Re: My Scan Results for followup of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Posted by azkidney57 @azkidney57, Tue, Nov 5 7:16pm

So I have my scan results, MRI and Chest CT. They found a 2.7 cm lucent lesion in the left lobe of my liver. The report stated it was likely a complex cyst. I don’t know if I should worry about this or not. So I have not Mets from the RCC, but I have a liver lesion. I can’t find anything that makes sense to me regarding a “lucent lesion” in the internet. What is a “lucent liver lesion”?

Hi, @azkidney57. I googled the term "lucent lesion" and found an expert response that listed 11 possible lesions that range widely across the possibilities. You can view that response at https://www.health24.com/Medical/Cancer/Experts/Question/What-does-lucent-lesions-mean-20160219. Note that the response closes with a strong recommendation that you confer with your primary physician as to which of the possibilities is most likely in your case so that, if needed, treatment can begin.

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@azkidney57 I had malignant lesions in my liver and they were ablated. I don’t believe mine were smaller than yours so perhaps that is an option for you too. I know how difficult it is to not worry, but try not to. You will have more info soon enough so relax until then.
JK

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@azkidney57 Relax, take a deep breath, call your dr and get their take on this finding. As @predictable has mentioned, there are several reasons behind a cyst. No need to worry ahead of time.
Ginger

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@predictable

Hi, @azkidney57. I googled the term "lucent lesion" and found an expert response that listed 11 possible lesions that range widely across the possibilities. You can view that response at https://www.health24.com/Medical/Cancer/Experts/Question/What-does-lucent-lesions-mean-20160219. Note that the response closes with a strong recommendation that you confer with your primary physician as to which of the possibilities is most likely in your case so that, if needed, treatment can begin.

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Martin thanks for your reply and info! I am checking into it!

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@contentandwell

@azkidney57 I had malignant lesions in my liver and they were ablated. I don’t believe mine were smaller than yours so perhaps that is an option for you too. I know how difficult it is to not worry, but try not to. You will have more info soon enough so relax until then.
JK

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JK thanks for your reply! It is difficult not to worry. I just need to haveb it checked out. I just want to be at a point where I can deal with things as they come. I have had so much interaction with physicians I don’t like it much! I feel like a guinea pig! Testing and scanning and appointments. My surgery was a big stressor! I feel like I have PTSD! Now this liver cyst. I will need an ultra sound! Such is the life of a cancer patient!

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@azkidney57 I can totally sympathize with you. When I look at my phone and see the enormous list of doctors I can't believe it. We just have to forge on, as difficult as that is.
JK

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@gingerw

@azkidney57 Relax, take a deep breath, call your dr and get their take on this finding. As @predictable has mentioned, there are several reasons behind a cyst. No need to worry ahead of time.
Ginger

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Hi Ginger the voice of reason. I must admit I did freak out when I was told I have a leision. They think it’s a complex cyst. I never spoke to my cancer center. My PCP office called me and a nurse told me I need to have an ultrasound to check out this leision/ mass/ cyst! I am just tired of not being a “healthy” person anymore. It’s like my body has betrayed me. That’s how I feel. My anxiety stems from not speaking to anyone about my concerns. It feels as if no one cares! I feel alone. Today a nurse called me from the cancer center asking me how I was. I told her I was frustrated with the “system” the medical treadmill patients are made to run. She told me I was anxious. Yes I am I replied. I have an appointment to see my oncologist next week. So this is the reality of surveillance. Just a waiting game. I wish I could be “doing” something to help myself! So I have been labeled as more anxious than the average patient. My cancer center wants me to see a social worker. As I see it I will be living my life in 4 month intervals. This “interval” I am cancer free maybe. Unless I have a liver cancer/ tumor. Next interval who knows! The more scans the more “stuff” wrong they find. I didn’t sign up for this! I need to find how to live with my new reality!

