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29yo 3cm mass on left kidney

ecl5004
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2015

Hello all,

I recently had a CT scan to rule out some other issues and they discovered a 3cm mass on my left kidney... I was promptly sent to a urologist who was talking with me about masses prior to looking at the ct basically there are basically 2 types cystic which are always benign and then those that are almost always not benign. After looking at my image he said its not a cyst very definitely and said a cancerous mass is very rare for someone my age. He left the room and called another urologist at a larger facility to refer me out. After meeting with this urologist he seems highly intelligent but his bedside manner left some room for improvement he was quick to disregard anything I had asked and feels that robotic is my best bet. I have a surgery scheduled for July 28th for a partial nephrectomy robotic surgery. I know my outlook is supposed to be good but I cant shake the nerves... I have a 19 month old daughter that is the world to me and no matter how I think about this situation I keep coming back to not being around to see her grow up!

I'm sorry to post such a long gripe but the closest person in my life is my wife and I don't feel its fair that I tell her exactly how worried I am about the situation... It really worries me because on the image it sort of looks like the "mass" has grown to reach my spleen, I asked the second urologist about this and he said no it would just push it out of the way... But I can't shake the bad feelings! I know the two weeks will pass, I'll have the surgery, and I will get back to normal life but I needed to get this gripe out of my system... To everyone else who has similar situations I'm not a religious man, but I wish you the best in any way I can!

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 869
Joined: Nov 2014

Hello, 

sorry to hear about your situation. It is very similar to my boyfriends - young man, small mass discovered accidentally, our first baby was on her way. Very stressful time indeed.

but let me tell you - it is not THAT bad. 3 cm mass is very small. Even if cancer - your prognosis is great. it will be cured by surgery with very small chance of recurrence.

Please try to understand that you are actually very lucky to discover it that early. Surgery will come quickly, and your little daughter will be a great motivator to you to recover and enjoy life again. Share with your wife - she will be more than eager to help you and be your rock.

On our first appointment with urologist he told me, seeing that I'm pregnant and stressed out "why are you so worried? Nothing to worry about, your daughter will have a healthy father for many years to come!" 

I'm sure you will be there for your daughter for a very long time as well!

ecl5004
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2015

Thank you for the response!  Yes while I "know" all the infromation stills scares the hell out of me...  The first urologist I met did reiterate a few times that the CT scan saved my life that I need to thank my PCP.  Both great guys I guess I just needed to blurt out all my feelings O.o  I'm glad to hear your husbands situation was good as well!  I know in the grand scheme my situation is minor compared to others still...  But your right it'll be okay sorry...

ecl5004
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2015

Just felt like posting all that on a forum may prove more beneficial then typing random profanities in all caps in Google has been. Google has been the enemy so far...

mrou50
Posts: 389
Joined: Mar 2013

I am sorry to hear you are joining our group for this reason, but it looks like they got it early so your chances of having a normal life are very high.  As for your wife share with her your feelings chances are she is feeling the same I was like you I did not want to burden my wife with all of my worries but in the long run it has helped us to share.  Keep the faith and stay positive.  

 

 

Mark

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3215
Joined: Jan 2010

ecl5004,

 

There is not one of us on this board that were not scared shi....s when out of the blue we were told we had kidney cancer. Than right out of the gate they want to do major surgery to remove all or part of our kidney. Consider yourself and your feelings perfectly normal. Mine was 13 years ago. You are very lucky. From everything you have described you should have an excellent recovery from the surgery alone. With this early diagnosis you have dodged a bullet.  Why not share all of this good news and your feelings with your wife. OK its not fair that you or I got Kidney Cancer, but lets get over this little hurdle to live the rest of our lives Your daughter's wedding is probably only 25 years away.

 

 

Icemantoo

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 869
Joined: Nov 2014

When it comes to medical issues, Google always is the enemy, always!!! :-)

NewDay's picture
NewDay
Posts: 273
Joined: May 2012

Hi EC,

I want to chime in with others that you are fortunate it was found so early and sugery will likely cure you.  Before surgery, make sure that your Urologist is on board with doing follow up scans.  With it being small, you won't need as many or as often as some of us, but you do need to follow through.  I wll say the usual, do not worry, it will all go fine, but that's easier said than done.  

