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When is it stubborness? and when is it stupidity?

Stros2013's picture
Stros2013
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

It's been 7 months since 10X6 stage 2 grade 4 rcc was removed from left kidney. First scans in June were clean so i was shifted to 6 month scans at MD Anderson for balance of 5 years.
Initial recovery was fine and after a month or so i was back at the office. Over time (june, july, August) i built up my endurance, gained the lost weight back and began working out 4 mornings a week. I felt great and was happy to put the entire April episode in the rear view mirror knowing that i'd have scans for 4 more years to ensure all A-OK.

In the past 60 days my schedule hasn't changed or been altered but i have begun to feel significant fatigue. Having 4 kids (2 under 2.5 yrs and 2 teenagers), a company to manage, marriage, plus all of the things associated with being a father and husband; i assumed (and still wonder) if i'd just pushed too far too fast.

Privately, i will concede that the fatigue is exhausting. I wake up completely worn out. I've altered my diet away from anything processed and ingested more than my fair share of salads and vegetibles. After 3 weeks, i'm not seeing any appreciable change except that now in my workouts there are times i can't keep up with the group (humbling).

My inclination is to ignore and put my head down until the December visit. My wife has asked that i solicit input from this board as to whether i should have blood work done now through GP instead of waiting until December. I'd prefer to minimize and ignore believing that all of the aches and pains associated with being 43 isn't related to cancer.

So, i'm needing guidance. Is anyone else struggling with fatigue months after surgery? Is this something about nothing?

Peace to all of you. I really enjoy reading the input on this board. Especially the jokes on Friday. Laughter is such powerful medicine.
CC

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

It comes as part of the total package. You've got a pretty full load and so it may well be that you've pushed it a bit too hard too soon.

That said, discussion with your GP would be sensible and a quick look at your blood might pay dividends. People often find they're sub-acutely anaemic and with sensible management can be readily restored to a better sense of well-being. I'd see my doc and take it from there.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1658
Joined: Jan 2010

cc,

Fatigue is normal. I agree with TEX. You had major abdominal surgery 7 months ago. Pushing yourself to the limit everyday could be too much. Do not expect your body to fully recover for a year. Check with your GP. There may be other causes to your problems. If it is just from the surgery it will eventually just go away.

Icemantoo

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2065
Joined: Oct 2011

Yes, worth getting blood work. Could be something simple and fixable. Or not. But you won't know if you don't have it checked. Regarding fatigue, I had recovered well and quickly. But now, I have many days that I feel like napping most of the day. Then I can turn around and work outdoors all the next day. I couldn't keep up the pace of a full time job anymore.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 438
Joined: Feb 2009

go see Vampira, the phlebotomist.
Vegies are good for you but you may be causing your RBC, hematocrit, and everything associated to go down.
Just to make sure, get it checked.
Donna

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

Some say it can take a year to fully recover even though you may "feel" 100% much sooner. Post surgery anemia is a somewhat common occurrence especially for those that are very active, I applaud your efforts. I do have a question, how much water are you drinking daily? Not sports drinks, coffee, etc., but plain old water. Water is essential to and basically improves ALL bodily functions, simply not drinking enough water on a daily basis can leave you fatigued.

Just my $0.02,

Gary

Stros2013's picture
Stros2013
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks Gary. I'm drinking close to a 12 ounce bottle of water every couple of hours. Some days it's more and some days a little less.

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

Well, I can't say you haven't mentioned the subject Gary.

Yesterday I had my first follow-up oncology appointment since starting on Votrient. I had bloods taken and will get the results at my next appointment in 2 weeks time. Then a first follow-up scan in January. That will tell a lot. Meanwhile we looked over my last lab figures - baseline ones taken on 12th October, in anticipation of my drug treatment.

And: all was good except for some indications of dehydration! You canvas the old guidance of 8 x 8oz glasses of water a day. Received wisdom these days has it that all fluids count - including tea, coffee, fruit juices, milk, other non-alcoholic beverages, liquid in foods etc. and I think that's probably reasonable unless you have my sort of pattern.

In recent years, I've not been drinking plain water at all, except, perhaps, when taking drugs. I have a large liquid throughput, which in recent times has started with grapefruit juice, green tea and milk but my main fluid intake has been at least 12 x 10oz mugs of espresso and sometimes more. Occasional tea, smoothies when I remember, sports drinks on the golf course, and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner top it off (and the odd whisky, rusty nail, G and T and Guinness). The infusions usually continue even in the cave!

Now, on Votrient, I've had to give up grapefruit juice and green tea, until the latest evidence is clearer on interactions with Votrient. Nano's guru, Dr. Block, in his fine book Life over Cancer counsels against milk. So, it's over to more good old plain water, smoothies in larger volume, almond milk which I bought for the first time yesterday and substitution of more peppermint and camomile teas in place of coffee and more use of decaffeinated Earl Grey tea (which is not much less palatable than undoctored Earl Grey). Still a lot of coffee but I'm trying to remember to have half a mug in place of a full one most times.

We'll see if this virtue is rewarded in due course. I guess I may even start sleeping at night with the reduction in rocket fuel.

