Patient Story: Michelle Murphy

Michelle MurphyMichelle Murphy of Farmington Hills has resumed the active, quality lifestyle she enjoys after being treated for kidney cancer surgery and a blood-clotting disorder at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. Common symptoms include blood in the urine, low back pain, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Murphy was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 after a CT scan found tumors on each of her kidneys. A CT scan also turned up excessive blood clots in both lungs. Before she could have cancer surgery, though, she first had to be treated for the blood-clotting disorder for a year. “I had this subtle pain, discomfort in my low back area and shortness of breath. I couldn’t breathe,” she says.

Dr. Rogers, director of Renal Surgery at Henry Ford, performed Murphy’s surgery using a minimally invasive robotic-assisted procedure that enabled him to remove the tumors from the kidneys during separate operations in the fall 2014 and preserve both kidneys and their function. It also prevented Murphy from going on dialysis.

“Now I’m able to walk up the stairs without running out of breath,” Murphy says, adding that she’s exercising daily and back to her daily routine with no ill-effects. She also says the experience taught her to pay closer attention to her body.

“I kept ignoring the signs and not paying attention,” she says. “Be cognizant of your well-being and if anything that lasts longer than a few weeks, follow your instincts and see your doctor.”

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