Re: My Scan Results for followup of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Posted by azkidney57 @azkidney57, Nov 5, 2019

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”?

@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”. 😊

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@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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@azkidney57

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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@azkidney57 I think as you write your letter, you may find your stress level decreasing. I found that to be true for me, anyway. Sometimes patients receive less-than-ideal treatment by medical professionals. I am like you, and will not let it lie. Having dealt with chronic illness since 1988 I know when it's time to make my thoughts known. You're right, it does make a difference not only to me but for others. My scan/biopsy/test results are reviewed by a dr before they are released to me, even on the patient portal, so that may be why you don't get results right away. I recall my oncologist telling me "I don't want you searching the internet for information unless it is about the right diagnosis, so I am not going to say much right now". Which totally made sense to me, to not get too anxious. Does that make sense to you, too? Your nurse is labeling you, not the cancer center or your dr. You have a right to information. They need to realize that patients process information differently, and some want more information that others. Be gentle on yourself, and know we are right here for you!
Ginger

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@azkidney57

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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@azkidney57 I have learned more and more that we do need to advocate for ourselves.
When I first was diagnosed with cirrhosis it was suggested that I see a therapist. After two or three sessions we both agreed that I didn’t need that.
Oddly I rarely stress about medical issues! I am stressed about having osteoporosis since I know what great risk I am at, particularly in winter with icy sidewalks and parking lots. The fracture I had in July really made me cautious.
Good luck with your letter, I think that is something more of us should do when dissatisfied. I hope it will get their attention and lead to better future communications.
JK

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@azkidney57

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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@azkidney57 I just read your message again and the part about possibly going to a psychiatrist struck me more this time. I have a niece who had triple-negative breast cancer, two years ago when she was 40. She did see a therapist as did my sister, my sister of course was very distraught about it. They both found it very helpful. My niece has been declared cancer-free but of course she will always worry. When it gets her very down she has that relationship with her therapist in place and she can see her for an appointment to help alleviate her stress.
It's certainly worth a try, and if like me you find it is not helping you can stop, or like my niece and many others you might find it very helpful.
JK

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@contentandwell

@azkidney57 I just read your message again and the part about possibly going to a psychiatrist struck me more this time. I have a niece who had triple-negative breast cancer, two years ago when she was 40. She did see a therapist as did my sister, my sister of course was very distraught about it. They both found it very helpful. My niece has been declared cancer-free but of course she will always worry. When it gets her very down she has that relationship with her therapist in place and she can see her for an appointment to help alleviate her stress.
It's certainly worth a try, and if like me you find it is not helping you can stop, or like my niece and many others you might find it very helpful.
JK

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JK, at first I found the idea of going to a psychiatrist a bit insulting. But I have gone through a traumatic event. I think I have some PTSD from this entire ordeal. I lost a kidney! It seems to be bothering me more lately. My oncologist’s nurse told me I was more “anxious”than the average patient that bothered me. I felt she was being very judge mental. I find I tend to be more irritable and annoyed with people and situations. I am impatient and I really dislike being in large crowds of people! Like at a mall or large store. Not phobia just all those people I see then as obstacles. This is not my “normal” me. I have to watch what I say also. I told a woman to get out of the way at a grocery store. She was blocking the aisle with her shopping cart. Normally I would be more polite and move around. But I felt myself become aggressive towards her. This is Not like me at all. So something is or has happened to me psychologically. I think I will see the psychiatrist just to see how it goes. I do need to calm down in general! Having a cancer diagnosis disagreed with me! I don’t like the idea of “interval” living. That’s what I call Surveillance. Every 4 months I will be scannned for a year. So the cycle, the scanxiety, the waiting for results, this will repeat! How do people deal with this? I hope it doesn’t drive me crazy! This coming week I have to see 2 specialists. I don’t want to go! If I develop Mets I really don’t know how I would take that. I am trying to be positive because at present I am cancer free. It is very difficult for me right now. I think is best to see a psychiatrist then reach for a gin and tonic. Thank you checking on me. I appreciate it!

