Kidney Gone and Cancer Free

Diagnosed with kidney cancer, Don Bosson found both comfort and success at Urology Associates.


Don Bosson’s urine was darker than normal one day after he finished his morning coffee. A little concerned, Don figured he was just a bit dehydrated. Physically, he felt fine and went out for a round of golf, making sure to drink more water throughout the day.  When he returned, his urine was still brown – even darker.

“I knew something had to be wrong,” says Don. “I didn’t want to overreact, but I booked an appointment with my internist that week.”

Don’s internist sent him to Urology Associates where within a week he saw Dr. James Fagelson. Dr. Fagelson ordered an MRI, sent Don home and told him he would call him when he had news. Three days later, Dr. Fagelson called with some less than promising words, “We have a problem, how about you come in and we can talk about it.”

The diagnosis of kidney cancer

Don had kidney cancer and was shocked with the reality of his diagnosis. But he and Dr. Fagelson struck a bond immediately. Not only was Dr. Fagelson’s office wall plastered with specialty degrees from impressive institutions, but it also included dozens of photos of his family, children and grandchildren. Don, who was thinking about his family, children and grandchildren, says he somehow felt at ease during the entire appointment.

Dr. Fagelson showed him the MRI results and exactly where the cancer was. “He couldn’t have explained anything better or been nicer about the whole situation. I related to him immediately and I knew I was in good hands after that day,” says Don.

Many people are born or live with only one kidney instead of two. The kidneys are two small organs that sit below the rib cage and work to filter blood and produce urine – essentially cleansing the urine system. The human body can support all cleansing functions with only 75 percent of one functioning kidney. It’s possible to live with just one kidney and many people do, leading normal, active lives.

Just over 61,000 Americans (mostly over the age of 65) are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year. Twice as many males get kidney cancer as do women. Kidney cancer is normally found before it spreads to other organs, however the tumor masses tend to grow pretty large before they are physically noticed.

Kidney cancer typically can be diagnosed without a biopsy, so there was no need for an invasive surgical biopsy of Don’s kidney tissue. Don left Dr. Fagelson’s office with all his apprehension banished.

“He was probably the most reassuring guy I had ever met or spoken to,” says Don.

From cancer to cured in two weeks

Don had surgery to remove his right kidney in the summer of 2015. The surgery, performed at Sky Ridge, was on a Tuesday and he returned home that Saturday. Don says when he woke up from his surgery, he felt as though he had just been beaten up from the surgery, but it only took a short time to recover.

Dr. Fagelson visited Don in the hospital following the surgery to deliver some good news. The pathology from his removed kidney came back and he was able to determine that every last cancer cell had been removed and Don would not need to undergo chemotherapy. Only two weeks following his diagnosis, Don was cancer free.

“Obviously, this was just about the best news I could have received,” says Don. “That speaks to the thoroughness of Dr. Fagelson and the entire team and staff at Urology Associates.”

Don feels completely fine now and has resumed all of his activities. He regularly plays golf, he’s lost weight and is living a healthier life overall than before his diagnosis.

“I couldn’t be happier with my treatment, with my surgeon and with Urology Associates,” says Don. “Getting a successful outcome has everything to do with your surgeon. I would recommend Dr. Fagelson to anybody on the planet. I can’t sing his praises enough.”

Don says that he plans on spending the rest of his retirement playing as much golf as possible and avoiding any more surgeries.