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todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

I hate sharing this information.

Today I found out my cancer has most likely metasticized to my adrenal gland. I'd been having some pain on my right side (my surgery side) for several weeks. I decided to email my oncologist yesterday morning to tell him about it. He had me come in and go to urgent care at the City of Hope. They did my CT scans a month early and found that my right adrenal gland (the one that had been attached to my diseased kidney) had enlarged slightly. They looked back and it had been changing for the past year.

My oncologist wants me to have it removed. They assume it's RCC.

There were ok with waiting until after my business trip to Italy. I'm not. I cancelled my trip and have asked them to remove the damn thing ASAP.

So it appears in 2-3 weeks I'll be having my adrenal gland removed. Hopefully, a laproscopy.

It hasn't totally sunk in that I've graduated to Stage 4. I hope removing this will keep me NED for awhile and I'm also hoping that my other adrenal gland can pick up the slack. I have an aunt with Addisons (adrenal insufficiency). It's not pleasant. On the other hand, this adrenal gland is bad anyway, so that can't really be part of the equation.

Will let you guys know. If you're a praying person, please say a pray for me. If not, please send the universe a good thought. I appreciate this board. It's been so helpful to me to have a place to discuss this damn disease.

Todd

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

I am sorry to hear this news, Todd.  I must say I am a little shocked. Things can change so quickly.

It goes to show that we DO need to listen to our bodies. Good for you for taking action. I have to say, I haven't heard of this happening - spreading to the adrenal gland.

It was probably best that you cancelled your trip to Italy. Just get yourself taken care of. We are here for you if you need us!

Big Hugs

Jojo

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2013

This disease sucks that much is for sure.  Hang in there....positive thoughts are headed your way!   I have followed you as our tumours were about the same size and grade,  mine was staged 1B since they found no other sign of it, as yet.  Keep up the good fight.    Best regards,  Jack

cran1's picture
cran1
Posts: 139
Joined: Mar 2013

Hang in there Todd. The Rancourt family has you in our thoughts.

Karen0074
Posts: 64
Joined: Apr 2014

Hi Todd

well done for calling dr with pain, I think you did the right thing cancelling your trip too. Keep us updated, sending you love.

 

Karen xx

Phredswife's picture
Phredswife
Posts: 162
Joined: Apr 2014

 Wishing you well with the surgery. Don't blame you for wanting that thing out now. I will be praying for you.

Hugs Melissa

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 775
Joined: Oct 2014

Hi Todd

I'm  sorry but it's great you listened to your body soon, you may have a successful surgery and recovery. my urologist removde the adrenal gland and infected kidney together but the adrenal gland was not infected based on pathology report, anyway I'm Ok and don't have a problem with just one adrenal gland yet. Your body will adopt to have just one adrenal gland.you're in my prayers.

Forough

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 887
Joined: Nov 2014

I'm very sorry to hear this. But could it still be not cancer? You won't know for sure until it is out, so maybe it hasn't spread yet and it is just an impression the the gland is changing?

I'm sending you good thoughts and wishing a speedy recovery from surgery.

 

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

I'm so sorry to hear this, you will be in my thoughts. I can't stop cursing rignt now. So, so, angry at this disease on your behalf. 

 

As far as the adrenal goes, my husband's oncologist said that adrenal glands are TRUE DUPLICATE ORGANS. I hope yours will work fine. I am wishing you NED for a long time once the adrenal glad is out. I'm also crossing my fingers an enlarged adrenal gland can be caused by other things too, I certainly hope that is a possibility. 

 

Keep us updated, I'll be thinking of you during this time. 

Srashedb
Posts: 482
Joined: Dec 2013

Todd:

obviously, this is not good news but if the adrenal gland was attached to the kidney that was removed, it is still local.

my husband had the adrenal gland removed when he had nephrectomy and has had no ill-effects from that.

i am sorry that you will have surgery; that doesn't sound good.

Sarah

thaxter's picture
thaxter
Posts: 124
Joined: Jan 2014

I have no problems related to having one adrenal gland. Mine was removed during nephrectomy and sinice it had a non-contiguous tumor I was considered stage IV from the beginning

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mar 2014

Prayers and good thoughts going your way. I'm also thinking that íf it's the gland that was on the same side as the kidney that it's not considered a met but a local recurrence, but of course I'm no doctor. In any case, it'll be out soon and I agree that it was wise to listen to your body and also wise to cancel the trip. Wishing you all the best!

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

Hey Todd, you know I am not a religeous person. But I've got Karma up the wazoo. What goes around, comes around. And you have helped many. So all will be alright with you. Be well my friend.

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

Oh Todd, sorry to hear you have to go through another hurdle and surgery.

But.. you listened carefully and now are going to get that C word out of you!!

Know that we're here for you, I am. We'll walk this journey along side you.

Hugs to you~

Jan

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

I also lost my adrenal gland along with the kidney and have felt no ill effects. Obviously its a blow to recieve bad news but as another stage VI I can assure you life goes on.

