Hope68

Diagnosis – I’m a 43 year old female. I was diagnosed with stage 2 kidney cancer 2 days ago. My story actually begins in November 2010 when I had my gallbladder removed. At my follow up appointment 4 weeks later, I complained that one of the wounds was painful and was booked in for an ultrasound scan for January 2011. The ultrasound showed that nothing was wrong with the wound, probably just scar tissue. About to get up from the bed, the radiologist put his hand on my arm to stop me, and told me that although the wounds were fine, he had found a couple of ‘problems’ with both my kidneys. The right kidney showed a small round lump within it, and the left kidney showed a 4cm bulge. He said I’d need to come back in for a CT scan so that they could be looked at in more depth. I genuinely didn’t feel worried at first. It was only when I got home that I (of course) started to interrogate the internet and find out what it possibly could be. Well, you can really scare yourself on the internet!! However, because I felt so well in myself, I focused on cysts because I couldn’t even begin to imagine that it could be anything worse. 2 weeks later I had the CT scan. And then the following week, I met my Consultant Urologist. What a lovely, lovely man. He told me that the right kidney contained a cyst which was completely harmless. Then we talked about the left kidney. He said to me that if he had seen the CT scan, but not me, he would have definitely have said it was Cancer, and would have arranged for the kidney to be removed. However, as I was approx 20 years too young for kidney cancer, he wanted to do a biopsy because it could well be benign. So, last week, I was admitted to hospital for the biopsy. Not a pleasant experience, but over quickly enough. If anyone wants to know what happens during a kidney biopsy, contact me and I’ll be happy to reply. So, 2 days ago, I saw my consultant again, with my partner present, and he tells me that I have a stage 2 cancer in the left kidney. I really was so shocked. I was trying to hold back the tears but at the same time conscious that my son was sat in the waiting room and it wouldn’t look good for me to fall apart in front of him. After half an hour of questions and answers, my consultant (lovely man) called my son through and patiently explained everything to him, and let him ask questions so that he was fully aware of eveything. I think this was absolutely the right thing to do. My son was very grown up about it and has coped with it marvellously. So…. the treatment. I am to lose my left kidney. Can’t do a partial nephrectomy as it’s in a weird location so the entire thing has to go. Apparently I can live perfectly well with just one kidney. No further treatment required. No chemo etc. But, all eggs are in one basket (kidney wise) from now on, so my consultant informs me that my focus must now be on keeping the remaining kidney healthy, which means losing weight, and exercising, and getting rid of my long term high blood pressure problem. This is probably the scariest thing for me. I have worked really hard over the last year to lose 2 stone in weight, and now the knowledge that I have to lose about another 4 stone is really scary. Also, I’m under watch for the next 5 years to check that I don’t get cancer anywhere else. All really scary. Like having a big black cloud hanging over me for the next 5 years. And that’s my diagnosis story. The following day (yesterday), I breezed into work, told a couple of colleagues the diagnosis (they’ve all had fingers crossed for me), received their comiserations, and then tried to do some work. And that’s when it hit me, and I couldn’t focus, and felt really scared and alone. So I called a friend up to meet for coffee, and we chatted and I just fell apart. And then I went home and I cleaned the house (because that’s what i do to destress). Today, I’ve been to my GP and we’ve chatted and I’ve been signed off for a few weeks so that I can come to terms with it all. I have been told off for trivialising my illness, been made to feel ok that I’m having a panic about it, been told to stop worrying how my friends and family are coping with it, and finally been told to do whatever I need to do in order to get a handle on it. I am sat here today, half in denial (cos if you keep yourself busy enough you can forget it exists for a while) and half scared witless by it. I’ll keep you posted. x

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This post was written by Hope68 on February 11, 2011

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