Share This Post

Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Joe Torpey

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Joe Torpey

I am 66 years young. I was incidentally diagnosed in the emergency room in Sept 2019 while getting an ultrasound for a shooting pain on my right side from under my arm to my waist. The doctor came in and said we don’t see anything that would cause this pain, possibly a pulled muscle, but we did find a 6.5 cm growth on your left kidney that you should get checked out.

The urologist I chose was Dr. Chen at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. I met with him in October. Dr. Chen said he recommended a robotic partial, his only concern was the proximity of the growth to the collecting reservoir.

We scheduled surgery for December 18th, as I had a golf tournament in November. Dr. Chen said it’s been in there a while so there was no rush. Waiting was really hard though.

This was my first surgery since getting my tonsils out when I was five. Needless to say my dreams were about robots and surgery and not much else.

The 18th of December was a Wednesday. I got there around noon and got a chest x-ray and blood work, then went in for surgery about 2:30. I came out about 5:30, woke up about 6:00, and they had me up walking about 8:30. I walked on my own the next day several times as well as Friday when I was discharged.

I walked on my treadmill every day once I got home. My wife was a huge help with meals, laundry, meds and overall support. My goal was to attend Christmas dinner at my nephew’s house. Turns out a lot of the family was sick so we didn’t go, but I certainly could have gone and that was only seven days after my surgery.

A week later I drove to work. Each day got better, the bandages slowly loosened and came off after about three weeks. I went back to Dr. Chen for a check up and to review the pathology report. The growth turned out to be chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.  Dr. Chen seemed very pleased, he said all the margins were clear. I don’t have the report in front of me, but from what I understand it is one of the least aggressive, and a slow grower. I have to get a scan again in July.

January 20th we flew back to Florida. I was golfing on the 21st, playing pickle ball, and played three sets of doubles tennis. Today I feel great.

That’s it, that’s my story. I hope it’s helpful.

Share This Post

Lost Password


Subscribe for updates!