I got some really bad news today from my doctor, and I've decided to write about it here, partly in a way to keep all of my info straight, and to work out my thoughts, but also because this is a good place to keep info for my family members and friends, since I tend to leave out pertinent information when I speak with them.
I met with my doctor today for my CT results. The CT scan that I had last week showed a suspicious mass on my right kidney that the doctor believes to be cancer. There's no way that we can know for sure that it is cancer until it is taken out and analyzed, but it looks and behaves that way, so we are treating it like it is.
My thoughts are a little scattered right now, and I am still a little stunned, so bear with me. This all started two months ago when I had a routine physical and my bloodwork came back funny. At the time, we thought it was a kidney infection, but a retest a month later showed the same thing. I began to have pain and other symptoms of a kidney infection, or so I thought, and was given antibiotics again. My regular doctor sent me for an ultrasound and referred me to a urologist, suggesting that perhaps I had kidney stones. Last week, the urologist looked at the ultrasound and told me that I had two cysts, one on each kidney, and that they were probably not cancer, but they weren't benign either. They were a rating of a 2 to 3 on the Bosniak scale, which Google told me was either an 18 or 33% chance of cancer. She told me the CT was to look for kidney stones, which could be a possible explanation of why someone so young would have that number of cysts in her kidneys.
Anyway, she sent me for the CT scan, and I came back for my appointment today to review the results. I saw the two cysts she had mentioned last week, which are apparently benign, as well as the tumor that appears to be cancer. She still classified it as a 3 on the Bosniak scale. (4 is the worst, sorry for the technical terms here.)
My understanding is that kidney cancer, when caught early, is not a terrible prognosis. Usually a section (or all) of the kidney is removed, and there is no chemo or radiation. However, there are a few potential complications in my case.
One is that the tumor is very small (1.5 cm), which seems like a good thing to me, but according to my doctor, it may be tricky for a surgeon to find it. I don't know how big of a deal that is.
Another potential complication is that the doctor is very perplexed about why I have the kidney cysts to begin with. She has been continually saying that it is very unusual for someone of my age with no prior family history and no other health problems or risk factors to have all of this going on. She wants me to get tested to rule out another major kidney disease and to test the function of my healthier kidney to make sure that it can support me since I will need to have some or all of the other one removed.
At this point I hope you'll forgive me for being technical, but my mom is going to be googling all of these things, so I need to go ahead and put it up here....The diseases I'm going to be tested for are Von Hippel-Lindau disease (this is a genetic disorder and seems very unlikely); polycystic kidney disease (also genetic and hopefully also unlikely); and medullary sponge kidney.
So. That is where the situation stands as of this evening. I've been referred to a nephrologist, whose first available appointment isn't until the end of November (gahhhh), and will likely get an MRI in between now and then.
Some of it doesn't make sense to me at this time, and hopefully I will get some clarification on things in the next few weeks, but I wanted to go ahead and write down what I know for now so I wouldn't forget.
I certainly hope that I will be able to look back on this blog post in a few months and remember it as "The Day We Got So Freaked Out About What Turned Out Fine". Until then, keep me in your prayers if you don't mind.
By the way, Tommy's tonsillectomy went well and the doctor told us he had an abscess behind his tonsils that had some scar tissue, which tells us it was a really good thing for us to go ahead with getting them out. That was a relief. He is tired and sore, but is recovering well and being such a good patient.
And just to show a little thankfulness, remember that contract that I was so upset about losing? If it had gone through, I would be in the middle of moving out this week. God had His hand in that situation, and I know this is no different.
Kidney Peril Updates
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