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Another Newbie

lomernik
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi everyone -

I wanted to post to say I've read many of your posts over the last few weeks and they have really helped to understand this diagnosis and give us piece of mind that this is hopefully just a "bump" in the road.

I am not the patient - I am the caregiver. My husband, age 56, was diagnosed with a 1.5cm mass on his right kidney a few weeks ago during an ER visit for an unrelated stomach issue (which turned out to just be a virus). He will have a partial nephrectomy a week from today (Sept. 13th). They plan to do the surgery laproscopically using a robot.

The surgeon says he will be in the hospital "a couple of days". I'm curious how long most of you were hospitalized. My husband thinks he's having surgery on Thursday and coming home on Friday. I suppose that's possible but I told him he shouldn't get his hopes up! Then again, he's in excellent shape - he runs a couple of marathons a year and probably thinks he will bounce back with no trouble. I had my gallbladder removed laproscopically 1.5 years ago and bounced back pretty quickly. I went skiing in Colorado five weeks after surgery. I have no idea if having part of your kidney removed is more involved than gallbladder surgery.

I will post again after surgery and when we have staging/grading (although I assume it's going to be stage 1).

Lyla

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1596
Joined: Jan 2010

Lyla,

Sound like as good as a diagnosis as possible for your husband for RCC. A recovery as close to 100% for a full recovery from the surgery alone is in the cards.

This is still major abdominal surgery, not a procedure. I was in the hospital 2 days with a laproscpic nepherectomy which is a little easier than a partial which involves more cutting. Some of the members have been in the hospital more than 2 days where they didn't tolerate the surgery well, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Based upon my experience he is not going to feel like skiing in 5 months let alone 5 weeks. I would not stand in his way if he wanted to prove me wrong, but I doubt he will. Next winter ( 2014)he should be fine for skiing. I went water skiinng 11 months after my surgery at age 60 and thought that was an accomplisment especially as I had not done it for at least 20 years before that.

Icemantoo

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 373
Joined: May 2012

Two days may be possible. He will probably be sore, and under restricted activity for at least six weeks, as the abdomen needs to heal. Being fit is probably a very good thing. Mostly, the Dr will not have to go through layers of Fat. It will also shorten the time for wound care.

Here is what he needs to understand: it is major surgery. The pain he feels in typical. I will not be running for six weeks. He will not have 100% energy for a while.

My story is, i am somewhat overweight. I was hospitalized for 4 days, mostly because of a fever. I had issues with the surgical wound and it got infected (at four weeks out). Now, about 10 weeks out, I finally feel like have have most of my energy back. I still have pain, but it is not particularly bad, except when I cough.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1952
Joined: Oct 2011

I too was in excellent shape when I had my radical nephrectomy. My surgeon later commented to me that he had never seen anyone look so good 24 hours after surgery. Despite that and a good pain tolerence, I was still in the hospital for 3 more days. Amazed at how weak the legs can get. Natures way of saying, "Whoa, Nelley" You have been seriously physically insulted and it takes time to let your body and nervous system deal with the trauma. Full recovery takes weeks longer.

love_of_my_life
Posts: 28
Joined: Jul 2012

My wife had a radical two weeks ago yesterday using a laproscopic procedure. Her mass was 3.5cm. She actually came home approximately 26 hours after the surgery. The second day home was the most difficult because she was getting nauseated on her pain meds.

Now, two weeks later, she is driving and is at about 85% in my opinion. Her three small scars are healing nicely and she takes a half a pain med once a day or so. She is back into her usual routine and her energy level is growing everyday.

Like your husband, she is a pretty serious runner and the surgeon said that this has helped in her recovery. She still has four weeks before she can resume running.

Good luck with the upcoming procedure. You and your husband will be in our prayers.

Tom and Holly

brea588
Posts: 116
Joined: Jul 2012

I was a newbie here a few weeks ago. I had a 2 cm tumor in Right kidney. I had the robotic laparascopc partial neph aug 28th. I must be a wimp but i was in hospital from tues to fri. Drain tube didnt come out til thursday. I have 7 sm incisions and one from drain tube. I am still very weak and no appetite and feel sluggish. I hope you do better than I did but this is a very major surgery and my doc said i could be up to 3 months getting back to where i was or longer. I am 56 dont know ur age but u being athletic im sure will help. Good luck.

