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sylvan75
Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2009

I am 64 years old and have just been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. My Tumor measures 2cm, I have no health insurance, but being a veteran the VA provides me my medical needs. I was scheduled for surgery (Partial nephrectomy) but the surgery had to be put off, as my blood pressure was too high. They have rescheduled my surgery for 12/7 with hopes of lowering my blood pressure and my losing weight within that time period.

The main questions I have if anyone can answer, is}

How long will my Hospital stay be?
Will I need Chemo or radiation treatment after?
Does losing part of kidney have an adverse affect on overall health.

Thank You

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 438
Joined: Feb 2009

Hi Sylvan75-
Sorry about the diagnosis. But there is a life afterwards. I'm female-now 66-and been dealing with this since 2006/age 63. I'm glad you have VA coverage. I have a friend thru the cancer support group who is getting great help thru local and regional hospital VA.

Hospital stay? You may only be in the hospital for 3-4 days. As always there are things you have to be able to do -eat, pass gas (anesthesia puts the bowels to sleep also), get up to go to the bathroom by yourself, and walk around. Your BP has to be reasonable and have no other surgical side effects.
I had a radical which was at Stage IV and had mets to the liver and nodes. After I finally was finished with surgery and was placed in ICU and then a room, I went home on the 5th day.

Chemo/Rad? Radiation does not work on kidney cancer. If there are/were no other positive sites, you more than likely will not be given any type of chemo. My Drs. (in Oregon and OHSU) said none. When there is no active site to track, it' impossible to know if the drug is having any effect, except for the sometimes rough side effects. None of the drugs they are using can actually kill RCC. They can shrink the tumor, interrupt the blood supply, cause your body to build some immunity.
My docs have determined that if it recurrs in something that can be cut out, that is the way to manage it. And they have-surgical removal of separate nodes in the abdomen in both 2007 and 2008. No drugs to date.

Adverse effects? The most noticable will be blood pressure, since the kidneys filter fluids. Doctors will also monitor other items done with blood work -Red BC, White BC, Creatanine and eGFR. Creatanine should be about 1. for two kidneys-mine is 1.23. The cGFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate - the little tubules inside the kidney where all the fluids are filtered) should be a minimum of 72 for 2 kidneys. Mine was 37 for one kidney earlier this month.
You will need to consider yourself as having kidney disease and work your food intake around that assumption. I never use the word diet-but it means changing eating habits or type, amount, frequency, etc. And you need to do everything possible to keep the rest of your body healthy-walking, less sugar, much less salt, more fruits/vegies/fibre, plenty of water.

Yours was caught very small -I won't say early, because no one knows how long it's been there. I wish you well as you work to make yourself healthier prior to surgery. It's and effort you really need to make.

Look for a Cancer Support Group. The people there can offer you emotional support as you wait. Or keep coming back on line. I'm sure there are more out there who have had a partial and can give you input.

I have an appt. today to find out about my most recent CT. If it's OK, they I'll have been clear for 1 year/2 mo. One day at a time.

Donna_lee

sylvan75
Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2009

Donna Lee

Thank you very much for your reply I really appreciate it and you have eased my fears some. I guess like anything "Fear of the unknown" is probably the worst of fear. The VA has been excellent thus far, and I guess mentally I am up for the surgery.

My thoughts are with you, and will say a prayer that your CT comes out OK, and hopefully there are many fulfilling years ahead for you.

Thank You Again

Sylvan75

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 438
Joined: Feb 2009

Glad to hear your mind was a little relieved by my comments. It is always so hard, because there are no 2 cases exactly alike. We are some of the lucky ones who have been diagnosed since 2004-5. That's when they actually found a couple of drugs that do have an effect on the mets. Hang in there; maybe in our lifetime, they'll fine a cure.
I did get good news yesterday. CT scan looked good. Don't have to go see the oncologist until Dec. I've had 4 CT's since January, and won't have one scheduled until I see the Dr. Now I just need to get results from mammogram and colonoscopy. Keep your fingers crossed.
Donn_lee

sylvan75
Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2009

That is good news, I am very happy for you, and hopefully the same results will come with your other tests.

Good Luck

sylvan75

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 438
Joined: Feb 2009

Hi Sylvan75
My mammogram was uneventful. Yeah!
And my colonoscopy (other than prep day) was a breeze. Results showed one benign polyp, a few small diverticulosis pouches, and a twisted sigmoid. No need for another one for at least 7 years.
Hang in there with your recovery and keep your chin up.
Donna_lee

sylvan75
Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2009

Donna

That is GREAT news, now go out and take advantage and celebrate, and hopefully you will have many more celebrations in the future

Saw my Renal doctor the other day and although he is not the one who is doing my surgery, but my blood pressure is much better and everything looks good for my 12/7 surgey, although I wish it could be tomorrow as the waiting and thinking of it is torture.

Sylvan75

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