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Wish I Were The Last Newbie On This Board

Luv_My_Kids
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2012

Everyone:
I have been following this Board for the past month after a 6-7cm mass was discovered on my right kidney during an ultrasound. I have since met with two Urologists for their opinions. The positive news thus far is that my MRI and CT scans indicate that while the mass is likely RCC, it appears encapsulated and they tell me that everything else looks good on the scans. I am scheduled for a Total Right Laproscopic Nephrectomy on the afternoon of 03/01/12.
I stumbled upon this Board and have found your posts to be encouraging and inspiring. I have also been reading a lot about this. As a result, I have accepted the fact that removal is the treatment that has to be done and I also have a pretty good idea of what to expect (good and not so good) next week and thereafter. However, I am terrified of the surgery and post op recovery that is in front of me. I realize that having major anxiety and fear in the days leading up to the surgery is normal and I'm trying to keep busy and positive. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. My wife and kids have been great about this bump in the road that we have hit, but I wish I could be stronger for them. I'm working on this as well. I am so looking forward to getting on the other side of this and focusing on the healing. Thanks for listening. Tom

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan 2010

Tom,

Being scared is normal. I sure was. This is major abdominal surgery. Not fun. Now that we got that behind us lets conquer that little bugger and live happily ever after.

The good thing about this surgery is that if they remove the kidney before it spreads you are cured. A few follow up tests and watch your blood pressure and kidney function numbers over the long term. I am well into my 10th year since they got the little bugger out and at 68 and 1/2 I am doing fine. There is no reasom you should not have a good long term recovery as well.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

candoredo
Posts: 44
Joined: May 2011

Tom: everyone on this board has been in your shoes. We all have felt the same feelings, concerns and worries. I have been thru this twice now, once by laproscopic cryoablation, and once by open partial nephrectomy. I am not going to sugar coat it but for me the waiting before the surgery was the worse part. I am now 7 months out from the last surgery. My second ct scan was done just last week. All reports show clear. My second tumor was 4cm totally encapsulated. So the kidney was spared. Yes I had pain from the surgery but it wasnt all that bad, except when I over did after surgery. Prepare for the at home recovery time. Be ready to sleep in a lounge chair some, it is easier to get into and out of at first. You will be tired and need a lot of rest time at first. Walk as much as you can and rest when you need to. One of the main things to do after surgery is stay ahead of the pain levels. And do not do like I did and do too much too fast. I am wishing you good results and a fast recovery.

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

Hi Tom,

Remember Christmas when you were a kid? Try to think of this the same way except you know what the gift is and it is the greatest gift of all, LIFE. Seven people close to me had fought RCC before I was diagnosed so my perspective was different than most, I couldn't wait to get on the table and have the leach removed. That attitude was very beneficial through surgery and recovery and remains strong in me today over two years later. Don't let fear and anxiety force you into a defensive position, attack with extreme prejudice instead. Take it slow for the first couple weeks after you get home and give your bodily functions time to recover, walking, even several short walks, daily will speed recovery and drink plenty of water, your body needs it to heal. You are going to be fine, I promise.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

DogRescuer's picture
DogRescuer
Posts: 50
Joined: Feb 2012

Back in 2009 when I was DX with breast cancer, I had so many surgeries (mastectomy, ports in, ports out, reconstruction) that I had the OR routine down so well, I could have worked there. I got to know the staff too, who are always WONDERFUL in surgery as you'll see. When you see the gazillion folks going in for surgery and coming out fine, you think this is just routine. Kind of like all the planes that safely fly every minute of every day. In fact it's so much easier than an office procedure IMHO. They give you an IV and soon you're in la-la land and you don't feel a thing.

Yes, you wake up sore, but your body will tell you what position will give you the least pain. These days hospitals are VERY concerned about your pain level and will give you whatever it takes to help you feel comfortable.

Plan ahead for going home, reading the great advice from this message board so that it'll be easier to get up and down from a lying position. Now's the time to collect a pile of books to read and movies to watch.

Remember that worrying, just makes it hurt more and for longer. Until surgery, keep busy and watch lots of TV to take your mind off worrying.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1954
Joined: Oct 2011

Tom, there is nothing to it. You'll be in good hands. When all is said and done, you'll get a new and updated perspsective on life and the love of your family. This is sort of like a ride at 6 flags. Buckle in and we'll see you when it is over.

Boomersdad
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Im 7 weeks after the opp and going back to work next Monday, I can wait,I found keeping on top of the pain is essencial, so take what pain killers they give you ,I found it all uncomfortable but nothing as bad as I was expecting, Its a slow recovery so dont try to rush it,read all our stories, Im sure it will help you ,Regards from Errol in Staffordshire uk,

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

"This is sort of like a ride at 6 flags. Buckle in and we'll see you when it is over."

