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Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Sallie’s Story

Sallie shares her cancer journey that started with finding a “hijacker” on her kidney.  

In November of 2018, my legs went out from under me when I received a call from my doctor.  He told me that the CT scan for my tummy was fine, however they had found RCC on my left kidney.  I was buying groceries for Thanksgiving at the time, and I will never forget that moment.  I pulled myself together, looked at my husband and told him.

My first thought, I have a hijacker on my kidney!

The first doctor I went to suggested a biopsy, but his demeanor was not one that I felt would be beneficial to me.  I immediately contacted UT Southwest in Dallas.   I was given the suggestion of Dr. Gahan and when I met him I knew he was the doctor I needed.  He also mentioned a biopsy.

I did my research and the medical evidence said that the risk of spread from a biopsy was rare.   But on all the websites people were saying not to, if I had a biopsy it would spread.   I spoke with Dr Gahan and he explained how the procedure was done.  After that I thought this is a small tumor, 1.4 cm.  I do not want a major surgery if this is benign.  The doctor agreed.  So I opted for the biopsy.

My biopsy came back Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma, and I knew now I had more knowledge, but believe it or not, I was still not that keen on having the surgery.  I talked with Dr Gahan.  I asked him, “What would you tell your mom to do?”  He stopped, looked at me and said, “take it out”. So with the knowledge that it is Clear Cell, I am getting this hijacker out robotically at UTSW on March 28th.

In addition to having the knowledge that this is Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma, I found out also that I have the BAP1 mutation.  This gives valuable information to my family.

Do I regret the biopsy? Absolutely not.  I prayed very hard before making either decision.  I feel that this was the best option for me.  I still am at peace, I know that I will get through this and hopefully help someone else.  My family is my rock, my husband, son, and daughters.  I love my grand-babies, they are my heart.  I have a lot to fight for!  Just look around, we all do!

KCCure thanks Sallie for sharing her cancer story with us!  

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