Thursday, October 18, 2007

I don't have kidney cancer

Our trip to Hershey Medical Center on Sunday was well worth the time and effort it took.  Stop-and-go traffic brought us to Hope Lodge later than anyone expected, but Krissy and I were up early Monday morning and arrived at the Cancer Institute shortly after 8:00 AM.  One of the advantages of getting there early was the short wait before the phlebotomist drew four or five tubes of my blood for testing.  Since my appointment wasn't until 11:20, we grabbed a quick breakfast in the cafeteria, then met with the Post Bone Marrow Transplant Coordinator to get some paperwork out of the way.  We were back at the Cancer Institute about 9:30 with nearly a two hour wait ahead of us.  Finally a nurse led us to an exam room where she took my vital signs and updated my medication list.  Everything looked good.
My oncologist walked into the room a short time later and greeted us warmly.  He really seems to like me; I'm not sure why.  He's told me that I'm one of the most treatment-compliant patients he has.  Maybe that's the reason.
Checkups follow a routine that's very familiar to me after all this time.  Dr. C. listens to my heart and lungs, and checks my lymph nodes for signs of enlargement.  He shines a light around inside my mouth to see if I have any painful mouth sores that bone marrow transplant patients are prone to.  I've never had any, but he checks every time just the same.  He has me lie on my back while he taps on my abdomen in various places.  I don't know what he's checking for, but as far as I know he hasn't found anything yet.  He asks me if I've had any symptoms of Graft vs. Host Disease.  GVHD is a kind of transplant rejection in reverse, where your donor's cells see your cells as intruders and attack them.  He asks me if my mouth has been dry, and so on.  I won't go into all the details.
The last thing Dr. C. did on Monday was check my lab results.  Everything looked reasonably good except that my immunities were too low again.  Now I'll have to be careful.  People with low immunities have died because their bodies couldn't fight off an infection.  But it could be worse.  There have been times when I've had almost no immune system and I've survived.  The annoying precautions will be the worst part.  I'll have to wear a surgical mask everywhere I go outside of our apartment.  People will stare at me and some will look anxious.  I'll have to wash my hands so often that the skin will get dry and irritated.  Large groups of people and anyone who is sick will have to be avoided.  I've been through this so many times that it's now tedious instead of frightening.
Dr. C. is confident that I will get over this immunity problem.  He decides to lower the dosage of my anti-rejection medication.  This should make my immune system stronger.  I hope so.  We'll have to wait and see. 
Earlier I wrote that our trip to Hershey was well worth the effort.  Here is the reason why.  My local nephrologist (kidney specialist) told me that an ultrasound showed a cyst or mass in my kidney.  I was worried because a mass is often cancerous.  When I was at my checkup in Hershey on Monday I asked Dr. C. if the mass could be cancer.  He told me that the ultrasound showed no mass in my kidney and, furthermore, two other tests ruled out the possibility of kidney cancer.  He told me, "You don't have kidney cancer.  Go home and enjoy life."  Krissy and I were thrilled.
I can't tell you how relieved we are that I don't have to deal with a third cancer.  The first two were more than enough.  This was my second cancer near miss in the past year.  Krissy and I are very grateful to all of you who prayed for and supported us during the past two years of our cancer ordeal.  We believe you played a large part in the positive outcome of my treatment.  Thank you all!  


  1. Thank the good Lord for His many blessings!  You are blessed for sure!  So glad to hear your good news!  'On Ya' - ma

  2. Rock on John!!!! Congratulations on the good news. Now, you and Krissy need to enjoy life as much as you can. You don't need money and you don't need to go far to enjoy life. Just look in to each other's eyes and you'll know what I mean.



  3. Congratulations on the good news.
    make it a great day!


  4. That is wonderful news John. I also wanted to point out that you write so well...
    Take Care,
    Gem :-)

  5. That is FANTASTIC news!!!!  Hope you and Krissy do some well deserved celebrating!!!


  6. wonderful news. I am so happy for you. power of prayer, i believe in it totally. ((((((hugs)))))

  7. You heard the man John, go and enjoy yourself. Git I say! Go play! Great news! Tammy

  8. Praise the good Lord!!! Prayers are answered, aren't they John? :)

  9. good news!!!! stay well!

