed. In the end it was determined that I had cyst located in my kidney 2 of which was determined to be what was called complex cysts. One measured 2 mm and the other 4 mm So no big deal, but since it was determined that they were complex I should have a follow-up CT scan. So I was given a follow-up six months later and the 2mm cyst disappeared while the 4 mm one remained.

Again my doctor told me we should monitor it with a CT scan which I went to in December of 2012. Met with my doctor in the later part of January 2013. Again the same cyst remained and was also again staying at 4 mm. Another was located in the same kidney and also was 4 mm in size and was considered complex. Again follow-up for summer except because of all the CT scans it was thought that I should go for MRI for next follow-up. This was done in early fall and again no changes except for the new cyst. No change in size or anything.

In the early part of this month August 2014, I was developing severe pain in my center to lower right side. I could not eat or sleep properly for the week. So I finally went to a walk-in clinic and was told by the doctor that we will do blood work but that I should head to the ER at the hopital nearby as all signs pointed to gallstones. So I go to the ER and after 5 hours of waiting get admitted and am visited by the ER doctor. Starts pushing and proding on my stomach and asks were my pain is. Point to the direction of the gall bladder and ok simply. Then he pushes on my left side and I have a pain there all of sudden. Not sure what it is and doesn't make sense, but mention my history and they decide to do an ultrasound to determine the extent of my gall bladder and confirm whether I have stones or not.

So I go for the ultrasound and the scans are being done on my right side (the gall bladder) sign as we seem to indicated what I am there for. Then the technician begins to probe my left side. Ok nothing unusual. That is until she went said she would be right back, she needed to go talk to a collegue (ok, sure, just leave me there, lol). I any case that was finished and I get rolled into a different part of the ER (this area is normally where people go when they are going to go for surgery. So I guess the gall bladder has to go.

After waiting for about 2 hours there I finally see the ER doctor who explains that I have gallstones and that they would get me pain meds. Ask if I will need surgery and am told that all indications point to yes but that will be up to the attending to decide. And then on another note I am told that I have a complex mass that is approximately 3 cm and that I would need to discuss with attending on what that means. WHAT!! So excuse me what does that mean? Pretty much my wife who was there with put it out there and asked if it was cancer and we were told yes it was.

Well shock, disbelief and laughter ensued. After the doctor left tears and scared feelings followed. Oh by the way still have to find out if I am have surgery to remove my gall bladder.

So after all was said and done, I am now getting a second MRI done to see what is going on and also to determine whether it is indeed cancer or not. I am going with a yes and hoping something gets done sooner that latter. Nothing like getting told in the early part of the year that something is only millimeters in size to jump to centimeters. So the MRI can't come soon enough (November).


Thanks for reading and hope all is well.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3278
Joined: Jan 2010



Imagine not having the gall bladder problem and your kidney problem would not have been discovered until much later. Assumimg it is Cancer (the doctor told you so) at 3cm your chances for a full and complete recovery from surgery alone are close to 100%.


Not fun being told you have Cancer and none of us has fond memories of that. Nor is the surgery fun. But you are in a hell of a lot better shape than if it had been discovered down the road.


Mine was 12 years ago.



Jeff2159's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: Feb 2012

found my cancer in Jan 2012.I went in for PET scan but I was doing it for the oral cancer that I had been fighting and needed to do this prior to radiation. Well surprise, my mouth was clean but had a 6-7 cm tumor in left kidney and the rollercoaster ride began and is still going on



sblairc's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

What you describe about the finding your cancer in the ER was almost exactly what my husband and I went through, except we also had our 8 year old daughter with us in the wee hours of the mornnig. I rushed him the ER after the toilet was filled with blood in the middle of the night and vomitting from excruciating pain.  My husband is 47 years old and he left the hospital 9 days later after they took his kidney out. This was in October. He is doing great!!! You will get through this. I am still dealing with the trauma of it all, but seeing a therapist helps. Welcome!

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

OK, based on what you said, I suggest you need to go way up the ladder on the Doctor food chain.  3 cm is small, but it has grown very fast.  I would not wait a week, let alone two months.  Find a surgeon with Urologic (and hopefully Oncology) background, ASAP.  Get copies of all your scans to take with you.   I can say do not be scared, but I know you are.. this is normal.  Again 3 cm is small and IF it is Cancer then something has to be done.  If surgery is neededm then most likely this will be the last of it, which is good news.   Should surgery be needed, hopefully it will be a partial.  Size and location determine if a partial is possible, and you meet the size part, just depends on the location.  Many of us are doing fine on less than one Kidney, so living with just less than 2 Kidneys is of no concern.  Hang in there, but seek the right specialist..


Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2014

Well come back from holidays and get letters for four different doctor appointments being set-up. Three related to gall bladder and one to kidney. Apprarently urologist that my information was referred to was put on holiday's till last week. Got a letter in the mail rquesting that I meet after blood work and x-rays in two weeks. Guess things are moving along more quickly than I thought.

Hope we can move up my tests sonner than latter.

Fingers crossed.

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