KCCure Blog

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Tanner Miller

Tanner Miller shares his story about how an RMC clinical trial at MDAnderson Comprehensive Cancer Center is shrinking his tumors and giving him hope for the future. My dream was falling into place, rounding out my senior year of college at Kansas State University with a couple of classes to complete… future job in financial advising/commodities and then September 22, 2015, arrived. “The worst day of my life.” The common stomachache turned to flank pain diagnosed as Renal Medullary Carcinoma (RMC), a rare form of kidney cancer attacking mainly young people in their twenties with Sickle Cell Trait. We had never heard of this type of kidney cancer, resulting in my mother turning to the internet and finding an article by Cora Connor mentioning MD Anderson (MDA), and Dr. Tannir, Department of G...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Les Alberts

My kidney cancer story began early in 2017 when I started feeling tired, lost my appetite and lost weight. In April, the PCP ordered blood tests that included BUN/Creatinine/Lytes and my first PSA test. My Creatinine was at the upper limit and the PSA was high so I was immediately referred to Urology.  An ultrasound in May indicated an enlarged prostate so I was concerned about prostate cancer until a biopsy was completed in late July that came back negative for cancer, but required medication to reduce prostate growth. In October 2017, I had abdominal pain that continued to worsen into 2018. Results from a CT Scan provided a PCP on February 21st, 2018 indicated a left renal lesion and I was told to follow-up with a Urologist. On February 27th, 2018 I met with the urologist as I complained...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Sherry Doyle

My name is Sherry Doyle and I am 55 years young. One year ago today I was having part of my left kidney removed because I was told by a doctor that I had an 85% chance of having Renal Cell Carcinoma. My journey however, started several months before that. In December 2017 I began to have trouble seeing clearly with my left eye. I went to the ophthalmologist and was told I had a cataract and needed surgery. I was terrified of having surgery of any kind but especially on my eye.  As part of the work up to get the cataract surgery, I needed to have cardiac clearance. So off I went to the cardiologist in January 2018. I have had high blood pressure for many years and have been on a variety of bp meds for years. Unfortunately, my blood pressure was too high and I couldn’t get cleared ...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Laurel Crook

Laurel was diagnosed with stage 2 clear cell renal cell carcinoma.  She shares the story of her diagnosis, which occurred at a difficult time in her life, but how she has found strength in herself and support from others in KCCure communities. In 2018, I found myself divorced after more than 22 years of marriage, my mother entered the nursing home after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, and I lost my father to metastatic esophageal cancer. Little did I know the year of hard knocks was not finished with me yet. On Nov. 26, I had what I thought was a UTI. I made an appointment with my PCP and went about my day. My symptoms became worse, but I’m stubborn and convinced myself that I would wait until I saw my nurse practitioner the next morning. After all, my son had a basketball game and I wante...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Bardy McConnell

Bardy shares his story about how the power of advocacy. By connecting with Cora Connor, founder of RMC Support and Dr. Nizar Tannir of MD Anderson Comprehensive Cancer Center, he was able to get the right care for a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer. My Name is Bardolph McConnell, I was recently diagnosed with RMC or Renal Medullary Carcinoma which is a rare form of kidney cancer associated with sickle cell trait. I’m a 48 yr old African American with sickle trait. I had been having lower Back pain that I threw off as ordinary back pain untill I started urinating blood in December of 2018. I went to the emergency room where they did so many tests but couldn’t find anything wrong. I was a healthy man all my life with no ailments whatsoever. I kept going back to urgent ca...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Mary’s Story

It’s March, my dendrobiums are in bloom. One of these beautiful Australian rock orchids, speciosum, is extra special because seeing this bloom is one of the items on my bucket list. I lived to see it and two years ago when I became a warrior, I was uncertain that I would. Before my diagnosis, warrior seemed such a strange word to apply to people fighting cancer, but here I am using it to refer to me with a deeper understanding than I ever wanted to have. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney cancer which quickly morphed to stage four when metastasis appeared in my lungs. Since that time, I have realized that like a soldier on a battlefield I am at war. For some the war starts with an explosive sneak attack in the form of an incidental finding. My war started with the stealthy ...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Maggie and Ron

Maggie shares the story of her husband’s diagnosis with Type II Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma.  Is it ever really gone? On a Saturday morning, April 14, 2018, the phone rang, Caller ID showed, Mercy Hospital, Joplin, MO.  This is odd, since we live in NE Oklahoma, I ignored the call, let it go to voicemail.  Then, Ron’s cell rang – Hospital from Joplin, then I remembered, his urologist works at that hospital once a month.  Oh, it can’t be good news, doctors never call on a weekend with good news. Those words “there’s a new tumor, and its larger than the others”, causes your breathing to stop. He described the location and that it was discovered by the radiologist.  Dr. Doyle explained the next steps we needed to take.  Ron would get a biopsy, and then, schedule an appointment to see...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Kevin’s Story

My days are full. My expectations high. My excitement for new adventures palpable. I am alive – with stage 3 kidney cancer. When KCCure asked me to tell my cancer story, the inclination was to relate how scary it is. The pain. The surgery. The recovery. The drugs. How much it sucks to have cancer. Everyone who has been unfortunate enough to be diagnosed knows this. I’ll spare you those details. There is no doubt that cancer changed my life, completely. What I’m learning, however, is that there is some good. Recovering from the impact of a radical nephrectomy, I found myself falling into the same old routine. This time, it wouldn’t do. I had to shake it up. If I was different, I had to do “different.” I gave notice at my house rental. I sold my car. I bought a cargo van. I...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Debbie’s Story

The support and information you receive on various pages and message boards like KCCure and Smart Patients are essential. You never feel alone. Being diagnosed last May with Renal Cell Carcinoma isn’t the first time this dreaded disease has hit my family. My eldest brother, Jim, was diagnosed and succumbed to the disease in 2009.  As a matter of fact, a cancer diagnosis was becoming common in my family.  My dad had Prostate and Lung Cancer; my mother had Lung and Colon Cancer. Being told I had cancer was my biggest fear. My cancer was an “incidental find.”  I visited my primary doctor complaining of right side pain. An ultrasound noted a mass on the left side and further testing with a CT revealed the 8 cm mass that was highly suspicious for Renal Cell Carcinoma. My hunt began for a surgeo...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Chris’s Story

I met Chris via an online dating site. We always joked about how we met. I would tell everyone how I made all the first moves and he would just laugh and try to argue that wasn’t the case…even though it was. He was a single father of one. That’s what initially drew me to him. He loved being a dad and he went above and beyond to take care of his daughter in every way. He went to every game, every award ceremony, and she always came first. I loved that because that’s how I felt about my son. Handsome, kind, and sarcastic;  I knew early on that he was the yin to my yang. He loved any type of sport, he could repeat stats and tell you random things that you would never have known. He was spontaneous and impulsive which was a far cry from my grounded and practical nature, but it worked. It not o...

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