Almost afraid to mention this...
considering what everyone is going through right now.
I read the new post from someone who was just told she had a malignant mass on the kidney. That's the situation I was in 9 years, 9 months ago (but who's counting?) Ultimately, the right kidney with a 12.5 x 11.5 x8.5 cm tumor was removed. And going along with it was the set of nodes in the fossa (depression) under it with 2 of 11 positive for RCC-Clear Cell; and the left lobe of my liver with a single tumor about 4x5x5 cm tumor; several wedge biopsy sections that they examined on frozen slides, from the right lobe of the liver (negative for cancer; and the gall bladder, which was the original reason I said something to my PC during an exam. Thought I might have a gall stone. Nope, just had a hamartoma or partially blocked bile duct. After 11 1/2 hous on the table with 2 specialist oncology surgeons-one urologic and one abdominal- they thought they got it all.
As you will find, that is Dr. speak, for "we pawed thru your guts and didn't see anything else that looked like it should be removed at that time."
The difference between my 9 mo and 12 mo CT scans showed evidence of a single node enlarging; it was attached to the Inferior Vena Cava and the Duodenum. Biopsy was positive, and surgery was done about 3 weeks later. Repeat the previous sentence, except the node was located in the lower abdomen behind the bifurcation of the Aorta as it splits to go down each leg. Couldn't biopsy, but the PET lit up, so I had a third surgery. That was in 2008.
Through lots of tests, CT's and then alternating with Chest xrays and abdominal/pelvic ultra sounds, and mammograms, I've found I have nodes in my thyroid, weird readings on the mammogram that tell them to order a call-back exam, cysts in the remaining part of my liver and in my pancreas and remaining liver. minor heart "problems", and a partially collapsed lung from the nerve being cut to access the kidney on the first surgery.
But you know what? Live is good. I still go to work, travel sometimes, visit my kids and grands, and am helping plan my 55th HS class reunion. My most recent check with the Oncology nurse was almost a non-event. Labs, "how are you", BP is great, "weight is still down." See you in 4 months and we'll order a CT for September.
Ten years ago, my husband and I were getting ready to go on vacation in Mexico, with hardly a care in the world. I hasn't been an easy 10 years, but we both have had hope. We'll celebrate #52 this summer....divorce, never////murder, maybe.
So how do you handle what is thrown at you when the Dr. says cancer. Get info; start building your file; document what is done, said or printed on your behalf; get your estate issues in line; make decisions; share with your family & friends; cry if you need to-then wipe your tears-and get on with living. Somehow, cancer does not allow much time to have a pity party simultaneously.
So, if this is the long way around that says my appointment found NED, I guess I just did.
To those who are new here, keep on trudging thru the snow or mud. Those in drug treatment, infusions, radiation, and all the assorted side effects, my hugs go out to you. When I began this journey, Sutent and IL2 were all that was available. Votrient was in trial phase and I didn't into fit the parameters We medical world has come a long way in 10 years and kidney cancer is not the orphan disease it used to be.
Valentine Hugs and Hearts to you all.
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