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10 days post-surgery

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

So I had surgery to remove a 3.5cm mass on my left kidney on 29 Dec... It's been 10 days and I feel pretty good. I see the surgeon this Thur (day 14).

I was wondering about post-op kidney pain. I went cold turkey on the percocet on day 6, but by day 8 I was feeling sore (Around the kidney area). I suppose this is normal, but what have other folks experienced? I had to take 1/2 a percocet 2x day -- for a couple more days. Today, I haven't taken any pain meds although I am still somewhat sore.

Prior to surgery I was very active, finishing my first IRONMAN on 20 Nov ... I'm wondering how long before I can start running again (I was told to expect about 6 weeks).

Thanks for any support!!

Rick

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

Hi Rick,

While 6 weeks might be a normal expectation for most I'm guessing that with the amount of training you are used to you will be able to start running a bit sooner, but it will take some time to approach the pace you ran prior to surgery. You should already be walking, when you can comfortably hold a pace around 15 min/mi for 3 or 4 miles start mixing in a slow short jogs and gradually work your way back up. Listen to your body, if it hurts or you start to feel overly tired, back off for a couple days before pushing on, a slow and steady approach will get you where you want to be faster than pushing too hard and winding up back where you started. foxhd is runner and retired physical therapist, check out some of his posts regarding the return to training.

Good luck,

Gary

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Thx so much for the advice Gary... Yea: I plan on taking it really slowly. I guess I didn't realize how much a partial nephrectomy would wear you down. I assumed I would be feeling stronger by now: even tho it is only 11 days post-surgery. I guess taking a chunk out of your kidney is a bigger deal than I had hoped!

I wonder what causes it tho... the fatigue? I guess you just have a lot of energy dedicated toward repairing all the damage?

BTW -- I can easily walk around the block (10-15 min walk) ... and go to the store. But I still get some shoulder pain (from the gas I hear) and kidney soreness: especially at night.

Thx again.

Rick

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

Rick,

You just had maror abdominal surgery. You may or may not be able to get back to your Iron Man routine. The younger you are the easier it will be. At 68 I get fatigued irrespective of my Club membership. I would give it at least a year until you are going to be at your former level of exercise. Joining the Club is not a contest. Just try and do what you can, when you can.

Best wishes

Icemantoo

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Yea... I know I should take it easy: its hard when you continually challenge yourself. But you are right...

I'm just hoping I can start doing some 2-3 ... then 4-5 mile jogs in 6-8 weeks. Of course, I'll start nice and slow (longer walks first), then work up to a 2 mile run. I already feel cooped up and I've only been home 1.5 weeks!

Thx for the encouragement Iceman

R

msacher63
Posts: 21
Joined: Oct 2011

One thing you might want to look into. I forgot what its technical name is but I picked up what is like a giant ace bandage for your abdomen at the local CVS. Kind of like a corset. It holds your abdomen tight and keeps everything from bouncing around inside. It's a little harder to breath but makes for a much more comfy run.

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Thx man ... I'll look into it once I talk to my surgeon.

Rick

NewE2012
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2011

Rick, take it easy! It's only been 10 days.

I'm 5 weeks out of surgery (hand assisted partial lap) and although I feel fine, my doctor told me to not even think about jogging yet. Your body is doing some serious healing. I'm still swollen and I'm a few weeks ahead of you. Start off slow and talk to your doc and remember this is a pretty big surgery. I'm also anxious and can't wait to start my regular routine life, but I'm also so scared of being in pain again!

Best of luck to you and glad to hear you are feeling great!

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks so much NewE2012! ... I really will try to take it easy.

I'm pretty anxious about just talking to the doc (this Thur) to see what he says about the tumor -- and my recovery.

R

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1901
Joined: Oct 2011

You're in off season. Do you remember wacking your shin on something and having it be sore for weeks? Ever twist an ankle and have it bother you for a month or more? Actually just heard that Rothlisberger's sprained ankle is expected to still be swollen by April. If you died a year to the day after your surgery and you were opened up, you would probably still be inflammed and red around your procedure. You will be feeling better before you are actually healed. Your body has to adjust to different hydrodynamics, insult, and compensated function. Almost like having to dribble a basketball with your other hand. It takes time before your nervous system recognizes that these changes will become normal. All it knows is that things are not the way it knows. In many ways it is not much different from learning a golf swing or musical instrument. Your body cannot learn changes as fast as you expect it to. In this case, it's not just a grip change. This is a potentially life threatening experience. Be patient. If you were paying me for training advice, I'd tell you to increase all your activity no more than 10% month.

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Thx Fox.. I guess I need to hear stuff like that. I already feel pretty good: not great, but ok. I can easily walk for 15-20 min around the neighborhood.

The consistent msg I've been getting is 'take it WAY slower than you think you have to' ... and I'm gonna do that. I'm sure as I feel stronger I'll want to do more. I'll have to rely on you folks to keep me in check!

Thx again,

Rick

live life 4 u
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2011

I have a belly binder!!!!!!! Its my new best friend.The best thing for walks,keeping children from kicking or pushing on my tummy.

