Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So, I had kidney cancer

Cancer. A word that scared the living daylights out of me, since as far back as I remember.  The worst thing that could ever happen to you or anybody, I thought.  Well, it happened to me.  Pushing organs around so it could grow over the course of days, weeks, months, years.  A cell that went rogue for whatever reason (my educated guess so far - from various toxins), taking over my fully functioning healthy kidney.  

Since the diagnosis last month I was perfectly accepting and at peace with any outcome, apart from death. Death was not an option.  But if it was cancer, then so be it.  

For those interested to know the stats, here are the results broken down:
  • Kidney Cancer - Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma (ChRCC) to be exact
  • Furhman grade 3 (it was big!)
  • Size: 13 x 11 cm right kidney mass
  • Weight: approx. 760 grams (a normal kidney weighs around 150g)

The good news: it was limited to the kidney so there is no spread. The lymph nodes and blood vessels are clear.

No further treatment apart from taking the time to recover and heal fully.  The surgical procedure was not called a "radical" nephrectomy for nothing.

My life was saved by a very talented Surgeon and his sidekick, the robot.

There is always a chance cancer comes back but in this case it is quite small.   They will be keeping a watchful eye on me with a CT Scan in 3 months, then every 6 months after for a couple of years, then probably once every year after that.  

I guess you could say my life now has 2 era's: BC (Before Cancer) and AC (After Cancer).  I can see, read, hear and utter the word cancer and it doesn't frighten me.  It really doesn't.  Cancer can be villainous and it has sadly taken far too many people, but I'll be damned if I cave to the word itself.

I can't change the fact that I have had cancer.  Strangely enough I wouldn't want to (I strongly believe everything happens for a reason).  What I can change is how I live the rest of my life - making good choices to stay as healthy, happy and helpful as possible whilst cutting out toxins (be it in food, cleaning products, emotions etc.)
No worries, no stress.
Life is precious, and brief.  Don't forget that.

The cancer journey is an interesting one.  I am grateful to have made a few new friends along the way.  Two of them being 2 awesome guys (who I came across when googling terms such as "are you kidneying me" and "da vinci robot scars").  They went through the same thing - no real symptoms unil BAM kidney cancer at a young age.  One thing we have talked about is the experience and emotions you go through, it is difficult to explain however we knew what each other had been through - the thoughts, the realisation that we are indeed mortal. We won't live forever and yet we all faced it head on with a 'Gung-ho' attitude.

I can imagine for some people going through cancer can be a lonely journey.  Family and friends want to do the best for you, but they are having to deal with their own emotions too.  You don't need to go it alone and if I can be of any help or support to anyone I'm just an email or tweet away.  Please do not hesitate to contact me, I truly mean that :)

I aim to use this blog as a place to try and help others who are interested in healthy living:  healthy eating (be it whether you are going down the no gluten, no meat, no sugar, no diary, no eggs, no processed foods road or not), healthy mind (body and mind go hand in hand) and healthy beauty (natural cosmetics) as well as sprinkle a bit of humor along the way thanks to conversations with a 4 year old and top that off with some stories here and there.

Cheers to the healthy, happy, humorous and helpful life, cancer-free!

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