Marifran Korb


by on Nov.20, 2010, under Random Writings on Relationship

What I came to realize is that CT scans are more precise now and have greater accuracy than back in 1991 when I was misdiagnosed with lung cancer. Yet, that idea of a possible misdiagnosis was a saving grace for me to get through the early days of this cancer journey.

Meanwhile, my pulmonologist now suggested an urologist at UC.  I figured a doctor closer to home would do just as well.

On June 17, I went to the nearby urologist. Looking at the CT scan, Dr. K assured me that I had only one cancerous kidney. I felt relieved. The left kidney had a cyst, not a tumor. He could “keep an eye on it” with future CT scans. The right kidney was cancerous. He was sure. It was stage one. Instead of being totally depressed, I was actually grateful to this doctor that I only had one tumor.

Heading home that June day, the reality of cancer set in. I knew I needed to study up on this. I called our daughter, Ed’s parents, and a few friends.

My father-in-law had inspired me with his restored health.  Almost a year earlier, his stage 3  prostate cancer affected him so much, he looked too frail to continue living.   Standing and walking were challenges.  He had no energy until he took a supplement of fermented wheat germ.

Within three months of taking the supplement he was alive and vibrant for his 88 years. It was that hope that I now would cling to.

Before I could tell Ed’s dad that I planned to take the same fermented wheat germ, he offered to give me his extra months supply.   Gratefully, I started taking it that same day after ordering my supplies over the internet.

In the book Knockout, I read that cancer feeds off sugar.   Immediately, I gave up all desserts and snacks with sugar.  Cold turkey.  It was not easy. Quickly, I discovered how addicted I was to sugar.

Dr. K had said that he thought I had a transitional cell carcinoma.   To determine exactly what type of cancer it was, he informed me he had to perform a procedure called a cystoscope.

After that procedure, I spoke with Dr. K. He said it was not a transitional cell carcinoma, but a renal cell carcinoma. That distinction made no difference as far as his assertion that the cancer had to come out immediately.

The surgery could not be done with robotics, since it was very close to the blood supply. I would have a scar on my back and the surgery would take two to three hours. It would involve weeks of recovery. On the internet, the people who had undergone kidney surgery said they were in pain for months afterwards.

Dr. K admitted that he could not be sure to save any of that right kidney. Still, he insisted that there was a good chance he could cut out only the tumor, doing a partial nephrectomy, and leave the rest intact.

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4 Comments for this entry

  • Karen Wythe

    The journey with major illness is arduous. I really honor you way of working through your diagnosis. You way of embracing rather than fighting the news empowers you.
    It is so important in the journey to find the Truth we do what we can to support our bodies. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • Rosemary Molloy

    As your first chapter was, this is enthralling, Marifran. I read it with close attention and will link it on my page, too. Thank you for sharing this. Incidentally, I’m going to read the rest on your “relationship” saga shortly. The “sleeping on the lawn” one seems both amusing–in a distorted kind of way–and horrible. Love you, cuz.

  • marifran

    Thank you, Rosemary, for your comment and your link. About the other relationships, namely Mother, I do have to see the humor.

  • marifran

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you. You bring up a great point, that we each need to find what works for us. Also, we each respond differently, even if we have the same treatments or the same supplements. It is a good thing that we have choice. It keeps us aware of our responsibility. That way, when we do what we think is the best , we are part of the process.
    Love and hugs,

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