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Kidney cancer follow up

Tstewart
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

I had a partial nephrectomy on august 24th. It went ok, 8 days in the hospital and 6 weeks off work. I am back to work and everything is good except that the lower left part of my abdomen is still numb and I am tired a lot. On December 27th I go in for a follow up appointment to see if the cancer has spread to my lungs. I am super worried. Is this common? My cancer was stage 1 level 2 and about 4 centimeters. Has anyone had bad news on the first follow up?

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1660
Joined: Jan 2010

Unfortunately worry is part of the game. Much less likely is evidence of spreading on your first chechup with a small 4cm tumor. May all of your follow ups show NED. No evidence of disease. I stopped worrying over 9 years ago when they got the little bugger out.

Best wishes,
Icemantoo

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

Tstewart,

Follow-up fear is the worst on that first trip back, its normal and unavoidable. I have found that with each successful test,the accompanying fear lessons, but I do not expect that it will ever disappear completely. Concentrate on the fact that your tumor was small and the chance it has spread is close to zero. Try mentally building expectations that the results of this test will be one of the best X-mas presents you have ever received. It does get easier as time passes.

Hang in there,

Gary

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

Sorry you have to be frightened with all that is happening to you. The anticipation of the test and the fear of the results produces real physical stress. I won't say it gets lots easier; but with time, you'll learn to recognize how you react to the stress and know why you feel the way you do. Just ask my husband-I become short tempered, don't put up with things that normally would roll off my back, make smart alec remarks, etc.
About the numbness. Muscles, facia, vessels and nerves were cut to get to the tumor. Even though everything was sutured back together carefully, they have been "injured-stretched-clamped off, etc." As long as the organs inside function OK, be glad. The numbness will recede, slowly. And it may never go completely away. I have a total of 18" of incision(s) in a line from my pelvis to under right arm (3 surgeries) and there are sections that still itch and are a little numb. In 1988 I had repair surgery on ligaments in my knee (a skiing collision), and still have a weird tingling feeling at times.
Kidney cancer is not just about the surgery or the treatment, it truly creates emotional stresses. Time is one of the best solutions, keeping busy, family and friends, sharing with a support group or posting on this site. The important thing is to "keep on truckin'"

All best wishes on the next test.
donna_lee

ripper's picture
ripper
Posts: 28
Joined: Oct 2011

T-

I had a partial open neph. in June (7 days in the hospital and 6 weeks off work as well.) Stage 3 7cm tumor. Same as you wrote, everything is good, lower left abdomen is a little swollen and partially numb. I've had the occasional moments of worries. Since yesterday afternoon, I have been a bundle of nervous energy. I had my CT scan this morning. I felt fine going into it, but as soon as I saw the CT scanner, my whole body tensed up and I was extremely nervous. The techs in the room with me were great. They were able to see that I was anxious and were able to distract me enough during the process to get me somewhat relaxed during the scan. I now have to wait until the end of the week for the results. Staying positive. -Ryan

BG
Posts: 85
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Ripper, did they use contrast? Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the contrast is taken up by the tumors vasular system which takes time to form, so contrast with the early scan (6 months) may not require contrast.

I have a 6 month scan in Jan, and I was told there would not be an IV, and it indicates on the paperwork without contrast.

Let me know, and I have a xanex for my upcoming appointment, I can not deal with the anxiety.

BG

ripper's picture
ripper
Posts: 28
Joined: Oct 2011

BG. It was contrast. I was told no liquids the night before. I got there and was given a liter of water to drink first so the contrast would show up through the kidneys, bladder, and ureter better. They also put in Lasik to make the contrast go through faster. From the start of the scan to the end only took 20 minutes. The next few days are going to be longggg...

Tstewart
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks you guys.

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

Hello

I totally understand your worrying. I am the queen of that! I'm a bit over two years post open radical. I'm currently on the every 5-6 month plan. Normally about two weeks/month or so before my appointment I start getting the stomach aches, can't sleep very well. I still have a tendency to think and re-think every ache and pain. That said, it has gotten better with time. What I have learned is that you need to really try and live your life as if you're "okay", cancer free for the day. Otherwise your mind will be some consumed with
worry, and it really isn't worth it. Think of it this way......if someday the cancer comes back, will you look back and say....gee I wish I would've worried more, or I wish I would've not worried and lived my life? I only say this because up until my last scan, I wasn't really living life, just worrying about what was next.
Take Care
Valerie

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