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@contentandwell

@azkidney57 I can totally sympathize with you. When I look at my phone and see the enormous list of doctors I can't believe it. We just have to forge on, as difficult as that is.
JK

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JK, my life right now revolves on my next doctor appointment, my next test, my next exam etc. etc. I am tired of being prodded and poked and “examined”. It’s all a bit too much! I had a big surgery. That was it I thought. That’s the first big medical thing that had ever happened to me. My friend keeps telling me it’s over don’t worry about it. But it’s not over! It’s like I am in a really bad nightmare that I will never wake up from! I don’t trust my cancer center. I don’t like my PCP much, no offense. I only went to see him in the past for colds or the occasional medical issue. I worry that if I develop Mets I need chemo will my cancer center be there for me? Will I have aggressively advocate for myself as a sick person? I need someone on “my side”. The Mayo Cancer Center sounds better and better. But the grass my not be greener on the other end. My friend mentioned that as well. I just know that the oncologist I met at Mayo in September impressed me. My gut told me he was okay.

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@azkidney57 I know how disheartening this is. I am not thrilled with my PCP either. I like him, but I think he leaves something to be desired as my doctor.
We do need to advocate for ourselves, I have learned that very well. If you like Mayo and it's within reach of you geographically, then do it. I am a Mass General patient but when I was waiting for a liver transplant I did have contact with Mayo. If Mass General had not come through when they did with a liver for me I was just about to list at Mayo. I had spoken to them and they seemed optimistic about my getting a transplant sooner than Mass General could. Of course I was very happy that Mass General came through for me, it's a heck of a lot more convenient since I live in southern NH.

Do what gives you the most comfort and the most confidence. I think feeling confident of our medical care makes a huge difference.
JK

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@contentandwell

@azkidney57 I know how disheartening this is. I am not thrilled with my PCP either. I like him, but I think he leaves something to be desired as my doctor.
We do need to advocate for ourselves, I have learned that very well. If you like Mayo and it's within reach of you geographically, then do it. I am a Mass General patient but when I was waiting for a liver transplant I did have contact with Mayo. If Mass General had not come through when they did with a liver for me I was just about to list at Mayo. I had spoken to them and they seemed optimistic about my getting a transplant sooner than Mass General could. Of course I was very happy that Mass General came through for me, it's a heck of a lot more convenient since I live in southern NH.

Do what gives you the most comfort and the most confidence. I think feeling confident of our medical care makes a huge difference.
JK

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JK yes being confident our medical team makes a huge difference. You had a liver transplant wow! That’s huge stuff! How the heck did you cope? I often wonder how people make it. I saw two friends struggle with their cancers. I always felt badly for them they had good days and bad. Both of these two wonderful women died June 2019 with 2 weeks of each other. I couldn’t go to their funerals but I was able to see them both before they died. It was so very difficult to see my my friend of many years during her finally days but I am glad I did. Cancer sucks! Thank you JK for your response. I appreciate your sharing your experience.

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@azkidney57

Hi Ginger the voice of reason. I must admit I did freak out when I was told I have a leision. They think it’s a complex cyst. I never spoke to my cancer center. My PCP office called me and a nurse told me I need to have an ultrasound to check out this leision/ mass/ cyst! I am just tired of not being a “healthy” person anymore. It’s like my body has betrayed me. That’s how I feel. My anxiety stems from not speaking to anyone about my concerns. It feels as if no one cares! I feel alone. Today a nurse called me from the cancer center asking me how I was. I told her I was frustrated with the “system” the medical treadmill patients are made to run. She told me I was anxious. Yes I am I replied. I have an appointment to see my oncologist next week. So this is the reality of surveillance. Just a waiting game. I wish I could be “doing” something to help myself! So I have been labeled as more anxious than the average patient. My cancer center wants me to see a social worker. As I see it I will be living my life in 4 month intervals. This “interval” I am cancer free maybe. Unless I have a liver cancer/ tumor. Next interval who knows! The more scans the more “stuff” wrong they find. I didn’t sign up for this! I need to find how to live with my new reality!

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Dear @azkidney57, I just made myself a steaming cup of magnificent herbal tea. It's a lovely mixture of mint and ginger. Can you imagine for a minute that I just set a big mug of it in front of you? Now, as we sit together, let's put the news you've received into manageable boxes and open one at a time.

Being a patient is a big job. It's not one you applied for and certainly not one you wanted. But it is the most important one you have right now. You can do this.

Your body has betrayed you. It's okay to feel that way. But it's your body and you're going to take care of it and love it, even if it betrayed you. Right?

