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My Mother Recently had her Right Kidney Remove

amonet
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2011

Merry Christmas to each of you. It has been very enlightening to read some of your posts. My mother had surgery Dec 13th to remove her right kidney, adrenal gland and a couple of lymph-nodes. She had pain in her right side Dec. 8th, went to the Doctor and they did an Ultra Sound and CT Scan Dec. 9th and confirmed she had a very large mass in the right kidney. The Doctor recommended surgery. To say the least this was very devasting news. My mother lost a considerable amount of weight prior to the discovery, but had been dieting. She also had blood in her urine, but it was detected under the microscope by the doctor's who never did an Ultra Sound prior to the pain.

Nevertheless, the Doctor was able to remove the entire mass which he estimated weighed around 10 pounds. My concern is the doctor did see a small speck on the liver but did not proceed to remove it b/c of blood lost during surgery when he began to cut around the liver as the mass encroached the liver. Has anyone experienced a spread to the liver?

My Mother has been home 4-days from the hospital and I can say, she has made good progress. During her stay in the hospital her Urologist/Surgeon was very attentive and gave good reports daily. Considering the magnitude of the surgery, after about 10 days, she walks without a walker and her appetite is slowing picking up. Her blood count also went up after the surgery. I encourage anyone having the surgery to have good family support at the hospital, I do think having the support gets you better care.

I remain prayerful about this situation, that my mother will beat this disease. I can truly say that we were very down after the discovery, but Prayer and Faith got us a long way. Because of the size of the tumor, the doctor intially told us he would attempt the surgery, but if it was too large he would have to close her back up and give her medicine to shrink the tumor. We prayed and prayed and he was able to remove the mass on the right kidney.

Again, I wish each of you a Merry Christmas.

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

amonet,

Very sorry to hear what you and your mom are going through, caregivers and patients alike are burdened with the emotional weight of having cancer. While I have not experienced any spread of the disease I have read the stories of many here that have. Some have had spots on their liver that were related to a spread of RCC and some have had spots that were not related and proved to be nothing to worry about. Perhaps you will hear from them as this is a very supportive group.

Generally speaking large tumors like you describe carry a higher risk of mets, but it would be wrong to make that assumption based on the information you provided and it does not sound like your mom was experiencing any more severe symptoms. Much depends on the information from the pathology report following her surgery, if you don't have that information talk to her docs, find out what they think the next step should be. If it does turn out to be more cancer it seems that it was caught early and you should have treatment options available, keep in mind that surgery is still the most effective treatment for RCC and learning that you need more major surgery after just undergoing one can be a real emotional downer. Keep us posted and we'll help any way we can.

You are in my thoughts and prayers,

Gary

amonet
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi Gary,

Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate the support. The Doctor called my parents yesterday and gave some positive news, although I still have some questions. The Doctor confirmed that it was RCC and was not in the adrenal glands, which is a blessing. He said that he wanted to see my Mother again in three months. My Dad said he didn't mention anything about the liver. Prayerfully, there is nothing there. I am going to ask for the pathology report.

Do you have any dieting suggestions? How have you changed your diet. It's been 2-weeks since my Mom's surgery, her appetite has picked up and she's ditched her walker. Through faith and prayer we're going to make it.

Thank you, so much.

Alonya

myboys2's picture
myboys2
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2011

My sis is a research scientist in Switzerland. She says that if sick there, Germany or Sweden your doc would immediately change your diet. We saw a nutritionist and Cody's blood type is O+. That makes it more difficult for his body to turn refined sugar. So we have changed our entire diet to create an alkaline body environment. Now the body will manage itself cause one cannot live without acid and alkaline. But we have moved to a low glycemic, gluten free, vegetarian diet. We avoid animal products. I have to be honest we both believe that the sutent working in only 5 weeks to shrink his small 3 liver mets by 50% and had shrunk the 6.0 kidney tumor to a 5.5 could only be augmented by the right diet. Just our opinion so we are sticking with my sis recommendation and maintaining this diet forever. These tumors are encouraged to grow in an acidic environment and that is factual. So there you have my 2 cents LOL.

Gail mother of Cody 21
diagnosis 8/10/11 unclassified RCC
8/16 checked into NYU as emergency surgeon concerned head skull tumor was closing ventricle to brain
8/17 embolization via femoral artery to bone lesion on skull 7 hours
8/18 repeat
8/19 10.5 hour surgery to remove skull mass (about 45% right skull)
8/20 began a vegan(from an animal product standpoint) gluten free low glycemic diet; no casein but we do eat ocean caught fish and org chicken; org green drink every day
9/4 titanium skull inserted
9/29 begin sutent 25mg 2 weeks on one week off; then 37.5 2 weeks on 1 week off; then 50mg for 3 weeks then off 5 days (preop tests show 3 tiny liver lesions shrinking) Also Denosumub injection. No lymph,lung or brain involvement
11/16 full neph of lft kidney 5.5 tumor (started at 6cm but sutent was working!!) Still unclassified 
12/1 begin sutent again at 37.5 to work into it
12/8 sutent to 50mg for a week then off a week and continue cycle of 50 2 weeks on 1 week off until next scans (due in late Feb)
12/12 began radiation of remaining skull mets Monday and Thursday for 3 weeks high dose (already noted necrosis of tumor after one dose)

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

Alonya,

First, it sounds like the docs are taking a wait and see approach, don't be alarmed as this is quite normal with RCC. They will likely monitor the spots on her liver for any changes over time before deciding if anything needs to be done.

Regarding diet, if your mom is anything like mine there are only two ways of doing anything, her way and the wrong way so try to keep her involved in the decisions of what to change and why, and since this will impact your dad as well, don't forget about him. There is a wide variety of opinions on proper diet and I will share mine, but I encourage you to do some research and experimentation to find what works best for you, much depends also on your moms current and prior health and habits. Consulting a dietician or nephrologist would also be a good idea.

Improved kidney health/function should be your maim concern and proper hydration is important to both. A good rule of thumb is 8 ounces of water 8 times per day, this is more than most people are used to, but it is beneficial to many bodily functions in addition to kidneys. Blood pressure is another major concern and sodium intake is a controller here, even if your mom has never had a problem with BP this could change post nephrectomy so you should keep an eye on it. There are many low sodium substitutes available for everyday cooking ingredients, check out the labels when shopping and introduce them over time, lower sodium will be good for her in any case. Diets high in protein and phosphorus should also be avoided, usually monitoring protein takes care of both as things like red meat are high in both. I have eliminated beef and pork from my diet almost completely, pork is very high in sodium so its like killing three birds with one stone. I substitute turkey, chicken, and fish, but in limited quantity due to protein. Ground turkey is a good substitute for ground beef in most recipes and ground turkey burgers are very tasty. I also don't eat eggs unless they are part of a recipe.

Dietary changes should be treated more as a marathon and less of a sprint, small changes introduced over time will prove to be more long lasting. Look at the foods your mom likes to eat and experiment with substitutes over time, using 1/2 low sodium with 1/2 regular ingredients for example, eventually she will be eating healthier without even realizing the difference. Experimenting with new things can be fun, try to enjoy it.

I hope this is helpful,

Gary

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