Six weeks from surgery and it appears to be back

TomHop
TomHop Member Posts: 11
edited March 2019 in Kidney Cancer #1

Hi everyone. I am new to the group. On 2/7/19 I had my right kidney and tumor(6.2) removed. Additionally the cancer was in my renal vein and vena cava. The surgery went well and I was beginning to feel better about things until my scan results yesterday. There are a couple 4MM nodules in my lung and a 1 cm. in a lymph node in my chest. I am going crazy and can't believe that it appears to have come back so fast. Anyone with a similar experience?

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Comments

  • a_oaklee
    a_oaklee Member Posts: 566 Member
    I'm sorry to hear that you

    I'm sorry to hear that you have these areas of concern.  Are they just suspicious areas, or are they sure that it's mets?  You asked if anyone else had this happen.  My husband was diagnosed as stage 4 back in January 2012.  He also had the tumor growing up the vena cava, so we knew it had entered the blood supply.  He was also diagnosed with bone mets.  He was told that there were other really small spots in other places, like lung, thyroid, liver.  But he was also told being so small it could just be scar tissue in these organs.  It's been 7 years now and those spots have not changed, so we are all assuming they are just scar tissue.  I hope the same thing for you.  I certainly understand how scary it is to be told this.  

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,359 Member
    Not sure

    about that 1 cm lympth node in your chest. The 2 ,4mm nodes in your lung could be nothing and are very common and they will likely check them in 3 or 6 months.

     

     

     

     

    icemantoo

  • stub1969
    stub1969 Member Posts: 954 Member
    Pathology??

    Hi, Tom--Beyond being stage three at surgery, did your pathology give your doctor any clues about agressiveness of your RCC?

    I'm sorry about these developments and added anxiety this is causing you.  I'm hopeful your doctor is on top of this and is working on a plan for your care. 

    Blessings to you.

    Stub 

  • eug91
    eug91 Member Posts: 367 Member
    welcome tomHop-

    Sorry you had to join us, but this is a great forum with great people. It's a great source of inspiration and support. Feel free to ask us anything. 

    As for your issue, hopefully you're already talking to your doctor and asking them questions about this? Just speculating, but the nodules could have been there the whole time and just been missed in an earlier CT scan. Also, as the others have mentioned, they could be nothing - just old calcified scar tissue. Did your most recent CT scan come with any more detailed information with it? Anything the doctor could interpret for you? 

  • MarkDavid18
    MarkDavid18 Member Posts: 61
    I am so sorry ... Cancer is a real B

    I had a very similar experience. Six weeks after my surgery the cancer came back with a vengence. Within 2 months of first hearing the words "you have cancer" I was Stage IV and began systemic treatment (immunotherapy).  This is certainy not the norm - for many it never comes back and for others when it does come back it comes back slowly.  Mine grew new 2+ cm tumors in multiple distant sites within 6 weeks.

    Are you still under the care of urology or have you been referred to oncology? There are so many options with small & limited mets - local treatments and surgical options.  Your oncologist will be able to put together a plan to make the cancer regret it dared to come back.

    Best of luck to you! Try to stay positive and just take it one day at a time.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • TomHop
    TomHop Member Posts: 11

    I am so sorry ... Cancer is a real B

    I had a very similar experience. Six weeks after my surgery the cancer came back with a vengence. Within 2 months of first hearing the words "you have cancer" I was Stage IV and began systemic treatment (immunotherapy).  This is certainy not the norm - for many it never comes back and for others when it does come back it comes back slowly.  Mine grew new 2+ cm tumors in multiple distant sites within 6 weeks.

    Are you still under the care of urology or have you been referred to oncology? There are so many options with small & limited mets - local treatments and surgical options.  Your oncologist will be able to put together a plan to make the cancer regret it dared to come back.

    Best of luck to you! Try to stay positive and just take it one day at a time.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thanks for the note Mark.

    Thanks for the note Mark. Your situation sounds similar. I have a bronchoscopy scheduled next Wednesday. I do have an oncologist. This past Monday I had a six week scan completed for a potential study for Optivo/Yervoy (ipi/nivo). The scan showed things that weren't there on my 2/1/19 scans. I was very disappointed and was feeling very sorry for myself. Your comments in your profile were very helpful for me. I can't worry about things that I can't control. Whatever is coming is going to come one way or the other. How are you coming along almost a year later?

