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Newly diagnosed

Hi I am a 63 year old female nurse. Newly diagnosed with kidney cancer. I have had MRI and biopsy and now waiting for surgery to have a partial nephrectomy. My emotions are all over the place. My family and friends are great support but not sure they understand what I am going through. Was afraid to say the word Cancer at first because I never thought I would ever get cancer. Now I want to know as much as possible and arm myself with knowledge. After all knowledge is power right? I am determined to get rid of this bad boyfriend (cancer) and kick it to the curb. Can anyone share with me what helped them cope with the diagnosis and waiting for surgery date and everything in general? Thank you.

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Hello @Warrior Girl . I agree with you about emotions all over the place. It seems to come in waves. I think the thing that irritates me more than anything is hearing people say the words “just stay positive and everything will be ok”. Yes, we all know we need to try to be positive in order to help us cope. But I hate that people don't understand that our feelings of fright and sadness are also valid. Having already had my surgery and waiting to see the doctor for what's next is also stressful. I feel as if all of my friends and loved ones act as though this surgery is all that is required and life is back to normal.

@Warrior Girl

I hope you also get your surgery soon. It does help a wee bit with worry when this part is over. One step at a time for us I guess.

supersu
1369 Posts

@Warrior Girl
good morning.

it is still dark here where I am, while I read my coffee and after I do my daily wordle, I come to this site and read thru the posts. your recent entry caught my eye. it really does illustrate that even tho we might have different disease, the living of a cancer story can have many similarities.

I was diagnosed in Feb 2020….never thought in a million years I would be on that side of things. I work in the diagnostic clinic where I saw my cancer for the first time.

honestly, I think with my 20/20 retrospectoscope that I was prob in a bit of shock. I had some holidays conveniently scheduled for the next week, so just extended them for another week. I cleaned like a mad woman/stared blankly at the TV screen for ever…picked up my #pizzagintherapy bad habits at that time also.

pretty sure I couldn't have done my job anyhow, so patting myself on the back for taking the time while waiting for a treatment plan and definitive diagnosis. by the time my first lumpectomy was scheduled I seemed like I was right in the head again and had every intention of returning to work immediately post surgery; but then COVID stepped in, and I went on leave till my treatments were finished. B.E.S.T. thing that ever happened to me.

even though I work with medical folks, a lot of them, (and I will admit probably me in the past), didn't have a clue how to support me. IMHO, until you have cancer yourself it is inconceivable to know how the patient feels. I have been primary care giver for a spouse, had many folks close to me struggle thru their own cancer stories, so I thought I ‘knew what having cancer’ was all about. #wrongo

as @Biewer Lover mentions, it is more than just ‘staying positive’. once things are more definitive re: diagnosis and treatment plans the crazy self talk ‘mostly’ goes away. 😂. I wonder if us medical folks automatically go to the worst case scenarios…..I know I did.

knowledge is POWER for sure. I still regularly attend zoom opportunities provided by #WellSpring, #DenseBreastsCanada & the #CanadianBreastCancerNetwork. I would think there are support/information organizations focused on #kidneycancer and would heartily endorse finding out as much as possible about your disease.

I will cross my fingers that you get your surgery date very quickly, a further treatment plan is put in place and executed toot sweet, and you are back to your ordinary old self soon.

I am in the same age, (60), snack bracket as you, so happy to share any/all parts of my story if you think it might be helpful.
hang in there girl. we will all help one another get thru this 💩storm called cancer.

cheers/hugs
su

#newdiagnosis #waitingistorture #neverknowtillyaknow

supersu
1369 Posts

@Biewer Lover
yes. yes. yes.

it IS more than just ‘staying positive’, isn't it.

I will hope for you that you get your post surgical information as quickly as possible and you can move onto the next chapters of your cancer story.

I think our family, friends, & colleagues are just trying to say ‘something’, and have no clue that their words are not soothing for us. 🙄.

no one can know how it feels, until it happens to them. this is what I have found out to be true in my experience.

hug those well meaning folks, and let us know how things move along for you.

cheers/hugs from over here.
su

#positivevibes #waitingistheWORST #thismuchistrue

Essjay
2100 Posts

@Warrior Girl the waiting is soooo hard!

