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Hello my name is Fishknees and I have kidney cancer.

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

First I would like to wish all of you having surgery next week good luck and a speedy recovery.

I am 62 years old female and about 10 pounds overweight. I think I am in good shape physically.

On March 2, 2012 I had an ultra sound for a gallbladder that was acting up. I went for a week vacation and when I got home I found I was scheduled for gallbladder removal on March 14.

After I received the report, I saw that there a mention of “a complex 2.4 cm right renal mass. One portion is cystic, however there is an adjacent solid component.” At that time I cancelled the gallbladder surgery. I was lucky to have found this mass early, however the surgeon that was going to do the gallbladder did not mention it. I saw it when he faxed me the report.

I then made an appointment at Mayo Clinic with an Urologist. Luckily, I got in on the same day from a cancellation. Since that time I have had blood work, urinalysis and an MRI with contrast.

The MRI has shown:
“A 2.2 cm solid enhancing mass extending exophyically from the right superior renal pole. It contains an 11 mm cystic component. No apparent invasion into Gerota’s fascia. The renal veins and IVC are patent. A 7 mm simple cyst is noted in the left superior renal pole. No additional renal lesions. No hydronephrosis. No adenopathy. No suspicious osseous lesions. “

I am trying to figure out what this all means. I sure hope I spelled everything correctly.

I had an appointment 3-23-2012 with the surgeon and he has scheduled me for removal of the mass on April 13, 2012. He did tell me that there is one problem that the mass is very close to a vein or artery I can’t remember which. He will be doing it with the DaVinci procedure. He said that the worst he would have to do would leave me with 5/8’s of my kidney?

I know that I am very lucky that it was caught small and early. But, I am very afraid. I feel terrible even saying that after reading much of what you all are going or have gone through.

I will be having a CAT scan with contrast before the surgery. I am even afraid of the needle they use to do the contrast. They blew two veins and I have a large black and blue mark still from the MRI.

Needless to say I am a baby when it comes to pain and needles.

I am just wondering what you all think. If you can make anything more out of the MRI with the cystic masses or anything else they have said. I am trying to look up everything but it is hard when I am so unfamiliar with this.

I am very nervous about the surgery.(20 days to go). I did have a complete hysterectomy in 2000 and the pain after that was overwhelming. I don’t know what I am going to do if this is as bad. Does anyone else have a comparison to an open total hysterectomy regarding pain after surgery?

Thank you all for listening to my story. I know I am very lucky.

I wish you all the best of luck.

Any information you can provide would be appreciated. You all sound like a great supportive group

Have a great evening!
Fishie (Fishknees)

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1592
Joined: Jan 2010

Fishie,

Sorry I can't help you on that Hysterec stuff. What I can almost guarantee is that a month from now you can tell people you HAD, not that you have Cancer. With the small size of your little bugger your chances of a full recovery are close to 100%. Sorry about the initiation. It hurts a little. Well maybe more than a little. I was a young 59 when I had the surgery (they were not doing partials then) and now at 68 and 1/2 I am almost as good as new. You will have a few weeks of down time. In about 6 weeks you should be able to do everything, but in moderation. Fay across the street had her surgery at 64 and is now doing fine 17 years later at age 81.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

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

Hi Fishie, Just wanted to say I'm in your age bracket (63) and I'm doing well after my kidney removal 4 wks ago. As far as the needle for your scan, be sure to drink LOTS of water before you go in as it helps them to find your vein when you're fully hydrated. My nurse was great and I hardly felt the needle go in. (Remember that worrying about a needle prick just makes it hurt more and longer--tell yourself you'll give yourself 5 mins before your appt to worry.)

After having mastectomies 3 yrs ago, I did find the abdominal surgery harder. So since you've already had a hysterectomy, you know what's ahead. So prepare. It's the getting up and laying down that's the most painful, so get lots of pillows for your bed or sleep in a recliner. Take your pain meds ahead of the pain so you can stay on top of it. You'll do fine, I'm sure.

There's lots of great info on this site and so many caring folks. Visit daily and it will help with your fears.

