RachaelEJ's Journey with Unclassified, Kidney Cancer

Patient: Kidney Cancer > Renal Cell Carcinoma > Unclassified

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 28

  1. 1
    • RachaelEJ
    • Experience with Unclassified, Kidney...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I experienced severe back pain for about four months and saw three doctors and a chiropractor. They all told me it was a severe muscle strain and prescribed muscle relaxers and high-dose pain killers. It was not until I finally went to the ER and got an MRI that I discovered it was cancer.

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  2. 2
    • RachaelEJ
    • Experience with Unclassified, Kidney...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    Not only did I have cancer, but I had stage IV, metastatic kidney cancer that had spread to my spine, abdomen, and pelvis. I was just diagnosed with cancer and simultaneously broken my spine in several place so I was on strict bed rest until very recently (6.5 mos total) Historically kidney cancer does not respond to radiation or chemo so after two weeks, two biopsies, and an L2 spinal compression fracture later did my doctors have a plan...

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  3. 3
    • RachaelEJ
    • Experience with Unclassified, Kidney...
    almost 5 years ago
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    targeted molecular therapy (oral chemo)

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I began on 62.5mg of Sutent and felt fine for the first two months or so but as I began to decrease the amount of steroid I was on (to keep my spine decompressed) I experienced a lot of nausea and fatigue. We would celebrate the days I could keep my meals down.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • RachaelEJ
    • Experience with Unclassified, Kidney...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Bone strengthening drugs

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I also began on an IV treatment of Zometa to help strengthen my bones. This is still administered every 3 weeks.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • RachaelEJ
    • Experience with Unclassified, Kidney...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Because Sutent was making me very sick and depressed and not attacking the cancer the way my oncologist would have liked, it was time to decide to a newly FDA-approve drug called Inlyta. If it didn't work, I risked tumor growth and further metastases. However, it could also be the wonder drug Sutent proved not to be.

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  6. 6
    • RachaelEJ
    • Experience with Unclassified, Kidney...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    After 6 weeks of the Inlyta, close to 90% of the metastases were gone from my chest and abdomen. I knew this was a changing point and I was no longer afraid that I'd die before I saw 24. The Zometa has also strengthened my spine enough so that I am able to resume normal life (walking, living on my own, driving, work, etc) with the help of a TLSO brace.

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  7. 7
    • RachaelEJ
    • Experience with Unclassified, Kidney...
    almost 5 years ago
    RachaelEJ's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Plans to remove the primary site (left kidney) this fall, looking at September hopefully! This will reduce the chances of the cancer coming back or finding its way around the Inlyta.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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