You do not need to apologize at all.  You are welcome to come here and vent, voice fears, ask questions.  

When you have your follow up appointment after surgery, ask for a copy of your pathology report and share with us the stage, grade, and histology and we may be able to offer more information

Hang in there and keep us updated,

Kathy

Vivaldi
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2013

i don't read much here, but this caught my eye when I was checking in to see how people are....I too had the unfortunate ct for something else that found a mass.  And, given that both my father and grandfather died of kidney cancer, I too was told it was more than likely it was kidney cancer.  But remember that there are other possibilities, and while the odds are in favour of RCC, there is still that five percent that is not cancer.  Nobody was more surprised than I was to find out I had an oncocytoma.  Until the pathology is in, then you don't know for sure.  I just wanted you to know it does happen.  And iceman too was the first person to offer me hope, I so much appreciated his words two years ago and he is absolutely right....best of luck.  Yes, it is not an easy thing, it takes a while to heal although laparoscopic is supposed to be easier than open, which mine was.  These days I rarely think about it, I have a wicked scar and still do scans, next year will be my last yearly scan, then we go to five years.  I wish you all the best and I hope you have a great recovery and an amazing pathology report.

jason.2835
Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Hey!

I was 35 when they found a 2.8cm tumor on my left kidney.  I was having gallbladder problems and they did an ultrasound on my entire abdomen when the dreaded "shadow" came up... Just  out of curiosity where are you?  Your doctor sounds very similar to mine; he's a "no-nonsense" kind of guy, and specialized in robotic surgery.  Jefferson Hospital in Philly.  

Anyway, I had a nephrectomy that became a radical when he discovered some extra artery going into my kidney and decided to take the whole kidney out due to safety.  I had clear cell RCC (garden variety) measured 2.8cm at widest point.  My prognosis is above 95% survival rate (so they say).  

One thing to allay your fears a bit... As long as the tumor is still inside the Gerota's fascia (layer of fat surrounding the kidney) that fat will shield everything around it from a direct spread of the tumor.  That is a pretty remote possibility.  I don't believe that the fat really shows up on the scans.  So it can be a little misleading.  My tumor poked out from the top a bit too.  

I actually have a son on the way in November (our first).  We got started late haha... But I totally get what you're feeling right now.  Unfortunately, I wish I could say that you will eventually put it out of your mind after treatment but that would be lying.  But I don't see it as any different as worrying about any other medical problem that could happen down the road.  Get it out, hear the doctors say good things, and get on with your life.  Get your head UP, but don't let your guard DOWN.  

 

ecl5004
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2015

Same state! But in Pitt lol.  I'm doing alot better now after taking soem advice from other people here a large part of it for me was just getting it all out and stop dwelling on it...  Taking some time off next week to relax with the family before surgery day.

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Positive_Mental...
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

I was 47 last year when I was hospitalized for a bowel obstruction, and a CT scan revealed a 2.9 cm tumor on my right kidney.  First local urologist said my entire kidney would have to be removed.  I got a second opinion and went with the second doctor who preserved 95% of my right kidney.    After the diagnosis and prior to the surgery, I was terrified of the unknown, and broke down a week before the surgery.  I told my wife I could not go through with it. I did not discover this forum until after my surgery, and I wish I had found it sooner. I had an open surgery on Thursday, I was home on Saturday and walking 6 miles per day on Monday.  You should be fine.  I look at the whole episode this way--it was a good swift kick in my *** and caused me to rethink my priorities in life with regard to family, friends, and work.  I had put too much emphasis on work, and too little on family and friends.  Being scared is normal, but if you are like most of us, you will look back on this and be giving advice to newbies a couple of months from now.  Good luck!!!

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

Welcome!

So sorry to hear about your situation. You are very young indeed. However, it sounds like they caught it early.

