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New here but concerned

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

I had a radical Nephrectomy a year ago. I always had discomfort on my left side and a bump just under my rib cage. Anyone have any comment on this?

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Ed.. welcome to the club... the one nobody wants to join.  The good news is that most likely the worst is over.  The bump under the rib cage is most likely due to the surgery.. sometimes it goes away sometimes not.  Same with the discomfort or mild pain..  Most likely it is your new normal.

Good Luck..

Ron

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Ed!

I agree with Ron. It is your new normal. I also have a hard lump and a little bit of pain.  The doctor told me to massage it daily and that has reduced the lump somewhat.

Take care!

Jojo

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

I thank you all for your replies. I am going in for my first year ct scan next month and am getting all kinds of thoughts in my head whenever I see/feel my left side. 

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

Someone told me Contrasting Agent is hard on only one kidney. Is this true?  My last Creatinine level reading was 1.6

 

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

Most oncologists will not allow CT with contrast if your Creatinine level exceeds 1.4 or 1.5.

However, there are ways to lower your Creatinine starting with making sure you drink lots and lots of water.

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

Ok, thanks.  How about drinking juice or non-colored soda? I usually take in about 58 oz of fluids per day.

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

Juice is generally even worse than drinking many kinds of soda's.  That is because all the pulp and fiber has been removed leaving only the sugar(s) behind.  That removed fiber would have slowed down the digestive process - thus mitigating the Insulin spike that always accompanies the rush of glucose (sugar is 50% glucose; 50% fructose).  That is why is it recommended to only eat whole fruits - not fruit juices made from them.

If the non-colored soda has little to no sugar(s) added then it should be fine.  But what ones are you referring to? 

Beware of hydrating with products like Gatorade.  They are the worst in terms of added sugars.

The best way to hydrate is with di-hydroxide oxygen, better known as water.

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

I have a can of diet white grape soda about once a day with lunch.J  I was told cranberry juice is OK.

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

You were told that cranberry juice is OK. But OK for what?  Most oncologists don't care very much about what you eat or drink because they are mostly focused on making sure you maintain your weight.

But if you dig a bit deeper...

You will discover that every version of RCC is considered an example of a "metabolic disease".  And this means that your diet can influence the progression of your disease and/or how you respond to various therapies.

Sugars and refined carbs should be considered an enemy for cancer sufferers because they can lead to rapid spikes in Insulin level.  The ingestion of high levels of these kinds of carbohydrates will turn on epigenetic switches of inflammation while stimulating rapid insulin release.  In turn these insulin spikes can promote the release of the hormone IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1), which then stimulates all cells (including tumor cells) to grow.  These insulin spikes can simultaneously decrease the amount of another hormone, IGFBP-3 (Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3). This hormone normally works to prevent unregulated tissue growth by inducing apoptosis (cellular death) in cancer cells.

 

The bottom line is this: High carbohydrate induced insulin spikes can provoke indiscriminate cell growth while simultaneously working to prevent cancer cell death.

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

I will certainly watch my diet more carefully.  One more thing: my last GFR was 42.5 Seems low. Usually 50.0 Thanks for your response.

 

Ed J

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

Cranberry juice is full of health-promoting nutrients. In addition to playing a role in cancer prevention and heart health, cranberry juice is particularly beneficial for keeping your kidneys healthy. Not only does cranberry juice help to treat and prevent urinary tract infections via its antibacterial properties, but it also helps prevent the formation of painful kidney stones.

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

That is all true.  But it is still better to eat the cranberries directly (i.e. not as a juice).

Here is a great visual illustration of the amount of sugars in various foods:

http://www.sugarstacks.com/

Ree_Maryland's picture
Ree_Maryland
Posts: 158
Joined: May 2014

Thank you for the info , My creatinine is high so I am drinking more water. hope that works. My next ct scan with contrast is April 2015.

