Tami Falls

In October 2020, I found out that I had Cushing’s Disease from an adenoma on my right adrenal gland. In January 2021, Dr Su performed a right adrenalectomy.

I became so ill from adrenal insufficiency and trying to get weaned off of my steroids that I made 3 trips to different ERs. No one could figure out what was going on. My husband, a nursing student at the time, started researching and found out that it was because of the steroid taper.

But…one the CT scans done in one of the ERs, showed a spot on my left kidney. When Dr Su called me to tell me that the adenoma was benign, I informed him of the CT results and he began looking into it. He even had the radiologist look at my scan. When I returned for my post-op appointment, DR Su told me it was a solid mass in my kidney. Even though I’m a nurse, I needed to really know what he was telling me. He then told me that meant there was a 70-80 % chance that it was cancer. I broke down in tears immediately. I was only 38 years old with 2 young girls that still needed their mom. In April 2021, I had an MRI of the kidney and it read that it looked like clear, cell renal carcinoma. In May 2021, Dr Su was able to do a partial nephrectomy, and I still have 80% of my kidney. One of the residents actually told me that he had never seen a kidney opened up like that before. When I woke up, the first thing I asked was if I still had a kidney. I was elated to find out that I did. It was clear, cell renal carcinoma, and I was discharged after just 1 day in the hospital. 2 short days later, I started having shortness of breath. I thought to myself that I might have a PE. My husband took me to the ER for further evaluation. I didn’t realize just how sick I was until my husband later told me that my lips were turning blue. The ER discovered that I was in congestive heart failure which is very common after kidney surgery. I spent another 4 days in the hospital until an Echo could be done of my heart. Thank goodness, Echo was just fine and CHF resolved quickly. But…in June 2021, something rare happened again, I started having terrible kidney pain and blood clots in my urine. I went to the ER once again, it was extremely busy, they didn’t consider my condition very serious and had me sitting out in the waiting area for some time. It came to the point that I couldn’t stand the pain any longer and left before being seen. A few miles down the road, one of Dr Su’s associates saw in my chart that I was at the ER and he called me. I told him that I just left because I couldn’t stand the pain any longer. He told me that I had to go back and would probably be admitted for treatment of a pseudoaneurysm. I again, burst into tears, I didn’t want to go back to the hospital, but I did. This time, they took me straight to the back and did labs and scans. I was admitted for an angiogram the next day. Promptly at 9am I was taken for the angiogram. I did, in fact, have a pseudoaneurysm and had to have 3 coils placed in my kidney. Even after all of this that I have been through, I am thankful that I had Cushing’s so that I would have a CT that showed my cancer. Dr Su saved my life and my kidney. I will forever be grateful!!!