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constantprayer
Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2012

At first I thought June 18th was going to be a typical day off. But when I got out of bed to go to the bathroom I realized something was very wrong. I had blood in my urine. I decided it was time to make a doctors appointment, but the earliest I could get in was the next afternoon. As the day progressed, the more miserable I became. The blood continued and by that evening I could not urinate at all. I finally decided I could not wait until the next day and asked my husband to take me to the emergency clinic.

When I arrived, my blood pressure was sky high and I still could not urinate. They took blood and inserted a catheter. It was such a relief when the pressure of a full bladder subsided. The doctor decided to do a CT scan to look for kidney stones. There was no evidence of kidney stones and the doctor was concerned about my symptoms. He called a Urologist and was told to do another CT scan, but this time to use the glow in the dark stuff. I agreed to go through another CT scan. Afterward, I was sent home with the catheter still in place and told to contact the Urologist office the next day to verify I had an appointment. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well. The catheter was uncomfortable.

The next day, as I waited for the Urologist office to open, I received a phone call from one of the emergency room doctors. He asked how I was feeling and then stressed the importance of following through the Urologist appointment. He went on to say that I had a mass on my right kidney and I should act immediately. Then he added the strangest comment... He said, "Don't worry... you live in America."

I was reeling from the news and was on the phone as soon as the Urologist office opened. I verified my appointment for that afternoon. When I arrived at his office, I was ushered into a small conference room where he gave me an anatomy lesson and told me that there was a 90% chance the mass on my kidney was cancer. He wanted to order an MRI and chest Xray so he could look a little closer. Then he said that he wanted to do a bladder scope. I was taken into a cold room and placed on a narrow table. If you have never had a bladder scope... oh boy...

Anyway, he found the cause of the blood. I had a blood clot in my bladder. He broke it apart and after awhile I was able to pass it and finally I was able to urinate without struggle.

Blood tests were done, MRI and chest Xray were ordered and I left the Urologist office with my new diagnosis.

A week later I had the MRI and chest Xray. Then I returned to the Urologist for a follow-up bladder scope (he found a lesion the first time around and wanted to make sure it was gone). Thankfully, it was not there anymore. He felt it was caused by the catheter that the emergency clinic had inserted.

The MRI showed that I have a 4.7 cm mass on my right kidney. It appears that it is stationary to the kidney. My chest Xray was clear.

Doctor said that the next stop would be at the cardiologist to get cardiac clearance. This took several weeks. I was placed on blood pressure meds and had an echo-sonogram done. My heart is fine. My blood pressure is responding to the meds.

Surgery has been scheduled for August 20th where they will do a radical nephrectomy. I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared and I look forward to being on the other side of this whole thing.

Anyway... thanks for listening. I would love to hear from anyone who has good info that will help me prepare for before/after surgery. Thanks in advance. Have a blessed day.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1481
Joined: Jan 2010

Constantprayer,

Sounds like the way I was diagnosed. That scope is not fun. I skipped the blood clot. Yours is 4.7 cm, mine was 4.2 cm. Face it, you have Cancer. The good thing is that after the surgery you can tell people that you had cancer, not that you have it.

At 4.7 cm you should make a full and complete recovery. The surgery is not fun, but is the price of admission to our club. I have not had any treatment since my surgery and that will be 10 years ago , 6 days from now. Hopefully you can help me with the newbies down the road.

Icemantoo

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1876
Joined: Oct 2011

Once again a wait for the procedure. The first test of your fortitude. Stay tough. The day will come.

matchframe
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2012

The wait seems to be the most difficult part of going through this. Once you have the surgery, then all you have to do is recover and press on with your life, but you will have a new perspective of each new day.

A year ago today, we found the mass on my left kidney when I went to the ER with pain which turned out to be a kidney stone. The CT Scan to confirm the stone from my right kidney also saw the mass on my left kidney. I consider that one and only kidney stone I have ever had my "God's gift"

Be sure to keep us up to date with your progress.

Bill

constantprayer
Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2012

I am trying to juggle my schedule for the upcoming surgery and I was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions...

1. If surgery is scheduled for early morning, is it typical to go to hospital the night before or do you go in that morning?

2. In your experience... how long after surgery before you went back to work. I am responsible for staffing a children's program and I need a realistic idea of how long I will be out of commission.

