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9 Year RCC Survivor!!

Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2013

Good Morning!

Exactly 9 years ago we were in the hospital and Dennis was having his kidney/adrenal/large cancerous tumor removed.  That makes him a 9 year cancer survivor!!  I am thankful that he is still around!!  Statistics for 5 yr survival were pretty bleak in 2004.  After that surgery we thought we were out of the woods and the cancer was gone.  While we weren’t happy when it came back and took up residence on his pancreas last year, we are thankful that there are now several drugs available for treatment. Sutent was approved by the FDA in January 2006.  So…while we don’t enjoy some of its side-effects, we are thankful that it is available and working!!

garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!  When my father in-law was diagnosed 14 years ago with stage IV RCC the oncologist told him that there was no effective therapy available and keeping him comfortable was all they could offer.  Ten years later when I was diagnosed there were several newer options including Sutent, but fortunately mine was caught early, small tumor, and so far I have remained NED.  I am hopeful that a true cure is on the horizon, but in the mean time many are able to manage RCC as a chronic desease thanks to the progress made just in the last few years.

Jojo61's picture
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Happy to hear such good reports. What stage was your husband in 2004?

Enjoy celebrating!


GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

Cubsfan... thanks..!!  You give us Stage 4 folks hope and inspiration.!!


I am alive
Posts: 315
Joined: Jul 2012

As a fellow 9-year survivor (5 as stage IV) I rejoice in your anniversary! We all love to hear stories like yours. Don't forget to post next year!!!

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3362
Joined: Jan 2010

Your nine years dealing with obstacles, beats my eleven years sliding by with Stage 1.




Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2013

Good Morning!

Thanks for the encouraging comments!  Yes, things have changed in the last 9 years, and we can pray that they continue to change and a true cure will be found!

Jojo, he was stage 3 when they did the surgery due to the size of the tumor and "venous invasion".  However, the doctor said he would say it was "on the lower end of stage 3" as it appeared contained.  We thought they cut it out...it's all gone...end of story.  Thankfully, he is a urological oncologist and continued to do regular follow up.  So, Iceman, we were pretty oblivious until last December when the metastasis to the pancreas was found. (7 cm mass on head of pancreas.)  Now we live with cancer being treated as a chronic disease.  We live day to day and scan to scan.  But, WE LIVE and are truly thankful for each new day!!   ~Sharon

Posts: 12
Joined: Aug 2013

Happy anniversary!!! its indeed so great to hear great news from fellow caregivers. Hoping for more anniversaries to come!

angec's picture
Posts: 924
Joined: Mar 2012

Sharon, glad they did find the mass and are dealing with it! That is why i always recommend close follow up with whole body pet/ct scans. Those are better than just an abdomen scan and xrays of the lungs. xrays don't always pick up mets to lungs.  Glad they are staying on top of him and seem to be doing a great job! There are alot of new things on the horizon also. It is very encouraging to hear you continue to live each day fully!  Enjoy the simple pleasures.  We never know what will take us out, as is evidenced by all of the natural disasters we see each day!  So while we worry about our health, just maybe our health will hold up nicely!  Meant to ask you if he was on any meds at the moment like Votrient or Sutent?


Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2013

Good Morning!

Yes, he is on Sutent, 37.5 mg, 4weeks on/2 weeks off --currently almost at the end of round 7.  The tumor had been getting smaller, then showed no change in October scans.  Next scans are scheduled for January, at the end of round 8.

He had CT scans every 6 months at first, then after 5 yrs went to alternating CT/abdominal Ultrasound + chest x-ray yearly.  In retrospect this may have been caught earlier if he had been having CTs annually rather than US/x-ray...but the dr was following the protocol being advised at the time.  He is a urological oncologist.   They have been watching some spots in the lungs for several years, but they have remained unchanged...until one showed some shrinkage on Sutent.  Hmmm...Hindsight is always  20/20!  We can't go back and change anything, so we keep looking forward.  And, thanks to these discussion boards, can encourage others to be vigilant.    ~Sharon

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

By the way, I just expect to be here another 9 years. Lots of crap to deal with but......I will stay strong. Thanks for the affirmation that we can do this.

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