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nobodyinparticular 12-12-2011 02:56 PM

It's cancer... (Post-surgery Update)
Well, I just got back from the kidney specialist today who told me the "cyst"/"lesion" (also known as a tumor) on my right kidney is cancer.

The good news:
It isn't a cancer that is generally aggressive in spreading. This means I don't have to worry about any other parts of my organs being infected.
It isn't a cancer that generally aggressive in growing. This means I don't have to worry about the smallish tumor growing too much over the next couple months.
It isn't a cancer that responds to radiation or chemotherarpy. This means I don't have to spend months and months in the hospital/at home feeling awful.
They don't have to take the entire kidney out. This means if I develop diabetes or some other kidney failure in the future, I still have a portion of a kidney to keep me alive.

The bad news:
The tumor is right by my adrenal glands, renal artery (very large vessel that supplies kidney with blood) and vena cava (largest vein in the body). This means there is some risk in surgery and all but eliminates the possibility of robotic or laparoscopic surgery. I will have to have a large incision under my ribcage which will prevent me from going in to work for a month or so.
The cancer does not respond to radiation or chemotherapy. This means if it does spread in the 4% chance, I'm pretty much screwed.
They have to remove a portion of my kidney. Who wants to have a part of their kidney removed?

So to recap, in the past month, I have found out I have to live with Crohn's disease for the rest of my life and now I have a cancerous tumor which will take a part of my kidney with it. And it was actually fortunate I went in the hospital for my Crohn's because that is the only reason the doctor saw the tumor in the first place.

I'm holding out hope I will still be okay to drink when all is said and done. Is it weird that this is one of my priorities in the face of cancer?

I have to say I'm very thankful this is something that should be take care of with a surgery and no chemotherapy.

At the same time, it's still a sock to the gut to have a doctor say those words "It's cancer." How many of you have dealt with this or know someone close to you who has dealt with this?

Pics of war wounds

Here are some pics of the surgery, incision and all.

Close up shot

Update after the surgery:

Okay, so more of an update now that I am a little bit more coherent (don't know how long that will last, so I'll hurry).

The urologist (who has a fond habit of touching my ***** and balls any chance he gets) took the following steps for surgery.

1) I received an epidural of fentanyl (narcotic similar to morphine) high in my spine. They stuck a huge needle in my spine and gave my spinal cord a consistent dose of drugs--this is to numb my sense from my upper chest all the way down to my hips at least. In this case it went all the way down to my ankles. This was great, but it also meant I got to have a catheter in my bladder for the entire weekend since I didn't have the peeing sensation during this time.

2) The doctor made the large slice between two of my ribs as you can see in the picture (between one floating rib and one rib that is attached by cartilage). In order to actually get to the kidney, the urologist actually split apart my two ribs ribs so that he could twist the kidney towards him and get to the tumor. In doing so, he had to cut through three separate layers of muscles on the rib cage and abdominal muscles.

3) The doctor then cut the tumor away from the kidney tissue and took a large portion of the soft kidney tissue with it, ensuring that he removed all the affected tissue. In order to do this, the doctor had to take out one of the major blood supplying arteries from the kidney because the artery traveled right over the tumor itself. The doctor then sewed the ribs together and used the staples to close up the open wound.

So I have ab and rib muscles that need to heal, loose ribs that need to reconnect and of course the kidney that needs to heal.

All in all, the process is supposed to take a good month or more for me to get back to my daily activities. The biggest source of pain right now is the torn/stretched muscles around my ribs/abs that are trying to heal. Because of these torn muscles, they have me on Val*ium to relax the muscles and prevent pain from that area. Then they also have me on oxycodone to improve my tolerance to deal with the the other sources of pain.

As of right now, I am not allowed to carry anything over 5 pounds or pee standing up. I'm pretty much bed-ridden for now, but at least I am finally home. And now I am constantly dozing in and out of sleep from all the drugs. It's nice. I finally get to relax and get a good amount of sleep.

Raiderz4Life 12-12-2011 03:02 PM

Damn I'm sorry to hear that NIP.

I'll keep ya in my prayers and hopefully everything will be alright.

Hopefully you can keep drinking though lol

ImBrotherCain 12-12-2011 03:03 PM

Wow... I am sorry to hear that boss. I hope all works out for the best.

About a year ago my cousin who is like a brother to me was diagnosed with leukemia. I had moved away about a year prior so it was incredibly gut wrenching knowing that I had to be 5 hours away while this was going on. He has been cancer free for about 6 months now.

It it beatable and obviously you will have the support of your family, friends and these boards.

Hurricanes25 12-12-2011 03:05 PM

Sorry to hear that NIP.

eaglesalltheway 12-12-2011 03:10 PM

Damn... sorry to hear man, but seems like your going about it right. Keep fighting, and keep us posted. I wish you nothing but the best.

vidae 12-12-2011 03:15 PM

**** man, I'm really sorry to hear this. I really am. I wish you the absolute best in your surgery and recovery.

My mom had cervical cancer and required two surgeries to completely remove it (it didn't spread thank god) and then a year later she had a tumor in her breast which was luckily nothing serious.

The hardest part is the initial surgery. It sounds like you have semi good news in that it isn't likely to spread, so hopefully they get in there, get it all out, and then get you fixed up.

