Kidney cancer

A place for people affected by kidney cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

How do I sort out what is causing what?

Posted by

I'm completely battered by peculiar symptoms at the moment but how do I work out what is coming from the cancer and what is coming from my head because of the emotional roller coaster produced by other things?

I had my right kidney removed on 24 April with Stage 4 kidney cancer. There are some small mets in my right lung but so far they have decided not to start immunotheraphy. My next scan is this Wednesday. I was over the operation and working in London within 3 weeks. Physically my summer has been normally active and busy but -

While he was supposed to be helping me get over the operation, my brother tried to commit suicide twice and is now in a mental hospital, still victim to suicidal thoughts.

My beloved Dad died 7 weeks ago. He did not know I was ill.

My precious husband lives in care and really does not know me. When I have visited him over the past couple of weeks he has told me he wants to die and has had enough. He has more or less stopped eating. During his nearly 4 years in care, I have visited him on every possible occasion. For the past three days I've not been able to bear to see him. 

I feel dizzy. I want to cry but I can't. My head is swirling. I am desperately unhappy. My doctor is less than helpful. I have referred myself to a clinical psychologist but the appointment isn't until the end of the month. I have no one except good friends to support me and I think the emotions I am feeling are normal given the circumstances but I have no idea. I feel dizzy so think it's spread to my brain. My neck hurts so I think it has spread there. Should I ring some one? If so who? 

Posted by

Hi irishrambling, I'm so sorry youre going through all this.

Ring the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 0000. They're open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Good luck with tomorrow's scan. Let us know how u get on

Big hugs xx

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
Posted by

Hi irishrambling, I'm so sorry you're going through all this. Ring the helpline on 0808 808 0000. They're open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week

Big hugs xx 

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
Posted by

Hello ,

welcome to the group.  I'm in  similar situation cancer wise but about 7 years on from first diagnosis and 5 years on from being told I was stage 4.

I'm sure that a lot of us struggle with life going on around us when we just want it all to stop spinning for a little while.  I have a number of other conditions and regularly get symptoms and to start with I thought everything was related to cancer.  I had a sore throat and runny nose for quite a while before I even considered it could be a cold and took some lemsip.

It sounds like you are still trying to support everyone else and should perhaps be a bit more focussed on looking after yourself.  Being diagnosed as incurable is huge and scary and leaves you with massive amounts of uncertainty I  your life.  You don't know if you are going to get anything from the future you have envisioned and must feel like your family are all deserting you just when you need them to be there for you.  Then no doubt you feel guilty for thinking this when it is nothing they have control over.

I know it probably feels like an extreme step but would you consider contacting your local hospice?  They are not simply places where sick people go to die but offer support and understanding and most offer counselling.  You could probably see them for a while and once you feel more able to cope then you could drop the contact.  They will have a lot of experience of people in similar situations to us.  They will be happy to hear from you and you can usually check out about their services on offer before you get in touch.

You might also want to consider joining us on the "living with incurable cancer" group.  There is a huge amount of personal  experience there and they will fully understand what you are talking about.  I would put in a link but I can't manage that on my phone.

The Macmillan helpline are really good and I would advocate anyone ringing them as they can not only support emotionally but can give you practical advice regarding work, accommodation, finances, benefits and lots of other areas.

You are not alone with this and there is a lot to deal with.  Take your time, look after yourself and keep on until you get the support you need.

Love and hugs,

Gragon xx

Posted by

Thanks Gragon for elaborating on what I'd said

Fear of the unknown is the worst thing. Once we know what we're facing, we find the strength to deal with it.
Posted by


I feel like I wish I could give you a big hug. What a huge amount you're having to deal with.

I think anyone with stage 4 initially assumes that everything is cancer related and as Gragon has said, it's not. In fact it's not more often than not. I'm three years stage 4, main met in my breastbone, a second on my skull and a third very small one on my lung. Initially I had pain in my main met, but that went more or less as soon as my treatment started. Since then I have had no symptoms at all relatable to my cancer. I understand that this probably feels different for you as I am being treated and you're not, but my guess is, it's really not.

What you describe - and I can see that you're already acknowledging this - is your mental health and I think what feels like your body's physical reaction to the amount of stress that you are under. Perhaps if you can talk to the helpline you can speak to them about this. Can you take time off work? It sounds as though you need to.

Do you have a specialist oncology nurse at all? Although you say you have self referred, when I was struggling mentally last year, my nurse referred me directly at the hospital. It might be another option.

Use your friends. I think they would be devastated if they thought you were suffering like this and didn't feel that you could turn to them, or didn't want to put on them. They're likely desperate to support you and just don't know how.

You are grieving on so many levels. I'm not surprised the tears won't come. You probably need a really good cry.
I find several large G&T's can be very good for that ;-)

Big hugs to you