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Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Constance Robinson

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Constance Robinson

My name is Constance Robinson. I was diagnosed with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) in 2006 at the age of 30. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch it fast enough to save my right kidney. I remember the symptoms starting with pain in my right side. I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I used to work out all the time. I thought I had pulled a muscle from my TaeBo exercise routine. 

I remember another month going by and the pain was getting worse. Along with the pain began night sweats. As the days progressed, I felt as if I was coming down with the flu and just the feeling of not being well. I got up the next morning and went to urgent care where they ordered some bloodwork and an x-ray. 

The x-ray came back with results of only gas and constipation, but my bloodwork came back with low hemoglobin levels. My levels were so low that I had to get iron shots every other day. Also, my blood pressure was through the roof.

The x-ray was ordered because of the pain in my side. The doctor asked me to drink some fiber to help relieve the constipation and gas and I did. It helped relieve a lot of the pain for a couple of weeks but then the pain came back even worse. It was so bad I would sit up at night crying. 

I called my PCP and he ordered a CT scan. The results came back showing a 10cm mass on my right kidney. Needless to say, I was shocked that the urgent care doctor missed a mass of that size. 

The type was chromophobe renal cell carcinoma and it was a T4 tumor. It had attached itself to everything around it, invaded the main artery and was pushing against my colon, which is why I was having the gas and constipation. Fortunately, the doctors were able to remove all of the tumor surgically.

Almost 14 years later I’m still here and stronger than ever. No radiation or medications. Just clean eating, living and exercise. I can say I’m truly blessed. 🙏🏽

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