My mother has been diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma

cindy1241 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2013 in Kidney Cancer #1

My mother had one of her kidneys removed 3 years ago due to renal cell carcinoma.  We found out earlier this month that the cancer has metastized.  There is a 5cm mass on the outside of her pancreas which has had a biopsy already.   

My mom will go see her oncologist next week at which time she will receive the results of her PET Scan.  Most likely after this appointment, she will start chemo which is in a pill form.  The presription is call Sutent.

I'm reaching out to see if anyone has or had a family member so through this.  What do we expect? 

What type of home care assistance is there available to my mom and dad.  My dad is dependant on my mother, and when she starts chemo he will be unable to help her.   We'd like to find an organization that can help with cleaning, bills, shopping, helping my mom, and helping my dad.  Someone had mentioned Palliative Care.  Is anyone familiar with that type of help?

Thank you,








  • todd121
    todd121 Member Posts: 1,448 Member

    Sorry your mom's cancer returned.

    I'm afraid I can't help with most of your question. I will say that sutent when compared to other chemos for other cancers, is not usually debilitating. The good news/bad news for those of us with kidney cancer has been that we haven't benefited from some of the other chemos that have been very effective in other cancers. The good news is the ones that we are receiving are themselves not as debilitating as those other chemos in terms of their side effects (IL2 notwithstanding).

    I hope the sutent works for her and hopefully she will suffer few side effects.


  • Darron
    Darron Member Posts: 310 Member
    Sorry to Hear

    Sorry to hear of the return Of her cancer. I have been in Sutent since January. I will say it is not what I would call a typical chemo drug. I have continued to work and live life normally for the most part. Sutent destroys the tumor's ability to create a blood supply for itself. When effective, it will shrink the tumor and keep it from growing larger. Maximums dose is 50 mg per day. 4 weeks on, two weeks off for a six week cycle. Palliative care is effectively making someone comfortable without attacking the cancer.

    I started on 50 mg for 5or 6 cycles, then dropped to 37.5 mg to avoid side effects ( more in that later, I am on a drug trial with sutent and nicolumab) Here are some if the side reflects I have gone they. It seems that every cycle has different side effects.

    side eeffects I have experienced:

    low blood platelets, misebleeds -cycle 1

    hand foot syndrome - severuty varies by cycle, I have continued to play golf thru all cycles, walking 9holes

    metallic taste- more on 1st few cycles, now I don't notice it

    diarhea- never severe, but depending on diet, more if a bother than a problem

    gout-I have it no, taking medication for my toe

    grey hair- my eyebrows turned grey in three weeks but it didn't fall out ( am 43)

    headaches- not always severe


    all and all it is a drug to be taken long term to keep the cancer manageable. It will shrink the tumor down to almost nothing, but if you go off it, the tumor generally starts growing. I dropped to 37.5 mg as I near the end of my drug trial. The nivolumab I am taking is hopefully a cure. My tumor is down to 5mm down from as large a 3.8 cm. we are hopeful that nivolumab is shrinking the tumor in my case and not the sutent. As I dropped to 37.5 m, the side effects have definaty deminished.

    hope the feedback helps.. Without knowing your fathers needs and her age, it is difficult to predict How she will respond to the treatment And how much she will be able to continue helping with his care.