As I waited for my breast biopsy we renovated our kitchen for the distraction!

Like @supersu I had holiday booked and I spent a glorious 2 weeks with family enjoying holiday kind of stuff but also dealing with telling them. I told everyone during my wait to see the surgeon - ‘here’s my diagnosis, I’m waiting for a treatment plan’.

At that stage I just wanted ‘Voldemor’ out! And then I would deal with the rest - I knew already I would be having chemotherapy and radiation.

Currently I’m waiting for a mammogram that was due in June - no appointment yet…even after completing treatment the follow-up still causes anxiety…

@Warrior Girl I can only tell you how I felt pre surgery…and that was super sensitive! Almost beyond reason. Perhaps because then I was still not fully accepting the diagnosis. I think now - post surgery - it was the overwhelming stress. I’m just post surgery now and still awaiting follow up to learn what treatment will be set up going forward but I’m not nearly as sensitive. I tried not to read too much from Google and stayed clear of anything except reputable cancer sites i.e. Canadian and American cancer society, Mayo Clinic etc. Even those at times scared me.
I tried to keep busy and do something every day. Luckily the weather was great so planned a hike or bike trip daily. I had some “woe is me” times too and that’s ok. It’s emotional chaos time. This site helped me the most. Here we talk to people who get it.
I also emailed almost daily with a then acquaintance who is now a close friend. She reached out to me when she heard my news as she went through the same thing. I didn’t even know. She knew exactly what I was going through and has helped me beyond measure. I was over the top angry at some of the stupid comments I got but now realize that people just simply don’t know what to say. They were not deliberately trying to be hurtful of course and sometimes tried inappropriate humour to lighten the situation. I’m trying to be more understanding of that. I started a topic in the “emotional roller coaster” forum called thoughtless comments. I honestly thought we would get a laugh at some of the more ridiculous ones.
Keep us apprised of your (I’m going to refuse to use the word “journey” here) let’s just say surgery and follow up. Come here often to read other’s stories. For me it helps to know so many others are dealing with this and they “get it”.

bill2022
4 Posts

Hi @Warrior Girl
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I can definitely relate to your story. In my case, a routine ultrasound for a minor stomach ache revealed an incidental small mass in my left kidney in early Dec. 2022 and a MRI scan revealed it was probably cancer. This took me completely by surprise after generally leading a very healthy lifestyle for years (ate well, exercised, no smoking/drinking). Two biopsies later confirmed RCC (early April). For me, the first few weeks in December were the toughest but with time and as I started looking into kidney cancer further (Canadian and American Cancer society forums helped a lot) I began to realize that my situation isnt all that bad and the survival rate of early detected kidney cancers is very high. I had a full nephrectomy done (May 2022) since the tumour, although small, was in the middle of the kidney (I chose to take it out completely after weighing the pros/cons). During all the uncertainty (e.g., waiting to see the urologist, biopsies, etc.) I kept myself busy with work and exercise (that wasn't always easy to do of course since, just like you, emotions were all over the place and I couldn't believe i had cancer). What I did get over very quickly was the “why me” part, which barely came into play. Rather, I kept thinking, “why not me? so many people get cancer why can't I?" and I found this to be extremely helpful. The recovery from the surgery wasn't all that bad actually. I was out of the hospital after one night and recall walking the day after surgery. I'm back to “normal” now although I am find it a little difficult to ensure my protein intake is lowered (with a partial, you probably don't have to worry about this) and of course, at times I do remind myself of the fact that I had cancer and it can come back (and my upcoming ultrasound appointment in December is also a reminder!) I also saw (and continue seeing) a naturopath and found her to be extremely helpful both physically and mentally (complements the “traditional” care received from my surgeon/family doctor and her advice to prepare for surgery re. diet, exercise in particular was great). If anything, the cancer diagnosis was also a “kick in the butt” and made me realize that time is very precious and shouldn't be wasted. I am trying to do things I enjoy, and not sweat over small things that are essentially meaningless. To sum it up, during the time between diagnosis and surgery, I kept reminding myself that I was lucky to find this so soon, and it could have been far worse.

Wishing you all the best with your surgery!

Bill

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