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Life Changing

maxdog
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012

Hello,
I am a 48 year old female who had a abdominal ultra sound for gallbladder pain and a kidney lesion was discovered. Followed up with a CT scan w/ and without contrast...still not sure if its solid....MRI confirmed solid renal mass 2.1cm. I immediately researched RCC and top docs/hospitals in the Philadelphia area. I met with a urologist and in the same visit, I scheduled my partial nephrectomy for July 31, 2011. I am being realistic and upbeat about my diagnosis and the upcoming surgery because I've been going through testing since March. Each time I had a test, my life flashed in front of me...worrying about my husband and children...the future....sooo, when the final word that the "lesion" was solid, I felt strong and decided to hit this thing head first. I do have pangs of sadness and fear at times, but I know that I was lucky to find the lesion early and I am grateful. I went for CT/chest, bone scan, and kidney function test over a week ago and lastly on the 24th, I have pre op blood work and EKG scheduled. Throughout this emotional roller coaster, I am realizing what is important to me in my life. I've decided to scale down to part time work, I am looking at my relationships with others differently and am looking forward to 8 weeks of R&R....(less the pain of the surgery.) I have a large family and lots of friends to support me, but most of all I have God in my life who will always be by my side. I hope in the future I can be helpful and encouraging to others through my experience.....right now I'm putting on my seatbelt and waiting for the ride to begin!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 2058
Joined: Jan 2010

Maxdog,

According to your post your surgery on July 31, 2011 was almost a year ago. At 2.1 cm you should have no trouble having a full and complete recovery and be back to full time work if you want to after your 8 weeks of R&R. On the day after your real surgery (August 1, 2012) it will be the 10th Anniversery of when they took my little bugger out. While I can't sugar coat the surgery and the recovery, looking back it was a mere bump in the road and 10 years from now you can be the 10 year survivor and I will be the 20 year survivor. Faye across the street from me is at 17 years already and she is only 81. I am trying to get her to join us online, but she does not like the internet.

Icemantoo

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 289
Joined: Jul 2012

Max dog,
I was diagnosed on 06/12/12 with an approx 6.2cm tumor on my right kidney (Stage 1). I received the preliminary pathology on Thursday and I was told that It appears to be a non-aggressive grade. Mine was found by a random CT scan due to a hernia operation I had scheduled. A miracle indeed!!!
I had a radical (RN) this past Tuesday after getting 3 opinions and educating myself on this new challenge very quickly. I have went thru a myriad of emotions & also see this as an opportunity for me to reconnect to life & what is important, what I want, need, etc. All normal I believe. I think it's the person that doesn't see it in this way that should be questioning themselves. For me that includes a 'creator', but it doesn't have to. I'm talking about connecting and appreciating, all universal concepts.
I've had a great outcome thus far. I came home after 2 1/2 days and am resting and improving every day. The little things like a first BM yesterday means so much. Basically, smelling the flowers. For me this is huge. I have not been a 'glass 1/2 full' guy in my life, I pray that this continues to change and this is a new beginning for me. I also pray for you. I know you will be fine. God Bless!!

maxdog
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks adman for sharing and your encouraging words. I know what you mean when you said you had to educate yourself on this "new challenge." The wild range of emotions were escalated for me because I am a nurse and I work in hospice. I started to have every symptom, ache and pain and all it was my mind racing and STRESS. Once I started relaxation techniques (youtube yoga moves...lol) I calmed down and am feeling fine. I never had any "kidney" symptoms. Wow, you are 5 days post op and supporting others! What I am focusing this week (1 week prior to surgery) is just relaxing and reflecting on what is best for me. I'm a wife, mother (of 16, 18, & 20 year old) and now its time for ME. This situation is also huge for me and changing I will do....keep in touch with your progress. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and wish that each day brings strength and positive thoughts.

Pacer412
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2012

Max dog,
I was diagnosed with a 2 cm tumor in my kidney on May 30. I have know two ppl that were also diagnosed with the same thing two years ago. They both has a partial kidney removed, no chemo or radiation...cancer free. I, also, had a partial on June 18th, and was informed that all margins were clear and the cancer is gone. Less than a five percent chance of reoccurrence. I am very blessed that it was discovered by accident. It happened so quickly and was over with so quickly that I don't think that it has even registered yet. Good luck to you.
Sue

maxdog
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks Sue for the sharing the info with me. From what I am reading, it is a good thing that this was caught by accident. When I went to the urologist, I knew what I had to do and I just scheduled the surgery without a blink of an eye. I read the statistics and type of surgery that could be performed and it was exactly what the urologist offered. I am a nurse and often see the end result of not being proactive with ones health issues. I must say, I'm not looking forward to the surgery. How is the recuperation going? How many days in the hospital? I was told 3-5....Im shooting for 3...I'll feel more comfortable at home. I hope each day brings more strength and healing.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2503
Joined: Oct 2011

Boy, it sure is a shock to ones self to be confronted with a cancer diagnosis. My radical nephrectomy was in march 2011. I was fit and strong. Weight training 4-5 x week, running 3 miles every other day for years. At 59, I had just told my wife that I was feeling like I was in my 30's again. That same night I developed tremendous pain and was peeing blood. 7.5 cm stage 3 tumor was removed a couple days later. My 35 years as a physical therapist prepared me to know that someday something would probably kill me. I didn't know what but both my mom and sister had kidney disease. I did well with my recovery until several months later when they found fairly extensive mets in lungs ,liver, lymph nodes and then bones. Then reality hit home. I had only a few months to live. I cried a little bit then. No bucket list for me. I needed to stay strong for my family. I am one of the fortunate few who may still beat this disease. I qualified for a clinical trial of MDX-1106. It has eliminated 80% of my tumors over the last 6 months. I am again very active. I exercise and run, golf and spend much time on my Harley. I'm here to baby sit my grandaughters 2-3 times a week. I joke, I offer insight, I listen, I console. I think about cancer continuously yet it does not run my life. I live each day as if I am going to be here forever. No sense of urgency. No mental stress. I guess the point is that it has become a way of life. Some people are short, some are italian, we have cancer. I guess the coping becomes easier and you are able to move on. So...Good Luck to you. And welcome to our board. There is always a lot of helpful information and experiences to share here. Fox.

Pacer412
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2012

I spent only two days in the hospital. The pain really wasn't too bad after I came home. I couldn't sleep in a bed so I spent most of my time in a recliner. I'm five weeks out and just have some soreness in my side, but I am extremely tired. That seems to be the only problem. Even though you may feel well after five or six days, don't over-do. It's hard, but you really need to do it. My Aunt, who also had a partial, was up walking a lot and sitting in a stiff chair b/c her daughter was in the hospital. About 10 days after surgery, she ended up in the hospital again for clots. Just be patient and you will be fine.