  10. God is good!  Such good news.  John I see alot of people wearing masks.  Don't worry about that.  The important thing is that you are able to stay well. Like right now..I sit here with a fresh new cold and I'm thinking should I comment in John's journal and expose him?  Then I think..he can't get my cold from a comment..thankfully cold germs can't travel thru the internet.  Hugs to you & Krissy.  Linda in stormy Washington state  

  11. I'm glad things went well!! Stay well.

  12. Thats good you dont have kidney cancer!!

  13. I thought I heard Krissy mumble something about kidney stones on my answering machine.  Was that my imagination or was she having narcolepsy?  LOL  Do you have possible kidney stones?  I am so happy you don't have kidney cancer, John!!  WOW, Amen!!  What wonderful news!!  I didn't get an alert for this, so it looks like AOL is mis-behaving.  You will notice that it will do this alot.  That is why I send alerts out to certain people that I know always read my journal (like you and Krissy).  Give Krissy a hug for me and pet Michael!  Love you!!! xoxoxox

  14. I'm so glad your cancer free!

  15. Such good news John, I doing the happy dance for you.        Dawn

  16. John wonderful news on the kidney mass not being cancerous...your Doctors suggestion of go home and enjoy life seems perfect, so enjoy. Couldn't be happier for you and Krissy.  Bless you. Arlene (AJ)

  17. Oh yay for good news!!!  Awesome John!  Enjoy life!!!

    be well,

  18. So happy for you and Krissy.........
    Now do as thr good doctor said,  ENJOY.............
    Thank You Lord..........

    love eileen

  19. That is awesome news!
    I am so happy for you!


  20.     I hope that all your cancer scares are misses. Hopefully they'll be further apart than near misses though.

  21. Wow....what awesome news!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you both. Prayer does work and I believe in my heart that it has worked for you...God Bless....June:)

  22. Hurrah for you, John!! What a strong man you are. I'm so glad you and your wife got some good news. You fighting cancer twice, has certainly, gave me hope. God walks with us. We are never alone. That is such a comfort.

    " Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified;
    do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God
    will be with you wherever you go"
    (Joshua 1:9)

    With our faith, we can fight anything. It only takes believing. God bless you and may God continue to dwell within you.  Barbara

  23. how wonderful John! Im glad for you both... I recall sitting outside the hospital when I was getting my cancer treatment and talking to god.. it was morning and here in florida its pretty outside. I looked across the parking lot to some palm trees... the wind blowing and the sun beginning to come into view... as it was super early and I was going to have to have surgery for my internal radiation. Cervical cancer... anyway I saw some hope... and as I looked across the lot I said to myself and god... ok if Im given this chance and I get to make it, which was likely but you are always scared with cancer I think then I am not going to be scared of anything, Im going to take the opertunity to really live. I will be thankful for the opertunity... so your words struck me this morning. Im going to march out into the sun shorty and go take a walk to get a nice manicure and pedicure lol and smile and be happy remembering each moment is a gift and opertunity. Congrats John!

  24. Of course your doctor likes you, lol, you and Krissy are the best... Wonderful news from your doctor visit!!!
    Have a Blessed Sunday!!!
    Linda :)

  25. Overjoyed for you John about the great news!!!  Hang in there with that tedious stuff, one day soon it won't be necessary.  -  Barbara

  26. Sure was glad to learn you do not have kidney cancer.  I love your spunk!  I believe that you are warmly thought about by many online people because Krissy kept us so informed.  I also think she is an angel.  I never cease to be amazed at your will to live.  You are a very interesting person in our world.  Even if you have to wear a mask sometimes. (That's supposed to be funny.)  Thanks for sharing! Merry