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 224
Joined: Oct 2013

After consulting with a Nephrologist recently I learned the following.  1 Creatine levels can vary significantly based on a number of things for example...my own case.  I have had measures within the same month from 1.48 to 1.83.  I had hydrated well when the 1.83 was measured....but I had also been working out vigorously.  I eased off my excersize and two days later test 1.52.  GFR estimates are even more wildly inaccurate....my estimated GFR is 48 or so, but my actual as calculated by a 24 hour urine collect was actually 79.    Bottom line....a lot can impact things..go to a nephrologist if you have concerns.  Incidentally my doctor would not use contrast on my one year CT due to that 1.83 reading despite a reading only a couple weeks earlier of 1.48.  Best of luck.

 Oh and one more thing I forgot to mention.....I have medical records going way back and I looked at my creatine from 24 years ago....two kidneys no cancer and good physical condtion....1.3.   Body muscle mass has a lot to do with creatine levels.

 

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

fter looking at my scheduled appointment, I noticed it scheduled an X-Ray then Lab work.  A CT-Scan wasn't mentioned. I think I read something into it that wasn't there.

Six months ago I had a GFR 42.5.  Readings before that it was 50.0

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3280
Joined: Jan 2010

EdJ,

 

Being over 70 (your bio says only 70-79) negatively effects your GFR as does only having 1 Kidney and probably a Creatine level above normal. It appears that all of us in our 70's with 1 kidney have similar GFR's (myself included) which translates into Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease. The bark (its name) is worse than the bite. Of utmost importance is to watch your weight and blood pressure, both of which negatively effect your remaining kidney. Stage 3 CKD is initally more of a risk to your heart than causing kidney failure. Follow these thoughts up with a good GP or preferably a Nephrologist.

 

Icemantoo

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

Thanks for the info.  What you say makes sense to me.   And, wow: some of the people on this site sound like doctors or want-to-be-doctors. 

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

I have a hunch that if you swap that juice for water, your GFR will improve..  Water is your new best friend.. Most other liquids are part of the enemy...

Ron

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

Thanks, Ron.  I will start doing that.

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1427
Joined: Dec 2012

You didn't mention your diagnosis (type of RCC, stage, Fuhrman grade). However, you most likely should have a CT at least of the abdomen/pelvis and a chest x-ray at least annually. Make sure your doctor is following the minimum NIH guidelines for followup for your type/stage of cancer. If you're not seeing an oncologist with experience with RCC, you may want to get a second opinion with an experienced oncologist just to make sure you're being followed appropriately. Some of us (like me) with Stage 3 are getting a chest/abdomen/pelvis CT every 6 months for the first 3 years, then annually for the next 2 years.

Some urologic oncologists from what I've seen by posts on here, are skimping on the followups and doing only ultrasounds or x-rays.

My oncologist won't allow contrast with a creatinine level above 1.4, because the contrast can damage the kidneys and he doesn't feel it's worth the risk. Still, I get scheduled each time for a CT with contrast, and I have to advocate for myself and tell the imaging center "No. You're not inserting an IV and I'm not taking contrast". When I do, and explain, they say "Ok". But they're always ready to do it anyway so be sure you know what your doc wants and what you want and stand up for yourself when/if they try and do otherwise.

Best wishes,

Todd

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

Thanks for the reply:  My appointment reminder reads: 0830 X-Ray   0900 Lab   1030 Consultation.  SO maybe I'm not scheduled for a CT anyway.

 

Thanks,  Ed J                                                                         

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

OK. But the bigger question is why not?  An X-ray will not reveal much as regards to any mets. It may be useful for imaging the lungs and/or looking for fluid buildup around them - but that's about it.  What about the rest of your body? You should be getting a CT-scan of your Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis as a routine matter.

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

I understand that anyone with a creatinine level above 1.5 should not have Contrast because the contrast can damage the kidney. My last result was 1.6

Just spoke with my Radiologist: He advises there will be no contrast used in my exam due to my last reading.

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

OK but is it going to be a CT-scan or an X-ray?  They are not the same thing.

Ed J
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2014

A CT Scan

 

Ree_Maryland's picture
Ree_Maryland
Posts: 158
Joined: May 2014

Thanks for the reply to my Creatinine levels I still get confused on what is good and what is bad. My creatinine level was 1.18  so now im drinking more water . 

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

1.18 is very good if you only have one kidney.

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