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open removal 5 weeks ago today

lorcal
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2011

I had my left kidney removed five weeks ago today, due to the unexpected discovery of a nine cm tumor. It was completely contained! All is well in that respect. My question is..when am i going to consistently feel better? I'll think i'm doing ok, and the just get blindsided by the pain and fatigue. I'd hoped to go back to teaching school in two more weeks, but i'm doubting my strength. Anyone who can share their experience?

jona187's picture
jona187
Posts: 74
Joined: Apr 2011

My wife got an unexpected discovery during a sonogram on March 25th. They induced labor for three days, my son was born on April 1st. On April 6th, they removed her kidney with a radical nephrectomy because there was an 8cm tumor that was encased in her kidney (also covered by a membrane or skin) which was classified as a stage 2 chromophobe with no metastasis or spreading. My wife gets tired more frequently, but she seems to be doing well. Sometimes when she does too much, she gets pains on her side, but nothing major she said. i guess it is expected when they cut you open like that. My wife is a big walker, so she gets these after walking 3 to 5 miles. My biggest concern with her is that she is trying to do too much too quick. From what people have told me, the pain will be there for a while and the fatigue. It may take 6 months to a year to get to your old self depending on the person. Let me know how you do as time goes by and I will share how my wife is doing. Other than the fatigue that creeps up on her after certain activities, she says she is fine.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1739
Joined: Jan 2010

At about 6 weeks I was feeling normal. I could do pretty much everything, but not for 8 hours a day. My Surgery however was laproscopic, yours was not. Your age, other health concerns and physical condition will all weigh in on when you can go back to work. See if your employor and doctor can get you an extension until school starts again in September. Remember you just had major abdominal surgery.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

Tammy_19's picture
Tammy_19
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2011

I had my Kidney, ureter, some of the bladder and 9 lymph nodes removed 8 weeks ago and had 2 large incisions. At 8 weeks out I seem to have more energy and stamina, but it feels as if it's taken forever. I don't know about being on your feet all day right now to return to teaching, the fatigue and pain just are overwhelming at times. That said at 8 weeks I think you'll be doing a lot better. I can still have pain unexpectedly, esp. by the end of the evening. I wish you luck and better days ahead.

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

I agree that it can take several months to a year before you're back to your regular self. But you should see improvement each week. Five-6 weeks after previous major abdominal surgeries, I was still hobbling around uncomfortably, still on pain meds.

You might want to think about getting one of those walkers that has a seat in it so that you can sit down during class and have extra support while getting around. However, I also agree that you might want to try to get an extra couple of weeks off. And, fortunately, the semester may be over by then.

lbinmsp's picture
lbinmsp
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

I know you want to be up and out and active. That's good! But your body has undergone a huge shock and it will take time. I went back to work 6 weeks after surgery. My surgeon approved it only if I worked half days. Well, four hours into the day I was so tired I wanted to cry. And four hours after that when I finally wobbled out to my car, I didn't think I'd even make it home (my first half day ended up an 8+ hour day). Surgery, anesthesia, pain medications, all play a role in making you feel very weak. As you push a bit every day, you'll regain your strength and endurance. You may not feel 'consistently' good for a few months. You'll have good days, great days, not so great days. My doctor said that it took up to a year before your body completely recovers. The pain, however, should lessen consistently as your activity increases.

You've just come out of a huge battle (cancer/surgery) - and you're WINNING!

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

I'm having the same problem.i had my right one out a month ago. I get feeling really good then I get fatique and get a pain

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

I'm having the same problem.i had my right one out a month ago. I get feeling really good then I get fatique and get a pain

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1739
Joined: Jan 2010

Guys you are going to have to give your body time to heal. Things do get better, but you have to take it easy for a couple of months. While you may feel like doing everything after 6 weeks or so you may not feel like doing everything for a whole day or even half a day.

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Could you tell me if you are taking any vitamins ? I'm supposed to go back to work in two weeks and i just don't know.I work in a warehouse.

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Could you tell me if you are taking any vitamins ? I'm supposed to go back to work in two weeks and i just don't know.I work in a warehouse.

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Could you tell me if you are taking any vitamins ? I'm supposed to go back to work in two weeks and i just don't know.I work in a warehouse.

jona187's picture
jona187
Posts: 74
Joined: Apr 2011

I give my wife one daily's from megafood

I also juice vegetables and blend her shakes.

Rest is your friend.

How many weeks did you get off?

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

I have 6 weeks off. I see my Dr. next Thursday.I might see if i can have a couple more weeks off.My appetite isnt back to normal.I'm glad your wife is doing good and your baby.

jona187's picture
jona187
Posts: 74
Joined: Apr 2011

Yes...I hope it continues to get better. She gets her follow up MRI on June 10th, so I'm patiently waiting on that.

Is there anything you do differently now after this whole experience?

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

I'm thinking and I can't think of anything I'm doing different.I eat my vegatables and fruits and exercise. Do you have any suggestions? I'm 53 so I think I'm physically fit. This whole experience was such a surprise.It wasnt what I expected to hear when i went to the Dr. but i'm lucky. really lucky

jona187's picture
jona187
Posts: 74
Joined: Apr 2011

I have my wife doing all that

she was a big coke drinker, no fruits or veggies, and tons of red meat.