I like that, Fox! :o)

jm3114
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2012

Like everyone else,I know what you are going through.I am 4 weeks post surgery and am feeling pretty good.The big thing is try not to overdue it and get plenty of rest.I had a partial laproscopic nephrectomy on tues and was home on Sat.I really didn't need any pain meds but if you need them take them.Make yourself as comfortable as you can.It is just a matter of time before you will feel better and keep reading. I got great comfort reading the experiences of the seasoned veterans.
Good Luck
John

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

Tom, I hope you're as lucky as John - he says he was in your shoes and i hope you'll soon be in his shoes and not need much pain relief.

That said, do heed Erroll's advice to keep on top of the pain - it's important not just for comfort but also for recovery. I had a 9cm tumour and a 9in+ main incision and complications. I was on high doses of morphine + paracetamol and tapered off the morphine over a period of a month. Since then I've not needed any meds. and I'm now extremely physically active again at 11 weeks post op (and nearly 70). I'm sure that not being a martyr to pain and not pushing it too soon has enabled me to bounce back better than if I'd been too macho about pain relief.

I wish you the best of luck - but you're not really going to need it.

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

if you WERE the last newbie to join this group! There's be happy dances being done in a few thousand homes and hospitals world-wide! BUT - since that's not the case, I will say hello, and welcome. Since I had my open radical nephrectomy 11 years ago, so much has changed. Surgical procedures, medications - you name it! Two things have not - surgery is scary - and yes, painful. The pain will be managed - and as others have said, it is important to stay AHEAD of the pain so don't fight using pain medications. As for the scary part - well,all surgery is scary! I think it's the word 'cancer' that makes the fear greater. It sounds like your family are real troopers - sometimes it's ok to let others be the strong ones for a while!

Good luck to you - and please keep posting to let us know how you're doing.

lawmanmike's picture
lawmanmike
Posts: 29
Joined: Jan 2012

Welcome Luv_My_Kids - as you've no doubt seen, you are among friends. Everything you are experiencing now is completely normal. This is a scary thing - cancer, surgery...it's the stuff we all dread. But it all sounds as good as it could be - stage 1, fully encapsulated, no metastisis - and it's coming out. Mine was an open partial nephrectomy on 1/12/12 - 6 weeks ago today - and I can't tell you how great I feel now. With Laparoscopic - you should have an even quicker go of it. I know how you feel about your kids - believe me... When I was diagnosed and contemplating surgery I was scared to death I wouldn't be around to see my three year old son grow up. I can tell you that coming home after the surgery to his smiling face was one of the best experiences of my life - and I'm sure you'll be experiencing that too very soon. You will be on the road to full recovery in no time...you can do this! Good luck!

Luv_My_Kids
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2012

Thank you all so much for your words of support and encouragement. While still nervous, your posts are a great comfort as my day draws near. Pre-op exam went OK. Trying to stay upbeat and looking forward to getting this behind me. Reading (and re-reading) the comments of those who have already been down this road definitely helps. Thanks again.
Tom

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan 2010

With your surgery on 3.1.2012 you are going to have to wait an extra day this year. Leap Year. Sorry for the extra wait.

Icemantoo

One Lucky Girl's picture
One Lucky Girl
Posts: 68
Joined: Feb 2012

Dear Tom,

I had a laparoscopic (Da Vinci) partial nephrectomy 2 weeks ago. I too was scared, but I just decided to get it over with ASAP. I was admitted on Monday, surgery Tuesday, home Saturday (at my request). On the day of the surgery, I rose at 6 a.m. and showered. At 6:40 I was given sleeping tablets and wheeled to the OR at 7:00. Within seconds of arrival a gas mask was placed on my face. My next memory is waking in the recovery room. I had some sensation of pain but the recovery nurse was right on it, pushing morphine into my IV so I think it only lasted a few seconds.

That day and the following two days I mostly slept. I receive all the pain meds I needed, including a self-administered morphine pump. I had a drain and catheter, but they didn't bother me at all. On Thursday I started feeling much brighter and could chat on the phone, read and watch tv shows on my laptop. That was the first day I could actually walk as far as the bathroom in my room. That day the drain came out as well. On Friday I felt much stronger. The catheter and IVs were removed and I could shower for the first time. It was heaven.

On Saturday I asked to go home. I didn't need to be in bed anymore and was tired of the hospital (even though the care was exceptional). I could have stayed 10 days if I wanted (here in Switzerland they keep you longer), but I was ready to get on with my life. A week after surgery I was already enjoying the beautiful spring weather while walking my dog. I'm out walking every day now and looking forward to my ski trip in the first week of April!