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 608
Joined: Oct 2012

Almond Milk tastes great! Even better than the regular stuff. Try to get the unsweetened version though. It will still taste as sweet.

So don't cry over split milk. Even if you aren't allowed to spill it anymore.

Trust me. I'm a Zealot... :)

So glad to hear you are making great progress. If dehydration is your only concern I'd say that is wonderful news.

However, you can't count drinking any coffee in your hydration totals. It is diuretic. So it works the opposite way.

BTW, I use Cocoanut Milk Half and Half in my coffee.

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

Thanks PP. My almond milk IS unsweetened (I generally hate anything sweetened) and I agree that it tastes great.

I'm going to hydrate more - just don't want to go around looking wet!

The point about coffee diuresis would be contested by some doctors. However, I think my description bears it out - I have a huge fluid intake, mostly coffee, until recently, and yet can be dehydrated - maybe a case of half a pint in, followed not long after by three quarters of a pint out (more so on cold days on the golf course, saying which it'll be way below freezing when I play in a few hours time, so I'd better head for bed now).

Stros2013's picture
Stros2013
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

Fox.....thanks for the input and validation. I'm guessing that for now i need to get a smaller plate and when the body says slow down....then i need to slow down.

If anything comes up in visit to GP or Houston visit then i'll repost. Thank you again for input.

Max Power's picture
Max Power
Posts: 60
Joined: Sep 2012

A blood test is just data. After you get the data, you make the decision.

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 420
Joined: Nov 2011

Could some of this fatigue be a little bit related to you possibally being a little depressed,what you went through is alot for anyone to come to terms with.Something i found that works for me is a supplement called Emergen C,you can get it at walmart walgreens or any other store that has a pharmacy.it has 1000MG of vitamin C which is great for your immune system and give you a nice natural energy boost

Stros2013's picture
Stros2013
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

Limelife50.....thank you for the tip. I'll consider using Emergen C once i get through the doctors visit this coming week and the big one in early December. On the depression....it's certainly a possibility after everything thats happened this year but not my first guess. As with the supplement, i'm open to trying anything but need to get a little further down the road first. Thanks again for the input. CC

xinhope
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi CC:

It is my first post here. We are the same age.

I agree with all the suggestions. You should definitely have your blood work done. It is very simple and can reveal a lot of things. In addition, I assume that the scans in June included both chest and abdomen.

Depression might also need to be considered. Your spirit sounds very high. However, for what we went through, the trauma might be hidden quite deep.

I had my right kidney removed last September. In my own experience, the first 3 months after the surgery were actually not too bad. I started to work from home two weeks after the surgery and went back to work after four weeks. However, I started to feel the emotional burden,at the beginning of this year. It took me quite a while to learn the proper way to deal with them.

JackieP125's picture
JackieP125
Posts: 55
Joined: Jan 2012

I am 10 months post-op. I work out 2 or 3 afternoons a week. Other days I spend outside walking trying to keep my energy level up. I find that there are days that I just can't do it. On those days, I choose to rest. However, if I take a week off from working out, it feels like I am starting all over again. My engery level just drops completely and I feel so drained. I also heard it takes about a year to get it back together. I am almost there but will be 59 yrs old next month so now I am wondering if maybe I am just getting old. LOL.

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 881
Joined: Mar 2012

CC,

I'm fatigued from reading your post, and I've have had no surgery. My guess is you're pushing and expecting too much too fast. Take it easy; smell those roses!

Stros2013's picture
Stros2013
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

Alice124,
So true about smelling the roses....just loved the free time with the kids over the last couple of days. Plenty of joy in living and giving thanks for the time we have together. Not sure i can totally slow down but have and will continue to take concerted efforts to smell the roses. I even took the little ones for a walk this morning. Absolutely beautiful morning.....43 degrees and incredible blue skies here in Austin.

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 881
Joined: Mar 2012

It goes without saying that your schedule and responsibilities keep you in overdrive, but it's so important to take some time out for you and your family. You have to smell those roses every now and then or you forget how to. Glad that wasn't you and you're back to feeling like your old self.

Your family is beautiful!

Eliezer2
Posts: 58
Joined: Aug 2012

It may well not be physical at all, but emotional. Surgery is emotionally draining.

I agree - laughter really helps. Rent some funny movies.

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

Talking of funnies, I'm looking forward to some more academic jokes from you Eliezer!

I agree about the emotional drain and we have to fight the inclination to treat body and mind as discrete entities. On KIDNEY-ONC lately, there's been an interesting insight into the side-effects of Sutent - apparently that drug (and possibly other TKIs) inhibits the release of dopamine in the brain, thus damping down the feel-good factor.

Stros2013's picture
Stros2013
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

I wanted to return and close this post out.

Just returned from 6 month scans at MD Anderson.... NED.
No blips or anything.

Doctors comments about fatigue were to continue to monitor thyroid and remaining kidney. Bloodwork showed Kidney isn't working as well as would like. Scheduled to head into Nephrologist next week.

Great early present for the family and self.

Time to relax and enjoy the cool air that just blew into town.

Merry Christmas. CC

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 881
Joined: Mar 2012

Wonderful news for you and your beautiful family as you celebrate a Christmas to remember...

May the blessings keep coming.

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