On the 19th August 2010 my urology consultant confirmed a CT scan on 16th July had revealed two tumours in my abdomen. Small tumours – compared to the 19cm x 16cm monster he had dispatched in a radical nephectromy on 28 September 2009 – but huge in their impact. Their presence meant that the kidney cancer I believed had been successfully resected was back and in my bloodstream, meaning I had instantly shifted from the status of relieved Stage 3b to stunned Stage 4. I have papillary renal cell carcinoma and the pathology of the monster tumour was Grade 4, the most aggressive kind.
I was aware that Stage 4 isn’t good, Grade 4 isn’t good, metastasis* within a year of surgery isn’t good - and to date clinical trials for the current NHS licensed treatment, Sutent, have not been convicing on papillary rcc. The consultant indicated there would be an inevitable progression of the cancer from this point. So, I am being passed on to oncology now. A week after speaking to the consultant a clinical nurse called me to say I would be meeting with an oncology team on Tuesday, 31 August where treatment options could be discussed.
The image, incidentally, is of a kidney cancer cell which I found on the web. It is probably clear cell rcc not papillary but it exerted a certain fascination
* Weirdly, I cannot pronounce metastasis/metastatic/metastised. Obviously an extreme subsconscious block. I keep saying metamorphosis which makes me look like a blithering idiot.
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