The surgery week is becoming a blur to me now. I'm sure it will go very well for you and that by this time next week you'll be feeling much more like yourself. Then you can just get on with enjoying your life. A cancer diagnosis is scary, but as the members of this board have assured me, after the surgery is over there's a good chance it will stay in the past.

livealive's picture
livealive
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

question - why not partial ?
The surgery will go well, trust the facts, not your imagination on this. No one could be as scared as I was. Separate fact from imagination, if you can't, listen to people, if you can't, breathe, you can do this.

Luv_My_Kids
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2012

Found out today that my surgery has been moved up to earlier in the day on 03/01/12.
Have completed the cleanout proceedure today with no side effects and I am physically ready to go in the morning.
I'm also getting there emotionally thanks to all of your kind words and support.
Continued good thoughts, positive vibes, prayers, etc. are welcomed and appreciated.
I don't think that I could have come this far without this Board.
Looking forward to getting this behind me and posting again after my return home.

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

Not long now Tom and all you have to fear is a couple of rough days after your op. Don't be a martyr - take full advantage of all the painkillers available to make you more comfortable and speed up the healing process. With a bit of luck this will be your only brush with cancer in a long life. Best wishes, TW

Jeff2159's picture
Jeff2159
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2012

Did all my pre op tests and lung and bone were clean. Mass takes up most of the mid and lower left kidney (6.2 x5.7)so the whole kidney goes. Couple of nodes are inflamed but that could be anything and they normally go with the kidney. I feel I'm in the best of hands at the city of hope and my Doctor if not the best one of the best with robotics.March 7 is my D-day

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Jeff,

I hate to say "welcome to the club", but welcome. Just wanted you to know I'll be praying for you. I think the waiting for surgery day to arrive, is the worst. At least, it was for me, but before you know it a month will have gone by and you'll be far into your recovery. Glad you found us as this is a great group for advice, comfort and just plain friendship. Take care.

Blessings,
Lisa

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Tom,

I'm late to this thread, but just wanted to say you're in my prayers. Time passes so quickly that before you know it, you will be 1 month post-op and feeling much better. Take care.

Blessings,
Lisa

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

Lisa, like you, I wish there were a "like" button. I also enjoyed what I interpreted as yet another bon mot by Fox, the master of simile and metaphor (above on Feb 21) even though I misunderstood it completely. Being a European, I'd never heard of Six Flags. I assumed that he was engaging in some kind of Harley-speak and I pictured a Fox buckling on his leathers and attacking a slalom course on a skid-pan at ultra high speed!

Now, I gather Six Flags is an amusement park chain, with some grisly accidents not long ago and not my bag at all - those thrilling rides would frighten me to death!

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

Good luck to you too, Jeff - not long to go now to be a fully-fledged member of this club!

By the way, I wish this club had stayed more exclusive!! It's a bit dismaying how many new members we're getting. Maybe iceman can tell us if it's always seemed so. So many are younger too. I suppose both factors are artefacts of RCC being diagnosed much more efficiently with CT scan technology etc.

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

That's funny, TX. When I was younger I could tackle all sorts of death defying amusement park rides, but not so much anymore. I guess the older I get, the more I value my life. lol

Blessings,
Lisa

Luv_My_Kids
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2012

Was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon 03/06/12. Went to my daughter's hockey game from the hospital & spent my first full day at home today.
The lapro surgery itself went very good and I tolerated it well. Have felt better thru this process than I ever feared/expected to going in. Had to stay in the hospital a few extra days due to my pre-exsisting diabetic issues & getting my blood glucose & BP under control.
Everyone at the hospital was great. The pre-surgery "cocktail" was greatly appreciated. I am sore but getting around as well as can be expected. Waiting to get a hard copy of the path report but doc says the report came back good, the mass was contained, & he does not plan any chemo or radation at this time. Will continue to monitor this and my BP & glucose issues closely. Very happy to have the surgery behind me and looking forward to the recovery road ahead.
As I am now a full member of the "club", I wanted to thank everyone again for their support, prayers abd encouragement. I know that I could not have made it this far without you. God bless.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan 2010

Tom,

That wasn't so bad, was it? No Pain. No Gain.

Icemantoo

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan 2010

Tom,

That wasn't so bad, was it? No Pain. No Gain.

Icemantoo

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

So glad to hear you're home and getting around. Make sure to rest when you need it and pay attention to how you feel when getting back into any kind of activity. Take care.

Blessings,
Lisa

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