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New many questions lots of fears.

NanaLou
Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2011

Well I was just told on the 11th I have cancer. They found the mass in a CT on the 27th of Sept. I then went through two biopsy's to get to here. I am now schelduled for surgery on November 18th. The Surgeon is sure he can get all of it. I did have a chest and brain scan done. If anything shows up in this all of this changes. I am meeting with an oncologist on the 2nd to see what he has to say and if there will be treatment after. I am feeling everything all at once. I think you all know what I am going through. I am 39 years old with a four year old daugther. I fear I will not be here for her as she grows up. The next minute I know I will be here, because I am too stuborn to let this take me down. I have lots of people praying for me. But the negative thoughts have a way of sneeking in. Please give me some positive feed back, to help through this.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1596
Joined: Jan 2010

Dear NanaLou,

Not fun to be told you have RCC and then face surgery right out of the gate. I sure was depressed when I was told. Sort of like a numb feeling. How can this happen to me? Cancer is something that happens to other people. Not me.All of these are normal feelings which you are going thru.

The good part is that for many if not most of us, if they get everything in the surgery we can lead normal lives after the surgery. There is no way to sugarcoat the surgery, but if I got thru it anybody can. I almost fainted when Arnold S. was in labor in the movie Junior.

I was 59 at the time.You should have it a little easier being 39. Next year I will be 69.

Get the surgery behind you and live the rest of your life to the fullest.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

ams123
Posts: 71
Joined: Aug 2011

NanaLou - I was in your place back in July, being told out of the blue that there was a mass in my kidney. You are so young, and it is so scary when you have young children. I'm 51, with 21 and 19 year old children, so I was comforted that in case anything happened to me they are old enough to be independent. But I got through the surgery, still recovering, but no sign of cancer, and getting my strength back. How big is your mass? What made them do a CT? Sounds like your doctor really checked things out with the chest and brain scan.

This month before your surgery will be difficult - the pre-anxiety is always worse than the actual experience, at least for me. I didn't have a biopsy so I didn't know for sure if my tumor was malignant, but they told me that 90% of them are at my age, and yes, it did turn out to be malignant, but they got all of it out and managed to save part of my kidney. I was worried about all of those things in the month before surgery.

Are you having laparoscopic or open surgery? I had robotic laparoscopic and my recovery was fairly quick, although I'm not back to normal yet. It's been 6 weeks today.

Please ask any questions that come to you - we've all been through it.

Linda

NanaLou
Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2011

To answer your questions. I am not sure how big the tumor is. I was told it is as big as the Kidney itself. Which sounds bad to me. It is also in one lympnode. I will be having open surgery. This is so they can remove the whole kidney the lympnode and all lympnode close. I was told there is a possibility of them having to remove parts of my spline and colon. Right now it only shows in the kidney and node. But, he said things may change when we get in there. Which only scares me more!! I am ready for it to be over with, so I can begin to recover. I had a c-section with my daughter. I hope this has somewhat prepared me for this. Can anyone tell if they have had a c-section and open surgery? Is it anywhere close to the same? Or is open alot worse? I am thinking this is going to be worse. How many days do open surgery's stay in the Hospital? I am going in the Friday before Thanksgiving. Do you think I will be home before then?

NanaLou

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

Unfortunately, no. I've had both a c-section and many open surgeries. The surgeries were more painful and a longer recovery. I'm sorry. Some people will probably say that I shouldn't tell you that, but it is what it is.

With a c-section midline incision, they cut between the abdominal muscles. With open surgery they have to cut through the muscles. That's the big difference. That's what creates both more pain and a longer recovery. It takes those core muscles a long time to heal.

With my c-Section, I was sitting up on the couch in my room that same evening, reading. With open surgery, I didn't even want to move an inch for a couple days, and after that did so only because they forced me! DO get up and move around as much as possible. The more you move, then quicker you'll recover. And don't be shy about telling them when you need more pain meds.

That said, everyone's pain threshold is different, and every surgery is different. So, your mileage may vary.

Be prepared to be in the hospital a week, especially since they're doing a more thorough look-around. If you get out in 5 days, great! But be prepared for a week. They do TRY to be sensitive about holidays.