Terri065's picture
Terri065
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2014

Hi Sarah, Hope you don't mind me asking. If the adrenal gland is attached to the kidney that was removed and cancer was in both the adrenal gland and the kidney, it's still local? I'm asking because I'm trying to figure out what stage my husband's tumor was. It was a big tumor (14cm) so we know it's stage 2 at best. We don't go back to the Dr Russo for the post surgery visit until 2/3/15. 

 Thank you, Theresa

Srashedb
Posts: 482
Joined: Dec 2013

Teresa:

my husband had the adrenal removed with the nephrectomy and did not have cancer. The gland was not (no anatomical knowledge) but it was not attached to the kidney. The tumor was in the upper left pole of the right kidney.

Sarah

Terri065's picture
Terri065
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2014

Hi Sarah,

I just noticed your reply thank you. 

 

Theresa :)

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

I spoke with one surgeon last night. He's going to be out of town for 3 weeks and was going to do it if I waited. Tomorrow I talk to the other one and find out when, etc.

My surgeon that did my nephrectomy left my adrenal gland without even discussing it with me. He told me after the fact. I don't think my tumor was near there, but he went into the surgery thinking I was Stage 1 and it turned out to be Stage 3 due to invading some microscopic veins in the kidney. My oncologist said there's lots of vascularization between the adrenal gland and the kidney, so it's a pretty common site for recurrence. I'll bet if I'd had my surgery at a cancer center, they would have removed the adrenal gland.

One can still hope it's a benign change in the adrenal gland. It's grown from 12x10 to 15x12 (I think that's mm) in 5 months. They can see a nodule, though and when they looked back, they could even see it on the previous 2 scans, but 3 scans back it wasn't there at all.

Compared to the nephrectomy, this will be a walk in the park. I'm somewhat glad my oncologist is so aggressive with his approach. He says if it's resectable, let's get it out of there. (And he's not a surgeon, so I trust his opinion a little more than the guy who gets paid to cut stuff).

Thank you everyone for the kind words.

Wishing you all well.

Todd

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3242
Joined: Jan 2010

Todd,

 

Isn't it a little early for the surgeon to take a golfing vacation. At least that is my understanding of how they schedule surgery. Sorry I can not help you with the diagnosis one way or the other as it is above my pay grade.

 

Do however stay away from Vegas this time as part of your recovery.

 

Icemantoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 476
Joined: Nov 2011

But would that really mean stage 4 that is not a distant spread good luck on your upcoming surgery

jason.2835
Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Can't stand this frickin' disease.  But it sounds like it could be worse, man.  I like your attitude in wanting to attack it right away.  I agree.  How the heck would you be able to focus on anything business knowing what's going on?  It's the right choice.

Stay positive, sir.

cancerat46's picture
cancerat46
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

As bad as it is that you have heard this news it's great that you're taking charge and getting it removed asap!  You're still in control of cancer.  Go get 'em and swift recovery!

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

A solitary Met that can be surgically treated is very different from many mets.  I know:  I had a solitary lung nodule.  In about two weeks, I will be NED for two years.  And I have had no other cancer treatments.  As I recall, you pushed to be included in an adjuvant trial.  I encourage you to have the mass 1) biopsied, and 2) removed if appropriate.  Hopefully, you will have a similar story as me regarding NEDiness.

Terri065's picture
Terri065
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2014

1963 I'm so happy to read your post. It gives me hope.

God bless you!

 

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

I saw the surgeon on Friday. He heads the urologic oncologic fellowship program at City of Hope and teaches these robotic laparoscopic surgeries there.

He showed me the adrenal gland on the CT this week. It's obviously got something growing in it. It looked like it's getting pregnant. It's a small, triangular shaped thing and it was getting bulgy on all 3 sides. It's so small (less than 1.5 cm) that they think biopsy wouldn't tell them much if it's a negative biopsy. It seems it needs to come out no matter what's causing it to behave this way. And since I have another one, I should be ok without it. (I've heard that before on the kidney. It turned out to be true, sort of.). In any case, I know the best way they still have to treat this disease is to cut the damn things out...Oh. Sorry. I mean resect them. Sounds so much better.

I pushed for soon. They were very cooperative and scheduled me for February 3. So my pre-op will be this Wednesday and the surgery the following Tuesday. He will try to do it laparoscopically, but he said it might be challenging because of all the scar tissue. I've had 3 prior surgeries on my right abdomen (appendectomy, hernia repair, nephrectomy). I asked if I'm going to get 5 more holes. Unfortunately, yes, he said. So after this I'll have 12 scars on the right side of my abdomen. My friend said he's going to start calling me Sebastien.