My tumor was 13 cm and I could actually feel the bulge. It was stage 3 with renal sinus invasion and lymphovascular invasion. That was a year and a half ago and so far, so good! I had it done via laprascopy and actually it is amazing how small an incision it was.

You are more than welcome to vent here, but please consider talking to your wife openly about how you are feeling.

We are here for you!

Hugs

Jojo

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foroughsh
Posts: 775
Joined: Oct 2014



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I'm so sorry you joined our board but you should know  it's great that it was found so early so you have a great chance that it won't come back. I was diagnosed at the age of 36 with a 10 cm tumor which has properly been inside me for almost a decade!!!! So it's not common to have a cancerous tumor when you're so young but it's not impossible either.  Here in CSN you'll meet many other young survived ones.  If it's stage one (which seems it is) there is more than 90% chance that you'll have a long healthy life after nephrectomy. So don't imagine the worst (I know it's easier said than done).

My experience is to be open about all your fears with your wife, as I had almost the same story. I did my best to show I'm strong to my hubby and that I could handle it easily, I tried not to talk about all details and fears just because I didn't want him to be depressed.  But it was a wrong decision I made, after a while I felt lonely, depressed, freaked out and almost cried every day sometimes even two or three times a day, I couldn't enjoy the miracle of being healthy so one day I couldn't tolerate it anymore (a month or two after the urgent nephrectomy) and hugged my hubby and told him everything, he was shocked at first because all the time he thought I was handling it without any difficulties but he suddenly figured out that I was pretending to be strong.  He became my biggest emotional supporter after that day (although he was super supporter from day one but he had thought that I didn't need any more emotional help so he had came back to his normal behavior but I was still in the dark) so since then we talk about it every now and then, he makes me laugh when he feels I'm not in the good mood and does all he can to back me to the normal me and his support and understanding is what helps me most.  I'm  also meeting a therapist which has helped me a lot.

Wish you a successful and uneventful surgery

Forough

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Positive_Mental...
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

Forough, what you wrote is very moving and important.  Each of us processes our situations in a different way.  I was like you, and I tried to internalize my feelings and stress about "having cancer".  It was confusing, personally distressing and very lonely.  Like your husband, my wife was very supportive, but since I did not say much, we did not talk much about it 2-3 weeks prior to my surgery.  That was until I completely lost it about 1 week before the surgery, and my wife found me sobbing alone.  This opened up the flood gates and dialogue with my wife, and we were able to openly discuss all of my fears and feelings. I have never been good about sharing my feelings, and I guess as a man, I did not want to show that I was scared and that I would be able to handle "my problem" myself.  Boy, was I wrong. 

Looking back, my cancer diagnosis opened up and enhanced my relationships with my wife and other family members.  And I say this from the perspective of a patient who was stage 1 with a 2.9 cm tumor.  This forum has helped me tremendously, in particular, reading the accounts of the many members here who are stage 4, and all they have had to endure in terms of pain, surgeries, therapies and side effects--and they do so with great dignity and humor!  I understand how lucky I am and how my situation could have been worse, and that I have nothing to complain about.  This board has been part of my emotional growth process, and has helped me in being more empathetic with family members, friends and colleagues at work who have to deal with health issues far more serious than mine.  So, in many ways, I am thankful for how having kidney cancer has helped me to become a better person.  That last sentence sounds strange, but I constantly strive to find the positives in what may seem like a bad situation.  Onward and upward.

Ree_Maryland's picture
Ree_Maryland
Posts: 157
Joined: May 2014

Hi,

 I can understand your fears , no matter what is read on here or said you are still scared but these people on here are a great confort ,they are going thru the same thing and still living and having a productive life, so you can too even though you are young, you  will still have a long life with your family, someone on the board said they hardly ever think about it , i am the same unless someone asks me about it , by the way i know personally at least 7 people who have had KIDNEY CANCER and still surving, some along time.   Good luck  with everything going on , 

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

but the most natural reaction in the world. Dont let it dominate you.Deal with stuff, one stuffee at a time. Got cancer? Get a coffee instead. Worry about the cancer when you can do domething about it. When you can see your ocologist then you can do something about it. Until that time bugger it! You've got a life to live and you're bigger than that lump!

