Allen was diagnosed with stage IV clear cell renal cell carcinoma six years ago. After his diagnosis, he tried targeted therapy but experienced harsh side effects which eventually led him to having surgery. In June 2012, Allen underwent a nephrectomy on his right kidney. When he found out the cancer metastasized to his lung, he received a lobectomy three and a half years ago. Since his lobectomy, Allen has remained cancer-free. Below, Allen shares his story of survival.
Q: Tell me about your diagnosis. How did you find out you had kidney cancer?
A: I was a diagnosed with clear cell renal cell carcinoma six years ago. A CT revealed a large mass on my right kidney. I was very upset upon hearing the news.
Q: Does it run in your family?
A: It does not run in my family.
Q: What treatments did you undergo?
A: After the cancer metastasized to right upper lung, I had a lobectomy three and a half years ago. In June 2012, I had a nephrectomy on my right kidney.
Q: Did you take any drugs?
A: I was put on a targeted therapy drug. I had sores on the bottom of my feet and in my mouth. Also had very low energy. My doctor and I decided on surgery versus taking the drug. I get annual CT’s now and do not take any medication. I just had laparoscopic surgery this past August to remove my left adrenal gland, as my CT in July showed a small nodule in the gland. The pathology report showed no cancer. I am very thankful for that.
Q: What is your advice for patients going through a similar situation?
A: Keep all your records. I have kept a couple of large three-ring binders with all my info. I have copies of all the CD’s of my CTs and PT scans and my doctor’s notes regarding the scans. I have everything regarding the surgeries and needle biopsies as well. Also, it’s important to get a second opinion. I got a second opinion when my nephrectomy surgeon said all was good. That resulted in a CT which showed it had metastasized to my lung. Had I not pursued this second opinion I would not be here today. I stay active and feel very fortunate. Attitude is everything!