My name is Katy and I am 34 years old. I have a two year old little boy and a loving husband. My kidney cancer journey started in 2016 when I was referred to the hospital with suspected appendicitis following a pain in my side.

At the time I underwent scans and was diagnosed with an angiolipoma which I was told is a benign lump made up of blood vessels on the kidney. I had yearly scans to monitor for growth and carried on with life as if nothing were wrong. When I fell pregnant in 2019 my ‘lump’ grew, to the point I was told I needed a caesarean in case of rupture during childbirth.

Following the successful delivery of my baby boy I was referred for a CT scan in July 2020 to check the exact make up. It was at this time I was told I did not have an angiolipoma, but in fact it was cancer. In that split second of being sat in front of a doctor and specialist nurse, with my sister, my world came to a standstill. The next 3 weeks were an emotional blur.

I was lucky to be in for an open partial nephrectomy the following month. No one can ever prepare you in life for the ‘C’ word. You see programmes, fundraisers and stories on TV and social media and your heart goes out to the people who have are fighting this dreaded disease, but a bit of you never thinks that one day you will also be part of the biggest fight of your life.

The first 3 months of my diagnosis and operation were particularly tough, and I could not have got through it without the support of Rose and the KCSN support group. Chatting to people who know exactly how you are feeling both emotionally and physically, and having that support is exactly what you need to get through.

When it came to the pathology of my cancer, I was told that I have an extremely rare subtype called MiT family translocational renal cell carcinoma. This type of cancer is so rare that it cannot be graded so because of this they cannot tell me the likelihood of it recurring. I will need CT scans every 6 months to check for this. I am now nearly a year on from surgery and my second monitoring scan is looming. Although the nerves are starting to kick in, I know that I have the support and guidance form the amazing KCSN to help me through.

The hardest part for me on this journey is the impact it has on your mental health, and your ability to do simple tasks without letting the negative thoughts take over. I am still only relatively new to this, so I am hoping in time I develop coping strategies. But for now, I will continue to stay as positive as I can, enjoy life with my amazing little family, and carry on the fight that all cancer warriors are part of.

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