Two years ago today, I got the worst news of my life.
In short, a specialist told me that I had kidney cancer, but that it hadn't breached Gerota's fascia or invaded my lymph nodes yet. My mind reeling, I asked him for a brochure or pamphlet on my condition. He told me that I struck him as pretty intelligent and then offered me a urology textbook to read for more information on renal cell carcinoma. Welcome to my HMO.
I was lucky. My diagnosis was T1N0M0, which means that I was stage 1: My tumor was about 2.3 cm by 4 cm, with no metastasis and no lymph node involvement. I was also informed that the 5-year survival rate for people with clear cell carcinoma and my staging ranges from 60-98%.
Anyhow, as I said to Harry last night, I've changed my life in so many ways since then. My life today is completely different than it was on July 29, 2003. And no amount of money would be enough to go back to the way things were then.
CT scan and cell cytology images via emedicine.com and pathguy.com