Thanks for your help.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1481
Joined: Jan 2010

constantprayer,

I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 5:30 am for my prep and surgery. Check with your hospital for your typical time. The evening before is always special with the liquid plumber that you take the day before.

As for back to work that depends on your heath, type of surgery, age and whether any complications arise during your recovery. For now you should fell well enough to go back to work in 4 to 6 weeks although maybe not 40 hours per week at first.

Icemantoo

matchframe
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2012

My surgery was scheduled for 10:30 am and I had to be at the hospital by 8:00 am. As as far as work after surgery, I had traditional surgery (not laproscopic) and I was in the hospital 5 days which includes surgery day. I was cleared to go back to work by my Doctor 6 weeks after surgery. I could only work 4 - 6 hours a day for the first week or so until my endurance increased.

Funny thing about recovery, your mind will think you can do things until you start moving, then reality sets in. I guess the most important thing to remember during recovery is to not to over do it.

Keep us up to date with your progress!

Bill

booma
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Scheduled for removal of left kidney on August 14 due to 4 cm tumor. Because I have had stones in the past, I had ultrasound that showed mass. Subsequent CT confirmed with no apparent metastasis. I am a 61 yr old female. I cared for my husband for 6 1/2 years while he battled mantle cell lymphoma, stem cell transplant, myelodysplastic syndrome. He gave up the battle on May 1. Just about the time in late June when I thought I was starting to get my act together, I got the left flank pain. I would be lying if I were to say that at this point I didn't feel like no good deed goes unpunished. With only one child who cannot be here for this ordeal after all the time spent helping me with my husband at the end, I am pretty much on my own. Fortunately, I have found a recent nursing school grad who is ready for her first in-home assignment. In the end, you just have to live the life you are given.
I have been able to learn so much concerning life after the surgery that I am able to put plans together - even for a dog walker! Thanks to all those who have shared their stories.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1481
Joined: Jan 2010

Booma,

You are among many on this board who was lucky enough to have kidney stones lead to the early discovery of RCC while the tumor was still small. Compared to what your husband went thru this should be a piece of cake. Mine was 4.2 cm at age 59. I have had no treatment since the sugery. Tomorrow will be 10 years from when they got the little bugger out. You should be able to take a small dog for walks 2 or 3 weeks after your surgery.

Icemantoo

booma
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

True, for sure. At the moment, I am taking the morning off from work to meet the dog walker. She is a fairly well trained 50# boxer mix that came to us from a no-kill shelter in Feb after the loss of my 11 yr old APBT in Jan. This has been a rough year. I think I will be looking forward to '13! I am taking a leave of absence from work for at least 3 months as I had no down time following the death of my husband. I shoot tactical pistol and really need a full day on the range to shake it all out - pity the paper targets!

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

booma,

With all that you have been through it seems very unfair that on top of that you are now welcomed into this group. I lost my left kidney 32 months ago to a tumor about the same size as yours, life with one is pretty much the same as before. The surgery and recovery aren't a lot of fun, but it probably won't be as bad as you imagine it to be. Your tumor is still quite small and a surgical cure is likely, in a few months this will be no more than an unpleasant memory, in a year or so you may even consider this to have been lucky. I hope the next 20 or 30 years go better for you, you deserve it. Keep us posted.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

booma
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Sure hope the 20 - 30 is correct. My parents are 89 and 84. Their bodies are in great shape - neither have had anything like this - but their minds are another story. All things considered, I would like to hold onto my mind a while longer!

booma
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Wondering how long it takes for the belly pain to leave. My surgery went well. However, I developed aspiration pneumonitis as a result of the anesthesia which extended my stay to 6 days. Rough ride. I was fully aware of how much trouble I was in since I am an EMT on a volunteer first aid squad. Now I am dealing with the abdominal pain that just won't leave. Still doing painkiller to sleep at night, tylenol in the day. Took a little drive around town and stopped in my office for a few hours yesterday. Today I was exhausted and hurting. Anxious to feel normal again. Just trying to figure out how long it will take.

booma
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Duplicate, sorry.

love_of_my_life
Posts: 28
Joined: Jul 2012

My wife is having the same surgery on August 23rd.

We will keep you within our prayers.

Tom and Holly

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