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Runners with only one kidney

alli_45242
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi everyone. I am new to this site. Just diagnosed on June 22nd with kidney cancer (right kidney). I had radical nephrectomy on July 2nd and am recovering slowly. I have been an avid runner, which is how I found out about the cancer. I ran a race in hot Tennessee on June 20th and got severely dehydrated and ended up in hospital where they ordered a CT scan which showed the tumor. Thank God for that hot race! My tumor was about 6.5 cm and contained to the kidney, stage 1. So, I think prognosis is good. I am healing slowly, lost weight before surgery and some after so now am a little underweight. Are there any other runners out there that have had to have a kidney removed? If so, did you start running again and how long after surgery? I just want to know that I will be able to do something that I love again. Thanks and God Bless!

jane99
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2009

I would ask your doctor, but I had my right kidney removed
on 6/22 and my doctor said I could jog at 5 weeks. I am four weeks
past my surgery now and still aching, so I think that may have
been an optimistic prediction in my case. Everyone is different
though.

Jane

alli_45242
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. How are you feeling? How is your pain level? I still have pain, but my stomach has been bothering me more than the pain. Could just be my nerves. It just seems like slow going as I fatigue easy after even a short walk. How much activity are you doing daily?

WilSchretz
Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2009

Hello,

Today is two weeks since my left kidney naphrectomy and I have been able to do 1/2 mile walks but no running. I walked about 1.5 weeks after surgery but got very tired afterward and slept for an hour and half when I got home. Today I feel like 75% of my old self and my energy levels are coming back to normal each day. Some people take up to a year to feel "normal" again and others recover faster. I feel like I am doing very well considering surgery was two weeks ago! I am 41 and was in good shape before the surgery. I have lost about 10 pounds since the surgery but i can afford to lose some. My appetite is back and I am trying to eat healthy as possible (no junk food, sugar or salty foods) I will probably return to work next week and return to the golf course in a couple months. As far as running I would take it slow. You have to heal up and allow your insides to settle into their new locations as well as your remaining kidney and adrenal gland must adapt and adjust to doing double the work.
I was told that your colon and internal organs fill the space left behind by your kidney removal and it takes time for fat to accumulate around them to lock them in place so take it easy with the running.

I have my followup appt with my Urologist tommorow and will ask for a possible timeline to return to normal activity. I do plan on playing golf with my doc sometime in Sept. I guess you need to set some goals (small steps) and then try to meet them. You also need to heal and not mess things up and take a step backwards in your recovery. Have Patience it will come.

Take your time and you'll be back running again.

Will

alli_45242
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks so much for the info. It is wonderful how well you are doing. I hope your followup goes well. I am now almost 4 weeks out and still not walking as far as you, but am getting there. I went into surgery underweight, and of course lost more weight from surgery, but am getting my appetite back as well. I still have not gone back to work and will probably wait until mid-August. I fatigue pretty easily. Maybe I am not doing enough? My back aches, but again I think that is from inactivity as I usually workout/run about 4 - 5 days a week and am not used to being a couch potato. Thanks again for the info and take care!!

jane99
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello,

I am now five weeks past surgery and this week I can really feel a positive change
in my pain and energy levels. I really haven't jogged yet, but I have
been walking more and using the steps at work instead of the elevator.
Not huge accomplishments, but I have found out that if I overdo it, I pay for it
later with pain and fatigue. Hope everyone is doing well.

Jane

jhsu's picture
jhsu
Posts: 78
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi,

16 months ago I was diagnosed RCC, clear cell type, T2N0M1. The whole left kidney was removed plus a piece of left lung got wedged out. The size of the major tumor was 9cm and the one met to the lung was 1.2cm. A radical nephrectomy was done in May 2008 followed by a 2nd surgery to remove the lung nodule immediately after biopsy was done one month later.

I have been a runner for about 8 years and want to keep it going as long as I can. I ran my 2nd half-marathon in November the same year, 2008. Also, I finished my first and 2nd marathon in March and April this year, 2009. And, another one is scheduled in coming 2 weeks.

Well, I think everybody is somehow different, you need to find your own pace and the way of adjustment. There's always tomorrow to try it again if your body complains today.

Now a days, I run about 60km on weekly basis. I learned to listen to what the body has to say to me. Often time, I let the body take the lead, to go as long as the legs can take me to. It is so wonderful that when one feels the mind and the body be able to work together during the course, I call that a running meditation. Enjoy your running.

Jon

alli_45242
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for your reply, that is encouraging to hear. When I first posted, it was right after my surgery on 7/2/09 and I thought everything was fine. Then I met with oncologist and found out that it was stage 3a, not stage 1 as I thought it was. Now after several medical tests, I have decided to take part in a clinical trial (sutent vs. nexavar). I just started last week. Still haven't run any at all but do try to go to gym in mornings when I am less fatigued and do the elliptical and bikes. I don't know when I will be able to run again, but am hoping to at least keep some fitness level till I can. You give me hope as your tumor was larger and had spread, while mine may have been staged as 3a, it was only because it came out of the capsule by 0.2 mm and had not gone anywhere else. Did they suggest a clinical trial for you or are you on any type of chemo drugs? Hang in there and I will keep you in my prayers. Take care, Allison

jhsu's picture
jhsu
Posts: 78
Joined: Sep 2009

I did not take any medical treatments after the surgery, both the doctor and I thought there's no target to treat for and evaluate subsequently.

The CT scan of my latest post surgery check-up showed a new nodule (0.9cm) reoccurred in the right lung a couple months ago. I was pondering either to have another piece of the lung cut away or to participate in the RAD001 clinical trial. I applied but flunked its screening test, the CT scan reports the nodule shrink to 0.8 cm. This is surprisingly a good news. it seems like something is working somehow behind the scene to cause it to shrink, I'm hoping for the best that this is true and not the CT scan resolution/measurement issue. Meanwhile I'll just relax and run my marathon until the next CT scan assessment.

Jon

alli_45242
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2009

Take care Jon and enjoy your marathon! I will be thinking of you out there running and praying that the nodule continues to shrink. Alli

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