Posting something positive

Double Whammy
Double Whammy Member Posts: 2,832 Member

Hello-

I'm from the breast and uterine boards.  Approximately 6 months ago I posted here about my oldest friend who has a recurrence of her kidney cancer.  She has a single tumor in her left upper lung, in a really precarious place.  A local thoracic surgeon (Sacramento) could not biopsy it with his fancy GPS gizmo, so there was a while when she couldn't get confirmation.  Finally, an interventional radiologist was able to biopsy the tumor and it was, as suspected, a recurrence of her kidney cancer ( from 2009).  Her local oncologist sent her off to Stanford and I have been accompanying her on this journey which in spite of a scarey situation, has so far has been positive.

On her first visit, she saw a medical onoclogist who specializes in kidney cancer.  She placed her on Votrient in attempt to shrink the tumor so surgery might be possible.  On her second visit, she also saw a thoracic surgeon who said "kidney cancer is different, and sometimes it's different in a good way".  Huh?  He said and the medical oncologist confirmed, that sometimes when it metastasizes, it shows up as a single tumor only - which may be able to be removed surgically and -if in fact there is only a single tumor (nothing showing anywhere else at this writing), and if they can remove it, she has a 30% chance of never seeing the nasty thing again.  Her medical oncologist feels this is her best chance and since it took so many years for this tumor to show up, she's likely to have many years (if not all) disease free, and treatment free.  The Votrient has made her tired, hair thinned, thyroid got outa wack, she got pneumonia, nausea, lack of appetite, lost 34 lbs. so far, and while it has done an excellent job (tumor has gone from 5 cm. to under 1), it's likely it will stop working and then she would have to try another drug and on and on, all the while suffering the side effects.  In her favor is the length of time it took to grow and that there is evidence of only this one lesion anywhere. 

Her next appointment at Stanford is mid February with both the thoracic surgeon and med onc.  Her med onc wanted to give Votrient a chance to continue to work while it is and we are under the impression that surgery will be scheduled at the February visit.  At this time, the surgery anticipated is removal of the right upper lobe of her left lung.  The thoracic surgeon feels that with only this much of her lung being removed, she will have a good quality of life.  Removing the entire lung is not ideal, and it looks like the Votrient has made partial lung removal possible. 

I've learned a lot since my diagnoses in 2010 and my husband's prostate cancer last year, and now this.  How naive we all are until something nasty happens to us or someone we love.  Most of all, I"ve learned that not all cancers are the same and even within a specific cancer type (i.e., breast), there is a range that extends beyond stage and grade even.  And don't forget to factor in the fact that we're all individuals who respond differently to different things.   I've learned that when our oncologists say "I don't know" they really don't.  They sure do a good job with what they do know, however.  Getting and having  and living with cancer is indeed a crap shoot.  I had a breast MRI yesterday (I have one once a year and a mammogram once a year) and although I feel like a million bucks and it's been 4 years now since I've been out of treatment, I will be anxious until I get the results. 

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for the advice you gave me a while ago.  This is an update - and a positive one.

Suzanne

 

Comments

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,361 Member
    Keep on fighting

    Glad to hear that your friend with RCC and you are still fighting back and for the most part winning. Noboy says that Cancer is easy, but it can be beaten.

     

    Icemantoo

  • N_Woods_Gal
    N_Woods_Gal Member Posts: 20 Member
    icemantoo said:

    Keep on fighting

    Glad to hear that your friend with RCC and you are still fighting back and for the most part winning. Noboy says that Cancer is easy, but it can be beaten.

     

    Icemantoo

    Friendship

    Suzanne,

    I am in awe of a friendship like yours. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jojo61
    Jojo61 Member Posts: 1,309 Member

    Friendship

    Suzanne,

    I am in awe of a friendship like yours. Thank you for sharing.

    Hi Suzanne,
    Thank you for

    Hi Suzanne,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Everybody's story is different.

    You are right in saying that you don't think it is going to happen to you. I have to admit I got a little cocky. I was thinking about buying some life  insurance (prior to knowing I had cancer). All the questions that I answered on the application made me feel so confident that nothing would happen to me. I lived a fairly healthy life. Had fairly good genes. And then WHAM! I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney Cancer. You just never know. And yes, we all need to learn from this and live a good life.

    It is great that you have each other to support. It sure makes the journey less bumpy.

    Please keep us posted on how you and your friend are doing!

    Hugs,

    Jojo

  • donna_lee
    donna_lee Member Posts: 1,041 Member
    Jojo61 said:

    Hi Suzanne,
    Thank you for

    Hi Suzanne,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Everybody's story is different.

    You are right in saying that you don't think it is going to happen to you. I have to admit I got a little cocky. I was thinking about buying some life  insurance (prior to knowing I had cancer). All the questions that I answered on the application made me feel so confident that nothing would happen to me. I lived a fairly healthy life. Had fairly good genes. And then WHAM! I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney Cancer. You just never know. And yes, we all need to learn from this and live a good life.

    It is great that you have each other to support. It sure makes the journey less bumpy.

    Please keep us posted on how you and your friend are doing!

    Hugs,

    Jojo

    My RCC friend had

    one lobe removed 6years ago and the original neph.8 years ago.  Subsequently went through a partial course of IL2.  The tumors shrank and are stable and she is doing well.  Actually is on a trip and vacation as I write this and you can't slow her down.

    Good luck to you both, and thanks for being her support person.

    Donna

  • sblairc
    sblairc Member Posts: 585 Member
    Thanks for the positive story!

    Thanks so much! I'm always so grateful to hear the stories of Stage 4 RCC warriors. It gives me hope for a long life with my husband if it ever rears it's ugly head again. I'm turning 40 this year and hope to have him by my side for a LONG time!!

  • dhs1963
    dhs1963 Member Posts: 513
    Solitary lung met...

    I had a solitary lung met.  Mine was relatively small -- 1.5 cm.  It was removed, with no other treatment.  That was two years ago.  Because my tumore was grade 4 (sacomitoid), thre was an 80% chance of recurrance, but at two years, my ananlysis of the data drops it to about 40% chance (my oncologist agrees with my logic/analysis).

    Having stage IV cancer is not good, but if you have to have it, this is the best one to have.  Isloated mets can be treated with a whack-a-mole strategy.

    Good Luck!