Thursday, May 17, 2012

News from the urologist

“One stage of your journey is over, another begins.” –Gandalf
I saw the urologist yesterday. Good news! A lot of info to cover, so please forgive the bullet points. (GRIN)
·         He did NOT get to review the CT scans themselves, but said from the report, he did not expect any surprises.
·         The tumor is slightly larger than a golf-ball, and is located on my right kidney.
·         It is not benign in that it has vascular activity and is growing. It is not “malignant” in that he is not worried about it spreading any time soon.
·         They do not biopsy Renal cancer. It is one of the few cancers that has been known to follow the needle track, and then spread.
·         Renal cancer, specific to the kidneys (Ie: has not spread) does not respond to chemo, nor radiation. Preferred method of treatment, excision.
·         Almost all renal cancers like mine are found “incidentally”. Ie: The doctor goes looking for something else, and gets a surprise.
·         Renal cancer is not “caused” by anything. (His words, “You didn’t do this.”) Dr. Downing said “We just don’t know why this kind pops up.”
·         80% of patients are cancer free after excision.
·         The right kidney has a slightly different nomenclature than the left kidney, in regards to location of blood vessels, etc. They will try to excise just the tumor, but most likely, I will lose the kidney.
·         Due to scheduling issues with the actual surgeon and the “Robotic-Assist”, I will probably go under the knife in about a month. (The doctor said I could wait all summer without worry.)
·         I will be laid out for about a week, then be on light duty for about a month. He said thereafter, I will be back to normal.
·         Kidney function is measured by a basal level of creatine in the blood. Normal is 1.0. Mine is .01. In other words, my kidneys are hyper-efficient. The Dr. told me I will do as well on one as some people do on two. (Well ain’t that lucky!?)
·         The Dr. said “If any cancer is routine, then you got routine cancer.” In fact, while extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and clearly caring…he acted a tiny bit bored by it all. (That, more than anything, calmed me WAY down.)
·         Extreme kudos need to go to Dr. April for such early, almost ninja like detection. It’s still a mystery to everyone how she knew she wanted to look at my innards.
So, I still have cancer (for now). But it looks like everything is going to be ok. I know a lot of people having been praying for me, and I am so totally thankful to everyone. I do intend to continue the blog, (at least thru the recovery)… so stay tuned!

My love to you all!