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Concern for my father

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2005

I'm writing to implore of help from anyone who might know how. My father was diagnosed with kidney cancer in July 2004. They didn't give it a stage, but recommended a partial nephrectomy. My father, devastated by the news, then went home upon advice by his doctors at M.D. Anderson, to confer with family about options. This only gave more time for him to process and grieve. He became very depressed but managed to have one kidney done with the RFA procedure as he feared surgery(he has tumors in both kidneys). Since then, he has not returned for further treatment, and has plummeted into a panic-stricken state. No mental problems ever existed with him until this. He's very afraid to do anything else and hasn't sought any other treatment. He thinks often on the tumors the doctors found that were close to blood vessels and feels he is doomed. Please help!

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2003

I'm not sure I can help but I'd like to comment. First, you said your dad had tumors on both kidneys. Were all the tumors removed? Did the pathology indicate that they were indeed cancerous? If so, I am surprised that his doctor/s did not give him treatment options at the outset. My husband was diagnosed stage IV RCC and unfortunately, all treatments failed. He passed away last year. He too, was beside himself with anxiety and worry. I was afraid he would have a heart attack. His doctor had prescribed clonazepam for the anxiety but that only worked while he was still hopeful. Nothing alleviated his/my fears once we found out that he wasn't going to survive. He did go to a therapist for counseling; someone specializing in "body, mind and spirit" who worked with cancer patients but again, he was only "relaxed" for a short time following each session. I do believe fear, anxiety and stress play a great role in the progression of the disease. It is imperative that your dad consult with his doctor, not only for treatment options but also for counseling. I would also suggest you contact the Kidney Cancer Association for information: www.kidneycancerassociation.org. I hope this has been of some help.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2002

I pray that is will help you. I had my right kidney removed in July of 2002. I have not needed any move treatment after that except for follow-up visits to an oncologist. I am a very strong woman of faith, and I know the only thing that will keep you from going crazy from the WHAT IF'S is God. You father must believe that God is in control of all things ever his cancer, and you must do the same.

Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2005

I replied down on a thread about Stage IV Renal cell carcinoma, and how my mom is still here ten years later. Go and read it!

Chicago's picture
Posts: 73
Joined: Apr 2004

Hey Concerned,

I had a partial nephrectomy on one kidney just over two years ago, and I am still cancer free as of my last checkup. The operation is not pleasant, but the alternatives are much, much worse.

If the docs are only recommending the partial, it may be that your dad's cancer is in an earlier stage, and therefore easier to treat. He does not want to delay treatment though. Once RCC starts to spread, it spreads quickly, and is very, very difficult to treat then.

Keep in mind too, that people function perfectly well on just one kidney. In fact, my docs tell me that you could live a relatively normal live on just one third of one kidney.

Keep us posted.

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