Yes, scans cause anxiety. But they also give you and your team very valuable information to know what actions need to be taken. Lucency is a technical term for an area that lets X-rays through the tissue and as a result appears darker on the picture. On a CT scan, lucent lesion in the kidney indicates an area of a different density from the surrounding tissue. The technician reading your scans suspects that this lesion might be complex cyst, but more testing will be required to confirm the suspicion and to determine whether the lesion is benign or not. Simple and complex cysts are very common. Here's more information:
https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=renal-cyst
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/by_the_way_doctor_should_i_be_worried_about_a_kidney_cyst

Information may make you worry. But it can also help equip you. With this information, you can ask informed questions of your care team. You know that this needs followup, so you will make sure that happens.

Of course, you are anxious. And that's okay. It's an absolutely normal response to getting scary news and being faced with the unknown. No, you have not been labeled as more anxious than the average patient. Anxiety and cancer are best friends with each other (unfortunately). One rarely goes without the other. It's NORMAL. The good news is that your cancer center can offer you help. They have social workers. I strongly suggest you see a social worker. They are amazing and should be a part of every cancer patient's team.

I hope that talking with members here on Connect can help with the times in between doctor visits. We do care! Let me know when you're ready for another cup of tea. Okay?

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@colleenyoung

Dear @azkidney57, I just made myself a steaming cup of magnificent herbal tea. It's a lovely mixture of mint and ginger. Can you imagine for a minute that I just set a big mug of it in front of you? Now, as we sit together, let's put the news you've received into manageable boxes and open one at a time.

Being a patient is a big job. It's not one you applied for and certainly not one you wanted. But it is the most important one you have right now. You can do this.

Your body has betrayed you. It's okay to feel that way. But it's your body and you're going to take care of it and love it, even if it betrayed you. Right?

Yes, scans cause anxiety. But they also give you and your team very valuable information to know what actions need to be taken. Lucency is a technical term for an area that lets X-rays through the tissue and as a result appears darker on the picture. On a CT scan, lucent lesion in the kidney indicates an area of a different density from the surrounding tissue. The technician reading your scans suspects that this lesion might be complex cyst, but more testing will be required to confirm the suspicion and to determine whether the lesion is benign or not. Simple and complex cysts are very common. Here's more information:
https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=renal-cyst
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/by_the_way_doctor_should_i_be_worried_about_a_kidney_cyst

Information may make you worry. But it can also help equip you. With this information, you can ask informed questions of your care team. You know that this needs followup, so you will make sure that happens.

Of course, you are anxious. And that's okay. It's an absolutely normal response to getting scary news and being faced with the unknown. No, you have not been labeled as more anxious than the average patient. Anxiety and cancer are best friends with each other (unfortunately). One rarely goes without the other. It's NORMAL. The good news is that your cancer center can offer you help. They have social workers. I strongly suggest you see a social worker. They are amazing and should be a part of every cancer patient's team.

I hope that talking with members here on Connect can help with the times in between doctor visits. We do care! Let me know when you're ready for another cup of tea. Okay?

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Colleen, I was very taken by your words. I have never felt so “comforted”. Validation is huge for me and for any stressed out person. I get so little of it. I often feel like I am “alone”. Partly it is my fault because I tend to be a more reserved person. I have always comforted others. This cancer has and is the biggest challenge I have experiencedin my life. I feel my life was turned upside down. It isn’t like me to become distraught but I have too much on my plate. I need to learn to deal with my new life as a cancer patient. Like it or not that is my new reality. I also have to keep on advocating for myself. Thank you so very much. Your words made me feel better. This site is proving to be like my “retreat”. I can come here and people respond to me and offer references and great support! JK, Ginger, Contentandwell, and others have been there for me! I am so grateful for this site and the wonderful people on it. I enjoyed our “tea”. 😊

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@azkidney57

JK yes being confident our medical team makes a huge difference. You had a liver transplant wow! That’s huge stuff! How the heck did you cope? I often wonder how people make it. I saw two friends struggle with their cancers. I always felt badly for them they had good days and bad. Both of these two wonderful women died June 2019 with 2 weeks of each other. I couldn’t go to their funerals but I was able to see them both before they died. It was so very difficult to see my my friend of many years during her finally days but I am glad I did. Cancer sucks! Thank you JK for your response. I appreciate your sharing your experience.