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 869
Joined: Nov 2014

I agree with everyone who said that being open with partners/spouses helped tremendously, as well as cancer diagnosis as such bringing you closer.

I knew I loved my partner before, we were always close and had a caring relationship. But only after his diagnosis I fully felt how wonderful he is, and that I am ready to do anything to help him cope. Anything... And I felt so much tenderness towards him... And this is a very precious thing, and I thank cancer for it (sounds crazy, I know). ...

ecl5004
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2015

Thanks everyone for the encouraging posts.  As bad as it is its nice to know "your not alone"  I took some of the earlier advice and talked with my wife we decied a small vacation next week may be in order to get everyones minds settled a bit before surgery.   If i dont post before I'll let you know how it goes!

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Positive_Mental...
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

Excellent for you!  You will still have moments of fear, and that is completely normal.  Best of luck with the surgery, and please update us. 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1319
Joined: Oct 2013

Sorry for what you have been going through, but glad you are able to express your concenrs and fears with us. WE understand, trust me!

Now these two docs you saw leave a bitter taste in my mouth let me tell you. Often Renal cancer is caught "accidently" while looking for something else. It is often a silent cancer and often grows slowly and luckily is contained. Yours is in the under 7cm range or stage I so thats in your favor!

But of course it is common for your mind to wander and worry about the future. But try to just stick with events of TODAY and LIVE your life! Glad to learn you are taking a vacation.

Do you know the Serenity prayer? If you don't believe in prayer it still helps us work on our attitude. "(GOD) Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."  I use this often and say it over and over to rid myself of any anxiety. It helps.

Robatic surgery is the best if you can have it. Very small incisions are made for the robatic arms to get through with the instruments. It is becoming more and more common as its less invasive and easier to recover. Still you will be limited from exercise (except walking) for 1 month and off of work. Even though its a bit easier surgery, your insides need to recover and heal. You don't want to rush your recovery and end up with damage, like hernias and such. Trust me, besides fatigue (mostly from drugs) and healing, you'll start to feel better and often we may try normal activities when our insides are not ready.

I used a lumbar wrap with velcro straps to support my healing muscles. Wore it home from the hospital. Wore it for days, even when sleeping so it was easier to get UP from sitting or sleeping. I also would placed dry ice packs inside the wrap over the incisions. That way I needed less pain meds (opiates) and it helps reduce any swelling. It worked for me after 2 separate abdominal surgeries.

Many like recliners to rest/sleep in while recouperating.

You wil be monitored  with labs, CTs and Lung xrays as its part of the protocol. For many, the cancer is gone and does not need further treatment like chemo or radiation.

I am doing great 1.5 years later. My tumor was 4.2 with no complications.

So good luck and please ask as many questions as you need to. We've ALL been through the same and are here for you!

Hugs to you and yours~

Jan

ecl5004
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2015

Hey everyone sorry it took awhile to get an update on but between sleep and catching up on stuff I have been swamped!  I had the surgery 7/28 everything went well and I just recieved pathology report today Renal Cell Carcinoma Clear cell T1aNxMx Grad 2-3 no evidence of spread to margins or fatty tissue so all and all it looks good now!!  I meet with the surgeon/oncologist friday to discuss followup scans etc.   I actually returned to work on monday August 3rd light duty of course but recovery is going well aside from my precious nap times!  I read someone elses post and I have to agree in my case it feels so odd to say I'm cancer free now my heart really goes out to everyone who has ongoing battles.  Incase I dont get in anytime soon THANK YOU to everyone who posted words of encouragment and insight on my situation :-)

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1945
Joined: Mar 2014

I am so glad it's behind you and you're recovering well. Back to work already; wow, that's amazing. Good for you! You diagnosis is like mine (I also had a partial for a stage 1, 3.5 cm clear cell) and my follow up is every six months. Wishing you the best!

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 869
Joined: Nov 2014

Congrats on successful surgery! With Stage 1 your prognosis is very good. Don't skip the follow up!

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