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The big C returns

The big C returns

Posted by KImbopete on Mar 12, 2019 8:28 pm

Greetings from the kootenays. Just wanted to partake and hope I can help someone and be helped by doing it. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney cancer and had a kidney removed on March 20, 2017. Signed up for and was the first-guy in Canada to partake in an immunotherapy drug treatment. Had infusion treatments every 3 weeks for a year.
Just found on last week , on the day I retired that there are 2 spots on my lungs. Both too small to biopsy. Have to go back in 3 months.
5 hour drive to the Tom Baker centre.
Really bummed out.
Thought I had this licked.
Any suggestions on how to mentally deal with this would be appreciated?
What works for everyone?
I am 59.


Re: The big C returns

Posted by Brighty on Mar 12, 2019 9:20 pm

KImbopete‍  welcome to the site and thank you for sharing  your fears with this wonderful  group of people.     I can't imagine  what you are going through.    I have  no personal experience  with this but I'm going to tag ACH2015‍  as well as  Elizabeth06‍  who have been fighting  the good fight .......They continue the battle while showing incredible  bravery.  I'm sure they will share their stories  with you and give you inspiration .  

Re: The big C returns

Posted by Brighty on Mar 12, 2019 11:49 pm

KImbopete‍  you can also click on 'Discussons ' and Cancer types' and then click on 'kidney cancer'.   You can chat with others and  join in on  dicussions with others who share your situation.    I'm sure others will chime in with more information and stories to help you out.     You are not alone.    

Re: The big C returns

Posted by ACH2015 on Mar 13, 2019 9:06 am


Some similarities in age and life stage between us. I retire next month and 1960 was a good year.

I have been going through my experience since Diagnosis in 2016.

Multiple treatments, a recurrence and (failed) immunotherapy that lead to surgery #4 last June.

It never leaves my thoughts completely, but I do get mental breaks about fear of recurrence. Finding a new coping tool when the one you're using fails is the challenge for many of us.

Interestingly, I have several "spots" that have been monitored with the rest of me over the last two years via surveillance CT scans. My oncologist volunteered that these spots can represent simple infections, and aren't necessarily cancer related. Size matters here, and as long as they stay small or shrink / disappear monitoring is the best course of action.

Cancer makes us far more aware and concerned about changes we see or feel re our bodies. I look at monitoring as a preventative and early detection warning system for me.Its all about perspective and trying to shift the way we think about what's going on with us. I will say some days are better than others for me - and that's the way it's gonna be.

I hope this helps, and lets you enjoy your retirement. You've earned it.

Keep well



Re: The big C returns

Posted by Elizabeth06 on Mar 13, 2019 11:25 am

Welcom KImbopete‍ 
sorry you find yourself here.  I am a stage four breast cancer patient.  I have been dealing with this since 2013.  I have Mets to bone, liver, small spot on my right lung, etc.  Scans are generally every three to four months, when there is evidence of growth, we switch meds and cross our fingers.  When the scans indicate stability, we book a trip.
my husband had retired six months before my diagnosis and I was 55 and expected to work till 60.  My world turned upside down for a bit.
how to deal with it.  It’s my reality, I won’t get to come back and live a life without cancer, so, let’s figure out how to live our lives and manage this disease the best we can.  It is different than I expected, but,  It’s not over just yet...
i work on mindfulness, being present.  I won’t enjoy right now if I am full of anxiety about the future, the next scan...
what do you want to do in retirement?


Re: The big C returns

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 13, 2019 12:46 pm

KImbopete‍ , my Dad could sure relate to your situation. He was retired less than a week when he learned of his first cancer diagnosis (prostate), back in 2002. In late 2017, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Not a huge surprise, because he has been a heavy smoker almost all his life.

Dad was very fortunate - the spots on his lung were small, too - well, the one turned out to be bigger once the doctor got in there, but still, we all consider it to be incredible that it was caught so early. If there’s one takeaway I want you to have and hold with gratitude it’s that you have been caught very early.

One thing I’ve learned in my own retirement is that now you have the time to do things you didn’t expect to be doing and still have some sense of still being retired. For you, it’s a 5 hour drive every 3 months. For me, it was being thrust into the role of caregiver to my Dad just months after losing my Mom to heartfailure. For both of us, it’s the emotional strain that we can really do without.

I hope you can see through the nasty timing of your news, and that you’ll still have time and ability to enjoy your retirement.

Elizabeth06‍ , I have to say, I admire what you’re doing with your “plan.”

Re: The big C returns

Posted by Birdwoman on Mar 13, 2019 3:51 pm

Hi KImbopete‍  I am so sorry to hear that you have the awful insidious cancer back again! You are saying words that we all fear and dread. I am almost afraid to write to you, I don't know what to say, just like with people encountering cancer for the first time are lost for words! But I do know that treatments are helping so many people and many are doing well like ACH2015‍  and Elizabeth06‍  and ccgirl‍  who is facing her own re-occurrence. I am 2 years NED for uterine serous carcinoma, an aggressive cancer. My heart goes out to you and all those with metastatic cancer. Please search some of the discussions and you may find some solace. We all have an inner strength that we can draw on and the capacity to enjoy every day even in the midst of turmoil. We are here for you and glad that you reached out. Hang tight dear friend and have faith and hope that all will turn out well! 