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you for the warm welcome Iceman and Dog Rescuer. I really appreciate it.

dl650a
Posts: 31
Joined: Feb 2012

Sorry that you are a member of our club. I too am a new member, I had my kidney removed just over a week ago. I won't try and give too much advice, there are too many people who know much more about it than I do. My only recommendation is to communicate with the nurses on whether or not the pain management is working. It is very hard to start healing if the pain is there.

Take care and our thoughts are with you.

Ed

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

Hi Fishknees,

It's perfectly normal to be afraid of surgery -- there isn't one person on this board who wasn't/isn't. But just to reassure you, I had the Da Vinci procedure (partial nephrectomy) almost 6 weeks ago on a 1.9 cm mass on the top left kidney. The first few days were hard, but the medical staff were wonderful and stayed right on top of my pain management. I didn't even try and pretend that I'm brave -- I told them even before the surgery that I wanted maximum drugs :-).

The third day after surgery I woke up feeling much more like myself. I found I could walk unassisted and was able to shower and wash my hair. By the fourth day post-op when I was discharged I was feeling quite well. I could manage my pain with tylenol/paracetamol and although I just lounged around the house, I felt fine doing it. Two days later I started short walks with the dog again, and was able to increase my speed and distance each day. At week 4 I started back to work (computer-based). This week I'm starting back to my aerobic dance and step classes which I hope will go well. Next week is my annual ski vacation in Austria and though I may take it a little easier than normal, I am looking forward to whizzing down the mountains again.

It takes awhile to recover and you just need to let it happen without pushing yourself too much. The Da Vinci procedure is much less invasive than an open procedure, so recovery is easier. Once you get through those first few days, you should find that you are comfortable and able to read, watch tv and chat with your friends.

Tell the medical staff you're scared. I told EVERYONE during all my pre-op work. They were incredibly sympathetic and made me feel much better. You'll be okay -- we're all here to support you.

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

Hi Fishie,

Great advice from everyone above, now go out and buy a lottery ticket because you are on a roll! I had my gall bladder out a year or so before my RCC dx following a motorcycle accident almost 2-1/2 years ago now, I'll soon be 61. What you are feeling is absolutely normal, hearing "You have cancer and need surgery." scares you to your soul, but you will survive this and you are going to be fine. Your tumor is very small, the iceman gave you the correct odds, you will be sore and inconvenienced for about a month, but it is a small price to pay. Years from now you'll be telling your great-grandkids about how they had to do surgery for cancer way back when you "HAD" it. Hang in there and keep us posted.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

Neen
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2012

I had my hysterectomy @ age 43 and just had my kidney surgery 4 weeks ago,(@ age 49) the recovery on the kidney surgery is a lot slower that is for sure. I had a few more complications after my surgery though.I had a partial nephrectomy my mass was 3.3x3x3 cm they had to remove my left rib as the tumor was on top of my kidney I had a very large incision on my left side (19 staples)they removed a 1/3 of my kidney. They say that part went well I had a epidural for the pain I was quite out of it :) the next day my o2 stats went crazy and long story short I developed pneumonia I was very sick from this and my 3 day hospital stay went to 7 with coughing I herniated a little so that is why my recovery is taking longer. I have NEVER been as scared in my life. I guess once you hear mass,cancer, surgery it all becomes so surreal I did a lot of research so before I talked to my surgeon I knew what to expect.If you have to have a form of cancer I guess this is what we want :) It did help me to know that I didn't need to have any other treatments besides the surgery. ( I was so afraid of chemo)I really bounced back well after my hysterectomy. Baby steps :) I have been able to go on longer walks each day but I get very tired the pain after 4 weeks is more discomfort it is still numb there a lot of muscles they cut through trying to heal. I had a ct scan done they stuck me 7 times blew 4 veins. (I went in the next day and 1 stick and I was done) You need to be very hydrated for that contrast more than likely you will have an iv in already so no that should be ok. I went into surgery not knowing if they would have to take the whole kidney or not. Good news they removed 1/3rd so if your surgeon is telling you worst case 5/8th I think that is great.I went to the er for side pain on Feb. 1st and they did a ct scan on Feb 9th I had my consult with my surgeon on Feb 13th and had my surgery on the 28th of Feb. and that seemed like an eternity. Good luck to you I see you are going to the Mayo? you will be in excellent hands :)

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

Wow Neen, what a traumatic experience for you! I'm so sorry you had to go through all that -- you must be a very strong lady! Keep the faith and celebrate each little improvement as it comes. I hope you continue to recover steadily.

Fishknees, please keep in mind that Neen is describing an open surgery. You won't have a large incision or staples with the Da Vinci procedure -- just 5 tiny incisions (mine are each 1cm or less). They also shouldn't need to cut through the muscles so there will be less scar tissue that needs to heal. Hope this helps.

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

I just got on the computer and read all your posts. Thank you all so much. I never expected so much support. My family doesn't get it. They are worried but they never had cancer so they don't know the "fear that strikes in the hearts" of men and women with that diagnosis.

I am still very afraid. I am more afraid of the pain than the cancer. I have had melanoma stage 3. No cure. It could have gone either way but I was lucky and I am still here. My next door neightbor died of melanoma last year at 42 with two boys 9 and 10. So I am spooked.

Could I ask what everyone had right after surgery for pain. I was in recovery 8 hours with the hysterectomy and 24 hours in extreme pain after I went to the room. Later I found out my doctor did not like to use narcotics. He was sued previously and was afraid to use much for pain.

I explained I was afraid of pain to the surgeon and he said he uses Toradol. I have found out I can not use that. It is a NSAID(SP) which I can not have because I had a nissen fundoplication for a hiatus hernia and no NSAIDs allowed. I did not know that Toradol was a NSAID so I will have see what else he has up his sleeve. I did ask for an anesthesia consult because I have vasalvagal syndrome. I am fine during surgery but after surgery when your(collective you) blood pressure goes up (often how they know you need pain meds when you are out) mine goes down and they are afraid to give pain meds. The doctors and anesthesia are not; but, after I get handed off to others they don't want to give anything. It seems the message never gets passed along. The only thing that will bring up my blood pressure is the pain medication. It is like the fight or flight thing. You guys fight, blood pressure and temp go up. I have everything go down. It really doesn't hurt me other than if the message doesn't get passed along I don't get any pain meds. What a mess. (Sorry for TMI)

Also surgery is scheduled Friday the 13th.(I have to assume now that is my lucky day)

I am really picky. I will have weekend nurses. I have worked at a hospital for 15 years and find out they are usually not as good. (sorry for generalizing and if I offend anyone I am sorry but it is often true) The doctor is working me in and if I wait for another date it will be the end of May. I just will not make it that long. I figured that is how he worked me in, no one wanted surgery on Friday the 13th.

I am so sorry to be such a baby. I am trying to hold the gallbladder together, not freak out and extreme fear of pain because of many medical problems as a child. You know if you are in your 50's or 60's the pain care was not there then.

Thanks so much for the support. You all are doing so great with so much more. I really don't want to be a baby; but, I am scared to death of the pain.

Neen, all you have been through, just all of you, are so great and I am complaining with a little tumor.

Thanks again for all the responses. You guys are the greatest.

Have a great day!
Fishie

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

Hi fishie,

I had a self administered morphine pump after surgery for a couple days, then turned that off, removed the catheter, and switched me to oral percocet which I tapered down over 2-3 weeks to night time only once I was home and switched to tramadol as needed about 2 weeks later (hardly took any of that). Staying ahead of the pain is important, don't be afraid to speak up often and loud, if necessary, to make sure everyone involved understands your situation before they do the surgery.

Hope this helps,

Gary

JackieP125's picture
JackieP125
Posts: 55
Joined: Jan 2012

This Thursday I will be 11 weeks postop. I also had a small tumor on my right kidney found during an ultra-sound while looking for a hernia. I was shocked and scared to death. The morning I walked into the hospital for surgery was probably the most terrified I have been in my life. You are not alone. Hang in there and know you are blessed.

