On June 23, 2009, I was diagnosed with Stage I, RCC, <2cm, contained within my right kidney. Things moved fast and slow. I was sent to a urological surgeon, who proceeded to run tests on my kidneys, additional CT Scans, etc. I had a partial open nephrectomy on August 11, 2010. Worse pain I've ever experienced. I had asked that half of my kidney, the lower half be removed; however, the surgeon opted to remove the cancer and the surrounding tissue. I was upset about this, but I felt like was the expert, and I felt like maybe he was trying to save my kidney, as much of it as he could. However, his staff was continuously losing my orders, not relaying messages, etc., and it got to the point that I could no longer deal with his staff. I still think he is a great surgeon (time will tell), but I had to move on. I changed to the Georgia Cancer Specialist Group, Dr. Pradeep Jolly, and I had my 6 months CT Scan with some kind of Radioactive Drink and Iodine IV. He said everything looked good. Today, I went for my bloodwork, and I will go to see him on Thursday. We are getting ready for retesting. He wants to retest every 4 months, and there as a spot on my lung, 1/2 the size of a smal grape; less than 1/8 in, that they are keeping an eye on, because they do not know if it has been there since birth; is scar tissue, or possibly cancer. I am going to a nutritionist and a wellness coach, both of which I needed. My primary care blurted out over the telephone that I had kidney cancer, and then things moved pretty fast, and no one was answering my questions, and I felt so overwhelmed, and with the surgery being so painful, I felt like I had been put on a piece of driftwood and left to float out to sea. I am scared. I know my prognosis is good. I am trying to quit smoking. Quit date today. I am exercising 3 days a week, and I've changed my drinking habits, i.e. alcohol intake and general food intake. I have eliminated fast food completely from my diet, and I am working toward a plant diet with limited portions of protein. But, I am still scared. I can't help being scared that it has spread to my lungs; that it has spread to my urinary tract; to my bladder; to my female organs, etc. When do you stop being scared? Scared of every little ache and pain?
I do so much know how you feel. I was diagnosed with RCC stage 3, level 4, 9 cm last year. Had my left kidney and tumor removed on Oct. 12th. Went on the Adjuvent trial and got the placebo. Metastasis to the right femur in Feb of this year followed by surgery on April 9th, followed by radiation and a long recovery. Still recovering. I don't feel sorry for myself, nor do want others to feel sorry for me; however, I can cry at the drop of a hat. Very strange. I used to be so positive, outgoing, and confident. Now I'm just scared. They tell you not to dwell on this. That is easy for them to say. I wear my orange rubber bracelet to remind myself that I am a survivor, and that I am going to fight this thing. I just bought some shirts from standup2cancer.org, one is a yellow "Survivor" shirt, and the other is a "Stand Up to Cancer" shirt. I am going to wear them, not for sympathy, but to embrace and empower me in my fight. I encourage you to to do the same.
I was just wondering the same thing again today. I had a right radical nuphrectomy May 22, 2009 with a 12.5 cm tumor. All my post appontments have been great so far but I am sure I will look over my shoulder from time to time for the rest of my life. I have accepted that it will always be a concern of mine but try my best not to let it control the majority of my feelings. The best I can do for myself is take care and enjoy my two young boys and my wonderful wife. I have so many good things going for me and as these feelings come up I try to deal with them right away to get back to my family.
I wish you well and will remember you in my prayers for all cancer patients.