Patient Stories

Voices of Kidney Cancer

KCCure wishes to thank everyone in the kidney cancer community for sharing their voices in March for Kidney Cancer Awareness Month. We received more stories than there are days in March!!  If you sent us a story and it has not been published yet, we have it saved for publication at a later date. Why do we publish stories? Each story is a reminder that no one is alone in the fight against kidney cancer.  Stories also help showcase the strong kidney cancer community that exists between patients, caregivers, providers, researchers — a community dedicated to fighting this disease together.  This month, we shared stories from people dealing with localized disease, metastatic disease and from loved ones dealing with loss. Ted shared his story of participating in a clinical trial – an...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Aaron and Kim

My husband Aaron was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in February of 2018. A cough that just wouldn’t go away led to a chest x-ray that showed nodules in his lungs. The doctors ordered a CT scan that revealed a mass on his kidney.    I’ll never forget that life-changing phone call when Aaron called to tell me that the doctors suspected cancer. I took an emergency flight from Cleveland to be with him at the appointment.  The team in Grand Rapids recommended that Aaron start Cabometyx, which worked to shrink his tumors for the first scan.  But at the next scan, the doctor suggested switching to the combination of Opdivo and Yervoy.  Aaron breezed right through the first three infusions but by the fourth he was beginning to not feel well. He was very tired, not eating much, vo...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Larry Inman

What’s the right thing to say to a kidney cancer patient? It’s not always easy to know. Larry Inman shares his advice. Diagnosed with kidney cancer in June of 2017, I had surgery to remove it in August.  I thought I had a clean slate, but was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in December of that year.  I am blessed beyond merit by the support system I enjoy and am certain I would not get through this without them.  Several friends have expressed uncertainty about what they could/should say as I travel this path, wanting to know what is going on, but not burden me.  They want to encourage but not offend me, and I love them for that concern.  None of us has a playbook on dealing with these matters, so there is no right or wrong answer.  For me personally, here is how I would respo...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – David Adams

Dave shares his story of being diagnosed with stage 4 Translocation Renal Cell Carcinoma, a rare form of kidney cancer.  My Cancer Journey… In March, I will be celebrating – If that’s what you want to call it – my 2 year anniversary of fighting cancer. Two years ago, I was 39 years old, and literally in the best shape of my life. I worked out 5-6 days a week, ate healthy (most of the time – LOL), and didn’t have any health issues. In fact, the only medications I took were multivitamins and the usual over the counter stuff if I had a headache, heartburn, etc. Aside from that, I have 2 wonderful kids (Alivia 9, and Logan 11), and a great wife – the love of my life – Michelle. I really did feel like I was on top of the world. I had a great job that I loved, and I made a ton ...

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...

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