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All new to this...got results on Friday 5/24/13...4 cm lesion within my Left Kidney....looking for insight I guess

J_B's picture
J_B
Posts: 17
Joined: May 2013

Hi, I've been doing some research and reading your posts - what a great community here!!

So here's my story.

Had a routine mammogram on 4/11, had a follow up mammo on 4/18. There is a new lump in each breast. One they are not concerned with, the other they are. So they send report to my doctor (a sports medicine doctor) who says we'll take another look in 6 months.

A friend of mine said absoutely not! She calls her internist and long story short I end up with my first appointment there on 5/15. Discussing with him my other "issues" i have been having (can't have bowel movement without elax, stomach extends looking like I'm 4 months pregnant, pain up high where ribs come together and down in the lower right side but radiate around to my back, achy from hips down my legs) , he orders blood tests and an ultra sound of my lower abdomin.

He also sent me to a Breast Cancer Specialist--have an appointment there on June 3rd.

 

Blood tests results were uploaded to my portal....  Major items high sugar (have been pre-diabetic for years), and high cholesterol. Vitamin D level is only at 12.

-those are the notable ones that stood out right off the bat.

My lower abdomin ultrasound and xray of my left hip was on Wednesday 5/22.

Ok, now moving forward to less than 48 hours ago...3:30 in the afternoon-on a Friday....of a long holiday weekend...---you see where I'm going with that....

I was on a call for work, my personal cell phone rings -I can't answer it. The within a minute it rings again from a different number - still can't answer it. Within a couple minutes I am off my call and checking my voicemail to have the first call be my internist doctors office stating they have my results please call us, we will be closed until Tuesday. So, being that it was only a couple of minutes ago that they called, I quickly call back to get no answer. I then check my voicemail for the message left by the 2nd calleer-it was the place that did the ultrasounds. Stating my doctor has ordered another test please call to schedule. (literally within 2 minutes of the doctors office trying to reach me!)

So I call that place back and ask what the test is for, what did they find, she explained she cannot tell me what was found, but can tell me what test he is asking for now...a CT Scan.  I told her this really sucks that at 3:30 on friday of a long holiday weekend I get calls from both places but won't find out what was found until next week! She apologized that she couldn't give me any info. Then out of the blue says "does your family have a hisotry of Cancer?" I explained I do not know, I am adopted and have limited information other than maternal grandparents both having diabetes. She then says "Have you ever been diagnosed with Cancer? (emphasis in her voice on the word Cancer)...I said no but I am currently in the process of going to a breast specialist for a new finding in my breast.  She says "Oh, so you don't know if your family had Cancer?"  -by now I'm like, Ok this young girl is trying to send me a message without coming out and saying what was found. She then told me instead of waiting all weekend, I could go to the lab that did the work and get a copy of the report/results. So I did! By 4:45 on Friday I had the report and the images on CD in my hand!

Here is the "findings" of concern:

Abdomen: gallstone present measuring 1.5 cm.

Spleen is normal size, kidneys are normal size.

----Within the upper left kidney, there is a 4.0 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm hypoechoic lesion demonstrating low level internal echoes.

"Impression":

1. Findings most suggestive of diffuse hepatic steatosis

2. Cholelithiasis witout other evidence to suggest acute cholecystitis

3. Indeterminate 4 cm left renal lesion not simple by sonographic criteria. Differential includes complicated cyst versus other cystic neoplasm including malignancy. Renal mass protocol CT abdomen recommended for further evailuation.

I now have an appointment for the CT scan for next Friday June 1st...unless the insurance company approves it earlier in the week they will call to bump up my appointment.

So there it is folks...I have this information from the file, haven't talked to my doctor but am beginning to freak out a bit. An abnormal mammogram has turned into a gallstone and a 4cm lesion on my left kidney.  -The doctors should have waited to call me until Tuesday!! lol

Your thoughts on this? - is there anything in my bloodwork I should be looking for? 

Does it make a difference WHERE the mass is located? Mine is in the left upper kidney (in it not on it)?

 

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

It's a total bummer getting all this news all at once and like that.  And it is far worse getting it just before a major holiday.

There is a lot here to digest.  But, off hand, it does sound likely that you have RCC (renal cell carcinoma). The CT-scan will confirm that.  The "good" news (and yes, it is good - all things considered) is that if it is RCC you will have caught it relatively early.  Renal cancer is often called "the stealth cancer" because it rarely presents any symptoms until it has progressed to a far greater degree.  For example, they found an 11cm tumor in my left kidney after I (finally) had a symptom - I saw blood in my urine (some people never even get that). That tumor was likely growing in me for at least 7 or 10 years, perhaps even longer - with absolutely no symptoms.

It also sounds like the gallstone is the source of all your pain.

The blood tests I would suggest would be for calcium (since your vitamin D level is way low) and C-Reactive Protein (C-R P) which is a measure of inflammation in your body.  Most oncologists do not look at this one but you may find it useful someday in the future.

I know it sounds silly but do try not to obsess too much over this shocking news in the space of the holiday weekend. You have come to the right place here - you will soon get lots of information and insights from all the wonderful folks who stop by.  In a short period of time it will all even begin to make sense.  Right now that CT-scan holds the key as to what happens next regarding your kidney.

Hang in there.

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I couldn't (I really couldn't) have said so any better!

J_B's picture
J_B
Posts: 17
Joined: May 2013

Thanks NanoSecond. 

It amazes me how something can be growing inside for so long with no symptoms-such as in your case.

Am I readiing most of the posts correctly that typically 4cm and larger they remove the kidney whether its cancer or not?

I'm so glad I found this site and all of you!

