My Cancer Diagnosis
Final pathology reveals metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (or "MRCC") (clear cell variant) of the left kidney with metastases to the lungs and brain. The cancer appears to have been growing (without symptoms) for quite some time, possibly even as far back as late 2013.
The interval growth rate of the cancer is highly aggressive at around 12% growth every 2-3 weeks, which was measured in late October 2015 before starting TKI therapy. For example, in just two short weeks between October 30, 2015 and November 12, 2015, a 2mm sized lesion appeared suddenly in the brain. During that same time period two 4mm lesions in the lungs grew to about 1.7cm in size.
Throughout the treatment timelines below, there have and will be ongoing regular lab work to monitor and control hypercalcemia, nausea and loss of appetite with weight loss, among other symptoms created by the cancer. These follow up treatments and results will not be detailed unless proven critical to the timeline of events.
Medical Treatment Timeline
October 1, 2015
— Initial diagnosis of late Stage IV MRCC with metastases to the lungs and brain; with weight loss of 31 lbs. since August 28, 2015; low weight of 187 lbs. on October 2, 2015; average weight in years prior was between 228-232 lbs.
October 2, 2015
— My initial emergency hospitalization and treatments to stabilize me and stop the shutting down of systems throughout my body
October 5, 2015
— CT Scans and MRIs; Biopsy taken of the left kidney tumor - confirmed MRCC
October 6, 2015
— Emergency craniotomy to resect the 3.5cm lesion in my brain
October 7, 2015
— Follow up MRIs from the craniotomy procedure
October 9, 2015 through October 29, 2015
— Recovery from craniotomy procedure and close monitoring of various symptoms from the cancer; exploring treatment options
October 30, 2015
— Gamma Knife Procedure on 2 remaining 4mm lesions in my brain
November 12, 2015
— Follow up CT scans of Bones, Abdomen, Pelvis and MRIs of my brain; Start 1st cycle of TKI Therapy
December 1, 2015
— Start 2nd cycle of TKI Therapy
December 22, 2015
— Start 3rd cycle of TKI Therapy
January 8, 2016
— Perform genetic testing to see what is going on and why I have this type of cancer 20 years before what is considered the average age (60-65+). Results from the testing take a long time.
January 11, 2016
— Follow up MRIs of my brain from Gamma Knife Procedure
January 12, 2016
— Follow up CT Scans of Bones, Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis; Follow up appointment with TKI Therapy doctor on progress and initial results of treatments since November 12, 2015; Start 4th cycle of TKI Therapy
January 19, 2016
— Infusion of newly FDA-approved immunotherapy drug
January 22, 2016
— Follow up with neurosurgeon regarding the state of my brain from Gamma Knife Radiation; Progress update on the 2mm lesion discovered in early November 2015; Update on any new lesions found or any existing lesions that have progressed and their growth rates
January 28, 2016
— Follow up with kidney cancer specialist regarding the new immunotherapy treatment and mitigating the high risk side effects being experienced as a result of the highly aggressive and spreading cancer throughout the left kidney, lungs and brain. In addition, there are other hard nodules popping up throughout the body, with some being as large as an acorn in just 2-3 weeks' time.
January 28, 2016 (3 yr anniversary of my mom's death while in hospice)
— I was placed on Home Hospice care with a short few weeks' life span remaining.
Alternative Treatment Timeline
October 9, 2015 through November 11, 2015
— In recovery from craniotomy; Focus on gaining weight and eating for strength; Initial investigation into alternative immune support, therapies and treatments
November 6, 2015 through December 10, 2015
— Trial & error on discovering a viable diet and nutritional plan; Focus on not losing any more weight and how to gain weight; Start integrating more exercise and light resistance lifting; Dialing in proper combinations of supplements for immune support
December 12, 2015
— Start taking daily probiotics yogurt (homemade weekly) for helping to regulate and normalize gut-related issues
December 13, 2015
— Start twice daily oral medicine immunotherapy treatment
December 16, 2015
— Start 1st 3 week cycle of injectable medicine immunotherapy treatment; two 0.73ml injections per week
January 8, 2016
— Start 2nd 6 week cycle of injectable medicine immunotherapy treatment; three 1.0ml injections per week
January 30, 2016
— Completing cycles of injectable immunotherapy treatment at 1.0ml injections 4 times a week until depleted