Wellness
Woman initially diagnosed with anxiety eventually finds out she has kidney cancer
Deep down, she always knew something was wrong but the doctors kept brushing her off.
Caryl Jane Espiritu
05.30.22

Whenever people come to doctors to be evaluated, they always hope that the medical professionals they meet with will have a correct diagnosis on their cases. Even though doctors are trained individuals who have spent years in medical school, they are still basically humans who can commit errors every now and then.

There will be occasions when a diagnosis can be faulty, and sometimes the impact can be quite significant. In the case of Katie Coleman, doctors who have seen her diagnosed her with anxiety and gave her medications for that. She knew something was off so she looked for other doctors to get their opinion.

“I just knew it deep down. I had sustained high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate, so I went to eight different doctors, did all kinds of tests and everybody just kept telling me I had anxiety,” she shared in an interview in the TODAY show.

She went to a total of eight doctors in over a year, and finally, in 2020, she received the correct diagnosis.

Katie was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer, a case identified by doctors as exceedingly rare. In fact, Katie is the only case of this disease in America, with the rest of the 10 total cases scattered worldwide.

Facebook - Katie Coleman
Source:
Facebook - Katie Coleman

Instead of being terrified of her diagnosis, the 29-year-old software developer felt relief.

For almost two years, Katie visited various doctors to know exactly what was happening to her. She was initially diagnosed with anxiety. The woman did her best to lose weight so she can be able to fix her issues.

“I’ve had anxiety throughout my life, but this was different and I tried to communicate that, but I kept being put on anti-anxiety medications,” she said.

YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer
Source:
YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer

And when she lost that weight, she felt a mass on her upper right abdomen that instantly alarmed her. She immediately sought a medical opinion and an ER nurse told her to go to the ER. She was told that at 29 years old, she was too young to have cancer.

“It was December 2020, right in the peak of COVID-19, so I was super nervous to go to the ER, but I went,” she recalled.

Katie shared that when the hospital did tests such as an ultrasound and a CT scan, they saw that she had several tumors on her liver and a mass on her kidney that was around five inches in size.

On New Year’s Eve, Katie and her husband received the heartbreaking news.

“When a doctor came in to deliver the news on New Year’s Eve, my husband instantly started crying,” she said. “We had just gotten married in October. We were newlyweds. Nobody expects that kind of diagnosis to come two months after you get married.”

Katie was only 29 years old at the time and she found out that her kidney cancer is a very rare type of disease. Her official diagnosis was that she had metastatic oncocytoma, a rare type of renal cell carcinoma.

YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer
Source:
YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer

The woman was never fond of being showered with much attention, but her case just put her in the spotlight in the medical field. Through a Facebook post see wrote, the woman shared a few details of what she was going through in hopes of sharing her story.

“The type of cancer I have, is ‘exceedingly rare’ (words straight from my path report). I’m the only known living case in the US with under 10 case reports worldwide in history,” she wrote.

Her public post was to let other people, who also experience what she has, feel that they are not alone.

YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer
Source:
YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer

Initially, Katie’s tumors were not advised to be surgically removed, but because of their slow growth within six months of her treatment, the National Cancer Institute decided that she can opt for an operation. In 2021, doctors removed Katie’s right kidney. They also cut out several pieces and did ablations on her liver.

She is currently stable and under surveillance.

“Today, I’m feeling great. I actually feel the best I’ve felt in my entire life, which is really weird to say with stage 4 cancer,” she said.

We are the ones who know our bodies the most, and Katie knew deep down inside that something was wrong with her body. Her story is one-of-a-kind and the courage she has shown is absolutely inspiring.

YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer
Source:
YouTube - Katie Kicks Cancer

Learn more about Katie’s journey by watching the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Caryl Jane Espiritu
hi@sbly.com
Caryl Jane Espiritu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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