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10 Days until my partial open nephrectomy- and I'm scared...

ytak28's picture
ytak28
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2012

Hello- I am a 35 yr old single mom (actually an only parent, his dad is not a part of our lives). I have my open partial nephrectomy March 2nd at OSU James in Columbus, OH. Saying that I am scared is an understatment... As with most of you on here my renal mass was found by mistake on an MRI of my bulging discs in my lower back. The mass is only 2.4cm and still stage one. I am so thankful that we/they found this early but it does not lessen my fears for the surgery and recovery. I have an amazing family which will be there for me through the whole thing but I still can not get over this deap seated fear that something could go wrong and where would that leave my 8 yr old son... any advise on how to cope with the upcoming surgery would be greatly appriciated.

Thanks!

Michael6701
Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2011

I have had the misfortune of having a great number of surgeries over my lifetime; and, the open partial nephrectomy to remove a 5cm RCC (papillary, stage 1, grade 3)last June was one of the easiest. I told my surgeon that I had more discomfort after my tonsillectomy.

I was active, going to the gym and playing golf within a month and now, except for light occasional pressure at the incision site where the healing ridge forms (not pain!)I forget that it occurred. I filled out a medical form recently and my wife had to remind me that I forgot to enter the kidney surgery. Of course I always have it in the back of my mind and I will certainly pay attention to my twice yearly follow-ups, but I don't dwell on it.

Obviously, from reading this site you will see examples of some people that suffered more discomfort than I did and God bless them, but I think that my experience is closer to the norm.

newenglandguy
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2011

I had an open as well, and glad I went that direction. Everyone is nervous - but stay busy with activities. Idle time is when your mind wanders. Focus on positive thoughts - just keep up with exercise up until the surgery. The better shape you're in, the better your recovery will go. Eat healthy foods and snacks - getting the immune system peaked up. Realize you only have ten days, but it will be over before you know it.

Sleeping will most likely be a little challenging for the first few weeks - but I found sleeping in a recliner most comfortable. Five hours sleeping in a recliner is better than laying eight hours in bed, and getting maybe one hour of solid rest. I found I could not get comfortable in the fully reclined position - as you are in bed. In the hospital I realized I was sleeping better as I left the head up.

You'll do fine!

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

Ytak,

With the amount of baggage you are going in with your chances of a full and complete recovery are as close to 100% as they can be. I wish I could sugar coat the surgery and recovery, but I would lose my credability if I did. Think of it as one small hurdle on your road to a normal, full and cancer free life and becoming a member of our little club at the same time.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

PS Go Blue

Michael6701
Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2011

With all due respect I believe that I have read that you are on the 10th or 11th anniversary of your surgery. Your experience is great because you ARE a 10 or 11 year survivor that is doing well; but your actual memory of the surgery and recovery are a bit dated. My surgery was much more current (6/2010) and it went very well. I don't think that relating positive experiences is "sugar-coating". Like everything else in medicine, technology and methods continue to improve, and so should the patient's outlook.

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

Ytak,

The bad news is you have cancer, the good news is that in a very short time and for a very long time after you will be saying "I had cancer." And while the surgery and recovery are much easier for us Wolverines to tolerate even a Buckeye can handle it just fine. All kidding aside, your tumor is very small, surgical complications are rare, and it sounds as though you have a very strong support group in place, you are going to be fine. Look forward to the surgery with great anticipation for it truly is the gift of life. Now if only you were going to a good hospital like the one in Ann Arbor, sorry couldn't help myself.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

Boomersdad
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Hello wytak, We were all scared about the opp but as you have read it will be over before you know it,as you have been told try to get as much exercise you can in the next few days it will help alot, get as many cuddles from your youngster now because after the opperation it will be hard to do, I know it will be difficult with a youngster around but try to get other peopls to do heavy or bending jobs done, I promise you after 3 days you will see a difference by the day and after several weeks you will be back to normal, Please try to read as much of this site as you can, all the answers are there just to be found,I send you my best regards for the future, Errol from Staffordshire in the UK,

ytak28's picture
ytak28
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. I am keeping myself busy with work and spending time with my son and it does seem to help, I do find my mind wondering sometimes but I am trying to stay focused on whatever task is at hand. Any suggestions on what to take to the hospital... I am hoping they have WiFi and I can update everyone after my sugery. I am also assuming that lose fitting cloths for the ride home will be most comfortable... For those of you Michigan fans out there even though I live in Ohio I am a true BLUE fan!!! And this year I finally get to brag hehe!!! Thanks again to everyone! I am ready to beat this and get back to my "normal" life!

ytak

Boomersdad
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

I thought exactly the same ,take some thing in to pass the time, book, telephone to ring all your friends,I did just that BUT I didnt feel like it when I was in, I had a private room with television ,shower and toilet, (some wards in the uk have 8 beds and not very private I was just lucky)I just wanted to be left alone to get over the opp, I slept a lot I did watch a proper game of football live on the Sunday afternoon ,( not soccer) The time just flew with visiters and getting up and hobbling around on a regular bases,
While I am on today I would like to say remember our wives and partners they are just as much a patient as we are, friends ask how we are feeling, not many ask how our other halfs are coping,the wives are just as important as the patients, Gold medel for each one I say.

