IamA: 41 M with Renal Cell Carcinoma. I’ve lost a kidney and had lung and brain surgery in the last 10 months. Today I start the first of 10 treatments for whole brain radiation so I can start chemo. AMA!
My short bio: In October of 2012 I returned to work from lunch and stopped by the restroom. Instead of urinating like normal, I had a small stream of blood and a little pain. Thinking I somehow developed a urinary tract infection, I left work and went to the urgent care center.
I was asked to produce a specimen, and was unable. The Dr proscribed me with some antibiotics and told me if I continued to have problems urinating after 6 hours, to go to the emergency room.
I went home, and still hurt. I took my antibiotics and about every 30 minutes felt like I had the urge to go. Still no dice – I would get a few drops of liquid and occasionally a small blood clot. After about 3 hours my lower back started to hurt really bad so I went to the shower and took a hot bath directly on the spot. My wife came into the bathroom and asked me if I wanted her to call my regular doctor. He talked to her for about 3 minutes and told her to take me to the emergency room.
I was taken to the ER at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics at approximately 5 pm. By midnight, I had 5 different catheters attempted to try and clear the blockage in my bladder with marginal success. I was taken to have a CT scan where they discovered that my right kidney was 80 consumed with renal cell carcinoma (RCC - stage 3) and it was responsible for throwing the blood clots. I was scheduled to have a scope performed to remove the blood clots that morning at 5 am, and scheduled to have my kidney removed the following week.
In the last 10 months, I have had the following procedures – nephrectomy (kidney removal), been a part of 4 different cancer trials (including one pharmacological trial), was found with a tumor in my lung (diagnosed with RCC stage 4), had 9 tumors discovered in my brain (one large enough to require brain surgery to remove). I will be starting a 10 cycle course of whole brain radiation today so I can start chemo (Votrient).
I will put two pictures up from after my brain surgery for proof, alone with sending the front page of my surgical discharge orders to the mod.
Feel free to ask me anything.
edit - I have to go to treatment now. I will return and answer more questions when I get back if I have the energy.
edit 2 - I'm back from radiation. I feel a little light headed, a bit of a headache, and kinda high.
Could be worse. I'll answer what I can if there's still some left to answer.
edit 3 - I need to go to bed. I will try and look through anything I missed after tomorrow's day at the hospital. Two tests plus Radiation. Lovely.. :( Night all.
edit 4 - The Pretty Good Podcast (/u/randywang2) contacted me about the show. I wrote in yesterday night, and they contacted me right away. They read several Reddit user submissions that were sent in, and my email to them. I am going to be on the show! Thank you all so much. Here's the link to the episode where they did the shoutout to reddit and this post. They also put a link to the AMA on their website. http://prettygoodpodcast.com/pgp930-the-saga-of-squeezy.html (It starts around 5 minutes 40 seconds) You guys all rock so hard! THANKS!