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2 cancer's in 4 months

2CA-IN-4MO
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2010

I am a 48 year old who was diagnosed with melanoma in April 2010. The melanoma was removed via surgery with no other treatments needed. On August 15, 2010 I went to the ER with right flank pain. After having a CT done the Dr. came in, when I asked what was causing the pain in my right side he said he was on concerned about that he was concerned with the 6 cm mass in my left kidney. He said he called the urologist and was sure it was RCC. When I burst into tears he said he did not want me to worry about it but he was very concerned. UGH!!

I had a radical nephrectomy on 9/27. I was released from the hospital 10/1 to return on 10/2 with triple PE. That is when I found out that they had removed a rib. It has now been almost 5 weeks and I can not believe the fatigue, irregular sleep (when I can), and the pain that shoots from the left side without a warning. I feel I should be doing so much better by now. I have always recovered faster than most on previous surgeries.

I am due to go back to work in a week but I am not sure I am up to it yet. My work only allows 6 weeks for this type of surgery. I feel like I am doing to much now and yet not enough.

rae_rae's picture
rae_rae
Posts: 266
Joined: Oct 2010

Sorry to hear about your dual cancer diagnosis this year. I am three weeks post surgery and finding this is taking longer than other surgeries I have had in the past as well. I do get fatigued easily and sleep random times of the day. I think that is normal. Most of my pain is in the area where my kidney was (both front and back pain)along with other random pains. I think most of this is normal and it is different for everyone.

Did you fill out Family Medical Leave Act papers before leaving work? Your job is protected for 12 weeks by this act if your employer meets the critera. Or, check and see if you can go back with limited work hours to start. My doctor said he didn't want me to go back for eight weeks, though I am going to see how I feel before that. Don't rush things if you aren't up to it. Talk with your employers...they may be more flexible than you think.

Wishing you well,
Rae

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1480
Joined: Jan 2010

You just had major abdominal surgery. While most people with Kidney Cancer are back to work in 6 weeks sometimes it is pushing it where you have open rather than laproscopic surgery. You may able to do everything you need to do. The tough part is doing it for 8 hours a day. Do not over exert yourself and share any limitations with your employer. Things do get better and unless you overdue things you should be fully able to work in no time. Of course if your work is physical labor this timeframe may be too short. What kind of work do you do?

2CA-IN-4MO
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2010

I have a desk job with the state. My main concern about going back is not only the pain but the hours. My sleeping is all out of whack. There are days I can not sleep at all and days all I can do to stay awake. More of the time I am not sleeping. I have contacted my physician and have appointments to see my regular physician on Wednesday and my Hematologist on Thursday. I will just have to wait to see what they say. I will also be calling the urologist to see what he thinks.

Thank you for your response.

2CA-IN-4MO
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you for your response. I contacted HR at work and they have a chart that tells how much time they allow for each procedure. The max time for a radical nephrectomy is 6 weeks. They also told me that FMLA is covered under the disability application if it is approved. They did approve my disability. I will be calling HR on Monday to see what else I need to do if my urologist agrees I need more time. I am concerned with the fact if I go back to early, before I am ready, I have to reapply for disability and will have to wait two more weeks before it will start again and the two weeks will be without pay.

I hope you do well returning to work. Please let me know how it goes.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1480
Joined: Jan 2010

One of the problems with health care and disability is they have schedules and charts for each disease and what tests they allow, how often and when you can go back to work. This no doubt is caused by people taking advantage of the system. The problem is that everybody recovers differeny and a 6cm tumor is probably larger than others and may not have been done laproscopically leading to a longer recovery. The other factor is the persons general heath and you may have been slowed by the fact that you had a recent malinoma. With the assistance of your doctor you need to address these issues with HR and the employers IME if necessary. The good news is that you probably are not that many weeks off from being able to handle your full workload.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1480
Joined: Jan 2010

One of the problems with health care and disability is they have schedules and charts for each disease and what tests they allow, how often and when you can go back to work. This no doubt is caused by people taking advantage of the system. The problem is that everybody recovers differeny and a 6cm tumor is probably larger than others and may not have been done laproscopically leading to a longer recovery. The other factor is the persons general heath and you may have been slowed by the fact that you had a recent malinoma. With the assistance of your doctor you need to address these issues with HR and the employers IME if necessary. The good news is that you probably are not that many weeks off from being able to handle your full workload.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1480
Joined: Jan 2010

One of the problems with health care and disability is they have schedules and charts for each disease and what tests they allow, how often and when you can go back to work. This no doubt is caused by people taking advantage of the system. The problem is that everybody recovers differeny and a 6cm tumor is probably larger than others and may not have been done laproscopically leading to a longer recovery. The other factor is the persons general heath and you may have been slowed by the fact that you had a recent malinoma. With the assistance of your doctor you need to address these issues with HR and the employers IME if necessary. The good news is that you probably are not that many weeks off from being able to handle your full workload.

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