Kidney Cancer

Rodney’s Story – Kidney Cancer

I am Rodney, 73 years young.

30 years ago I was told I had kidney cancer and would have to have my left kidney removed.  After the operation I made sure I drank plenty of water and had no problems for some time.

21 years later a lump appeared on my abdomen and following several scans and an operation six months later to remove it was told just before Christmas that my kidney cancer was back and I would need to have a full body scan.  This showed growths on my pancreas and right lung.  Whilst having a biopsy on my pancreas one of my vocal cords was damaged which resulted in an emergency operation.  Once over that I then had an operation at Addenbrooks to remove part of my pancreas and also my spleen.  Five months later I had a further operation in Norwich to remove part of my right lung – only set back was that I got pneumonia and had to have a further op and was in hospital for 16 days instead of the predicted 4 to 5 days!  My six monthly scans were all clear until just before Christmas 2020 when the cancer returned, this time on my liver.  Was not able to be operated on so have been on various targeted treatments since that time and the cancer is presently being kept under control.

I do not know why I am such a positive person but could just be my attitude to and love of life.  My wife, Helen is everything to me.  Then comes cars, music, DIY, gardening and cycling.  I always love to be doing something and I find that it really helps to take my mind off my cancer and the pain and side effects of the treatment.  Some mornings I could easily stay in bed but once I am up and doing things I feel so much better (I do have to have a rest and a sleep occasionally in the day when my body is telling me I need to!!).  40 years ago we built our bungalow with the help of my brother-in-law, Len and my nephew Martin and I would like to be here as long as possible to enjoy it all.

At the start of this year my nephew’s wife, Jane, mentioned Star Throwers saying how beneficial it could be for both my wife and I.  I wasn’t too sure about it to start off with but then thought it would be good for my wife to have some additional support.  Little did I realise what a lovely, warm and welcoming place it is with such friendly staff and volunteers.  I am normally a person who doesn’t want to talk about my cancer but I have found it so good to talk to someone who has time to listen and understands what I am going through and who can give helpful advice.  My oncology nurses are brilliant but they are so, so busy and cannot give that sort of time to their patients.  There is also the added bonus of being able to have complementary therapies which are lovely and so relaxing – I always feel I am walking on air after one of those.

As my wife always says, when you walk in to Star Throwers you feel like arms are being wrapped around you!  Thanks again to Jane for recommending them.