If you can't drink you can't drink, and that sucks I guess, but at least you'll be alive.

Best of luck man. Thanks for sharing this with us. I know a few of us were concerned.

D-Unit 12-12-2011 03:19 PM

It's hard to know what the right words to say are but I'm so sorry to hear this about you NIP. You're so young and I can't imagine being in your shoes. It sounds like you have the right attitude, and if there's one thing I know (and I don't know too much) but it's that positive strength and attitude can go a long ways towards beating the odds. My cousin is probably around your age and he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He's been so positive throughout this process (chemo) and he's beaten it (for now). He's in his young 20's and he married my cousin actually, but he's a great guy and I think his attitude really helped him. I hope you are doing well and I wish you nothing but the best to get through this. I feel like we go waaaaaay back even though this is a forum, I've gotten to know you all these years and I have good memories of the early days of this forum, late night AIM chats with you, ERU and the other old timers. It's crazy, but I remember our talks about a ton of things from your ex-Cowboys fan girlfriend, to your prom, religion, Jamarcus Russell/Calvin/Quinn draft talk for the Raiders... and I to this day I still picture that little kid at the A's game! LOL. Classic.

I'm pulling for ya bud. You're one of less than a handful of guys on this forum that I genuinely have a ton of respect for.

ccB 12-12-2011 03:21 PM

sorry to hear man and I hope you conquer it and have a speedy recovery.

PS: you just made me extremely paranoid that I might have cancer.

Matthew Jones 12-12-2011 03:23 PM

Really sorry to hear that. Best of luck NIP; you can do this! You're one of my favorite posters on NFLDC, let me know if you need anything.

ElectricEye 12-12-2011 03:24 PM

That's a real tough break man. I know that's probably a drastic oversimplification, but that's really all I can say. My girlfriend of four years had a serious scare with breast cancer earlier in the year that thankfully turned out to be alright. We still have some doctors appointments to go to though...and a legitimately dread every single one of them weeks before. It's heavy, scary stuff to say the least. The Crohn's is tough enough on it's own, but at least it let you catch this thing early and come out of it alright. Having it identified when you are this young has to do you some good as well. Please keep us updated on all of this, I'm sure absolutely everyone here is pulling for you.

ncst8fan83 12-12-2011 03:33 PM

Sorry to hear that. We are in a similar situation with my wife. She is pregnant with our 2nd child and may need tests in about 6 weeks to see if she has cervical cancer. Thoughts/prayers to you and yours during this tough time. Stay positive. You have a lot to live for.

Giantsfan1080 12-12-2011 03:34 PM

I'm sorry to hear that NIP. I had my kidney removed due to cancer as well so if you ever have any questions feel free to PM me.

MetSox17 12-12-2011 03:39 PM

Holy **** man, and i was actually wondering about you earlier since i hadn't seen you post in the NBA thread in a while. I'm sorry to hear about that, i'll be hoping for a quick and successful surgery. Best of luck NIP.

diabsoule 12-12-2011 03:46 PM

I really have no words, man. Sorry just doesn't seem to cut it. I wish you the best and hope and pray that everything works out for you, NIP

slightlyaraiderfan 12-12-2011 03:57 PM

Wow, don't know what to say. Sorry to hear, and good luck with kicking it's ass, i know you will!

CashmoneyDrew 12-12-2011 04:05 PM

Terrible to hear man. But keep your head up. It won't be easy, but you will beat this.

NY+Giants=NYG 12-12-2011 04:14 PM

Sorry to hear buddy! Thank def is bad news. I intern or shadow the pathology department at a hospital. I am sure they will get the specimen and can see what happens after they see what's going on. Good luck to you bro! Have faith!

Just a question, did they say what carcinoma it is? Renal cell carcinoma?

nobodyinparticular 12-12-2011 08:25 PM

Thanks for all the well wishes. They are much appreciated. I definitely plan on kicking this thing's ass.

phlysac 12-12-2011 08:37 PM

All of the best wishes in all that you're dealing with NIP.

niel89 12-12-2011 08:39 PM

Stay strong. Know that a lot of people are here to support you. Everyone is hoping for the best.

CJSchneider 12-12-2011 09:40 PM

My friend, I am praying for you. The fact that you can provide a number of "good news" facts and have a positive attitude and a fighting spirit stand in your favor. Know that you have a support system here that truly cares for you and will do everything they can for you. I believe you can and will beat this.

Shane P. Hallam 12-12-2011 09:45 PM

Thoughts and prayers are with you man. I'll be thinking about ya for sure and hoping everything goes well. Though nowhere near your type of cancer, my brother had pretty bad melanoma and was given a few months to live at one point because it was located on his cranium, but fought through it and it is gone. Same will happen with NIP for sure, I have no doubts.

Mr. Goosemahn 12-12-2011 10:08 PM

So sorry to hear that dude, I genuinely hope for the best, and thoughts and prayers will go out for you.

Splat 12-12-2011 10:15 PM

Thoughts and prayers going your way... Sorry to hear that.

Nalej 12-12-2011 11:11 PM

I've known several people who've gone through chemo so it's a blessing you don't have to go through it.
Still, I hope for safe treatment and a speedy recovery. I'll echo as well, I hope this doesn't mean you have to quit drinking but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Take care, man.

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