  • a_oaklee
    a_oaklee Member Posts: 566 Member
    edited March 2019 #8
    I think the other growths

    I think the other growths were there all along, but just not seen on the scans.  A physicist on smart patients can explain this in detail.  It can be so small it isnt seen, plus whether or not you have contrast.  She also talked about the quality of the machines themselves, not to mention who is reading the scan.

    My husband and I travel a couple hours to have his scans done at the same facility each time.  It's a major medical center.  

    Wish I could be more eloquent.  I dont think those additional spots just came out of nowhere, fast.  I think they were too small to be seen.  I hope that is a comfort in some small way.  I know my husband felt better knowing this.

  • MarkDavid18
    MarkDavid18 Member Posts: 61
    edited March 2019 #9
    TomHop said:

    Thanks for the note Mark.

    Thanks for the note Mark. Your situation sounds similar. I have a bronchoscopy scheduled next Wednesday. I do have an oncologist. This past Monday I had a six week scan completed for a potential study for Optivo/Yervoy (ipi/nivo). The scan showed things that weren't there on my 2/1/19 scans. I was very disappointed and was feeling very sorry for myself. Your comments in your profile were very helpful for me. I can't worry about things that I can't control. Whatever is coming is going to come one way or the other. How are you coming along almost a year later?

    A very LONG year

    A year ago today I was in home in agony but too stubborn to go to the doctor.  A year ago tomorrow I was admitted and found out I had cancer.  It has been a LONG year full of ups and downs. But I am still kicking and I am fighting like hell to beat this thing.  I started with IPI/NIVO and had a great initial response but unfortunately it didn't stop disease progression so I switched to Cabo in December.  So far I have responded well - first scans showed a great response, next scans coming up in a couple of weeks.

     

    The best advice I can give is to not let cancer define you in any way.  Continue to live your life and enjoy time with loved ones. It is OK to feel sorry for yourself and be sad - I mean seriously this really does suck - but I'm not going spend whatever time I have left feeling sorry. I am going to fight this thing for as long as I can.  

  • MarkDavid18
    MarkDavid18 Member Posts: 61
    a_oaklee said:

    I think the other growths

    I think the other growths were there all along, but just not seen on the scans.  A physicist on smart patients can explain this in detail.  It can be so small it isnt seen, plus whether or not you have contrast.  She also talked about the quality of the machines themselves, not to mention who is reading the scan.

    My husband and I travel a couple hours to have his scans done at the same facility each time.  It's a major medical center.  

    Wish I could be more eloquent.  I dont think those additional spots just came out of nowhere, fast.  I think they were too small to be seen.  I hope that is a comfort in some small way.  I know my husband felt better knowing this.

    I hope you are right ...

     

    Scans can be misread and things can be missed.  There are so many variables and I agree that it is very possible that these things were there on that scan on 2/1 - just missed.  My story is a little extreme.  The tumors which appeared in my scans on 5/31/18 showed several new small sub CM nodules as well as a couple of new growths over 2cm.  I know that there are some over at Smart Patients who will tell you that just isn't possible - these tumors grow slowly - and they are usually correct - but not always. The largest tumor in my lung was not present on the CT with contrast nor was it on the MRI taken on 3/31/18.  In 2 months it was 2.4 cm.  On 11/29 it was 5.4 cm.  I had a tumor in my leg that wasn't there in March 2018 but grew to the size of a baseball from May 2018 to July 2018 before it started to shrink (IPI/NIVO did the trick there).  I had a tumor appear in my abdomen in May, grew to 3 cm by September and 7 cm in November.  All of my scans have been done at Mayo Clinic.  I have no doubt in my mind that these tumors grew that fast.  

     

    I am not writing this to scare anyone - I just think it is important to understand that while not common it is possible for new growths to appear and grow rapidly. It all depends on the type and features of the cancer.  My doctors have told me the accelerated growth is due to the sarcomatoid features in the cancer.  I can't stress enough how important it is to seek immediate medical attention and start treatment as fast as possible.  Had I delayed going in another month I might not be here today. Again my case is extreme.  

