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Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Ken’s Story

To everyone out there that may be facing this dreaded disease. First I’m sorry you have to join this kidney cancer patient group. Second and most important never give up! You can beat cancer. I am!

Hello my name is Ken and this is my story. My journey into the dark and uncertain world of Kidney Cancer began sometime over the summer of 2012. I say sometime because this is when I believe the symptoms appeared. It started with a routine physical.The results of my blood work came back with an elevated white cell count.


A short time later I was admitted to the hospital for severe pneumonia. While in the hospital my counts remained high but all other signs of the pneumonia were gone. This led to meeting with all kinds of specialists. They determined I was probably one of those with normally high white count.

That winter my family and I moved to the country. Being in the country meant being on a well. Again I started feeling off. My Family Physician ran tests to see what was going on. Yet again my white count was elevated. We checked for everything including heavy metal poisoning. All of these test led to being referred to an Oncologist.

After several visits with the Oncologist we decided it would be prudent to do a bone marrow check. That was an experience that nobody should have to go through. After waiting about a week to get the results. Again not an experience anybody should have to endure. The results showed normal white cell count and everything else normal as well. At this point my doctor is scratching his head. We decide to wait three months and retest.

It is now the fall of 2013. At this appointment we draw more blood and you guessed it, white count elevated. We make another appointment with Oncologist. Remember me saying the bone marrow test is an experience nobody should have to go through? Well I get to do it all over again. This time it shows high cell count again. She orders a barrage of tests to be done. This brings us to 2014. The year starts with more tests and nobody can find the cause of the elevated cell count. After several months of testing we are getting nowhere. In June I started having some discomfort in my stomach. Another specialist,at this point I believe I’m on my way to completing Med school.This is about the point where I have had enough of being poked and prodded. My doctor convinces me to have a MRI done on my stomach. In August the results of the MRI showed a mass in my kidney. My doctor immediately sent me to an Urologist/Oncologist. After meeting with this Doctor he informs me that I have Kidney Cancer. You could have knocked my wife and I down with a feather. We discussed options and decided to have surgery.

October 15, 2014, my wife and I arrive at the hospital for surgery. Once I’m back in my room the surgeon informs me that they had to remove the entire right kidney. At this point I would like to take the time to thank my wife Anne who through it all remained my rock. She made this whole ordeal bearable. I have been through a lot since the surgery. I’ve had to have reconstruction surgery to repair damage done by the catheter. It has been almost 4 1/2 years since having my kidney removed. So far I’m still NED. Thank God.

To everyone out there that may be facing this dreaded disease. First I’m sorry you have to join this terrible group of Cancer patients. Second and most important never give up! You can beat Cancer, I am. I would like to thank all of the people who have helped me along my journey. I would be doing a disservice to way too many if I tried to name them and forgot some. I hope that I have expressed my gratitude to you all. You are a new addition to my family. The one thing that I am struggling with is watching so many people that I have come to admire going through so much pain and turmoil. I was so very fortunate to not have to suffer through all the things I see and read about. It really pains me to see my friends go through this and I didn’t have to. The guilt of that is unbearable at times. I’m trying real hard with the help of a therapist to work this out. I know it is just another way for this disease to attack me. It will not break me.

To all my fellow Warriors keep up the fight. Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story! God Bless you all.

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