namakris' Journey with Kidney Cancer

Spouse/Partner: Kidney Cancer

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Male, Age: 77

  1. 1
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    My husband had a chain of events that led to his diagnosis. It started with and allergic reaction to a blood pressure medication. We went to the ER and they prescribed prednisone. two days later, we followed with our primary care doctor. My husband had an irregular heartbeat and they sent us back to the ER. They gave him medications including an injection of a blood thinner. That night, he had a huge amount of blood in his urine. We called the ER and they said it should clear up in about a day. Thank God it didn't clear up. Sunday, I convinced my husband to go back to the ER. They did a CT scan and gave him two types of IV antibiotics for infection. The ER doctor came in and told us," There is a tumor on your right kidney, and by tumor, I mean cancer. You will need to have your right kidney removed." My husband was transported to a hospital in Tucson and we spent three days there. We met the urologist who said his office would let us know when a surgery date was available.

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    My husband continued to have blood and clots in his urine. We went back to the ER when he couldn't pass urine. They put in a foley catheter and said it would stay in until his surgery. They prescribed another antibiotic. We had to go back every other day so they could flush out the clots. We got an office appointment with his urologist in Tucson. (About 85 miles away) The urologist was concerned to see my husband's urine was still red and moved up the scheduled surgery date to Sept. 29, 2011. The doctor also informed us that the tumor spread into his vena cava and either metastasized into his left adrenal gland or there is a second cancer. They will remove his right kidney and left adrenal gland. Once I heard the words spread and metastasized, I wanted to rewind the whole visit and go back to a time when I hadn't heard those words. Our children are having a variety of reactions to the news. One daughter doesn't want to hear the word cancer until after the surgery. One daughter stepped in and offered to help. Her fiance has been wonderful, as well. Our youngest son, age 26, seems paralyzed by the news and has yet to discuss it with us.

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    Car broke down

    Oh No

    This has been a stressful time, but to compound the matter, our car broke down two months ago. We have been trying to save enough to fix it (we are both disabled). Our church offered to help, but they haven't found someone to fix it. Driving back and forth to the ER, doctors appointments, hospitals, or just to get milk is difficult. We have to ask to borrow cars or get rides. I've stopped attending support group meetings for my illness because of it.

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had my right kidney and left adrenal gland removed. The tumor in the kidney went up into the vena cava. The surgeon had more trouble removing the right kidney than expected. It was the tumors that have been bleeding. I am very anemic. The surgeon thinks he got all of the cancer.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    Pathology report

    Celebration

    The urologist told us the pathology report shows that the cancer did not spread into the lymph nodes. It looks like all of the cancer was removed. He referred us to an oncologist. Some cancer cells might still be in the blood stream. He thinks the cancer is stage three.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    1st oncologist visit

    Other Care

    The oncologist said the cancer is stage 4, not stage 3. There is a chemo pill out there but there is no evidence that it prevents the return of tumors. Usually kidney cancer is treated by removing tumors as they occur. There is a 70% chance that the cancer will return. We were expecting much better news.

    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    Decision Point

    We can try the chemo pill, but it has bad side effects. There isn't evidence that it prevents tumors from returning. It is possible that it could lower the chances of cancer returning from 70% to 50%. We can think it over before deciding. in 3 months they will do new ct scans and see if there has been a change. Very scary.

    0 Comments
  8. 8
    • namakris
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    about 3 years ago
    namakris' Avatar

    Other

    Celebration

    My husband was diagnosed in September of 2011, just in time for our 30th wedding anniversary. An MRI showed that he had two new tumors in 2012- one in the remaining adrenal gland and a tiny one in his liver. He had a successful adrenal ablation in May 2013. It killed the new tumor. He is still taking Sutent, and the tumor in his liver is almost undetectable. He also takes hydro-cortisone to replace the chemicals that the adrenal glands produce. My husband also had a hemorrhagic stroke on Jan. 27, 2013. The doctor ordered a brain MRI, and that ruled out brain tumors. Thank God! He has recovered from the stroke with a little weakness, and some intermittent memory problems. Today, January 21, 2014, our oncology visit went well. The blood work was great, and we don't have to go back for 3 months. My husbands prognosis is good right now. The oncologist said that Ken is more likely to die from heart issues than cancer. And his heart isn't perfect, but it isn't that bad, either!

    0 Comments