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

Ok, so everyone has convinced you to take it down a notch. 10 days post-op is crazy early. I had an open surgery, so I was still on pain meds 5 weeks post-op! You, obviously, are feeling better than that. But if you over-do it, you could exercise your way right into a hernia or internal hematoma. If you had an open surgery, they sliced through major abdominal muscles. They take time to heal.

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Met with my surgeon yesterday for my 2 week follow-up post surgery. Everything went well: good negative margins on the tumor, my recovery is good.

Looks like they caught it at Stage 1a - completely encapsulated in the kidney. The only "stressful" news is that sthe cancer wa a grade 3 (out of 4)... Which I guess means it was a fairly 'abnormal' cell type (with 1 being the least 'abnormal' type).

The doc says the rate of recurrence is about 20% (for 5 years) -- which was higher than I had hoped... But I guess you just live with it!

I should be back to work, part time, next week.

Thx for all the encouragement!

Rick in Tempe

Sm4pack's picture
Sm4pack
Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi Rick-
I just had surgery on 1/9. I'm a type A personality and have done my share of olympic distance triathlons. I totally understand how you feel. But, the tortoise and the hare story very much applies here. In the scheme of your entire life, a few weeks or months devoted to recovery and doing what you can do will pay large dividends down the road.

My cancer was also considered grade 3 of 4, but stage I. The important part is the Stage. If it was contained to the kidney and they removed it, that means you are cancer free regardless of the grade. Don't focus a whole lot on the grade part. I also spent about 2 hours dwelling on this a day or so ago when I read my pathology report--I then let it go.

You are obviously a strong guy. I know that it takes to complete an Ironman, so much that if I ever was able to complete on that I would be getting my first tatoo in the form of the I-Dot. Congratulations on that accomplishment. Not only are you and Ironman but you are also a Cancer Survivor.

Scott

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

Hi Rick,

Concentrate on the good news, negative margins and NED. Try not to think of it as 20% chance that it will come back, instead think of it as 80% that it won't, for some reason it seems a lot better that way (fyi my mom taught me that). Besides, odds are for Vegas, I know a guy who was diagnosed about 11 years ago and given only a few months, he's still kicking and was just re-elected mayor of a small town nearby. Stay vigilant with your follow-ups and "IF" it ever returns you'll catch it early, who knows, with the advances in therapy options we could all be out from under this in a few years.

Hang in there,

Gary

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Gary -- thx a lot. Really.

I'm too much the engineer sometimes: I want 200% margin :) But such is life.

I'm gonna get away from the computer for a while and do some woodworking later today! I also think I'm gonna go back to work - 1/2 time just to take it easy - next week.

Rick

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

Though my function is mostly management now, my background is mechanical engineering so I know where you are coming from. My dad used to say "Yesterday I couldn't even spell engineer, today I are one." on the rare occasion that he made a mistake, I carried on the tradition, but had more opportunities to use it than he did. I went back to work part time at the two week mark and that worked out about right, I'm sure it will be the same for you.

Gary

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

Scott,

I assume you are home and recovering... :)

Thanks SOO much for the good words. I really need to hear them now for some reason. I guess the engineer in me is always weighing the odds. I worry about all the details -- probably far too much.

Good to make another survivor and triathlon acquaintance! I'm sure you are also in good shape and hope your recovery goes as smoothly as mine has gone.

Funny you mention a tattoo! I'm getting my IRONMAN tat -- well, more of a polynesian design that does incorp an M-DOT -- TOMORROW! I've been thinking about it since before the race and I'm not putting it off any longer. If you wanna see the design, let me know and I'll post it on my blog here on this site!

I wish you all the very best as you recovery and continue on with life.

Rick

Sm4pack's picture
Sm4pack
Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 2011

Sorry, M-Dot is what I meant. I'm really impressed by your accomplishment. I went to West Point so I know all about the engineer mentality and the drive to overcome. The fact that we want to be educated and feel better talking to others who can relate is the bond that unites each of us on this site. This is a positive place. I plan to turn my diagnosis into a commitment to continue to remain active here even as I have recovered and moved on. I just appreciate the support by the "regulars" on this board too much. They inspire me to be a better supporter of the next member of our crazy club. I like that you are easing back into things. Have an awesome weekend and can't wait to see the tattoo.

Scott

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

I put a pic of it up on my blog here on the site. Let me know if you can see it!

Thx again Scott... I'll post another pic once it's on my calf!

Rick

Sm4pack's picture
Sm4pack
Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 2011

I really like it. It's creative and original.

earnric's picture
earnric
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2012

It's obviously a polynesian design. It contains several glyphs: Honu (turtle) for protection, Manu (shark) for strength, Ohana (family), ocean waves, Warrior, Shell (abundance/wealth) and two tiki eyes (protection) -- as well as the M-dot :)

Posting a picture of it on my leg on the blog... Man, 2.25 hrs -- painful experience, but its done.

Rick

Kids Cowboy
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2012

My cataract removal experience was fantastic. I had no discomfort at any time. My vision improved from 20/90 to almost 20/20 within 48 hours after surgery.
I had a mild sedative only. I remained awake and alert throughout the surgery. It was outpatient surgery. I was released about three hours after arriving at the Cataract Surgery center.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Kids Cowboy, I wonder if you're seeing as well as you think!?

Very glad to hear your cataract op. went so well and you're very welcome visiting here but it is a bit of a surprise visit!

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