My Journey with Kidney cancer started back in 2002. I had a kidney stone in my right kidney but during the process of treating the kidney stone – they found a tumor in my left kidney which resulted in a radical nephrectomy. After a few years of scans, my doctors told me that I was clear and didn’t need to be followed anymore.
Fast forward to August 2016 – I had a CT scan of my abdomen for a incisional hernia from my 2002 kidney removal. I was shocked to learn that the doctors had found a tumor on my right kidney. The urologist did two biopsies on the kidney tumor and then referred me to an oncologist two months later. I decided that I needed to get a second opinion with kidney cancer specialist Brian Rini at the Cleveland Clinic. It was a four-hour drive, but getting the best care for this disease is worth it.
Dr. Rini recommended that I go on Sutent, which I started taking in November of 2016. The first four weeks weren’t too bad but the side effects did get worse in the second four weeks. In January of 2017, Dr. Rini found that my tumor had responded well to Sutent and was small enough to be removed. In February of 2017, Dr. Krishnamurthi did a partial nephrectomy to remove the tumor in the middle of my right kidney. I’m still recovering. But, I’ve learned that I’ll never be totally free of this disease and will need observation for the rest of my life.
My message to people with kidney cancer is to make sure that your doctors are following you after your surgery. My first doctor said that I was free after five years. But the cancer came back after more than ten years. That CT scan saved my life. I hope my story will help someone else and I hope you’ll help support research through KCCure!