I have her on lots of water, fruits, veggies, and red meat once a week if she is lucky.

I appreciate you writing back monique and i hope you do well.

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

I'm not a pop drinker.I would allow me to have 1 a week from taco Bell.We don't eat much red meat at all.We eat alot of fish and turkey.My cancer was in the first stage so we caught it early.It was 6.9 centimeter tumor on my right kidney. Was your wife having any pain before this all happen ?

jona187's picture
jona187
Posts: 74
Joined: Apr 2011

My wife was not having any pains at all until that one day where the pain was to excruciating. I knew something was wrong and took her to the hospital right away. She was 33 weeks pregnant at the time, so we attributed it to the baby, but it wasn't. They found a tumor on her right kidney by doing an ultrasound. From there, the plan was to induce labor at 34 weeks and then proceed with kidney removal three days after birth.

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

So its been 10 weeks since my surgery.I get feeling good then I go and wash my car or take a long walk and i start having pain on my right side.Is this normal ?

ejneary's picture
ejneary
Posts: 64
Joined: Mar 2010

It has been a year and a half for me and I still get tightness in the wound site when I do those activities. It gets better over time but for the first year, the muscles all get into spasm when you work them. Since nerves were cut, there will be numbness and referred pain around the wound site also. When you overwork them, you will need to let them rest for a while afterward. NO NSAIDS or MOTRIN or anything like that either since that stuff is bad for the remaining kidney. Make sure that your employer understands all of this especially if you having to lift. You'll need to do something different for so time.

The sucky part about one kidney is that most pain relievers are out of the question so we get to deal with inflammation and pain with no relief. It usually takes a few days to feel better after extreme exertion so limit that to a minimum...

Good Luck!!!

John

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

The pain that I'm have is like it moves from lower ribs and travels.I wasn't told that i couldn't take anything for the pain! i have ultram so i'm trying that. I have medication that I take for arthritis.is this going to hurt my kidney? I asked my Dr. and he didnt tell me I couldnt take anything ! Thank you John

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

May i ask how are you feeling?

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Are you still having any pain?

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi. I had laproscopic surgery to remove the left kidney in Aug. 2010. I had my gall bladder and a gallstone removed at the same time (the gall bladder was not cancerous but it was in a pretty deteriorated condition). I started feeling pretty good about 4 weeks after surgery. I've been feeling really good for the past six months or so but I get occasional pain on the left (missing kidney) side as well as the gall bladder side. During my six-month check-up my urologist kind of ignored the question about the pain. (I've noticed many doctors do that when they don't have an answer.) But my primary care physician suggested that perhaps food is occasionally brushing up against the scar tissue inside. As the pain seems to happen mostly when I overeat, it sounded logical to me, but who knows? I had an ultrasound the other day on my remaining kidney and also in the area of the removed kidney and was in some pain there that evening because of the pressure the technician used with her magic wand. The pain I've felt from the first 4-5 weeks after surgery has always been bearable and I didn't have to take any pain killers after that. I've been told Tylenol is okay to take, but NSAIDS are taboo to protect the remaining kidney. I do a lot of walking now and try to avoid lifting anything heavy. Hang in there, you've been through a lot, but you'll feel better. Best of luck.

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

By the way, my urologist had me come in after six months for blood tests and chest x-ray and I'll seem him again next month for my second 6-month follow-up. When I asked about an oncologist, he said there was no need, that he would be my follow-up every six months. My cancer was stage 1 and he feels it hasn't spread. My primary care physician gave me a referral for a bone scan, however, for an unrelated issue a few months ago and everything looked okay. I would definitely ask your urologist about the 1 year time frame. Seems kind of a long time to me also.

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Thank you Mikek703, I get so flustered when I get pain.I work in a warehouse and I'm on a fork lift all day.getting on and off the truck and walking on cement floors.I lift boxes 3 that exced 25 pounds.Today was a bad day I had so much pain that my boss told me to get off the truck.Could this be causing so much pain under my right rib? I'm a little confused on which drugs I can take and can't .Could you please help me? I have neck problems so I have flexeril,ultram,to take when needed.Should i not be taking these? Then I have mobic for athritis. I have my 3 month ct scan in 3 weeks.

survivor77
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012

I believe they look at your pathology (post-surgery) report & then make a decision on when to bring you back for follow-ups; 3,6 months or even a year. The longer time between follow-ups === the better your report looked my friend!

monique53
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Hi Lorcal. could you please tell me how are you feeling? do you still have pain/ are you fatique?

survivor77
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012

I went back to work (light duty) three weeks after surgery. I had a 5.8 CM sized tumor, they removed the whole left kidney. I started feeling back to normal during the 6th week after surgery. I am now in the 8th week, and I lifted something heavy at work last week & it now feels like I have pain where the remaining kidney is. When I called the Urologist's office they said it is normal-- as long as things seem to be functioning ok.

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