On a wet and breezy afternoon, leap year day, Eric and I sat down to talk with a new urologist/surgeon who affirmed, confirmed, announced that I am, in fact, no murk, a Stage III kidney cancer patient. Not Stage IV. We peered at the CT scan, 6 eyes peeled, and could see what appeared to be lymph nodes between the aorta and the vena cava, but they appear to be normal lymph nodes that could be a little iffy, but yeah, mostly normal. There is no indication anywhere that there is cancer in the right kidney, except that the first surgeon told us he had seen it there when he went up with a camera to try to zap the kidney stone, which, it is true, no longer exists. That one is a mystery.
After talking it all through, we’ve decided to simply wait another 6 months for the next CT scan. The first urologist/surgeon said a year ago that I had a 4% chance of living through surgery to remove my primary cancer of the left kidney. He also said it appeared that the cancer had spread to my lungs, and to my other kidney, and was in the lymph nodes, so I would probably die in 2 months to 2 years. This new doc said I had a 99% chance of living through the surgery, if I decide to go that route, and that it was “highly unusual for such a large kidney cancer to stay stable for one whole year”. He agreed with the idea of waiting for another 6 months, with some trepidation because kidney cancer can “bloom” without any warning, and become life threatening quickly. I understand that and live with that.
He refused to update the prognosis, or even comment on it, because “we never really know how long anyone will live or can live, and it’s better to leave it open ended.” Yes!
It doesn’t hurt, ladies, that this doc reminds me of the new PM of Canada. I’m old, but I’m not blind, as the saying goes.
So, Eric drove me to A Piece of Cake to celebrate with a vegan Irish Oatmeal vegan cake!
Instead of becoming complacent, my intention is to increase our efforts to remove this cancer from my body, to become a Stage II in 6 months. We’ll see if it’s possible to do that, or at the very least stay stable. If, and it’s a HUGE if, I decide to have this surgery, I want to be much stronger before I go in for that. Chemo might follow that, which is daunting. I’d prefer to kill this shit with joy!
Meanwhile, I stumbled upon a marvelous little jewell of a book called Mystical Hope by Cynthia Bourgeauldt, an Episcopalian priest. I highly recommend it to those of you who are not allergic to Christianity at its finest. Cynthia knows about the shimmer, she does.
Stay strong in your heart, and keep that channel open if you can. I’ll meet you there.