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

There seems to be some confusion about what I mean when I say that I can not sugar coat the surgery or recovery. What I mean is that I can not say that the surgery and the initial recovery are not painful. They are. This is not to suggest that I am saying the outlook can not be sugar coated as well. In many cases such as this one I am very optomistic about the outcome.

Nevertheless the surgery and at least the first few days if not weeks of recovery are painful and can not be sugar coated.

May everyone have the best of outcomes.

Icemantoo

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

Just a little humor on the subject.

The only cow in a small town in Colorado stopped giving milk. The people
did some research and found they could buy a cow in Michigan for $200.00.
They bought the cow from Michigan and the cow was wonderful. It produced
lots of milk all of the time, and the people were pleased and very happy.

They decided to acquire a bull to mate with the cow and produce more
cows like it. They would never have to worry about their milk supply again.

They bought a bull and put it in the pasture with their beloved cow.
However whenever the bull came close to the cow, the cow would move
away. No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the
bull and he could not succeed in his quest.

The people were very upset and decided to ask the Vet, who was very
wise, what to do. They told the Vet what was happening. "Whenever the bull approaches our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. When he approaches her from the front, she backs off. An approach from the side and she walks away to the other side."

The Vet thinks about this for a minute and asked, "Did you buy this cow in Michigan?"

The people were dumbfounded, since they had never mentioned where they
bought the cow.

"You are truly a wise Vet," they said.
"How did you know we got the cow in Michigan?

The Vet replied with a distant look in his eye,

"My wife is from Michigan..

I live in Michigan so I'm allowed.

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

First, I cannot imagine what you - and other parents - must go through when this news hits. You want to be strong but 'strong' is in short supply. I believe you will get through this surgery and the recovery, as those of us here have done.I also feel you need to remember that it's ok to be scared and it's ok to lean on others. None of this is easy but having faith in your doctors, knowing they found this cancer early while it is small can go a long way in regaining a measure of strength.

Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.

Prayers............................

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2066
Joined: Oct 2011

Having reached out to this board suggests to me that you are responsive to positive support. I think that says it all. You'll do fine. Surgery is just a bump in the road. We are here to help.

ytak28's picture
ytak28
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words! I am now 3 days away from my surgery.... I'm finding that every little thing pushes my blood pressure to the boiling point- this stress and anticipation is overwhelming :( I am so greatful that all this will be behind me next week at this time but I need to find the strenght to not let every little thing bother me. 2 more days of work so I will be keeping myself busy. I will keep you all posted on my recovery- hoping those buckeyes have WiFi at the hosital... no doubt my Blue prob does lol Any other suggestions for stuff to take to the hospial? Hope everyone is well tonight this will prob be my last post til after surgery. Again thanks to all for your help through this XO!

rae_rae's picture
rae_rae
Posts: 279
Joined: Oct 2010

Or is it Katy? Anyhow, I want to wish you well and let you know you will be in our thoughts and prayers for your upcoming surgery. You are doing well to keep busy- it helps. I had an open radical with complications. I brought a laptop with DVDs and lots of books and I have to say all I wanted to do was sleep, watch a little TV and try to walk and move around. After 4 days with no food, I was starving when they handed me the hospital menu for the first time. I quickly and regretfully realized that eating smaller portions was best unless I wanted to be in pain. Also, constipation can be a real issue after surgery so make sure you drink plenty of water and have stool softeners on hand. I bought a wedge from a medical supply store so I could sleep in my bed as it feels better to lay on an incline. Take it easy and don't overdo it. You'll be fine in no time. If you have a lot of fatigue after, you might have your iron checked. Anemia can be a side effect.
Best,
Rae

adobe
Posts: 72
Joined: Feb 2012

Thinking of you - let us know how you are!

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

I did open partial 1/19, they had me walk into the OR, it's a little cold, they don't talk to you much where I was, I talked with them, ask where the surgeon was, next the resident doc was slapping me, wake up Mr. Jai, surgery is over, they took me to my room, stayed in hospital 3 days, BP up and down, fever up and down, they monitored me like a hawk, so the surgery itself, don't worry one single bit. Yes, they will make you sign all kinds of things, if you are nervous, take a pill, I did, and I don't do that easily. So my personal experience, it will go well. The facts are - the surgery will go OK, the rest is your imagination. Remember, the higher powers are watching over. That includes, the universe, the doctors, the medical team, and if you believe, above else, the lord.

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

Keeping you in my prayers today. Everyone is different, but my doc told me the recovery from my open partial neph would be way worse then my recovery from my hysterectomy, in which they cut me from hip bone to hip bone. My recovery from the hyster was terrible and it was 2 months before I was able to do much of anything. So, of course I thought.....great........when they told me this would be worse. Well, in 3 weeks, I was outside scrubbing off the porch and getting an entire couples wedding shower together for my son and DIL. So, everyone is different and I found this recovery way easier then recovery from the earlier surgery. Before you know it, 1 month will have passed and you will be doing much better.

Blessings,
Lisa

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