Marcia Rachel

First post: Dec 31, 2019 Latest post: Apr 22, 2020
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My cancer story began with suspected kidney stones in April 2019 that turned into “probably renal cell carcinoma” by the end of May. I had a left nephrectomy and lymph node resection on May 31 and the final pathology report showed non-clear cell sarcomatoid RCC—a very rare and aggressive kidney cancer. I was advised to go to MD Anderson for follow up due to the rarity of this type cancer and we went the first week of July. Scans, pathology, labs, and imaging confirmed the type cancer and placed me at stage 3. At that stage, there is currently no treatment—just rescan every three months to monitor progression.
We returned in October for scans and it had progressed to stage 4, with several enlarged nodules in my lung. An immunotherapy combo treatment was approved for this type cancer in spring 2018, so I was able to begin infusions the following week.
We returned the first week of November for a biopsy of the lung and learned that the nodules had already responded to the first infusion. They had shrunk so much that they were too small to biopsy!
I had my second infusion that week and then was able to schedule the remaining two in Jackson.
The plan is to rescan after that and move to a single infusion every four weeks, with quarterly rescans.
My journey has been filled with miracles along the way and I am thankful for supportive family and friends, along with smart and talented medical teams.

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