People affected by kidney cancer share their experiences. Read the stories of:
I had not been well for about a year, and one day I saw blood in my urine. By the end of the day, I was in such pain I ended up in emergency, where I was told it was kidney stones that should pass in a couple of days. When they didn’t, I followed up with my doctor, who sent me for further scans.
I was in shock when the specialist said I had kidney cancer. I was booked in for surgery about three weeks after the initial diagnosis, but within a week I couldn’t pass urine and ended up back in emergency, where I stayed until my surgery.
After the surgery, I was in quite a bit of pain and discomfort, and had lots of trouble going to the toilet.
My greatest concern has been about the cancer coming back. For a while it was my first waking thought. Time has helped me deal with this. Every check-up has reassured me that things are okay.
I had six-monthly check-ups at first, but now they’re yearly. My family was great during this period; both my husband and son were very supportive. I was concerned I was driving my family crazy because I found the experience so consuming it was all I could talk about.
I couldn’t find information and there was no support group that I was aware of, except online – that’s why, once I was well again, I felt it important to become a volunteer in a peer support program. I always tell people that it was a really scary experience, but that it’s okay to be afraid.
At the time of the diagnosis, I was working as an office manager, but afterwards we reassessed our life. I changed jobs and we moved house.
I now work in aged care, which I love, and we moved from a big house to a small apartment overlooking the sea. I learnt to go with the flow and that life will be all right.
My greatest concern has been about the cancer coming back. For a while it was my first waking thought. Time has helped me deal with this. Every check-up has reassured me that things are okay.Jodie
A few years ago, I became very unwell with appendicitis and had to have my appendix removed. While in hospital, a scan picked up a lump at the bottom of my left kidney. This was an incidental finding – I had symptoms of appendicitis but no symptoms of kidney cancer.
The urologist talked through the options with me. Because it was a small tumour, only part of the kidney needed to be removed. I could choose between open and laparoscopic surgery. I opted for laparoscopy because it would have a quicker recovery and I knew our hospital had a good track record with it. I was only in hospital for one and a half days. I felt better in two weeks and was back to driving in three weeks, although it took a few months to feel back to normal.
The pathology tests on the tumour confirmed that it was renal cell carcinoma, but it was a type with a good prognosis.
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