Kane0130
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2012

My tumor was 2.5 cenimeters and its grade is pTa. I found out I had kidney cancer (transitional cell carcinoma ) on Fridat July 27th this year and had a radical nephrectomy on Friday August 10th. My surgery was robotic but it was 8 hours. Im super healthy but this surgery kicked my bootie! Even tough it was robotic I hard 5 laperscopic incisions ad 1 large were they removed ll the "stuff" total of 40 + staples.
I'm hoping to go back to work teaching in the next 2 weeks . What ave your Dr. Told you... Love my Dr.

Kane0130
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2012

I found out I had kidney cancer (transitional cell carcinoma ) on Fridat July 27th this year and had a radical nephrectomy on Friday August 10th. My surgery was robotic but it was 8 hours. Im not going to sugar coat it, I was very uncomfortable but I went home on Monday and everyday has been better. You have to take care of yourself! My biggest issue has even energy, usually I can do most anything but I have to pause and take a breather .
I'm hoping to go back to work teaching in the next 2 weeks . Think positive and know that this is a bump in the road!

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

Hi Lyla,

Caregivers are as welcome here as patients, you go through the same mental anguish as us and in most cases feel our pain as though it were your own. Caregivers are very special, without you the journey would be much harder.

How long someone needs to stay in the hospital following surgery seems to be a very individual case by case thing, some have been home the next day. I had a full laproscopic nephrectomy and could have gone home after 3 days, but was scheduled for another surgery to repair some damage from the accident that led to my dx. I walked as much as I could between surgeries and actually did 4 miles in the hospital hallways the day before the second surgery, I was 58 at the time. I also had my gall bladder removed laproscopically and I can tell you there is no comparison, days for the gall bladder vs. weeks for the nephrectomy.

Its important that your husband begin walking as soon as possible and build himself up to longer, brisk, pain free walks before running again and it is equally important that he drink plenty of water, 1/2 gallon per day minimum. These two things will shorten his recovery and help him be his ol' self again. Keep us posted.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

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

Hi Lyla,

I, too, am a caretaker and, as the others pointed out, everyone is different when it comes to the recovery. My husband went in on a Tuesday morning and was released Wednesday night.

I had been at the hospital all day with him, and he had been up walking the hallways the morning after surgery. He told me he might be released but I thought it was wishful thinking and went home about 8:00 p.m. I no sooner walked in the door and my phone was ringing to pick him up. Good thing we live close to the hospital. I hadn't realized that, according to the nurse, they admit and release patients around the clock.

Good luck to you and your husband.

Alice

lomernik
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Everyone -

I wanted to let you know that my husband's surgery on Thursday went exactly as planned. If you remember, his tumor was only 1.5 cm, so very small. The urologist said he only removed the tumor and about 5% of his kidney which is amazing to me.

He was in quite a bit of pain on Thursday afternoon/evening until they got enough morphine in him. When I left the hospital on Thursday night I knew there was no way he was coming home on Friday. Yesterday he looked and felt soooo much better than on Thursday. He did several laps around the unit and was finally given some real food last night.

He's being discharged this morning, so he has spent about 48 hours in the hospital. I'm sure he'll be happy to be home!

I'll post an update next week to let you know how he's doing - I really found a lot of good information from your posts so if I can help other people who have a new diagnosis, I'd like to do that.

Lyla

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1952
Joined: Oct 2011

These are the stories we like to hear. Good for him!

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

Hi Lyla,

Well you guys are official members now that your initiation is complete, that wasn't so bad was it? Yeah, right!! Good to hear your hubby is doing so well and that there were no surgical surprises, he should be his ol' self in a couple weeks. Your prescription now is to spend the next several decades remembering when he "HAD" cancer. Please do stick around and share your positive experience with the newbies that find us.

Congratulations,

Gary

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