Christian Nickel

First post: Jul 21, 2020
Hey Fam (friends, you're fam too),

So, straight to the point... they're about 95% certain its Kidney Cancer, also known as Renal Cell Carcinoma.

This all started in November, I had some back pain and sought chiropractic treatment. After 1 session, which solved the back pain, I started getting some pain in my upper right-hip area. This was dull at first, kinda like I pulled a muscle, but it never really got better. I was going to the gym, working with a trainer, and the pain was manageable.  Fast forward a bit, COVID hit and the gym shut down. I kept mountain biking through this as the pain never really stopped me from doing that, but in May I started getting more back pain, which flared up really hard in June when I took our baby to OBX. Beyond that, Kathy (my wife) decided not to go to OBX due to COVID but I decided to go with the baby since we were going to see close family and everyone promised to be safe.  While we love seeing family and spending time with those we don't get to see much, I now know this was a mistake, double so since my back was in tatters and I could barely lift the baby. 

After we got back from OBX I decided at that point to see an orthopedic surgeon and get it checked out, the initial X-ray showed something odd on the right-side of my pelvic bone so they ordered an MRI and had to review that with a different orthopedic surgeon. I then learned that it was a lesion that appeared to be cancerous, that Ortho ordered a bone biopsy.  Luckily the hospital did the bone biopsy the same day, that weekend SUCKED!  I didn't realize the biopsy would end up being so painful, couldn't walk normally for about a week and Saturday/Sunday was nothing bug pain, oh well, got through it.  Followed up with Ortho the next Tuesday, Kathy and I went together,  we were told that it was metastatic carcinoma (cancer that originated from somewhere else)... we didn't sleep that night, we were scared, very scared.

So, the ortho setup more MRIs for my chest, abdomen, and pelvic area and then referred me to an Oncologist at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute over at Lancaster General Health. It was great to have such an advanced care facility within a 20 minute drive of home.  I did the MRIs just a couple of days after the last meeting with Ortho, and then met with Oncology the following Monday morning with Kathy. Our Oncologist was great, she calmly walked us through all the results she saw from MRI and the Pathology, letting us know that the Pathology suggested that it may be Kidney cancer and the MRI had found another spot on my spine and confirmed there was indeed something up with the kidney. As we were hearing this, I passed out.. only for a second but I woke up and saw all the staff and my wife surrounding me.  Luckily the Oncologist was able to quickly recommend treatment plans and setup new tests but she referred me to Urology at U of Penn. in Philadelphia to get a treatment plan for the kidney, as it may require surgery, removal, or maybe immunotherapy.  As of now, that's where we stand. I'll update the journal as I know more.

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