Saturday, July 4, 2009


If you're here, then you know there's a diagnosis. Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma with mets to inferior vena cava and lungs. Simple, ehe? JUST what you want to hear when your cell phone rings.

The Rotten Kidney will be my perspective only. So, if you're looking for just info, just the facts... you'll get it sprinkled in here. Mom and other siblings will contribute too.... if they wish. I'm the middle child. I'm the consolidater, the informer, the solver, the maker of peace betwixt these crazy-ass Byrds. It's a title I honor and revere.

A snippet from

I may be more introspective than others, but I always feel like I have one eyeball looking back at myself.... watching how I react, how I absorb, etc...segue to grown up moments. These are those moments when you take a big gulp and know you're a grown-up, or atleast you have to act like one.

There are little grown up moments, like when your mortgage comes for the first time, or when you get your tax bill...

Then there are big grown up moments, like when a doctor pulls a baby from your very own hey thats mine what are you doing in there body, better act like a big girl moment.

A couple more rungs up the ladder is when your dad calls you to tell you that he has Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma. BOOM BOOM POW! Let it hit 'ya, then take a gulp and feel like a grown up moment. So that's where we are. Feelin' all grown up. We're talking about surgeries and vena cavas and brain scans. All. grown. up.
So, I refer you to my new blog...
This will be a place to get information, and unfortunatly field my perspective on this whole thing. Mom's probably going to get sick of re-vomiting the same news over and over... I'm not saying not to call her, and HIM... by God call him! He probably won't answer 'cause he can't hear you when the TBird top is down... I'm just saying this will be a good place to get some info. It'll probably hold a Pg-13 to R rating at very least, as, if I have to act like a grown up, then I get to talk like one too.

So what I know is that the tumor started in his kidney. It grew on up to 8 x 7 x 6cm then burst forth from his kidney into the inferior vena cava (that's the big vein returning blood to your heart)... only symptom was swelling in one side of his nether-regions (don't you hate when you have to talk about your dad's balls?!) Sorry Dad, I regressed.... Come to find out, that was the result of the blockage in the vena cava. GOOD TO KNOW?! He presented without any other signs or symptoms (i'm in the medical field, so that's medical speak for - "ain't nothin' else wrong that we could see with our nekkid eyes" )so referrals weren't made immediately. BUT, once the mass, the block, the whole shabang was found, docs have been right on top of it.. Also note; however, 4pm before a holiday weekend is a less than desireable time to get a diagnosis. So when you're going in for your cancer diagnosis, plan better.

He gets a brain scan on Monday (if they can get past all that hair), then appointments will be made for a simple nephrectomy. I say simple, not because I think I could do it (I AM a smart cat), but because they will remove just the kidney, not the surrounding glands and lymph nodes(radical nephrectomy). I could be mis-informed on that. At that time a vascular surgeon will remove (WILL remove, did you hear me Dr. Vascular?) the tumor in his vena cava. This will resolve his man-symptoms, and will also afford him 4-6 weeks up in the bed. We all know Dad will not tolerate bed-rest well, as he's ready to just get on back to makin' some tile, but... we'll take a brief time out to let his uni-kidney self adapt to all the diet coke its going to need to filter.

The remaining course of treatment for lung nodules(they haven't done antying to those or graded them or biopsied or any of that stuff because it didn't affect the Rotten Kidney itself, or its course of treatment) will be decided on after the surgery.

We are thankful for oncology nerds. We are thankful for time. We are thankful that mom and dad actually have friends. I never knew that was possible 15 years ago, as I thought they were SO WEIRD. They still have their moments, but I'd like to keep them around, them... they go together... I'd say that mom is the carrot and dad is the peas. Mom is orange on the outside with her green leaf hanging out on top. She's crunchy, and has nothing hiding on the inside that you can't see on the outside. Dad's milder, with a pod, with peas on the inside. Gotta peel 'im to get them out. No offense mom, but you are the carrot. That's not a bad thing, but you're just the carrot. :)

I'll keep everyone updated, and I'll try to keep a clean mouth.


Anna said...

How I love this family. EACH one of you.
I am praying.

Sam said...

Thanks sis, as you said your the consolidator but well try to help out.

Bleil Family said...

He does have a good head of hair, doesn't he?

The Rooms Clan is praying, but wishing we weren't so far away. Why is this always the case?

Debbie Byrd said...


Debbie Byrd said...

The carrot says that we have to embrace each day. If we discard this day that we have, we waste it. We are thankful for all the friends and family who are with us, holding us up, giving us medical insight, sharing your own survival stories. We don't know what our path will be yet, but we know we make a really great vegetable bowl.

carole said...

I think it's better to be a great bowl of vegetables, than a bunch of FRUITS..LOL
Thinking about you guys lots.