Going in for partial Neph next month - scared as heck
I just turned 43 yrs old, male, been healthy my entire life, very fit, workout regularly, eat well, never smoked, etc.
I was having some on/off acid reflux issues as I started getting anxiety issues about two yrs ago shortly before my father passed away as my life was stressful. I was also having insomnia issues as a result.
On any rate, I had an upper endoscopy done which basically came back normal; my GI Dr. also ordered an abdominal ultrasound....
And to my shock it showed a 4.2 CM solid mass on my kidney. I had no signs of issues, all blood work normal, no blood in urine, etc.
I then had a CT scan with and without contrast which confirmed the same.
The mass is on the lower part of the kidney, has not spread, and not near any nodes, etc. I am told I am fortunate and it would be curable with surgery, although monitored for 3-5 yrs. I was told it's likely stage 1B I think? I just wonder what the odds of it coming back are. My sister thinks I should have the whole thing removed, but she is far from a medical expert. lol
Initially, I had a needle biopsy done with ultrasound, but the Radiologist missed the mass and merely extracted normal benign kidney tissue. I later found out he hadn't much experience with kidney biopsies which makes you wonder why in the hell he is doing them (and maybe that is why I am still sore - that was over a month ago). Anyway...these are said to be 80-90% cancerous.
I had the option of going to someone else for a second biopsy as I was told they are 98% accurate and very safe as far as not spreading the cancer, etc. but it seems to depend on what you read.
I got two more opinions from some respected urological surgeons.
The first surgeon recommended a full kidney removal as he felt the mass while as the bottom of the kidney was too close to the area where urine flows out of. He felt it was way too risky to do a partial.
The second surgeon (who I was more impressed with) and had even better credentials has specialized in partial Robotic kidney removals and is confident he can do the partial. He said there is always that risk once he goes in it could require a full removal and would do such if there was a risk with a partial. This kidney also has two arteries which means one more to clamp down, but he seemed fine with that. I know partials are more risky though in general.
Surgery is scheduled for June 16th and I am scared to death. I've never had surgery before and I am told the risks and complications are very low especially given my condition, but it's not helping me right now. I guess I just don't cope with this stuff well and do suffer from a little health OCD if you will. I've never been scared in my life like this.
Since we don't know 100% it's cancerous, part of me wonders about getting another biopsy but then not sure I am comfortable with a mass that can grow or potentially become cancerous one day. The most common benign are the Oncycytomas (sp?) but they can grow. However, my fiance worked with a woman who was my age and they found a 7 CM mass on hers that was benign while monitoring it for years....and it never changed....end of story.
What if it's benign and then I end up need full removal? Seems like a waste of a kidney. I realize it is likely cancer, but just saying.
The mass is too large to burn/freeze.
I need a lot of support right now and reading the posts on this forum, it seems like I came to the right place. My fiance has been wonderful, but some people have been negative about it with me including my older sister although I realize she doesn't mean to. But some people just don't know how to react to someone with this especially when I hear comments like, "Well, I hope you come through with this," or "I am really scared for you,". Know what I mean?
I am just scared how I will respond to the anethesia, pain meds, and anything else. After the needle biopsy they gave me Dialuid through my IV and I had a horrible experience with it like I was going to die. My blood pressure dropped to 80 something over 30 something, nearly passed out, shakes, sweat....was horrible so I know I will never touch that again. The Dr. said he likes to stay away from narcotics if possible and I agree.
Anyway, all of this is just overwhelming me right now. I am trying to keep my anxiety under some control as it has spiked, but working out helps me as does guided meditation (from Youtube videos). I also take Valium (about 7.5 to 10 mg each evening. I tried about 7 different anti-depressants and could not tolerate the side effects...so I am prescribed a benzo which I prefer not to be on, but I've been at the same dose for a year and no issues with it other than a little less sharp memory).
Thank you so much!
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