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks for all the well wishes, comments and information. Now i just wait for the surgery.
Two weeks from tomorrow.

I think I have cleaned, washed, ironed, precooked food and done all the yard work I can think of. The waiting for this surgery is sure hard.

The surgeon said he would give me Toradol for pain after the surgery. Is that enough. I am a real chicken and need everthing they can give me. It will be a partial.

I was wondering if anyone had a NG tube in during their surgery?

Good luck for everyone with the surgery tomorrow.

Have a great day today!!!

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

Hi Fishie,

I was as scared as you are about the pain. When I met with my anesthetist the evening before my surgery, I asked if he couldn't just put me out for 3 days until the worst was over. He said he could, but wouldn't :-). I made sure he understood I didn't want ANY pain. Immediately after surgery when I woke up I felt some pain but as fast as I started feeling it the recovery nurse was injecting morphine into my IV so it lasted only seconds.

For pain control after I was back in my room I had a morphine pump. If needed any extra pain control I just asked and received it immediately. (I think they hung an IV version of Tylenol which was actually very effective.) I found I was kept comfortable and was able to sleep most of the time during the first couple of days.

On day 3 after surgery I asked to have the morphine pump removed because I just didn't need it anymore. I received 2 extra-strength paracetamol (Tylenol) 3x per day and was very comfortable. I'm not sure how soon your doctor plans to release you from hospital, but you will probably need the most pain control for the first 2-3 days. After that if you're like me, you'll be just fine.

Yes, I was intubated during surgery but I only know that because I asked out of curiosity. I had no awareness of it.

I hope this helps and wish you the very best with your surgery!

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

I am not getting how to PM. I tried to write a reply and it was lost. Any information would be appreciated.
Thanks

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

Look, I really think it's your mind - and it's natural. They will make sure they take care of your pain, it's hard to trust them, I understand that, BUT, the pain will be managed well. I was given a clicker, I hit it 19 times, and got the med 14 times, in 3 days. I wanted it out, as it was making me drowsy and I didn't like that. Then they switched me to vicodin, which I still have. Even that I stopped after 2 weeks, and remember I did open partial, not the laproscopic, so your pain will be even lesser. I think you should stop imagining things,I drive myself nuts with my imagination, which seems very effective in 1 way (the negative), and is a struggle the other way. I am trying to work on that, and I realize I even need help - they told me I need to work "cognitive restructuring". You WILL realize, AFTER the surgery, you are making it worse by your imagination, it won't be nearly as bad, not in the 21st century.

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

You're correct Raj, we've moved on since iceman had his op in the Nineteenth century.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1951
Joined: Oct 2011

I also had the little button to push for pain medicine after surgery. I'll bet that I didn't hit it a half dozen times. And only then because I felt like I was supposed to. I knew it was going to hurt, so I was prepared. Then it wasn't that bad. You'll do fine.

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

I wish I didn't believe about the pain. But, after my total hyster. I found out my doctor did not believe in narcotics. It was pain like I never had before. I don't think I will ever get over that memory and that was 12 years ago.

If I have that again I just don't know what I will do. That was a cut from side to side with alll the muscles cut and everything taken out. I think it is called an ooupherectomy. I am not sure I spelled that correctly. Believe me it wasn't in my mind.

I don't know how you all do it. I will do a little more if I have to; but, I am not in this for the long haul. Too much for me is too much. Just keep the pain down and I will go with whatever.

I am impressed with everyones determination; but, I just don't have it.

Thanks for the help. I am sure I am going to need all your support the next two weeks. That waiting is a killer. In more ways than one.

I sure hope I get that morphine pump because I will use it. I am a baby and need everything they will give me. I also get so sick to my stomach. If I get my sea legs I am good to go but until then I am down.

Thanks again.

