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Tired of hearing "you have cancer"

Mae-belle
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2009

Wanted to intraduce myself. I'm 62 yr. old female with diabeties who has been told 3 times in the last 5 yrs. that I have cancer. 2004 1st.time,rare breast cancer--mastectomy. Jan.2009 2nd. time, DCIS breast cancer--mastectomy. No treatment either time. Now on the 7th of this month I was told that I have renal cell carcinoma, 3.5cm. I'm scheduled for the open surgery on the 27th. It's all contained inside the rt.kidney and they say once removed that I won't have to have any treatments. From reading these boards, I know I'm in for some hard pain. Hopefully my strong constitution will help get me through this once again. Thanks to all of you for the support you give.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 388
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry to hear you're on round 3, but not going down for the count.
At age 63/female, three years ago, I had RCC with mets to liver and a set of nodes, plus a congenitally defective gall bladder removed. I had an epidural, and they had to separate my ribs to get to the liver. Pain was kept under control quite well. I was in ICU for 1.5 days and the highest the pain ever went was a 5. I have never had pain associated with the kidney area; the discomfort of muscles being cut and separated was very uncomfortable and made it hard to turn over, etc., but I wouldn't have called it painful
I went "home" on day 5, but needed help walking since the incision was 14" long and stapled.
Recovery was on track and I was back to work part time in 4 weeks. I even flew up to the Dr.s to have staples removed, since the drive of 5 hours one way would have been more fatiguing.
All best wishes for successful surgery and recovery.
Donna

WilSchretz
Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2009

Mae-belle,

Do you have any symptoms from the Kidney tumor? Pain, blood in urine etc...

Hello, I recently was diagnosed with a 4cm mass on my left kidney and had a radical nephrectomy last Tuesday July 14th. The surgery was performed in Cincinnati OH at the University hospital and was done laparascopically with the Di Vinci robot procedure.
I was in the hospital following surgery 2.5 days and have been home recooperating since. It is day 10 today. I have 4 small incisions for the robot tools and 1 4" incision to get the kidney out. It has not been a picnic painwise since the surgery by no means but I am told it is dramatically better than the aftermath of open surgery. Have you asked your doctor about the laparascopic procedure? My first Urologist didn't offer Lap so I asked for a referral to the doc that did.

One more thing...my tumor wound up being Oncocytoma(Benign) and I was told over and over by several docotrs that they were certain it was cancer by what it looked like on the scan. I had a scecond scan to "confirm" I guess what I am saying is get several opionions and do the best for you. A 3.2cm tumor can sometimes be removed throguh a partial nephrectomy AND can be done laparascopically. I hear the aftermath of that procdure is home from the hospital next day. Please explore all options!!!! I am no doctor but just because you had breast cancer does not mean you automatically have Kidney cancer.

I was pretty confident going in that my doctors were right and that I made the right decsion but not that I know what I know I think a delay to map out a better strategy may have been the better option, especially since I had no symptoms or pain prior to the surgery.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

Will

Mae-belle
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2009

I wasn't offered laparascopic surgery. Even if they did, I have so much scar tissur from a 40 yr. old gallbladder scar that I doubt they could do it that way. The cancer was found quite by accident. My diabetic dr. wanted my liver checked out with a CT. Have mild fatty liver, but the mass showed in the kidney. I know that's it's possible that it is benign and I sure do hope it is. They can't do a partail because of where it's located. I've had 3 different doctors say they thought it was cancer, so I'm confident they will do what needs to be done. I have faith in my dr. and don't think he would recommend the open surgery if that isn't the best way for me.

Mae

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 388
Joined: Feb 2009

If you're tired of being told it's cancer, at least the Dr. didn't say you were pregnant!!

See, cancer survivors still have a sense of humor. I wouldn't be too concerned about the lap. vs. open issue. I'm sure for some it makes a big difference - but I'm 66 and still wear a 2 piece. The first incision was 14 inches; the second time, the incision started 2" lower and went a total of 8"; the third time, it started at the pubic bone and went up 3" above my navel. And I already had the bikini scar from a total abdominal hysterectomy 20 years ago.

I approached each surgery as if it were another thing I had to do to get better and stay well. Yes, each was major surgery, had brief pain up to a 5-6 on the scale, made me constipated, sore and cranky at times. On the second go round, I even helped drive home from the hospital, since my husband was tired. (Hospital was 250 miles away.)

You can do it!!! You can do it!!!
Regards, Donna

Mae-belle
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2009

Now if the dr. said I was pregnant, I would be really surprised, since I had a hysterectomy 22 yrs, ago. I tried to talk the doc into connecting the scars and putting in a zipper, but he declined. LOL Sure would make things a lot easier!

I'm starting to get pretty nervous. I know it's only 1 more day, but,,,,, I have had a lot of surgeries also, the 2 mastectomies, caroided artery, heart stent, gallbladder, plus several minor ones. I'm trying to remain strong and upbeat and hoping all goes well.

Thank you for your support,
Mae

WilSchretz
Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2009

Mae,

Everything will go well. Keep your spirits up and trust your doctors are doing their best for you. You have been through worse before and I am sure you can handle this. I am 13 days out fron my left Kidney nephrectomy and I feel about 75% back to normal. Each day is better so before you know it you will be back on your feet.

Good luck and take care. You are in my prayers.

Regards,

Will

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