KCCure

Voice of Kidney Cancer – John’s Story

Kathy Sweeney Cunnius shares her husband John’s story. My name is Kathy Sweeney Cunnius and I have been married for 23 years to my husband and my best friend. John never had an ailment during our entire marriage.  If he got a cold, that was a lot.  He did get shingles a few years back, and I said that’s shingles and he said no its not and waited a week to go to the doctor and guess what, it was shingles. I am the one with all the ailments.  I have CLL, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, with some autoimmune disorders to go with it.  I always felt blessed that if I had to get cancer, I have one that can be managed. Fast forward to the end of April 2018.  He started saying his hip hurt and he was limping.  At night he iced it and I even made some potions to put on it, because he went to the...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Paula’s Story

My family has been my biggest support as well as KCCure Throughout the month of October 2018 I had been traveling back and forth to Nashville, TN for my work as a retail manager. On October the 18th I had been having tachycardia and chest pains for about 3 days with heart rate in the 130s and up, so on the advice of my doctor I went to ER. Once in the ER my heart was checked and EKG was fine no worries there so doctor was thinking blood clots and thyroid trouble as my father had his removed because of cancer. The doctor  decided to admit me to hospital as heart was erratic and blood work was wonky! So during the first day I went to have a CT of chest and ultrasound of thyroid. CT scan of chest became of abdomen and pelvis also so took quite awhile. That evening urologist came to room and i...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Ted Engel’s story

Ted Engel shares his five year kidney cancer journey, and how participating in a clinical trial has left him free of disease. On the morning of January 10th, 2014 I entered the exam room expecting to get an ultrasound to confirm an issue with my gall bladder.  I had been feeling nauseous for a few weeks and my family doctor had ordered this test. I chatted with the tech as she went about her exam and everything seemed normal enough. Suddenly, she left the room and returned with the radiologist. He showed me a large mass on my left kidney and other tumors throughout my liver. He looked at me and said, “You’ve got stage IV cancer.”   He immediately ordered a CT scan that confirmed I had a 12.6 cm mass on my left kidney and extensive metastatic disease to my liver. We were suddenly thrust int...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Ralph & Anne Groves’ Story

Thanking Ralph and Anne Groves for sharing their kidney cancer journey! In November 2011 Ralph’s routine physical turned into a quick removal of a football size tumor from his kidney. The doctor came out to the waiting room and said it was a difficult removal, they tried their  best to get clean margins, but there may be “TRACE CELLS” left   I asked if he was still unconscious and the surgeon replied yes… at which I stated firmly, “then go back in there and get those trace cells”. He was not amused, neither was I. He looked at me quietly and left the waiting room. This became the beginning of our learning curve of “ doctor language” and “ patient comprehension “. The next two years he was monitored with scans. In October 2013, we walked in to an appointment and the doctor...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Brianna’s Story

Now I feel called to spread awareness and learn as much as I can about this disease, and to spend everyday really living because of what I went through. My name is Brianna Rose and I’m 25 years old. I went to the hospital in January of 2018 for pneumonia. I had just married the love of my life in December. My husband Jacob, and I had been together for six years and finally decided it was time to tie the knot. Shortly after we were married we decided to go on our honeymoon in February but I had fallen sick and was coughing so I went to the hospital. They gave me a CT scan for my pneumonia and noticed a 3.5 cm mass on top of my left kidney. I was told to follow up with my doctor in six weeks and that it was likely a kidney infection. So In 6 weeks my husband and I went to the doctors office ...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Lane’s Story

Taking Time to be Grateful during the Struggle  Lane has Stage 4 Papillary RCC (PRCC) and recently completed immunotherapy with Opdivo and Yervoy. His daughter Stephanie share’s his story.Lane and his wife, Lu, have three kids, four grandkids and a great grandson. My dad, Lane, says that this is not like the other times. First time there were pretty clearly presented options for treatment and actually a course to a cure.He knows that the next time wasn’t good either, but had some assurance that there was a pretty good chance after the storm. It was his diagnosis of his “rare” Papillary Kidney Cancer that turned our focus to be grateful for many things… even the oddest things. There was the scan that he needed to have to see how he was doing with his prostate cancer after just finishi...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – JR’s Story

JR is a stage 4 kidney cancer patient.  He shares the story of his diagnosis and how a positive attitude and faith has helped him stay hopeful for the future. Stay positive and trust in god, it will help more than you can imagine. November 2017 is the start of my story. Treated for bronchitis and checked for the flu. Still just didn’t feel right. Steroids would help for a few days then right back to cough, low grade fever, shortness of breath and poor appetite. December was much the same but getting worse. Feeling weaker, I again went to my family doctor. Still no good answers. Finally January 2018 I convinced my doctor that she had to do something. By this time I had lost over 10 lbs and was really feeling crummy. I finally saw a specialist in infectious disease. On January 10th he ordere...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Qing Zhang Lab

Qing Zhang, PhD is an Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Pharmacology at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.  He and Xianming Tan, PhD are the recipients of KCCure’s 2018 Innovation Award. On March 1st, KCCure had the opportunity to tour the Qing Zhang Lab at UNC, meet the entire research team and talk directly with Dr. Zhang about his research in kidney cancer. Your lab has a specific focus on hypoxic tumors that are resistant to standard therapy, including kidney cancer. What is hypoxia and why does it matter so much in kidney cancer tumors?  Hypoxia is a deficiency of oxygen. 85 percent of kidney cancer patients have a loss of the VHL tumor suppression gene. Loss of VHL leads to an increase in Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF). Imagine ...

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Joanne’s Story

"I know my kidney cancer journey has been tough but I am hopeful that my story will bring hope to others." Joanne share's her kidney cancer journey in hopes of inspiring others and sharing hope.

KCCure – Finding Quality of Life – Palliative Care

In the making a difference series, KCCure’s Director of Patient Engagement, Laura Loughlin, shares how connecting with palliative care improved her quality of life during radiation treatment, and explores how palliative care services can improve the quality of life for both patients and their families. When I was first diagnosed in 2016 with stage 4 RCC an oncologist told me that from that point forward my life would be a series of choices balancing quality vs. quantity of life.   When I was told this, I was hospitalized with side effects from my surgery and from high dose radiation to my thyroid due to a spread of the RCC.  My quality of life was poor, and I was offered palliative care.  At the time I was not aware of what palliative care was, but without a doubt palliative care become my...

Making a Difference – Rare Kidney Cancer Research

In the making a difference series, KCCure’s Director of Patient Engagement, Laura Loughlin, will be highlighting organizations making a difference in Kidney Cancer research. In this article we are profiling the work being done at The Rare Cancer Research Foundation (RCRF), with focus on their patient directed consent platform Pattern.org. The Rare Cancer Research Foundation (RCRF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, committed to helping advance research to find cures for rare and under-represented cancers, including rare Kidney Cancers. This is a critical need as collectively rare cancers are the leading cause for cancer death in the US. The RCRF recognized that to advance research in this area a vehicle that allows patients to authorize tissue donation and collaborate with researchers is...

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