Hi Marnie. It's a big comfort to talk to other people who have (or have had) cancer. A great comfort to talk to someone who has the same type of cancer I have. I'm at the very start of my journey. Surgery next week to remove my right kidney...and prognosis after that. That just lifts the anxiety to eleven out of ten. The cancer is very advanced. I've yet to have my lungs checked out. One moment I'm strong and determined, the next just falling apart.
I see you posted this a while ago, so maybe you won't have noticed I replied to your post. But maybe I just need to say something here. Maybe just put my thoughts down, and try to work things out. Because the future now is so clouded, and just leaving all of this in my head is making me dizzy.
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Hello everyone. Just found the site in a booklet a counsellor at hospital gave me, "Understanding Kidney Cancer". I wanted to know more, but it seems the more I learn the more frightened I get.
I'm a 40 year old guy who was living a moderately healthy life, and had no previous major medical problem in the past. That all changed when I started having pain due to gall stones. During the ultrasound I had to confirm the gall bladder problem they found something else. I was called into my GP's office and she explained that I had a large growth on/in/around my right kidney. She was comforting me before I'd even had a chance to take in the news. I have a great GP though, and she had actually had breast cancer before and told me that when she was diagnosed she was 100% fine, until she got home that evening and called a friend with the news.
The size of the cancer she showed me brought the first bout of fear. It's enormous. The urology registrar at my hospital calls it "impressive". I handled the news very well at first, but found that as each day passed I fell apart a little more. Friends and family reacted in a different manner to a person. Some were hysterical, and some immediately confident that I would pull through. I find my emotions change by the hour. One hour I'll be quite happy, and looking forward to Xmas. The next hour I'll be sobbing and thinking about the distress my loved ones are going through.
Wednesday, next week, I'm undergoing surgery to remove my right kidney and whatever else shouldn't be there. Excuse me if I'm a little vague on the procedure. I'm learning about what's going on in my body in bits and pieces. I'm stunned that I'm losing a kidney. Even though I'll be fine with one kidney...I'm just incredulous. I had a naïve sense that nothing like this would ever happen to me. Then there's the worry. It's big. It's been growing for a while. Has it spread? Is it malignant? I feel like I'm living inside a tornado, or a crashing plane. Warning alarms are going off everywhere, and I don't know if I'm going to make the runway in one piece.
I feel a little ashamed at saying this to people who probably have had it much worse than I have. The future is so vague. I may be perfectly fine.
Also, there's a chance I'll be in hospital over Xmas - which just hurts my family even more. I've never been absent during Xmas before - and the family being together over Xmas is so important to everyone. It almost feels like it's my fault everyone is so distressed and upset. That if I'd been a better person, if I'd never smoked or led a more healthy lifestyle, I wouldn't be putting them through all this. But...I've gone through nearly every emotion in the past week.
Glad there's a place I can come where I'm not the odd one out. The 'special' one who people now treat differently. Mind you, I might be seeing people treat me differently in my mind. At time it feels like I'm going crazy...
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.