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@azkidney57

JK, at first I found the idea of going to a psychiatrist a bit insulting. But I have gone through a traumatic event. I think I have some PTSD from this entire ordeal. I lost a kidney! It seems to be bothering me more lately. My oncologist’s nurse told me I was more “anxious”than the average patient that bothered me. I felt she was being very judge mental. I find I tend to be more irritable and annoyed with people and situations. I am impatient and I really dislike being in large crowds of people! Like at a mall or large store. Not phobia just all those people I see then as obstacles. This is not my “normal” me. I have to watch what I say also. I told a woman to get out of the way at a grocery store. She was blocking the aisle with her shopping cart. Normally I would be more polite and move around. But I felt myself become aggressive towards her. This is Not like me at all. So something is or has happened to me psychologically. I think I will see the psychiatrist just to see how it goes. I do need to calm down in general! Having a cancer diagnosis disagreed with me! I don’t like the idea of “interval” living. That’s what I call Surveillance. Every 4 months I will be scannned for a year. So the cycle, the scanxiety, the waiting for results, this will repeat! How do people deal with this? I hope it doesn’t drive me crazy! This coming week I have to see 2 specialists. I don’t want to go! If I develop Mets I really don’t know how I would take that. I am trying to be positive because at present I am cancer free. It is very difficult for me right now. I think is best to see a psychiatrist then reach for a gin and tonic. Thank you checking on me. I appreciate it!

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@azkidney57 I think the nurse who told you that you are more anxious than the average patient was totally out of line. Not only was she being judgemental, but that was simply tactless. Nurses should be trying to make you feel better, not worse.
I can understand your impatience in the grocery store. I find myself having less patience with people too at times. I just attribute it to be older. So far I have generally been able to resist saying anything. I just see a little cartoon type of bubble above my head with what I would like to say! It works for me. Consider yourself lucky that you can have that gin and tonic — being post-transplant I cannot have any alcohol. There are days when I would love to have a glass of wine to help me unwind.
As we get older we have more and more health problems of course and I don't think that sets well with anyone but we have to accept it and do the best we can. I am under surveillance for cancer and have yearly MRIs. I am able to put it out of mind generally but do worry prior to it. I think that's just natural.
I hope you get back to us on how the doctor appointments go this week, I will be hoping for the best for you.
JK

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@azkidney57

JK, at first I found the idea of going to a psychiatrist a bit insulting. But I have gone through a traumatic event. I think I have some PTSD from this entire ordeal. I lost a kidney! It seems to be bothering me more lately. My oncologist’s nurse told me I was more “anxious”than the average patient that bothered me. I felt she was being very judge mental. I find I tend to be more irritable and annoyed with people and situations. I am impatient and I really dislike being in large crowds of people! Like at a mall or large store. Not phobia just all those people I see then as obstacles. This is not my “normal” me. I have to watch what I say also. I told a woman to get out of the way at a grocery store. She was blocking the aisle with her shopping cart. Normally I would be more polite and move around. But I felt myself become aggressive towards her. This is Not like me at all. So something is or has happened to me psychologically. I think I will see the psychiatrist just to see how it goes. I do need to calm down in general! Having a cancer diagnosis disagreed with me! I don’t like the idea of “interval” living. That’s what I call Surveillance. Every 4 months I will be scannned for a year. So the cycle, the scanxiety, the waiting for results, this will repeat! How do people deal with this? I hope it doesn’t drive me crazy! This coming week I have to see 2 specialists. I don’t want to go! If I develop Mets I really don’t know how I would take that. I am trying to be positive because at present I am cancer free. It is very difficult for me right now. I think is best to see a psychiatrist then reach for a gin and tonic. Thank you checking on me. I appreciate it!

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First of all, you are NOT alone.

I agree with what JK says.

I also lost a kidney. Only thing is, nobody knew for years and years until my remaining kidney started to fail and scans revealed a totally atrophied left kidney with around 22% function in the right one.

I was furious! How could I not have known? How could this not have shown up on lab tests? Why did I have to develop diabetes which likely did most of the damage, along with kidney stones and bouts of kidney infections? How dare the universe ruin one of my kidneys? And how dare other people get in my way, speak to me at all, go about their business when I'm scared poop-less?

I was cross, cranky, irritable, asked a zillion questions.

But no nurse or doctor ever told me I was "more anxious." That nurse should have her license jerked.

Of course I was anxious. Of course you are anxious. Of course I was grumpy. Of course you feel grumpy.

Just know that the anger and fear probably will subside the more you know because knowledge is power.

I, too, resent the "invasions" of my privacy with tests and scans but I also now welcome them because at least I will know what's going on and can take appropriate measures.