Minnesota Girl's picture
Minnesota Girl
Posts: 115
Joined: Jul 2011

NanaLou -

I was in your shoes just a few months ago. I'm 43 and have three kids - 13, 20 and 22. The first week after I got the news, I had a constant mantra running through my head "You have cancer, you have cancer, you have cancer..." OH - it was so scary!

What I can tell you is that I had hand-assisted laparocopic surgery on July 6. It was the toughest surgery I've been through, but now that I'm on the other side of it, life is getting to normal. I work and keeping busy getting ready to be out helped keep me from worrying all day long.

Some days will be better than others. Just let yourself cry if you're feeling overwhelmed. Go to your friends and family if you need support - don't feel like you have to be strong all the time. I've always been pretty positive and have not taken my life for granted, but after going through this, I TRULY appreciate my blessings and TRULY do not sweat the small stuff.

Prayers (yours and others) make a difference, too. Remember you are never, ever alone in this fight. :)

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1596
Joined: Jan 2010

NanaLou,

While you may be home for thanksgiving you are going to have to sit out the festivities. Keep the visitors to a minimum as you are going to be very weak. Sorry I can not help you on the C section stuff as I was only the deliveree not the deliveror for that procedure and that was during WWII.

Best wishes.

Icemantoo

neenee3
Posts: 28
Joined: Oct 2011

I'm lying on the couch right now, just had my kidney removed on Wednesday. I had it done laparoscopically after getting a second opinion. I wouldn't have had it done until November if I had stayed here. I know now I made the right decision. My mass was just found on the 30th of September, it was 8cm. Oh, how well I understand the feeling your going through! I remember waking up hoping that it was all just a nightmare but it wasn't it was real! Walking around trying to do normal things in a fog, listening to people around me laughing, talking and being normal while the bottom had just dropped off of my life! I can not tell you how valuable this forum is! I was overwhelmed by the kindness of all these people that didn't even know me! I've attained so much knowledge here is such a short period of time. Thanks to these people I was able to go into surgery and come out knowing what to expect. I also had unbelievable support from family and friends which it sounds like you have also. I do believe in the power of prayer and I know that has a lot to do with where I'm at now. Things are so much better now that the surgery is behind me. I'll get the pathology reports this coming week so we know more about what we've been dealing with. I know staying busy was the best thing for me. The waiting is so hard! It's such a roller coaster of emotions! You've definitely found the place to be for all your questions! You also couldn't ask for better support from people who know and have been there! Keep posting!

Love and prayers,

Debbie

neenee3
Posts: 28
Joined: Oct 2011

Your daughter will probably be your best medicine through this whole ordeal! :)

NanaLou
Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2011

Well I was called with the results of my Brain and chest ct. The nurse said everything looked good. Then said the brain was clear. The lung had some tiny nodules too small to tell anything and nothing to worry about. But, yes I am worried. I had a cold at the time these were done. Could that be what is showing up? I have tryed to call back and have not been able to talk to any one yet. I will be tryig again today.

I would like to thank all of you for your comments. It is all good info. I need to hear. I will say the waiting is the worst part. I am staying busy. Still working and getting ready for Halloween Day. As my little girl calls it. Trying to enjoy life!! God Bless you all.

Nancy

Vagusto's picture
Vagusto
Posts: 86
Joined: Aug 2011

Nancy
I hope that you & your Daughter enjoyed "Halloween Day"! It was a fun night in Minnesota, not freezing cold at least.

Did you hear back about the chest xray?
Valerie

NanaLou
Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2011

We had a great Halloween day. I still have a pumpkin full of candy on my kitchen table. I got to talk with oncoligist this week about the chest CT. The spot they found is 4mm. He told me not to worry about it. Everybody has these spots in their lungs. We will just keep an eye on it. I am still a go for surgery the 18th. Once they take it out and find out what type of cancer it is. I might qualify for a trial. We will have to wait and see. I have been doing a little better here lately. I believe the prayers are helping. I am sure the day and night before surgery I will be a wreck!! But, I guess that just goes along with it. I am right now mostly worried about getting sick before surgery. My little girl is in daycare. She had the stomach virus last night. And they always have a kid with a runny nose in there. Any suggestions on how to stay well the week before surgery???

