I am new in this group.
I was diagnosed early this year with a kidney mass suspected to be RCC and had surgery (radical nephrectomy).
Three months into recovery from the major surgery, my doctors did a CT scan and was diagnosed with mets to the liver and lungs.
The doctors recommended Votrient as a first line drug to combat the disease.
I'm now living in limbo, I have no idea whether the drug is going to work for me or not. I do not know if I'm dying or not.
How long do I have to live? How long is the survival period after taking medication? The doctors keep on telling me about 5 year survival rates but 5 years is not enough to see my kids get married and to be with my wife. There's also reports of remission which is what I'm praying for. I need to know how to deal with all of this information which is not much help right now.
I don't want to see a professional, I know it will help me if I hear from people who have gone through the same thing or are going through it.
Welcome to the forum, although I am sorry for the reason you have had to post.
I am sure you are going to get loads of responses as even though we all have different types of cancer and different scenarios, the emotional impacts can be very consistent.
I have certainly pondered the how long have I got question. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about it now over 3 years post diagnosis. But I have learned not to obsess over it. There is no point in that. For a long time, I thought that I could predict the future or that someone must be able to tell me what will happen. But the truth is I can’t, and they can’t, and to be honest, I can’t control it anyway so why waste time on trying? I think there is often a large cycle of grief to go through when something like this happens - it affects everyone differently and can take a long time to process.
It is your choice re: professional help. For me, it massively helped. Not because it is a silver bullet or a magic wand, but because it gave me the time and space to understand how my own mind works with the help of someone skilled in asking the right questions.
I really hope this helps, and as I say above, I really think you’ll get a lot of replies as I know the thoughts you allude to in your note go through a lot of people’s minds.
All the best,
Two years ago I received a totally unexpected cancer diagnosis. I was devastated, and desperately wanted to find a way to cope. I found the book, below, and it has helped a lot. I might add that new treatments are coming out daily. I'm on one that was just approved last September. It has been very successful. I'm not the zen type, but I found a few meditations on the library website that I downloaded into my MP3 player. I don't use it often, but in times of worry and fear I have found it to be a good soother. The search for just the right one for you can be assigned to a friend or family member if you have someone. Often they need a tangible way to help. I understand your wish to know what will happen. I realized that even "well people" can't know. So now I hold each encounter close to my heart, push myself to participate in events that come my way, and try to live a each day fully even if that day is merely a trip to the local grocery. We cancer patients have learned the hard way to be attentive to each day, and to take life one day at a time. Good luck, Fred.
I asked my oncologist how fast my cancer cells grow and she said 'nobody knows'. And that is the truth. Nobody knows 'how long' anybodys got. Cancer nowadays can be like living with a chronic illness. There are new treatments coming on all the time, as well as trials, so a lot of the time the illness is kept at bay for very long periods, years.
I will never ask how long I've got as the answer given are the statistics on populations, and are not able to pronounce a factual position for any one individual.
Especially as you might find a drug that shrinks your tumours down to nothing. It happens. In fact, there was a man like that on the TV programme this month about The Beatson Cancer Centre where I get my treatment. So take your treatment. It won't be the only treatment available. I get my chemo next month. I got a scan recently which showed my cancer is reducing due to it. I've only had two doses so far.
It is a lot to get your head around. I'm meeting a counsellor next Tuesday as I need to ground myself to iron out the 'up/down' emotional roller-coaster. Give yourself time to process it, and keep your eyes open for the various help that is available, as it can help off loading away from friends and family. x
Lots of love
I'd just like to say I'm finding the responses to Fred's post very helpful and comforting at a time that I find myself struggling.
I particularly like what evamjmitch said, "I hold each encounter close to my heart, push myself to participate in events that come my way, and try to live a each day fully even if that day is merely a trip to the local grocery."
That's it Tom, everybody wakes up under the same sun, but many take it for granted, or waste it, don't notice small things. They are missing everything. Small things are big.
Lots if love
Thank you for the encouraging words. It will certainly take me some time to get my head around the new 'normal'.
Thank you for the wise words.
If you have any questions about Macmillan, or would like to talk to someone about cancer, we have a team of experts
who can help.
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man
(604). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company
number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ. VAT no: