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surgery Monday

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2012

Greetings oh wise ones! My hubby is having surgery MOnday (he has a 8cm on L kidney). Any words of wisdom for me? Anything you wish you had when you woke up from surgery? They are going to attempt lap but hubby is obese and may have to open. About how long is surgery to be expected? Will path report not be instant? I was an RN in surgery and many times we got path report instantly to make sure borders were clear. any words of wisdom will be appreciated.

thanks so much!

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

Cindy, good luck to you both on Monday. (I'm due in (again) on Friday of next week.)

I'm probably not alone in my answer to your question: "Anything you wish you had when you woke up from surgery?"

My answer: 'No pain!'

Mine was 9cm on r kidney and went from a started lap to open surgery, so very similar to your Hubby's possible ordeal. My op took around 6 hours but was complicated by adhesions and difficulty with bleeding control etc. having been expected to be 2 or 3 hours at most. (It was a very worrying wait for my Wife and Daughter who weren't told what was happening.)

My recovery has been fine, with nothing to complain about but post op I was barely able to move in my hospital bed for the next 2 days because of the pain and completely incapable of getting out of bed for days. I was on max. doses of acetaminophen plus high levels of morphine and had to ask for an increase in the morphine, which I tapered off over the next month at home. I'm actually pretty tough with high pain thresholds but the pain was my only major problem (ignoring being unable to eat and drink for most of a week, being constipated (actually probably just empty!) and getting almost no sleep in hospital for 6 nights). So, for me, pain control was the crucial factor. Once that was sorted, everything else was OK.

I'm in the UK so maybe different from your situation. My path work was done rapidly but I didn't see the results for many weeks but there may be various reasons for that, possibly including the fact that the margins were totally compromised.

All cases are different so you'll doubtless get some replies very different from mine. My wishes were for less pain and to see my Wife and Daughter as soon as was practicable.

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you so very much for your insight. Hubby has very low pain tolerance so perhaps i will bring earplugs! Just kidding. Thanks again and best of luck to you with your next Friday ordeal. Peace!

cww71964's picture
cww71964
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 2011

I had it better than most I suppose. I had full neprectomy on the left but they were able to do it lap. The first two days were tough but the difference between the second and third was night and day. I went home on the fourth day. The worst part for me was not being able to sleep in the hospital. I was exhausted by the time I got home. I got the path results in a week when I saw the urologist for post-op appointment. I was back to work in 3 weeks. I hope all goes well, you and hubby will be in my thoughts and prayers.

TW,
What is up? What is happening on Friday? I will be saying a prayer for you my friend.

Blessings to all,
Wayne

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

In a word, Wayne, metastasis.

My primary tumour ceased being contained by the time of my op in early December and had turned from being chromophobe to being mostly sarcomatoid and very aggressive. Margins weren't clear - tumour had burst through the renal capsule and through Gerota's Fascia resulting in a new tumour not visible in the first CT scan. Since my path report was stage 4 and grade 4 this is not surprising, but certainly disappointing.

So, I'm having the fun of a repeat but this time I know it will be open, with no attempt at lap first. I'll get to be in the same small ward with the same nursing staff but different companions. There were six of us last time, of whom at least two have died since then. Along with the reminders here of how painful it was and the recitations of all the possible nasty after-effects, it's not my first choice of how to greet the Spring.

I've just arranged a first round match in a knockout comp at Carnoustie on Wednesday and hope that won't be my last round of golf. My intention is to assist Fox in changing the stats in this other game - of cancer survival.

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Tex,
I think you're a pretty amazing guy and I'm really sorry you have to go through this. I pray that all will turn out well.
Regards,
Mike

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

Many thanks Mike.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1932
Joined: Oct 2011

Cindy, Good luck to your husband. Make him promise to lose weight when he gets through this. At this time looking back, all I wanted was to go home after surgery. I had a noisy roommate with too many friends using our room as party central.