Thank You

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

Yes J B, it was amazing and shocking when I learned that news.  But ever since that day I have been amazed and shocked quite frequently by all sorts of things regarding cancer and RCC in particular.  Trust me, many things that people think they "know" to be true quite often later turn out to be mostly myths or half-truths concerning this disease.

It will take a little time but if you become a member of our "exclusive" club the first lesson you will learn is that this kind of cancer (especially in your case) need not lead to a lethal end.  It can be managed and turned into just a chronic ailment. That is what we are attempting here in our own separate ways.

And yes, it works!

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

Without comment as to the care you have gotten so far, you've had a bumpy ride.  Without all the prelude, my 4 cm in the right kidney was diagnosed pretty much the same way.  They were looking for one thing and found another.

I am no MD!  There are people on here who are far better qualified to talk specifics with you than I am.  That said, there is a lot of evidence that most lesions like that are RCC.  It is small, by comparison to many here, as was my own. Before the procedure, I was freaked, then inquisitive, then finally, angry.

I'm sorry that you may be joining a club no one wants to belong to.  I am 12 days past a radical nephrectomy of my right kidney.  I am GREAT, though pretty tired, but that will change. I'll get greater.

Odds are you will too!

Use this community. You and others like you are why we do what we do here.  We are here to encourage, to educate, adn to let you know that there is always hope and support here.

Keep your appointments, ask a LOT of questions, and when the anxiety, or fear, or feeling lost overwhelms, you'll find supportive voices with lots of experience to help carry you through, and through all this is where you are headed.

You post, we'll find you!

Michael

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3227
Joined: Jan 2010

J_B,

If it is RCC you are very lucky that it was caught early and at 4 cm it is doubtfull that there is any spreading and that surgery shoukl be a 1 time cure. My CT was just before Memorial day 11 years ago. I got the results a week later in one of those bumbling calls from the nurse to come in and see the doctor who ordered the CT. Bacause the bumbling call was after the weekend the worrying did not start until after the Memorial Day and wow is that a shock being told you have RCC and when can we schedule the surgery. A month before the surgery my wife took me to a B and B on the Canadian side of Lake Huron to relax. We went to the niceest British restaurnat in town where they brought out all the meals on a cart including the Kidney Pie (which I did not choose).

 

Trust me in a month or 2 when all this is behind you you can laugh at all this even though it may hurt your incisions. You will fully recover. Trust me. Been there, done that and here I am 11 years later trying to put a smile on your face even though the next few weeks may not be fun and games. The prognosis for a full and complete recovery from RCC for tumors 4cm or less is close to 100% from the surgery alone.

 

Write down a bucket list for next summer like water skiing or a roller coaster ride.

 

Icemantoo

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 510
Joined: May 2012

This is not a fun thing to here.  I bet, as others have pointed out, the gallstone is the cause of the pain.  A 4cm mass probably will not cause pain.  

I am curious about the vitamin D difficency.  The bottom dropped out of mine in 2009, or about 3 years before my 6 cm mass was identified.  I have often wondered if the Vit. D dificiancy is related to my tumor's growth.  (I am pretty sure I did not have the tumor in 2006, when I had an utrasound of the liver; I think if they saw anything they would have followed up.

 

J_B's picture
J_B
Posts: 17
Joined: May 2013

DHS1963, I didn't even think about the Vitamin D having a correlation with the kidney issue.  Definitely makes you wonder!

I had a total hysterectomy when I was 31 years old due to endrometriosis. I have been on Estrogen replacement ever since (which is also bad for you long term!) So now at 44 I have been on it for 13 years already.  Back when I had the surgery they were telling me to take Vitamin D vitamins to supplement. So I am assuming that being thrown in to menopause so young, it is really affecting those vit D counts.  --But that would explain my hips and legs hurting so bad! (i think?)

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 2013

...what Nano and Iceman already stated and answering some of your more specific questions:

Location:

Location does matter to a lot of things. Now from what you have posted and considering the relatively small tumor size, I would assume its located inside your kidney at the upper pole but fully encapsulated. A primary thing to notice, if its encapsulated, is whether or not in invades any of the major renal veins. But given your description of the location it probably doesnt.

Surgery:

Nephrectomy yes. But full, open, partial laprascopic, really impossible to tell as that depends on a lot of factors. You wont know for sure until after the CT, but I think most people in here would bet their money on a laprascopic partial or full nephrectomy.

Bloodworks:

As far as I know there are various markers in your bloodworks which could indicate the nature of what it is, but that question you should take to your urologist/oncologist.

But for now you need to await the CT scan, and we will help you cross fingers for it being something benign. Should it be RCC, repeat the message you already gotten from others in here to yourself: "I got caught early". If it is RCC, your outlook for the future and the nephrectomy being curative, is very good.

Best wishes and good luck.

/G

J_B's picture
J_B
Posts: 17
Joined: May 2013

Thank you Galrim for the well wishes and insight. I guess I have to just sit back and wait for the CT next week and then wait for results. 

Patience is not one of my better qualities unforunately!!

All weekend long I have been consumed by this and I now understand what people mean when they speak of "The cloud hanging over their head".

Judy

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

This could have gone on for years and developed into something far more dangerous than it is.  Focus on getting rid of it so it can't hurt you more than it already has!

Be Cool!   Walk Tall!

Michael

 

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 2013

So I know exactly what you mean. Looking back, the uncertainty, the waiting, all the things happening to me, but of which I had no control...That was the worst. Surgery, pain, controls...tough yes, but loosing control and waiting was the most stressfull.

Crossing my fingers for whatever it is, its benign. 

Take care and touch grounds in here whenever needed.

/G

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