Re: The big C returns

Posted by KImbopete on Mar 13, 2019 4:39 pm

So thankful for everyone's reply. It is great to just to hear you are not alone. Went to Yoga last night and skiing this morning.
Take my mind off the dreaded c thing.
Does anyone have an experience with meditation and mindfulness specifically directed at Cancer?
My yoga teacher said there are some out there.
In the mean time I will continue to chime in when I feel it is warranted and fight the good fight.
All the best

Re: The big C returns

Posted by ccgirl on Mar 13, 2019 5:05 pm

Hi Kimbopete, well, I am going to quote someone (might have been Andy). Like the Eagles song- Hotel California-“you can check-out any time you like but you can never leave”. Some mornings it is really tough to open your eyes and greet the day “I can’t believe this is ME”. BUT, to indulge in the low negative thinking just wastes that day’s opportunity to find whatever makes you feel good and happy.  I make the plans that I can and hope that my condition allows for it.  I too embrace the simple moments of a day and I know that I am lucky to have family that is “there” for me
I had my first immunotherapy today-no adverse reactions so that is a good start.  Now, I have a few weeks to judge whether or not it is going to work for me.  I know A LOT of people went to bat for me to get on this treatment protocol-I know that there was even a patient advocate at the meetings-I don’t really ‘meet’ the Ontario guidelines for this drug yet ( chemo was supposed to have failed-I had one three day course that definitely stalled my cancer).  My team understands that this is the preferred treatment protocol and I sure appreciate their efforts!  So, if you have trust in your team just know that the scans will give you the best shot at treating as early as possible-that is about all that we can control.  Best of luck. Kim

Re: The big C returns

Posted by Elizabeth06 on Mar 13, 2019 6:07 pm

Hello again KImbopete‍ 
i took a coping with cancer class thru my local cancer Center, in my first year.  That was my introduction to meditation and mindfulness and I have continued to try and incorporate it into daily life.
there are lots of apps available for meditation.  I use headspace.
it is so important to still that racing mind.
best wishes!

Re: The big C returns

Posted by Kims1961 on Mar 13, 2019 7:29 pm

KImbopete‍ Welcome to this awesome community. You have some excellent advice from the others.  Like Elizabeth06‍ mentioned in a cancer online community many other cancer patients recommended how mindfulness and meditation really helped them.  

I am an active 57 yr old but cancer has definitely taken its toll.  Prior to cancer, i was too "hyper" to really give yoga or mindfulness a try.  Actually - that was precisely the reason i should have done them but I digress....during treatment for cancer there were times that i felt too fatigued for really active exercise or healing prevented me from doing some of the activities i enjoy - like swimming.  I tried yoga and mindfulness and i must admit it has really really helped.  There are some excellent videos on YouTube in regards to Mindfulness and Cancer or guided meditation.


Jon Kabat Zinn is one of the early gurus of mindfulness and has videos on YouTube as well.

Calming breaths/ alternate breathing techniques that you use in yoga is also another helpful tool.  Since you already have a yoga teacher - you are probably already sold on the benefits of yoga.

Thank you for posting!  Kim


Re: The big C returns

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 14, 2019 12:37 pm

KImbopete‍ , Kims1961‍ Has already mentioned “my go to guy” - Jon Kabat-Zinn - he and Dr. Weil did a book about meditation for optimum health - pretty sure that’s the title, actually.

Re: The big C returns

Posted by Jlo on Mar 14, 2019 2:10 pm

Dear KImbopete‍ 

You asked about meditation and mindfulness

Inspire Health in Vancouver, B.C. have on-line classes every Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. P..S.T.  Anyone can connect to the site after signing up.  They have all sorts of other classes as well for cancer patients.    

I also like Power Nap by Andrew Johnson which is a free app.

Your cancer centre may have classes as well.  I found an excellent 4 week class at my centre in Surrey, BC. And they gave me a CD for permanent use.

best wishes with your cancer journey.  


Re: The big C returns

Posted by chalmj on Apr 3, 2019 10:05 am

I'm wondering if you are doing things yourself to address cancer? Do you have concerns about your diet? Do you think you need to make any lifestyle changes, meal frequency, fasting, special diets, supplements, etc. 
I have head and neck cancer and I am currently on Keytruda. If I can get to a NED condition I don't have much fear cancer will ever return as I have learned so much about cancer and how to deal with it and all the related chronic inflammatory modern diseases that are increasing in western society. 

Currently, I feel there is more we cancer patients can do for ourselves than what conventional medicine offers.