T-W, I am not a survivor yet. I am surviving. I like your plan to go and cherry pick the little buggers that are setting up housekeeping. Sort of like unwelcome house guests. Digging them out will encourage your immune system to evict the other freeloaders.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1568
Joined: Jan 2010

Cindy,

Talk to the surgeon after the surgery. He should be able to give you a preliminary finding on the Pathology. Don't expect your husband to be very talkative for the first day. You being there is all he needs. Expect some moans and grouns. Us men are chicken when it comes to pain. The first week is going to be rough. After that you should see improvement everyday. I went on a real hike 6 weeks after surgery and felt that was an accomplishment. He is not going to feel like eating for the first week or so. The pain medicine makes you constipated. It is no fun being constpated 1 week after surgery. I emphasized with Arnold S. in the movie Junior for the pain he went through delivering a baby.

I hope these words of wisdom are not outdated as my surgery was in the earliest period of the 21st Century (2002) when the Internet was in its infancy. So long ago.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 860
Joined: Mar 2012

Hey there! I'm with the multitudes of others on this board who will be praying for nothing but painless success on Friday. Tex - your postings, your knowledge, your empathy and your humor RADIATE hope and good karma. You give a lot and will be surrounded by the prayers and thoughts of the many people you've helped during your next hospital visit. Stay tough because you are!

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

Thanks for the charming posting Alice, especially with the risk you are running turning the surgery sugery directly beneath the picture of iceman too! He'd not sugar-coated it - he'd just extended his warning about the first two days to a whole rough week, reminded us about not being up to eating for a week or so while suffering the horrors of constipation, akin to the pains of childbirth.

So, in case I was forgetting the rigours of lap + open surgery in December, I've had a timely reminder of what to expect! However, you can depend on it that I'll hang tough, even if I'm not up to taking Katy's celebrated advice to "stay on top of the nurses"!

Forgive the levity - one has to laugh - and thanks once more for your good wishes.

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

(TW, wishing you well with lots of holes-in-one on Weds. You're an inspiration to me and others on this board and sure appreciate your informative posts)

Cindy, you've sure done the right thing to come to this board for advice. I had surgery 3 wks ago and feel the advice I received here was invaluable. In the hospital room tell your hubby to use the little button to push morphine into his IV as much as he needs for pain control. When he's on oral pain meds when he comes home, if he can take them regularly at first to stay ahead of the pain that will help. Have lots of pillows on the bed to make it easier for him to lay back and get up without using his abdomin much. Have stool softeners and laxatives on hand as the pain pills will constipate.

I didn't feel like eating for the first couple wks--so stock up on jello, soup, graham crackers, oatmeal, etc and have him drink lots of water. He should eat something when he's taking a pain pill (like a cracker or 2) as otherwise, it could make him nauseated. If he experiences nausea when he gets home, ask for a prescription for Zofran.

Keep us updated on how he's doing!

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

Excellent advice from DogRescuer. Maybe it's worth adding a move that many here have recommended - getting a recliner in case, to start with, he finds a flat bed too tough to cope with. Also make sure to time it right with the painkillers taking effect before the journey home and try to make that as smooth as possible.

DR, I'm not sure one appreciates your wishing a lot of holes in one - I had 4 last time and one hopes they'll make do with only one hole in one this time ;-)

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

What if you were playing in the club championship tournament finals and the match was halved at the end of 17 holes. You had the honor and hit your ball a modest two hundred fifty yards to the middle of the fairway, leaving a simple six iron to the pin. Your opponent then hits his ball, lofting it deep into the woods to the right of the fairway. Being the golfing gentleman that you are, you help your opponent look for his ball. Just before the permitted five minute search period ends, your opponent says: "Go ahead and hit your second shot and if I don't find it in time, I'll concede the match."
You hit your ball, landing it on the green, stopping about ten feet from the pin. About the time your ball comes to rest, you hear your opponent exclaim from deep in the woods: "I found it!" The second sound you hear is a click, the sound of a club striking a ball and the ball comes sailing out of the woods and lands on the green, stopping no more than six inches from the hole.
Now here is the ethical dilemma:

Do you pull the cheating *****’s ball out of your pocket and confront him with it or do you keep your mouth shut?

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks for all your well wishes and advice. I wish the BEST to all of you!

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 860
Joined: Mar 2012

Will be thinking of you on Monday. Hope everything goes well.

j_rod
Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2012

My surgery is in about a week. Was wondering what I would need to stock up on. Found this site to be helpful in many ways. But was wondering if regular food or semi liquid type diet would be appropriate. thanks.

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

Probably semi-liquid. Reckon to eat small amounts at any sitting. Go for nutritious but easily prepared and easily digested food.

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

Dear Cindy,

I can't add to the excellent advice re: caring for your husband after surgery you've been given here but I decided to share with you what my husband did for me after my surgery in February. He wrote me a beautiful love letter reminiscent of those we used to write 25 years ago when we were in universities 1500 miles apart. He gave it to me at the end of visiting hours the day after my surgery.

The medical staff were in charge of my physical pain but that letter went a long way to healing my soul. I'll never forget it. I think if your husband knows that you're there for him and how much you love him, it help more than any medicine. I wish you both all the best for Monday.

And Tex, know that you're in my heart :-).

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

What a delightful story - thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. It seems as though you really are as lucky as he is - a truly good match.

Cindy, all the very best to both of you for Monday.

Beingbless
Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi Cindy,
I just went through the kidney removal surgery about a month ago. The only thing I can think of is pray for peace in both of your hearts, my husband and I have been doing it, I remember it has been helping us on that surgery morning and also the post surgery. And always remember God is our help and strength at anytime when you cry out to Him.

All the very best, and you're both in our prayers.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1932
Joined: Oct 2011

...and be prepared to look at life just a bit differently from now on...

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1568
Joined: Jan 2010

Cindy, j-rod, Tex,

Good luck on your sugeries this week. Hopefully you will all be better enough for the final four or at least the final game.No beer and nachos though.

Icemantoo

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

Thanks iceman. Had my last beer for now, celebrating winning my golf match this afternoon. Definitely no nachos but much nachas if we all three go through this smiling!

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2011

Hey Texas do they serve miller lite in your neck of the woods

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

Hi Limelife.
Yes, I believe so. On hot days I like a lager or lime and soda after a round of golf but mostly I'm a wine and spirits drinker. If I'm drinking beer it's likely to be a Guinness. I don't get much enjoyment from low alcohol beers or wines (tried a lower alcohol white wine the other day and won't buy it again). I prefer to have high alcohol content but not drink much.

I'm sorry you asked this question - trying to forget about the subject :) I'm going for another open surgery on Friday and so must forget booze for now - they'll probably have me on morphine for a month again so I'll be dry for the foreseeable future :-(

I guess you'll watch your beer intake to remain your slimmer self and not pack those pounds back on?

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2011

I am not sure what you are having surgery for but I pray that you will be sharing your thoughts on this discussion board for a long time to come.Your dry humor and dead on intellect has always inspired me ,so good luck and take care Texas.

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

Thanks, Limelife. My tumour had turned very aggressive and between dx and nephrectomy had burst right out of my kidney. A new tumour has developed since December so they're going after that. Hope is that because they couldn't get clear margins, they may have not "got it all" and so have to have another go and, if successful I may be OK. If not, it's a whole new ballgame.

j_rod
Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2012

thanks iceman. The great weather here in Illinois has definitely helped to stay busy. Mowing, mowing and more mowing. And thanks tex, I will stock up on pudding, popcicles, applesauce, jello, and the like.

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

Good luck to your husband today! I hope all goes well for him.

I am a little confused about the margins also. I volunteered in surgery and we would run maybe 6-7 or more specimens on one person to the lab. The lab would then call the surgeon and then he would continue from there. Surgeon went on cutting until the margins were negative.(clear) I don't understand a positive margin.

My doctor explained he would not know the exact type of RCC until the pathology report came in; but, he didn't say anything about having a positive margine. Can anyone explain this.

I don't know how long the surgery will take but my small tumor done with the DaVinci will take between 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Please let us know how your husband makes out. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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

I'm sure one of the main reasons they don't sample during surgery for RCC is that it seeds or spreads easily and it is very difficult to treat once it has spread. My surgeon told me he was going to remove my kidney with as much of the surrounding tissue as possible to stay as far away from the tumor as he could. In most cases they don't recommend biopsies with RCC for the same reason.

