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Going in for surgery this Friday

Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2012

Last Tuesday I had a meeting with a Urological Surgeon and he told me that there was a mass on my left kidney. This was found while doing an abdominal CT scan. For the last 6 months I have been having pain in my left abdomen as well as up and down my entire left side. He said because the mass is on the front of my kidney, and that it would be too difficult to get a biopsy on it. However, he was 85% sure it was cancer.

The following day I received a call stating that my surgery is on June 15th. I thought that it was pretty quick. My mother also wanted a second opinion and so we went to a pre-op meeting with the surgeon who was going to assist with the surgery. The surgeon said that he has seen something like this a lot and was 90% sure it is cancer.

From the pictures, the mass may be connected to an artery as well as the urine tube that goes out of the kidney. They are going to do a laproscopic surgery first to see if they can cut out the mass. If not, they will do a full open to try to cut out the mass and if that's not possible, remove the left kidney. The surgeon said it is about an 80% chance that they will have to remove my kidney. They said that they will take their time and surgery will last from 4-8 hours depending on what they have to do.

This is my first time having surgery, so I am freaking out about it. However, my left side pain seems to be getting worse and I am hoping that this surgery will solve that problem. However, my doctor doesn't think the pain is related.

After reading this forum, I have read about so many people who have had the surgery that I feel much better about it. It really hit me when the nurse asked if I had an advance directive or will. I am not ready to die yet.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 1904
Joined: Jan 2010

Big Rich,

Not fun finding out you have kidney cancer and then major surgery right out of the gate.
Been there. Done that. About 10 years ago. So what if its Cancer. It usually is. The surgery usually gets rid of it. Your recovery and prognososis depend on the size of your tumor, your pathology report and staying positive. Right now you have to concentrate on getting the little bugger out. Do not worry about the advance directive and will. All hospitals suggest these so don't feel you were singled out. This weekend is going to be a little tough. From there things do get better.


sunlover_56's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Apr 2012

Nice profile pic :-)

Posts: 26
Joined: Apr 2012

I had my surgery in January 2012. It was an open partial nephrectomy. I was very scared, but the surgery went well and i was back to work and my normal activities in a few months. Don't rush your recovery. We understand what you are going through and we will keep you in our thoughts. Please check in and let us know how you are doing.

garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009


I know this is not a club you looked forward to joining and the initiation sucks, but welcome anyway. If the renal artery and ureter are involved that does complicate things and is likely the reason your surgeons have presented a plan with so many options and expected longer time frame, trust them to do what is best for you at the time. If the pain is from something else that is good because it means they caught it early and that is key, you'll find that most of us here had it found "by accident" when they were looking for something else, mine was over 2-1/2 years ago following a motorcycle accident. On Friday they will probably give you something to calm your nerves, they will wheel you into the OR (which you may or may not remember afterwards), you will blink and wake up in the recovery room not remembering a thing. The first couple weeks of recovery are a bit rough, but improve quickly after that and 2 months from now will be back very close to "normal". Do what the docs and nurses tell you, walk as much as possible and drink plenty of water, you are going to be fine, I promise. Keep us posted and we'll help you through it.

Good luck and Godspeed,


sunlover_56's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Apr 2012

I know right where you are. I was there a little over 2 months ago. Left Kidney removed. Mass found by accident like most of the rest of us. I was definately scared but now things have gotten pretty much back to normal. I did what I was told for my recovery and like gary said, drinking plenty of water is essential. I go back for scans every 3 months for now, to see if anything returned. then every 6 months. I worry just a little about the scans but it is so important to keep a positive attitude. This can be beaten!! First time surgery can be a little frightening. especially a surgery of this type but hang in there. You go to sleep and wake up and no time is lost to you at all. You will be sore for a while. I think the worse for me was the gas escaping afterwards. I actually had pains in my shoulders from it. (at least thats what the nurse said the pain was from) It didnt last to long though. You will come thought fine. Keep us posted ok :-)


Bonngo's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2012

Welcome BigRich to a group that can well empathize with you. Like you, I experienced a lot of pain prior to my open right nephrectomy a little over 4 months ago which drove me to get it checked out (I thought I was having gallbladder issues). As your Dr. stated, mine told me as well that the pain I was having was not usually associated with the tumor, but could be. Low and behold post surgery all of my right side pain went away! Stay positive and rest as much as you can as it will speed your recovery. We look forward to hearing how well you are doing :)


alice124's picture
Posts: 894
Joined: Mar 2012

Big Rich - You're now part of a very exclusive club. Welcome and wish you didn't have to join. But come here when you're feeling "no one else understands" because this Board does. The kindnesses extended by the people on this Board are phenomental and will get you through the rough spots.

Take care and keep us posted both pre and post surgery on how you are physically and mentally.

Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank you all for such kind words. Had a lot of pain on my left side today and then had some slight chest pain. Took an Ativan and the chest pain seemed to go away (getting pretty nervous I guess). Started taking the mag sulfate for some good old colon cleansing. Thought the grape flavor would taste better than the lemon ... Hehehe ... They all taste bad! I am to check in to the hospital tomorrow (Friday) at 6:30am.

I feel like I am not going to get much sleep tonight. I guess I will have to catch up during the surgery.

I will keep you all posted when I am clear headed enough to type again!

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Do that and good luck.

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