Stage 4 RCC - Don't give up, don't ever give up

KublaKhan Member Posts: 2 Member

I am a 54 yr old male who prior to my annual physical in Mar 2022, experienced night sweats and unexplained weight loss. Lab results from annual physical showed anemia and increased Calcium level. CT scan was ordered and revealed 15cm tumor on lower pole of left kidney, numerous metastatic lesions in both lungs, and pleural effusion in left lung. Tumor biopsy confirmed Stage IV metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma with 90% sarcomatoid features. In May 2022, received combination immunotherapy (Opdivo and Yervoy) then after 3 treatments, Opdivo as maintenance therapy until May 2023. Experienced known immunotherapy side effects during infusions (flushing, difficulty breathing, back pain) and after infusions (skin rash, and a drug related liver injury). All have been managed well and no interruptions with immunotherapy. Pleural effusion fully resolved in Sep 2022 after thoracentesis performed and pleural catheter placed and later removed. CT scans performed every 3 months have shown overall partial response. Underwent removal of left kidney and tumor (cytoreductive nephrectomy) in Nov 2022. In 2023, local recurrence tumor formed where left kidney removed. Completed radiation therapy in Oct 2023 followed by Dec 2023 surgery for tumor removal and colon resection. Negative margins per pathology and no ostomy required.

I proudly wear my kidney cancer wrist band (orange) which includes, "no one fights alone!". I am thankful for the love and support from family, friends, workplace, and the efforts of my medical team. Despite my cancer, everything else is good. My quality of life continues to be high. I live an active and fulfilling life with minimal if any restrictions. My body, mind, and soul are in a good place and from it, my good days far outweigh the bad ones. If anyone has been diagnosed with Stage 4 RCC, treatments continue to improve and advancements are being made to extend overall survival and improve quality of life!