A university student diagnosed with alcoholism was shocked to learn that he had indeed developed incurable cancer.
“It changed my life radically,” Georgia Ford Kennedy, 20, told the News. “I was hospitalized in a few weeks as a cancer patient since I was a full-time student at the university.”
Gloucester (England) has a particularly rare form of papillary kidney cell cancer, which metastasizes to tumors of the kidneys, lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and bones.
Ford first consulted a doctor after suffering from heartburn – a symptom of acid reflux – and then he asked about his drinking habits.
“They say, ‘Do you drink a lot? and I said, “Yes, of course I did,” so they put me on pills to protect my stomach, “said Ford, a law student at the University of Exeter.
When he returned home, he was skeptical of the doctor’s diagnosis – and although he did not drink during his stay, his symptoms persisted.
When the pills didn’t help, her doctors turned her discomfort into another, unrelated illness related to low back pain that had been going on since August 2020. Hospitals then misdiagnosed muscle spasms.
“I left my back pain in a bad posture or in a sleeping position,” Ford said. “I always knelt down and joked.”
Later, Ford realized that was not the case. In October 2021, his back pain worsened again – a sign of “looking back” kidney problems, he said. The scientist lay in agony.
But its “main symptom,” as Ford noted in the Kennedy News, is that such a severe cough can lead to shortness of breath and vomiting.
“I coughed so much and finally got sick,” said the patient. “I started to lose weight because I couldn’t eat well.”
Despite the smell of dangerous symptoms, doctors did not believe that the lawyer’s condition was serious.
“I’ve seen a doctor on this several times,” Ford said. “Every time we tried something new, but it didn’t work. I went back and tried something else.”
He added: “They basically said it was all in my mind and I wasn’t sick at all. I said, “I can’t believe I’m having so many severe symptoms and it’s all in my head.”
Eventually, Ford reported to the emergency department that his cough was so severe that he tried to walk long distances or climb stairs. He even started coughing up blood. When forensic experts found “cloudy spots” in his lungs, doctors assured Ford that “there is nothing life-threatening.”
However, his condition deteriorated rapidly, and he lost more than 20 pounds[20 kg]so he was referred to a respiratory specialist for three months.
With nowhere else to turn, Ford made an appointment with a private practitioner in November 2021, who eventually identified him with the PRCC.
This year, about 79,000 new cases of kidney (kidney) cancer will be diagnosed in the United States alone. PRCC, commonly found in people 55 and older, affects 15% of kidney cancer patients and causes symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, fever and bloody urine, according to the National Institutes of Health.
When Ford was diagnosed with cancer, it spread throughout his body and caused many other symptoms, such as his mysterious cough.
His condition was, as he knew, “incurable.”
“There have been very few moments in my life when I’ve been silent … the words have completely rejected me,” Ford said of the time he learned of the diagnosis. “It’s like the greatest sorrow.”
To control the cancer, the patient began immunotherapy, including daily pills and intravenous (IV) treatment. He also takes portable oxygen tanks when he goes out and uses an oxygen tube at night to breathe.
According to Ford, his goal is to “live a normal life” and feel better to complete his law school in September. He also launched a fundraising campaign for GoFundMe in favor of two charitable foundations dedicated to fighting the PRCC.
Despite his positive outlook, Ford says he can’t help but wonder if his prognosis would be different if doctors contracted the disease earlier.
“I don’t know how sick I was at the time. If he had been arrested a little earlier, my story would have been a little different,” he said. “It’s one of the questions I never knew, but I’m always surprised.”
Ford now hopes to use his test as a warning of the dangers of not listening to the human body.
“If you think something is wrong, you have to push and push,” he said.