Hope4U's Journey with Kidney Cancer

Spouse/Partner: Kidney Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Male, Age: 59, Stage IV

  1. 1
    • Hope4U
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Hope4U's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Had hopes that this could be handled! Since my husband was a non smoker and had never drank alcohol this was a shock. he had heart issues but never any sign of cancer. the tumor was large but they called it encapsulated, which sounded hopeful to us. Surgery was sheduled quickly and soon a huge scar and concern was what we were left with. If it had not been for chest pains and a wonderful primary care dr. that would not stop until she found out what was wrong, we may never have had the chance to get this far. After the chest pains proved not to be a heart problem, A scan for gall bladder problems is what actually found the tumor on the kidney. she was presistant, thank God.

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  2. 2
    • Hope4U
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Hope4U's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    At the time we thought even though the surgery was major, that everything went well. My husband went home with a huge scar and had over 35 staples. But if they were able to remove the tumor, which they did, then we considered it all worth it. Our concerns were that there was no follow up chemo or radation.They said the tumor although large was encapsulated and they thought they had gotten it all. Follow up xrays and cts would be done to make sure. Cancer was found a year or so later in the lung and bone, pretty much by accident and not by the follow up test that the surgon had ordered. My husband had been able to return to work and was doing good at the time. A Urologist had handled everthing at this point, I wonder what would have happen if we had been sent to a cancer center as the follow up? Guess we will never know that one.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • Hope4U
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Hope4U's Avatar

    Chemo currently / started with Interlukin 2

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    As soon as this reoccurance was discovered, once again by persistant primary care Drs. we were sent to a wonderful cancer clinic. The Dr. at the Cancer Center (wonderful Dr.) wanted to try drastic measures since my husband was in his 50's and they thought he could handle Interlukin 2 treatments. They were very hard to say the least. We had a wonderful Dr. who all but slept by our side for two weeks of ICU stay while my husband was brought close to death and back. But the 20% success rate was not meant for us and we had to begin the jounrey of finding a Chemo that might slow the cancer down. The cancers were small so we hoped to have time to find the right chemo. The first Chemo (Toricel) was by weekly injection and seemed to be working until a trip to the emergency room proved that something had sent his muscle enzymes throught the roof, so that chemo was stopped and another was tried which proved to not be working (Votrient) . We are currently on Sutent which since he has heart issues with A fib anyway has proved to be a challenge. With blood pressure way too high and a few episodes of heart going out of rythem, he is on 4 blood pressure meds to the max dosage and does the chemo two weeks on and one week off. He had to have radiation on the spot in the bone area of his head due to the pervious chemo not holding, and had headaches we think (hope) are due to those treatments. We find out tomorrow if the Sutent is working and if so we go back to try to get our cardioligist to understand the importance of getting his blood pressure under control. Which as of right now seems to be the main side effect of the Sutent.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Hope4U
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Hope4U's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    The radiation itself was painless but since it was to the head he has had resulting swelling and headaches. He only had 12 treatments which was hard enough with a 100 mile round trip each day but many folks have much more to deal with so this was not too bad. the original knot on his head is still there but smaller. the radioligist said that the Sutent (chemo) had reduced the area before the radiation could have had time to work, but we hope the radiation is doing it's thing and killing the cells that are left there if any.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • Hope4U
    • Experience with Kidney Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Hope4U's Avatar

    High blood pressure (hypertension)

    Side Effects

    The current chemo Sutent seems to be working, we will know more later, but it has made his blood pressure nuts and we are having trouble getting the cardilogist to understand that we know why his blood prssure is sky high, we just need help getting it down so we can stay on the chemo if it's working. his skin does have the yelow color they told us about when beginning Sutent and his hair is dry and breaking plus turning grey/white. His fingernails are a little brittle too. But you know if the chemo is working we can figure out the rest. The Interlukin 2 original treatment is a whole story in it's own, my suggestion is do not approach that treatment lightly and insist on being in ICU during the entire treatment phase. The toricel was great and had no visible side effects until we discovered through chest pain that it was throwing his muscle enzymes way too high. The Votrient through his blood prssure way too high and did not work for him.

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