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

Before closing up the surgery, the "specimen" should be sent to the pathologist to ensure that margins are negative, mostly standard practice, but so people know. Once the pathologist confirms negative margins on the specimens, the surgeon would close up, the detailed pathology report is available in a few days after.

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

That can't be the entire story or I'd have died on the operating table and in fact I still feel very alive, livealive. In some cases, Raj, the surgeon can't get clear to margins (which is why I'm back under the knife on Friday) and has to close up with the best effort made. I'm glad mine did, rather than not close me up after not getting clear margins. He told me he got everything out intact but, of course, at Stage 4 you can't really be confident you've "got it all". So, being theatrical, it could be 'exit stage 4'!

KJones1969
Posts: 158
Joined: Mar 2012

I hope your husbands surgery is going or went well today. My husband had his left kidney and a 12cm tumor removed on March 15th. He had it removed at Duke and stayed there for 7 days. He is overweight as well but they successfully removed it laproscopic. His lasted about 3 hours and we get the pathology report this Friday. His has metasticized to his lungs and they will talk to us about treatment options for that on Friday as well.

He was expected to stay only a couple of days but got sick with throwing up so they put the ng tube in his nose, down his throat to his stomach is why he stayed 7 days. He is doing okay now, just weak and tired. He has lost 50 lbs. since the end of December and 80 total since last July.

Praying for you!

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2012

My husband's surgery went very well. It was about 2 1/2 hours long MOnday and they were able to complete via scope. He is doing great compared to what i thought was going to occur and how he has reacted to surgery. Laprascope definetly makes a world of difference. He was able to come home last night and has been up and showered this morning. He is back in bed now. Surgeon said he took out all that he could surrounding the kidney and the lymphs in the area definitely looked like they were cancerous but we will get the path report in a few days. He has a nasty rash though, not sure if it is the prep, shaving or the antibiotics or vicodin. Thank you all for your well wishes!

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

Cindy,

Tex got a rash from morphine. Was your husband on morphine following surgery? Its another possibility and should clear up quickly if that was the cause.

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2012

Hopefully it will clear up. He did receive some as late as yesterday morning. Thanks for the tip!

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

Glad it went well for your Husband Cindy and I hope the path report looks OK.

You'll probably want to find out what the rash is due to, if it persists. If it's due to the morphine, do try a moisturiser. If he was on a high dosage of morphine I imagine you've been advised that he should taper it off rather than go cold turkey.

Laparoscopic seems to have paid dividends but make sure that, even though he's come through it so well, he doesn't try to do too much too soon - it's been said here before (from memory, most recently by Gary) but stands repeating - 'slow and steady wins the race' .

Hoping the next scan finds NED.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1932
Joined: Oct 2011

Rashes are common from antibiotics. Which they would have used.

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

It would be rash to be dogmatic on a subject where we have only just started to scratch the surface, so to speak. (Been itching to say that!)

However, although Fox is right, of course, about antibiotics, in my case I'm pretty sure that the culprit was the morphine, which is notorious for it (I didn't know that beforehand). However, there's every reason to hope that it won't be a problem for much longer, given some brand new research on the problem. An article in "Cell" in October has been widely reported. The most accessible summary I've found, which I think is worth reading, is to be found here:

http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/22805.aspx

I wish they'd come up with this a bit sooner - not much good for those of us just about to be on morphine.

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

T,

Now that's the ole rash-a-ma-taz we've come to know and love! Great to see you remain in good spirits, I hope tomorrow is much easier than the first time around and you are back here in record time.

Be well my friend,

Gary

Neen
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2012

My husband and I did a lot of bonding before my surgery, we prayed a lot together and both lost a LOT of sleep. Talk to him of his fears and your fears we were on the same page when I went into surgery. As for when he comes out of surgery and wanting anything like I've seen posted here PAIN MEDS!!!I had an open as my tuner was on top left kidney they removed a rib to get to it.My surgery was 4 hours and I had my path report back in 2 or 3 days while I was still in the hospital anyway, as for instant I think they have to wait for the final report from a pathologist. Have lots of juice and toast on hand, I really didn't have much of an appetite for a couple of weeks. Good luck to you and your husband keep us posted( they should give him stool softener prescription)

good luck!!

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