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@azkidney57 you asked how I coped, I pretty much put statistics out of my mind except occasionally when I was very alone, walking or trying to fall asleep. Staying busy and occupied was essential.
Like you, I’m pretty reserved so few people knew of any concerns I had, and I worked to look good all of the time so no one would feel sorry for me – people were constantly telling me how good I looked! It’s sort of ironic because I put less in my appearance now! Even my PCP commented that if he didn’t know I had a serious condition he would think I was very healthy.
Any serious condition causes a certain amount of anxiety, you are not alone and so many of us here have dealt with this. As @colleenyoung said, we do care, and we can relate.
Hugs, JK

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@azkidney57

Colleen, I was very taken by your words. I have never felt so “comforted”. Validation is huge for me and for any stressed out person. I get so little of it. I often feel like I am “alone”. Partly it is my fault because I tend to be a more reserved person. I have always comforted others. This cancer has and is the biggest challenge I have experiencedin my life. I feel my life was turned upside down. It isn’t like me to become distraught but I have too much on my plate. I need to learn to deal with my new life as a cancer patient. Like it or not that is my new reality. I also have to keep on advocating for myself. Thank you so very much. Your words made me feel better. This site is proving to be like my “retreat”. I can come here and people respond to me and offer references and great support! JK, Ginger, Contentandwell, and others have been there for me! I am so grateful for this site and the wonderful people on it. I enjoyed our “tea”. 😊

Jump to this post

@azkidney57 Stress and anxiety are not our best friends, in fact I hesitate to call them friends at all. "With friends like that, who needs enemies", right? Like you I am pretty reserved, and to be vulnerable as we march through a scary situation, looking to count on/lean on someone, is terrifying. But I have learned that it is okay to be a bit vulnerable. I do not wear my latest cancer on my sleeve, but have let a few people know, and recovering from last week's biopsy [with complications], I found it okay to limit myself and activities. I am me, a person, not this cancer. I won't let it dictate my life, my activities, my dreams. While it may not have a real good outcome, for today I am here and making plans. You have to, to avoid falling further into anxiety or depression. Stick around here at the cyber-table with us! You're worth it. Each day can be a challenge, while being a blessing. Go for it!
Ginger

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@gingerw

@azkidney57 Stress and anxiety are not our best friends, in fact I hesitate to call them friends at all. "With friends like that, who needs enemies", right? Like you I am pretty reserved, and to be vulnerable as we march through a scary situation, looking to count on/lean on someone, is terrifying. But I have learned that it is okay to be a bit vulnerable. I do not wear my latest cancer on my sleeve, but have let a few people know, and recovering from last week's biopsy [with complications], I found it okay to limit myself and activities. I am me, a person, not this cancer. I won't let it dictate my life, my activities, my dreams. While it may not have a real good outcome, for today I am here and making plans. You have to, to avoid falling further into anxiety or depression. Stick around here at the cyber-table with us! You're worth it. Each day can be a challenge, while being a blessing. Go for it!
Ginger

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Ginger, thank you for your reply. I am trying not to let my stress get the best of me. I do become anxious when something new crops up concerning my health. I have never been this way before. Now that I have a “cancer diagnosis” I am stressed out about my health! That is a normal response! My cancer center wants to have me see a psychiatrist for medication to help with my anxiety. Also, they feel I need “coping skills”. I am debating whether to take them up on their offer. I have an appointment with the oncologist this coming week. I will let him know what my expectations are as a patient . I will be reasonable of course. I will have an ultrasound to check out my liver lesion. No one seems to be too impressed with it. My doctors nurse told me I am more “anxious” than the average patient. I am being “labeled”. I realize there are many patients and I am under “surveillance” but they still need to meet my “needs”. I am the “client”. No one really explained the ground rules to me! I don’t intend to sit around and wait for other people to respond! I will aggressively advocate for myself and in so doing I figure it will help other patients. I have “rights” as a patient. I will be writing a carefully worded letter to the cancer centers “administrator”. My care hasn’t been all bad. I will give credit where it is do. I just feel better response time after scans is needed for all Surveillance patients! I will never wait a week for results! I found out my results were available 2 days after they were done. Thanks to Colleen I now know what a “lucent lesion” is. I learn something new all the time! Thanks again Ginger for sharing your thoughts it really helps me put things in perspective! 😊

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