     

  • a_oaklee
    a_oaklee Member Posts: 566 Member

    I hope you are right ...

     

    Scans can be misread and things can be missed.  There are so many variables and I agree that it is very possible that these things were there on that scan on 2/1 - just missed.  My story is a little extreme.  The tumors which appeared in my scans on 5/31/18 showed several new small sub CM nodules as well as a couple of new growths over 2cm.  I know that there are some over at Smart Patients who will tell you that just isn't possible - these tumors grow slowly - and they are usually correct - but not always. The largest tumor in my lung was not present on the CT with contrast nor was it on the MRI taken on 3/31/18.  In 2 months it was 2.4 cm.  On 11/29 it was 5.4 cm.  I had a tumor in my leg that wasn't there in March 2018 but grew to the size of a baseball from May 2018 to July 2018 before it started to shrink (IPI/NIVO did the trick there).  I had a tumor appear in my abdomen in May, grew to 3 cm by September and 7 cm in November.  All of my scans have been done at Mayo Clinic.  I have no doubt in my mind that these tumors grew that fast.  

     

    I am not writing this to scare anyone - I just think it is important to understand that while not common it is possible for new growths to appear and grow rapidly. It all depends on the type and features of the cancer.  My doctors have told me the accelerated growth is due to the sarcomatoid features in the cancer.  I can't stress enough how important it is to seek immediate medical attention and start treatment as fast as possible.  Had I delayed going in another month I might not be here today. Again my case is extreme.  

     

    I'm sorry Mark that you have

    I'm sorry Mark that you have had this experience of fast growth.  It's good that you share with others what can be more rare, but does indeed happen.   Do you mind sharing what your cancer type was, grade etc.?   My husband was diagnosed as a stage 4. Clear cell, grade 3.

  • MarkDavid18
    MarkDavid18 Member Posts: 61
    a_oaklee said:

    I'm sorry Mark that you have

    I'm sorry Mark that you have had this experience of fast growth.  It's good that you share with others what can be more rare, but does indeed happen.   Do you mind sharing what your cancer type was, grade etc.?   My husband was diagnosed as a stage 4. Clear cell, grade 3.

    The pathology report after my

    The pathology report after my surgery was Stage III unclassified RCC. The tumor was Grade 4 with sarcomatoid and rhabdoid features with necrosis present. I am now Stage IV. 

  • TomHop
    TomHop Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019 #13
    icemantoo said:

    Not sure

    about that 1 cm lympth node in your chest. The 2 ,4mm nodes in your lung could be nothing and are very common and they will likely check them in 3 or 6 months.

     

     

     

     

    icemantoo

    Thanks for your reply. I

    Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate the support.

  • TomHop
    TomHop Member Posts: 11
    stub1969 said:

    Pathology??

    Hi, Tom--Beyond being stage three at surgery, did your pathology give your doctor any clues about agressiveness of your RCC?

    I'm sorry about these developments and added anxiety this is causing you.  I'm hopeful your doctor is on top of this and is working on a plan for your care. 

    Blessings to you.

    Stub 

    Yes. It was an aggressive

    Yes. It was an aggressive grade 4 tumor. I suppose the small bit of good news is that it has been detected so quickly since surgery. Thank you for your note.

  • TomHop
    TomHop Member Posts: 11
    eug91 said:

    welcome tomHop-

    Sorry you had to join us, but this is a great forum with great people. It's a great source of inspiration and support. Feel free to ask us anything. 

    As for your issue, hopefully you're already talking to your doctor and asking them questions about this? Just speculating, but the nodules could have been there the whole time and just been missed in an earlier CT scan. Also, as the others have mentioned, they could be nothing - just old calcified scar tissue. Did your most recent CT scan come with any more detailed information with it? Anything the doctor could interpret for you? 

    I am scheduled for a

    I am scheduled for a bronchoscopy 4/3 to biopsy the suspicious nodules. I expect confirmation that it has spread, I suppose the small bit of good news is that they have seen it pretty quickly since my 2/7/19 surgery.