Have a great day!
Fishie

j_rod
Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2012

...and I will use this information. I will go in on Tues. at 10:30 am Central time in the USA. I will immediately tell them that I do not want to experience any pain. I will tell them pain management is my number one concern. I will tell them that getting home is my number two concern. I live 150 miles away from Chicago where my surgery is scheduled. My sister is going with me. We will drive up there the day before and stay in a hotel. That day I am to have only a clear liquid diet. No solid food. That night I am to shower from head to toe. Then I am to wait one hour and decontaminate myself with the 'special' bacteria killing cloths they gave me. Then when I get up Tuesday morning, I am to repeat the bacteria killing cloths one hour before I arrive at the hospital. They told me the operation will begin at noon, and I will be released at noon the next day. Considering my long car ride, I had already asked if I could stay one more day to make sure everything is ok. You see, I live in a rural area. The nearest hospital is 20 miles away - and their reputaion is poor. So...I will stay as long as I need until I am comfortable with leaving. I don't want to go home and have anything go wrong. I will demand the pain meds. So will you. It is our right to be comfortable as possible. I can't remember the wife of a nephrectomy patient who just started a new thread. They operated one day and sent him home the next - and he is having a bad time with pain. I do not want that to happed because I will be home alone most of the day. Be demanding....it will pay off.

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

This sounds like a good plan to me. I would stay at least one more night and two if you need it. Believe me I have worked at hospitals and they can't throw you out. I think I am going to tell the anesthesiologist the same thing.

Good luck on your surgery. I wish I was having mine done when you are. You are going to be up and going before I go in. Today, I start thinking two weeks from now I will be home. You are going to do great. I am wonder about the bacteria killing cloths they gave you. I don't know about those.

Good luck I will be thinking and praying for you. I got a day calendar and have been putting everyones names on their surgery day so I don;t forget to say a prayer for anyone that has been on since I joined. I think it all helps.

A trip to the big City should be fun. I have two boys living there and they love it.

Fishie

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

The night before last, after my op, I inadvertently tore the pump insert out of my hand. Got blood all over the bedclothes -> bed linen change and no pump for hours. Had it yesterday and last night but have just showered and won't go back on the pump.

I have to ask - are there a lot of Fishkneeses in your neck of the woods or do you come from Atlantis?

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

I am so sorry about your pain pump and no pain meds. I hope you are doing better this a.m.

This sounds like another group I belong to. What goes on at night stays at night. A lot of us on then I see.

Yes I am a water girl and I think it might be Atlantis. At least to me it is the beach and beautiful. Lots of frolicking with the dolphins in the Sea of Cortez. They love fishknees.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1592
Joined: Jan 2010

fishie,

A few posts ago you asked about private messaging. Hit the icon in the upper left where it says CSN Email and you will be there. Beware of any strange posts today as it is April Fools day. Your next big holiday is Friday the 13th which they are moving to a Thursday this year.

Icemantoo

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

Fishknees - I know the anxiety is hard but think how incredibly lucky you are to have inadvertently found this very early. There are not too many that are that fortunate as most inadvertently find it in late stages.

I agree with Gary; you're on a roll and you'll do fine. You have an angel peeking over your shoulders and plenty of new friends cheering you onward!

Fishknees
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks Iceman for the PM information. I think I found what I need to do.

Alice. I am very thankful for finding my cancer early. It was during an ultra sound for my gallbladder.

I just came back from Mexico. A friend and I were shopping in a store and a lady came up and read our palms. She was very accurate with my friend. She said she was working on her heart. She recently had open heart surgery.

She read mine and it was pretty good. She did say I have angeles all around me. She also said I would not have Gallbladder surgery this year. She was right about that. Just kind of missed the kidney stuff. She did say I had a very long life line that went all the way around by thumb. I don't know much about it; but, I will take the angels and long like line.

One comment. If I am on a roll, why did I not win that $560,000.00 lottery? Then I could have paid everyones bills. (LOL)

Thanks everyone, you have been very supportive. I am glad to have found you all.

Have a wonderful day everyone!
Fishie

littledarlin's picture
littledarlin
Posts: 102
Joined: Mar 2012

Just want to let you know that your positive way of seeing this is very contagious.
You're going to great and I think that I am going to too..

Thanks
Littledarlin..

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