If only we were all the same so we would know what to expect?

I remember the exact feeling I had when I heard the words…and we found an 8cm mass on your left kidney which we believe is malignant.  He and Jenny were in the room but I was sitting cross legged on the exam table and I saw and I heard white noise.  I’m not sure if my reaction would have been different had I been alone in the room with the doctor…I just knew at that moment, I didn’t want to communicate, I didn’t want to say anything, I wanted to just listen to my synapse which at the moment were just humming as they were trying to make a nerve junction up there; but, they had not been forced to make the same connection since 2001 when my Dad died.  I wonder if it would have been better had there been an app for that?

I had plenty of time between diagnosis and surgery to think.  At first, I read a lot of the medical web sites from Mayo to Web MD.  I did not read a lot of opinions and stories from the general public.  I knew that my situation was unique and I would not learn anymore about my situation no matter how many also unique opinions and unique circumstances I allowed to complicate my thinking process.  I finally found the Kidney survivor’s website on Facebook…it seems to be pretty matter of fact…not so many opinions rather individual stories in their own brief words.  This helped me the most.    There seemed to be a random enough mixture of stories to make anything seem possible.  From the very worst – to the very best outcomes….and a room full of support for everything in between.

I’m now 4 days post nephrectomy.  I have one angry little incision for which I require my pain pill…a lot of other little plugged holes still have some discomfort – but there is a difference in pain tolerance.  The pain I’m feeling right now on THE scale might be a 3 or 4.  4 days ago, I might have rated the pain a 6 or 7.  There are probably no 2 people with exactly the same response and thoughts about this major event which will be a yardstick in our timeline.  All of the before and after I was diagnosed with cancer life marker.  There is nothing out there to read which will tell you what is going to happen to you.  It is an abyss from which we are supposed to draw strength from within ourselves and live each day a little better than the day before.

Until next time….

9 thoughts on “If only we were all the same so we would know what to expect?

  1. I did the same thing when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. I looked for people my age who I could connect with. I knew there were many bc survivors out there but most of them were a lot older than me. I learned a lot from them though. But I was trying to find my match. Truth is everyone is so different when it comes to this cancer business. Each one of us reacts differently too. But there is always support out there. We are never alone.

    I only wish the good stories were out there. Often I read a lot of sad news, especially with young people. I try to keep reminding myself that the bad news will always be out there. Those who do well don’t let us know. They continue to live their lives.

    I am glad your surgery went well. I was thinking of you. I hope your recovery goes smoothly and quickly.

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    • It’s very hard to keep perspective when our life is challenged to this extent! Now if I can just leave the light on for others who are struggling, it will mean something.

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  2. I heard those same words 3 weeks ago on Wednesday. I had my left kidney and 11 cm mass out on Thursday. At home recovering now…I laughed (or tried to suppress laughter as it hurts too much) at your description of gas. Farting is the most joyous thing right now and it doesn’t occur nearly enough!

    I found your blog because I typed in ‘kidney’ on facebook and saw the kidney cancer survivor group that led me here. I would really like to talk more if you would. I’m 28, and I’m writing from Australia.

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    • So…how is it after 3 weeks. Yes farting is an exciting even that you wanna scream….HAY YOU GUYS _ COME LISTEN TO THIS 🙂
      So was yours taken laparoscopically? Any problems?

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    • 🙂
      Yep, laparoscopic. 3 weeks since they saw the mass in a CT scan, but only 4 days post op today. Really sore. Sometimes more on tummy/groin where nerve damage probably is rather than where cut actually is. An icepack helps sometimes and just holding/touching the area.
      Hoping for pathology results no later than next Weds. They think cancer is in lymph nodes too :/ Fingers crossed it is not.
      How did your lymph nodes look? When do you get pathology?

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      • Today….6 days out I woke up itching….deep internal itch…I told my husband there is a fine line between itch and pain. I use ice all day long…I think it helps. Mine was T1b. I’ll know more next doc appointment. He said he got it all. No lymph node involvement although he said before he went in that he wasn’t expecting there to be any problems!

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  3. Because of you I checked out a couple of faceted groups. I like them a lot.

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  4. I can’t imagine the shock that must hit you when you hear those words. Everything must down. I am so glad that you have family that loves you and cares for you and is there by your side. I am glad that the pain is improving and that you are feeling better and what wonderful news you received. Here’s to a great recovery.

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