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Deer in the headlights

Kek5772's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2018

Hello all,

A little over a month ago my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The tumor was removed last week with a total removal of his right kidney. One lymph was effected and removed during surgery, and there are three very small spots on his lungs. The largest being 0.7 centimeters. Which seems to pale in comparison to the size of the tumor on his kidney 10 centimeters.

So why do I feel like a deer in the headlights, you ask ? It seems that when dealing with hubbies oncologist it is like pulling teeth to get any insight or information. The information that we have found has been from reading the reports online. When asking about his prognosis,the doctor informed us not to get hung up by numbers and statistics. My mother feels that the reason the doctor is being so distant is that Kevins, life expectancy is little to nothing. 

We do know he is stage three, with one lymph node removed. He is starting chemo next week, the combination of opdivo and yevoy. Once every three weeks, for a total of four times. Then three treatments once a month.

So basically any insight information information or suggestions would be most welcome.

I don't want to be left staring at those headlights 


rhominator's picture
Posts: 233
Joined: Nov 2015

Your doctor is right about not getting hung up on numbers, and your mother's concerns about life expenctancy are ill-founded. There's too much new stuff happening with kidney cancer right now to hang you hat on online reports.  I was diagnosed stage IV four and half years ago and I'm still working and going strong.  It's a step at a time, but the first step is to get out of the headlights. ;-)

Kek5772's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2018

Thanks for kind and hope filled words.

I am slowly moving to the curbside ;)

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3328
Joined: Jan 2010


Comparing the size of the kidney tumor with the nodule in the lung is maeningless. While 10 cm is a medium to large Kidney Tumor lung nodules are much smaller. They will watch the 7 mm nodule for growth and are possibly addressing it already with the chemo. Many of us inside and outside the club including myself have or had lung nodukes of 7mm or smaller which turn out to be benign. They usually can not from my understanding biopsy a lung nodule until it reaches 1 cm.




Kek5772's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2018

Thanks for the great perspective. Just what I needed :)

CRashster's picture
Posts: 239
Joined: Mar 2017

was 10cm, two years ago. I have a spot on my lung and a cyst on my remanining kidney. It's scary, yes. I'm not out of the woods, but I am out of the road.

Kek5772's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2018

Thanks for the great insight. 

Manufred's picture
Posts: 241
Joined: May 2017

Immunotherapy worked for me (so far), hope it works for yours as well.

Any mets beyond the kidney spells Stage 4, life expectancy whatever they can think of. 

Kidney cancer is becoming a managed disease, so don't let the bright lights worry you. Look instead at the positive stuff that is developing all around this disease.

Best wishes to you both.



Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2018

I’m starting OPDIVO (nivolumab) + YERVOY (ipilimum) next week as well. Your dad and I can be treatment buddies. My story is over in my intro thread. (https://csn.cancer.org/node/316884)

yellow lotus's picture
yellow lotus
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2018

Such excellent advice on this website. Heed the words and advice of these veterans! You have come to the right place!

JoeyZ's picture
Posts: 210
Joined: Mar 2018

I hope you are reassured by the answers you've gotten here. It can be very scary in the beginning, and it seems at times like the Oncologist rushes you in and out kind of fast. It's hard to absorb the info, anyway. Hang in there and just hope the next scan is a good one! 

I'm fairly new to this battle, having been finally diagnosed in Feb. & surgery in March. Still healing physically and emotionally. Both are tough at times. My new/old motto: One day at a time. It really is all we have, anyway.

You're in the right place for help and reassurance. Hang in there. We're always here for you.

Abbycat2's picture
Posts: 644
Joined: Feb 2014

My closest and dearest friend had cancer in 2011-followed by my cancer diagnosis in 2013.  Yike!  I have learned a great deal about the cancer treatment process over the past 7 years. Don’t give up hope! I was diagnosed with a stage 3, grade 3 cancer almost 5 years ago. I had Uterine cancer and after my hysterectomy, I was given 6 rounds of carboplatin and taxol. Before I received surgery and chemo, I saught 2 other opinions regarding treatment, as I knew that I was facing a poor prognosis. I am still alive, thriving and cancer free.  If you don’t feel comfortable with your husband’s current doctor and his lack of clear, forthright communication, than find another doc who you can trust. You owe this present doctor nothing.

Best Wishes,



AnnissaP's picture
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

I know this whole thing is shocking, but going down the path of doom and gloom will just make things worse. Please try not to assume anything. Sometimes the doctors don't say much because there isn't much to be said until there are definite answers. It is difficult sitting back and waiting for answers, but just as others have said there are so many options available now and they are on top of your husbands care. All the best!

Gtngbtr58 @aol.com's picture
Gtngbtr58 @aol.com
Posts: 206
Joined: Oct 2017

Cancer diagnosis was the worst time of my life.  We all so badly want answers and reassurance of what awaits us in the future.  I held on to every word my Dr. said looking for a hidden meaning or a definite prognosis.  Honestly they really don't know for sure-they are human. There is only one power that knows. Maybe you should try talking to the nurse practitioner associated with your Dr.-they are usually very knowledable and have more time than your Dr.  Be your own advocate and don't hesitate to continue asking questions. June

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