19th CT...but who's counting
I did...plus numerous X-ray/US combinations, 1 bone scan, 1 PET scan, 2 biopsies, 3 surgeries, and too many vials of blood to count.
Saw my ONC nurse this morning and overall report looks standard and unremarkable. It was recommended I see my PC and have an endoscopy for possible polyp in the stomach; plus come back in 3 months for appt. with Oncologist and labs-but not any other tests. Finally, I'll be on a six month schedule for CT's and/or X-ray & US.
They say time makes you forget, so I did have to go back to one of the pathology reports. For you Newbies, here is the shortened version.
May 2006, "You've got a mass in your kidney and one or two in the liver." Surgery in June and Dx'd with Clear Cell RCC; Stage T2,N1,M1. Now they would list it as T2b as the primary tumor was larger than 7cm. Acturally,R. Kidney tumor was 12.5x11.5x8 cm. Set of nodes removed with 2 of 11 positive. Then another surgeon went to work on my liver. A couple of wedges from the right lobe were removed with .6cm benign cysts. Then the left lobe was removed, which had a 7.5x5.5x5.0 cm RCC tumor. And for good measure, they also took our the gall bladder, which had a benigh growth blocking the main bile duct.
Feb 2007, on Vacation and dislocated my foot and broke my ankle in 3 places, while visiting Charleston, SC. Damn those Confederates! I wanted to see Fort Sumpter. Flew home in a temp cast and had repair surgery a week later, with plates and screws installed.
June 2007; CT comparisons showed a node growing. Biopsy positive. Emailed my surgeon and spent the 4th of July in the hospital recovering.
Oct. 2007; day surgery to remove the frozen tendon nodule on my right thumb-because I had been on crutches for 7 weeks after the ankle incident.
May 2008; Oops, another node enlarging. Couldn't be biopsied because of location; PET scan proved it should come out. Spent my anniversary in June going thru the pre-surgical bowel prep the day before surgery. More RCC.
Fast forward thru tests until about 2010; thyroid was found to be enlarging with nodes on CT. Ultrasound agreed. Waited 2 months for all the radioactivity from the CT to clear my system, and then had a radioactive iodine absorption test. Still no clear DX. Biopsy...and the extra nodes were benign. Very stressfull.
But here I am, 7 and a half years later (and older), glad to be alive, feeling lucky that the tests have found what has ailed me, and luckier that I only had to have surgery.
For those of you who've been thru the newer drug treatments for various kinds of Kidney Cancer, thank you so much. You've been the tough ones, the guinea pigs, the survivors. When I started this journey, there wasn't much available. Interlukin, Interferon, Sorafinib or Sunitinib were the only drugs then. And since I was deemed to have no "active" sites that could be monitored following the first surgery, I was not a candidate for any of the drugs in trial.
Ups and Downs are a part of normal life. With a cancer diagnosis, the roller coaster can be higher or lower and the ride can be rough, at times. On days like today, it's like the end of the ride when you come gliding back into the station and stop to catch your breath. You step out and think "I was scared, I survived, I could do that again, if I had to."
So it's time to relax for a while and wait until the next test, at which time the anxiety level increases a bit (not like it did in the early days), and get on with life.
And if your weather is BAD to the Bone this week, I'm truly sorry. Looking at the weather map and walking outside puts the Southern Oregon Coast in sunny, slightly breezy, 55-60 degree weather. Sorry :-( I'd share if I could.
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