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new flank pain 12 yrs out

jason n
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2012

Hello all,
I had my left kidney remove via laproscopic surgery in 2000 at age 30, stage 1-2 RCC.
Over the years since the surgery, from time to time, but not often, I have had some dull pain in the flank area where the kidney was removed. The past 6 or 8 weeks the pain is more frequent especially after a phisically active day. I have always been thin but have lost some weight recently by eating a bit healthier, seems to coinside with the increase in pain, but of coarse I am worried about the cancer returning. I am on the books for a ct scan next week, first one in several yrs.
I am wondering if anyone out there has had a similar occurance with pain so long after the procedure ?

does it seem possible to anyone that the surgical clips could be digging/moving into somewhere they shouldnt be as a result of the weight loss ?

Any info is greatly appreciated,,,

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

Hello Jason,

While your flank pain is probably just muscular and the result of physical exertion, it's good that you are being scanned next week. All of your symptoms can be explained away by increased exercise and better diet, but as a cancer survivor, you can't take chances. I'm a little surprised it's been so long since you have had a scan.

I know it will seem like forever between now and your scan, but I don't believe anyone can accurately predict the cause of your pain without a scan. Keep that appointment and let us know what they find. If you need a place to vent and worry in the meantime, you've come to the right place. There are plenty of knowledgeable, empathetic people on this Board who understand your anxiety and will be here for you before your appointment as well as afterwards.

Good luck.

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

Like Alice, I'm guessing your CT scan will reassure you that you don't have RCC recurrence. Is it a CAP (chest abdomen and pelvis scan)?
I don't understand your reference to surgical clips. What are they for?

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

As a young therapist, I never believed that old injuries would come back to haunt you. As an experienced therapist, there is no doubt that old injuries definitely come back to haunt you. Most can be addressed with stretching and resistive ex. This is an area that a good physical therapist can effectively address.

jason n
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2012

You may be onto something. My dad, who wore the same jacket you have on in your picture for many years, always said "there are 2 types of bikers,,those that have crashed and those that are gonna", well I fit into the first catagory !! Still riding dirt bikes every weekend,,, I have had the "sudden stop" more times than I care to think about.
At 11 yrs old I fell off a fence and broke the 3 ribs covering the now missing kidney,,,always wondered if that set the wheels in motion, silly as it sounds.
If the pain continues after the scan results I will be taking your advice to see a therapist.
thanks for taking the time to send your words of wisdom !!
Keep the rubber side down !!!

jason n
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2012

yikes !
0.7 cm spot on other kidney not seen in previous scans, ultra sound on the 21st.
Praying until then,,,, and probably long after

moonlight2008
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi jason

what about the new spot ? Please keep us updated

I am sending you my prayers

jason n
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Moonlight2008,
I can not thank you enough for the prayers !!
I have now had a ultrasound to confirm the findings of the ct scan and the mass is so small that they are not able to see it. In a way I was hoping that they would be able to see it and that way I would be able to have more frequent none toxic tests to keep an eye on it. I have visited 2 urologists for their opinions, one being the doctor who removed my kidney back in 2000, the other just a second opinion. The second opinion recommend's a follow up scan in 6 months to check for growth and feels that with my history there is a 60+% chance that it will be another cancerous tumor, my original doctor feels we should wait for 12 months and do another ultrasound to see if anything can be seen via the less toxic route, but sounds fairly confident that it is "nothing to worry about". Both agree that RCC is typically slow growing and that time is need for us to recognize any increase in size of this tiny spot. So for the time being I am trying not to think too much about it, but to be honest, its hard not to wonder. The flank pain seems to be lessening the past 2 weeks and the ct scan showed nothing in that area,,, thank the lord (and your prayers). I will be eating healthy, trying to minimize stress levels,,, and praying until the next test.

jason n
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for the post.
Yes, it is a scan of the chest and abdomen.
Each of my reports from the first 5 years of scans and chest xrays made some mention of "surgicals clip consistant with nephrectomy procedure evidenced in results".
I was one of the very early patients (aprox #100) to have the laproscopic procedure done. My doctor (stephen shickman) was the doctor who pioneered or invented the "hand assisted laproscopic" meathod. I am wondering if the procedure has been refined to where they do not need the stainless steel clips anymore. In the chest xrays the clip looks about the size of a grape and to my eye resembles a fuel line clamp,,, but I am certain he did not use a fuel line clamp :),, they probably call it a vena cava clamp !!.

Thanks again

jason n
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2012

Funny how the mind works, during the daytime hours I am feeling quite confident that it is muscle related,,, then night comes, put the kids to bed and then the brain switchs gears to doom and gloom,,, perhaps I should be having my brain checked instead !!:)
After reading these boards, I am also surprised my doctor has let me go nearly 5 years without a scan,,just 2 renal ultra sounds in that period.

Thanks again for your words of reassurance, It is clear your past posts have eased lots of peoples minds.

I will let you know the results

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 154
Joined: Jul 2012

Hello Jason,
I am 3 years and 3 months away from my nephrectomy, and I still have kidney pain in the areas associated with actually having a kidney. It used to scare the daylights out of me because it is the same pain that lead to my diagnosis. I have had MRIs and CT scans regularly since the surgery and there is no new disease in the area. My urologist said it's the disconnected nerves trying to find each other.

I didn't have the laparoscopic surgery, I had the incision straight down the middle-- mid-chest, down and around the navel, and through the linea alba, and the surgical clips are titanium rather than stainless steel.

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

Jason, you will find that there are quite a few bikers on this board. Next come golfers, and then people from minnesota. The rest just thought they had kidney stones!

jason n
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Phoenix rising,
Thanks for the reply and words of reassurance.
I was fortunate to have my kidney cancer discovered as a result of tests done to determine what was going on with some long term belly ache'in I was doing, which turned out to be diverticulitus, so I had zero symptoms or pain from the kidney tumor. The past few days I am feeling more confident that the source of my new pain is muscle or nerve related as I force myself to not be too active with work and the kids. I am still going for the scan to hopefully put my mind (and my moms) at ease for at least a few more years.

Thanks again

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