Ojosarco
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2011

Nanalou-
The days before the surgery are the hardest because of the unknowns. You will make it and the healing side is always much easier or has been for me. I agree that your daughter will be your guiding light. Do get help with her and the house for after the surgery as you will need it. I too have had other abdominal surgeries and open kidney surgery is much harder but we have all survived it and gotten back to the things we love. I spent the two weeks right before my surgery (open for rcc) with my 2 grandkids and I hardly had a sleepless night---it was the BEST therapy taking care of a newborn and being with family. Forgive yourself for the worries and just do the best you can and get your life ready for recovery time!
Best of luck-
Kathy

robert_douglas_smith's picture
robert_douglas_smith
Posts: 84
Joined: Oct 2011

Our stories are very similar. The first of September I had been having sinus problems and was scheduled for surgery the 5th of Sept. The week before, I did all the surgery pre-labs and chest xrays for the surgery. This surgery was done as an out-patient. (the recovery from that was terrible. Didn't know so much could come from your head.) When we were about to leave the hospital the ENT doctor mentioned that the chest xray showed some areas of concern and I should have a CT scan done of my chest. So while recovering from the sinus surgery, we had the CT scan done. A few days later my primary care doctors office called and the nurse told me that there were 3 small spots on my lungs, but were so small that they were of no concern. But this scan caught a part of my abdomen and there was a concern of one of my kidneys. So we scheduled another CT of the abdomen. A few day later my phone rang and rather than one of the doctors nurses on the phone it was my doctor. He ask me how I was doing, if I still remember my reply: I said that if I were talking to his nurse I would probably be doing a whole lot better. He then told me that the CT scan showed a 6.7cm mass in my left kidney and he would schedule me with a urologist. And he thought that I would have to have a laproscopic nephrectomy. On the 10th of October my wife and I had made a two page list of questions for the urologist, his recommendation was the same as my family doctor, a total nephrectomy of my left kidney. Surgery was scheduled for Oct. the 25th. During the time before the surgery even though I had support from family, friends and my friends here on CSN I was still scared to death. I finally made an appointment with my family doctor of 20 years on a Saturday morning. I guess we talked for over an hour. I didn't know before but he also is a cancer survivor of 10 years. I guess we talked medical for a half an hour but it was what he said to me afterwards that has help me the most. He said "Be where your suppose to be, do what your suppose to do, and let GOD take care of the healing." On Tuesday the 25th of Oct. I went into the hospital and had the surgery. My Urologist thinks all of mass was contained in the kidney.(Still waiting on lab report.) The worst part was I got sick from the morphine. When they switched to loratab I was fine. Got to come home on Friday the 28th. There has really not been any internal pain only from incisions. Took pain meds until Wednesday just in case. Since then discomfort only from incisions.The worst part is the waiting and waiting.. (Being a man, I'm usually a wuss when it comes to pain but this hasn't been terrible.) Just take it easy for a little while and you'll be fine. Sorry if my story was boring.

Again just take my doctors advise, "Be where your suppose to be, do what your suppose to do, and let GOD take care of the healing."

NanaLou
Posts: 69
Joined: Oct 2011

The day is getting closer. It seemed like forever, but now I am getting a little scared. I feel like this is normal. I will be glad when it is done. I have put my Christmas tree up and have tried to prepare as best I can. Today a coworker told me not to be scared. Because they found it and that meant God didn't want me. He wanted me to get it out. I think that is the best thing I heard all day. I am glad I found this site. I thank all of you for your comments.

Nancy

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Nancy,

Two years ago I was right where you are, my surgery was Nov. 20, 2009. A few days before I went to visit my mom, she was 81 at the time, and even though I tried hard not to show it she knew how worried I was. She grabbed me by both shoulders, looked me dead in the eyes, and said "Gary, you will be fine.", from that moment I was ready. Very soon this will all be behind you and life will return to "normal" with only a few battle scars to remind you of "when". You have 50 years or so to live, focus on that and "you will be fine". Many hugs and prayers are coming your way.

A fellow survivor,

Gary

Vagusto's picture
Vagusto
Posts: 86
Joined: Aug 2011

I will be thinking of you on Friday. It's so normal to feel scared before surgery. Ask them to give you something to relax you when your being prepped. Prior to surgery, I had all these crazy thoughts running in my head. Soon the surgery will be behind you, and you can concentrate on recovering. Remember....eat small small amounts of food, don't eat a big meal or you feel horrible.
Take Care
Valerie

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