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Kidney cancer is suposed to be curable

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm shaken, I'm confused. My mom was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer April 7th 2009, my birthday. OK, it's kidney cancer....research shows this is a very curable disease. Remove the affected Kidney, things get better...she will be a cancer survivor right?

No. It's not the case. She has stage IV rare aggresive chromophobe renal cell carcenoma. In 5 months she had been beaten down to a shell of who she was. She has lymphnode mets, bone mets, lung mets right from the start...............and now liver mets. She is not simply sick, tired, weak....she is black and purple bruised all over her arms and stomach and legs from faling down, she is eyes sunken in and no spark behind them, she is shakey and in pain and hurting with every moment. She has stage III bed sores and several stage I and stage II's.....it cotinues to get worse. This isn't my mom. This isn't fair. She is such a vibrant and loving woman.....this isn't her. One minute there, the next minute gone....reagardless if her body is still here. The chemo, the phenergan for naseau, the antianxiety for her panic attacked.....it's taken her completely away. The cancer hasn't taken her away....but the MEDS have. I search for a glimpse of who she is...in the midst of all the "medicine".

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 1020
Joined: Feb 2009

Dear SassySue-
What a horror story. It's the kind the public and NIH needs to hear to put a face on the name of Kidney Cancer.
In only the past 10 years have breakthroughs been made in drugs that are somewhat effective in managing kidney cancer that has metastacized. But no one said they don't have side effects, as you and mom are finding.
As I was told by a medical oncologist my first year -once the cancer has advanced to the point that drugs are to be considered, there is a trade off. Did I want 5-6 months of normal progression, or 7-8 months with sometimes devastating side effects. I haven't had to make that decision to date and still don't know which way I will go if the time comes.
In 2006, when I was told I had Stage IV, with mets to liver and nodes, the only thing I was offered was surgery. Of course, there were still floating cells, which were caught in lymph nodes and found on CT's - and I had those out in summer of 07 and again in 08. Even now, with a semi clear read on the previous 4 CT's in less than a year, I don't consider myself "cured". I just don't have an active site that is detectable. But I have a CT in less than 2 weeks. Meanwhile, I just keep on working, gardening in my yard, breaking my ankle, going on vacation and spending time in a Mexican hospital with acute bronchitis, and playing with my grands
What can I offer you? Not much more than a listening ear for you to vent and to let you know that someone hears you and cares.
Best wishes and good luck on the next stage of the journey.

dgilly's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2009

I am so sorry about your mom. My mother also was diagnosed with Stage IV RCC though. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure in my life. I was then diagnosed 11 months later with RCC Stage I/II. All I can say is you will be in my prayers.

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