  • TomHop
    TomHop Member Posts: 11

    A very LONG year

    A year ago today I was in home in agony but too stubborn to go to the doctor.  A year ago tomorrow I was admitted and found out I had cancer.  It has been a LONG year full of ups and downs. But I am still kicking and I am fighting like hell to beat this thing.  I started with IPI/NIVO and had a great initial response but unfortunately it didn't stop disease progression so I switched to Cabo in December.  So far I have responded well - first scans showed a great response, next scans coming up in a couple of weeks.

     

    The best advice I can give is to not let cancer define you in any way.  Continue to live your life and enjoy time with loved ones. It is OK to feel sorry for yourself and be sad - I mean seriously this really does suck - but I'm not going spend whatever time I have left feeling sorry. I am going to fight this thing for as long as I can.  

    Hi Mark. I replied a few

    Hi Mark. I replied a few minutes ago but somehow my message disappeared. What initially pushed me into the ER was that I suddenly began to be really short of breath and that my left leg swelled overnight to more than twice the size of my right leg. That was the morning of 1/27/19. With scans it was determined that I had DVT, several blood clots and a few P.E.'s in my lung, and a 6.2 cm. mass on my right kidney. It had also invaded my renal vein and vena cava. After radical nephrectomy (2/7) the pathology report came back as pt3b, with a grade 4 tumor. This past Monday 3/25/19 my follow up scan showed a few nodules in my lungs and a 1cm growth in a nearby lymph node which hadn't been seen on my original 2/1/19. scan. I have a bronchoscopy scheduled next week to biopsy theses newer areas. I don't intend to sound glum, but I think it is realistic to assume that it won't be good news. I mentioned earlier that I suppose that if anything can be viewed positively that it has been detected pretty quickly and that it will help my Oncologist determine how we proceed. I am happy to hear that you are plugging along a year later. Good for you, your spirit and determination. I am rooting for you and everyone else on this site.

    Tom

  • a_oaklee
    a_oaklee Member Posts: 566 Member

    The pathology report after my

    The pathology report after my surgery was Stage III unclassified RCC. The tumor was Grade 4 with sarcomatoid and rhabdoid features with necrosis present. I am now Stage IV. 

    Thankyou for answering.  I've

    Thankyou for answering.  I've heard great results with Cabo, and I hope it works well for you.  

  • Manufred
    Manufred Member Posts: 241
    Ipi/Nivo

    TomHop,  Obviously a bit of a shock to have found out you have mets so soon after your op.  Are they still considering you for the Ipi/Nivo treatment?  It did work very well for me (see my profile) but then every one and every cancer is different.

    Best of Luck and stay on top of this thing.

    Fred 

  • TomHop
    TomHop Member Posts: 11
    Manufred said:

    Ipi/Nivo

    TomHop,  Obviously a bit of a shock to have found out you have mets so soon after your op.  Are they still considering you for the Ipi/Nivo treatment?  It did work very well for me (see my profile) but then every one and every cancer is different.

    Best of Luck and stay on top of this thing.

    Fred 

     Hi Fred, thanks for the note

     Hi Fred, thanks for the note. I had a radical right kidney nephrectomy on 2/7/19. This past Monday I went in for bloodwork and a scan for the purpose of entering a clinical trial Ipi/Nivo for patients out of surgery (12 weeks or less), with a high risk for recurrence. My pathology was stage 3, grade 4 tumor. While it was extensive-my right kidney, renal vein and vena cava, it hadn't spread anywhere else based upon my scans. Additionally margins were clear and nearby lymph nodes were also clear My scans this past Monday showed a few small nodules 4-5 mm in my lung and another 1 cm in a nearby lymph node. So the trial is on hold until I have a bronchoscopy and biopsy this coming Wednesday. I won't have solid confirmation until after Wednesday but I am not optimistic. By the way, did you experience any side effects?

    Tom

  • a_oaklee
    a_oaklee Member Posts: 566 Member
    Thinking about you Tom.  How

    Thinking about you Tom.  How are you feeling?  Did you get the bronchoscopy done?  

  • TomHop
    TomHop Member Posts: 11
    a_oaklee said:

    Thinking about you Tom.  How

    Thinking about you Tom.  How are you feeling?  Did you get the bronchoscopy done?  

    Follow up

    Hi. Yes I did. I don't have biopsy results yet but will in a few days. I expect not good news confirmation, and just want to move on to a treatment plan as soon as possible. Thanks for asking.