Nothing like a little tumor and a surgery to put the cancer right back in my mind day and night. Actually, I'm not as stressed as last time I think. I guess I've been kind of thinking this might happen so I'm not as caught off guard. Still, I started making a mental list of "Things I Want to Do Before I Die" this week. (I hate the term bucket list. The way people throw it around just pisses me off for some reason.) My list was a little weird. First item was cleaning out my car. Second item was taking all the recycle bottles in the garage to the recycle place. Third item was destroying all my journals...Is it normal to have such a boring list? :)

The support of my friends and family feels different this time around. I think they start to realize this is a serious thing. I've been really grateful. My uncle who just had his shoulder replaced a few months ago, offered to come care for me. So did my aunt, who is ill herself. They both live in other states. I've had several friends offer to do things. I have my cancer buddy, a local friend that also had RCC checking in on me and it really helps. I know he understands.

So glad to have this board and those people. I'm a little more comfortable with living in the unknown than I was 2 years ago. For example, I'm aware until they take it out and look at it under the microscope, we don't really even know what it is. So I wait. I know what the surgery will be like. I've had a few. Not fun, but I can do it. I've had practice.

Wishing you all well and I hope each and every one of you gets free of this.

Best to you all.

Todd

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

Hi Todd,

It is great news that your surgery is booked. And so glad that so many people have rallied round to offer to help you out. That support will get you through this with ease.

The one good thing about your first cancer surgery,is that it has climatized you a bit for this time around. Worry is horrible - I am guilty of the same thing - and I am sure we all are here in this club of ours.

Your list of things to do....well that just shows me that you have lots of time to add some exciting items AFTER your surgery. Right now, just focus on your well being and prep yourself for the surgery.

We are all thinking about you, and there with you in spirit. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Keep us posted!

Hugs

Jojo

 

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

Best got rid of. And it still leaves you with the one gland. Good luck going under the knife. We'll all be thinking of you.

brea588's picture
brea588
Posts: 240
Joined: Jul 2012

Just to let you know I will be praying for you as u undergo another surgery.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Terri065's picture
Terri065
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2014

Hi Todd, I will be going to MSKCC on 2/3/15 for my husband's first post op visit. I will be saying a prayer for you. 

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

They've moved me to Monday. I might even be first, which I would love that. The earlier the better. I'm ready.

Todd

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 924
Joined: Mar 2012

Todd, praying for a quick recovery.  Maybe  it is best to have it removed anyway. I know many people with one adrenal and they do just fine!  Hopefully this is the end of it for you! Don't worry too much, just get it ou and over with.  I hope you are first on Monday as well. Sending hugs, prayers and good vibes!

 

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

Really appreciate the words of support.

Todd

Tbuck1971's picture
Tbuck1971
Posts: 50
Joined: Jun 2014

Todd,

 

Hope all goes well with your surgery today!  Prayers for a surgical team that get's the job done, that you have a speedy recovery and you are well on your way to many years post Cancer!

 

God Bless!

Tom

calibob47's picture
calibob47
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2015

Todd hope all goes well with your surgery. You have our prayers! I go into City of Hope also next Wednesday to have my right kidney removed. I believe we have the same surgeon Dr Lau. He is very good!

You have helped me feel more confident going into my surgery. I know you will do okay!

God Bless!

Bob

Joe C's picture
Joe C
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2013

Glad to hear you're getting in on Monday Todd.  Do what you can to rest your mind between now and then.  You have a wonderful chance to be free of the disease and I pray you will see that result.

Joe

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

How are you doing? What treatment are you doing now?

Todd

myoung790
Posts: 75
Joined: Sep 2014

Best of luck.  Here's to an uneventful surgery.

brea588's picture
brea588
Posts: 240
Joined: Jul 2012

Hope your surgery goes well and  and I certainly will be praying for you.  Good luck!

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mar 2014

All the best on the surgery and a quick recovery!

Terri065's picture
Terri065
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2014

Todd,

Wishing you all the best tomorrow. God bless and may the force be with you! I will be praying for you. 

Theresa

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

Go get'em.

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

Just relax in the light and love (and drugs) during the surgery.. so when you awake, you have all this extra energy to help in your healing..why? Because so many of us care THAT MUCH!!

Keep us posted. You are in my thoughts and prayers..

Gentle Hug, Jan

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 887
Joined: Nov 2014

Good luck !!!!

Dave418's picture
Dave418
Posts: 95
Joined: Aug 2014

Wishing you a nice recovery after your surgery today! Hope everything goes well!!

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

Thinking about you today, Todd. Good luck!

Big hugs,

Jojo

Terri065's picture
Terri065
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2014

Prayers coming your way Todd.

Theresa

danbren2's picture
danbren2
Posts: 311
Joined: May 2013

Todd,

     Sending prayers and good thoughts for an uneventful surgery and a quick recovery!

                                          Prayers for good health!

                                           Brenda

BellaBinksMom's picture
BellaBinksMom
Posts: 78
Joined: Sep 2014

Todd - Hoping all went well during surgery and it was uneventful.

cran1's picture
cran1
Posts: 139
Joined: Mar 2013

Hang in there Todd. You are in my family's thoughts.

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

Thinking of you. Hope surgery went well. Flirt with the nurses, you know Ron would want you too :)

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