The difference between us is that I didn't see a therapist formally as I am a member of a 12-step program which gives me tools – and expert people – to deal with my issues of resentment and fear and one of them happens to actually be a therapist.

I would venture to say that most of us here feel or at least have felt like you do and we are here for you. You can vent, rant, complain and we all will understand and support you. Together this group has some answers. . .

You are not alone!

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@azkidney57

I finally went to see a psychiatrist regarding my depression and stress and was diagnosed with “anxious depression “. I am not one who likes labels much but I do experience anxiety and since my diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma and subsequent nephrectomy I have become depressed. I am coping much better as of late but the stress of a cancer diagnosis has been difficult. I feel better physically although my energy level isn’t what it once was but I do find emotionally I sometimes become frustrated and depressed since I don’t know what the future holds. Cancer is a scary disease and it is unpredictable. It is a complex disease and my cancer has no “cure”. Recurrence is a possibility. I am living under surveillance which for me means every 4 months for a year I will be scanned. I intend to live my life as fully as possible. I am grateful for this site because I have found good support from people who have been in my place. I have learned that it is good to seek health when you feel overwhelmed. I am taking medication to help with my depression and I am taking the recommendations my psychiatrist gave me. I have issues with sleep but I have a sleep regime. I stay close to my good friends and I engage in social activities because being isolated isn’t good. I am pleased this site is here because I have received good advise and suggestions which has helped me deal with my cancer diagnosis more effectively. I know I am not alone!

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@azkidney57 you are doing a great job taking care of your health. Thank you for letting us know how we have helped. May I be the first to wish you a great year ahead free from cancer.

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I finally went to see a psychiatrist regarding my depression and stress and was diagnosed with “anxious depression “. I am not one who likes labels much but I do experience anxiety and since my diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma and subsequent nephrectomy I have become depressed. I am coping much better as of late but the stress of a cancer diagnosis has been difficult. I feel better physically although my energy level isn’t what it once was but I do find emotionally I sometimes become frustrated and depressed since I don’t know what the future holds. Cancer is a scary disease and it is unpredictable. It is a complex disease and my cancer has no “cure”. Recurrence is a possibility. I am living under surveillance which for me means every 4 months for a year I will be scanned. I intend to live my life as fully as possible. I am grateful for this site because I have found good support from people who have been in my place. I have learned that it is good to seek health when you feel overwhelmed. I am taking medication to help with my depression and I am taking the recommendations my psychiatrist gave me. I have issues with sleep but I have a sleep regime. I stay close to my good friends and I engage in social activities because being isolated isn’t good. I am pleased this site is here because I have received good advise and suggestions which has helped me deal with my cancer diagnosis more effectively. I know I am not alone!

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@azkidney57

I finally went to see a psychiatrist regarding my depression and stress and was diagnosed with “anxious depression “. I am not one who likes labels much but I do experience anxiety and since my diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma and subsequent nephrectomy I have become depressed. I am coping much better as of late but the stress of a cancer diagnosis has been difficult. I feel better physically although my energy level isn’t what it once was but I do find emotionally I sometimes become frustrated and depressed since I don’t know what the future holds. Cancer is a scary disease and it is unpredictable. It is a complex disease and my cancer has no “cure”. Recurrence is a possibility. I am living under surveillance which for me means every 4 months for a year I will be scanned. I intend to live my life as fully as possible. I am grateful for this site because I have found good support from people who have been in my place. I have learned that it is good to seek health when you feel overwhelmed. I am taking medication to help with my depression and I am taking the recommendations my psychiatrist gave me. I have issues with sleep but I have a sleep regime. I stay close to my good friends and I engage in social activities because being isolated isn’t good. I am pleased this site is here because I have received good advise and suggestions which has helped me deal with my cancer diagnosis more effectively. I know I am not alone!

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@azkidney57 Good for you, realizing you needed to get a professional assist from someone for depression and stress, for your peace of mind. Better to acknowledge it and get help sooner than later. I also have a cancer that cannot be cured, and every three months will undergo tests to see if it has progressed. When I first was given the diagnosis of multiple myeloma, officially just this past November, it was hard to wrap my mind around. But this is now my fourth experience with cancer. And I know that each person has an expiration date; we are not guaranteed immortality. It is up to us to make our life the best it can be. Reading that you have chosen the attitude you have, is music to my ears. Thank you for sharing here. I just know you have helped me, and no doubt others here.
Ginger

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