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DaVinci Robotic Partial Nephrectomy

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

On Dec 18, 2002 I had a left nephrectomy..tumor was almost 8cm..totally encapsulated..I actually had the first laproscopic nephrectomy ever done at Washington Hospital Center in DC..Pain was bad for a few days but I recovered very quickly. I have been followed once a year now by my Oncologist since. I am a retired Paramedic and in the past 3 yrs I have had increasing Lumbar pain impinging on my nerves but no one would do surgery because it didn't show up on an MRI. My neurologist and pain management Drs. were going nuts because all my symptoms are classic for nerve impingement at L3-4-5. I get horrible cramps walking on hard surfaces and at night my legs and feet cramp horribly. So my neurologist ordered a myelogram with CT...Finally, all the herniated discs etc showed up so maybe now I can finally have my spinal surgery. Unfortunately (really fortunately) 2 tumors also showed up in my remaining kidney..had a sono and CT to confirm. Luckily they are both under 3 cm and in an area where they should be fairly easy to remove. So I am set up for a partial Robotic nephrectomy on Feb 8. I feel pretty optimistic about this but I can't seem to make my family and friends understand that this is not exactly a walk in the park and I have a right to be scared and a little freaked out. I mean it is my only kidney..It has cancer in it..I am 62 yrs. old and anything go wrong with any surgery...there are moments I just want to scream ...SO THIS IS ME SCREAMING!!! Ok, I feel better now,LOL...I just don'tknow how to get through to them...The past two years have been horrible for my family. My brother died at 56 from sudden cardiac arrest on Jan 5 2011. The following January my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer..I took care of him until he died on May 8, 2012. Then 7 weeks later on July1,2012 my Mother died, and on Sept 3 my Mother In Law died. Then I get diagnosed with RCC again...One good thing happened my daughter gave birth to twin boys on Aug 28. Both happy and healthy..she now has 4 boys under 4...but I am so stressed out...I have two estates to settle and a house to sell etc..and then this...insanity...anyway, thanks for letting me vent

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 256
Joined: Jul 2012

I was going to say a lot more, but erased it all.

God Bless both of us!! :)

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

Yes, God Bless all of us that need it!! and Thanks for your support!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1452
Joined: Jan 2010

roaddr23,

 

I also had a laproscopic neph. in 2002. I was 59 than. It was 4.2cm. My doctor had just completed his training doing laproscopic surgery when I went under the knife, As we knpw they did not have partials than. All of us with RCC have a higher chance than the general public of developing RCC in the other Kidney. Your story therefore hits really close to home. Thank god that the new RCC is small and that there are options available now that were not available when we started our journeys back in 2002 (before I-Phones).  All of us with 1 kidney have a right to be freaked out when this occurs in the other Kidney. Here's to a good outcome.

 

Icemantoo

 

Icemantoo

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

Well, if I am one thing it is a fighter. My daughter says I am the most awesome "not normal" Mom in the world..and I take that as a compliment. I have always done things that were not in the norm for women. I worked on Horse Farms, was an exercise girl at the Race Tracks when there were very few women doing that. In 1974, I became the first female Volunteer Firefighter at the Clinton Station in Prince Georges County, MD and with that one of the first in the County. From there I became one of the first female Fire/EMS dispatchers in the county also. When I was 36 I decided that even though I loved being a dispatcher I really didn't want to turn 50 and regret not doing what I really wanted to do...become a paramedic..so I applied for that position and passed all the tests etc and in 1987 I switched to Emergency Medical Services and became a paramedic...until I retired in 1999. I loved it...but you can imagine it wasn't always easy being a woman breaking into a man's world  but it was wonderful and wouldn't trade it for anything. So I know even though I am tired and a little scared I can dig down deep and I know that fighting spirit is there....If I lose this fight it sure won't be because I didn't try!! I thank everyone here for their support too...it means a lot to me!

banddinbc's picture
banddinbc
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2013

I and my husband are fairly new to this journey Nov/2012 don was diagnosed with RCC which we are working on- but I am so thankful you have found your results very soon, and you are in good hands to get them in control- so sorry to hear of all your family details, life is so hard when you cant catch your breath in between,  although such a blessing to enjoy your grand-children.  every day is truly a gift and regrets just pull us down.  You are a hero to us as you have battled RCC and won and have gotten to enjoy life and family to this day- Know you will again beat this and enjoy graduations in the future

Thanks for letting us into your life and know we care and are wishing strong support in your direction to get thru these days ahead.  Bless you :  Bev

 

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

I actually had a great day on Sunday at my daughters. My son and his girlfriend, whom I hadn't met yet were there and she has a 2 yo girl who stole my heart right away as did her Mom...It was a crazy kids day and we all had a great time. I will fight this as hard as I can and I am also a true believer that whatever happens was meant to be and I am at peace with that also. Thanks so much for your support..I am glad I found a place to come for that..

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 503
Joined: Oct 2012

I am so very sorry to hear what you are going through after so many years without RCC.

Was your surgeon at Washington Hospital Center Dr. Mohan Verghese by any chance?

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

My 2002 surgeon was Dr Arnold Kwart, he was the head of Urology at the time..He was an amazing man. He died in 2008. My surgeon for this Feb 8 is Dr. Jonathan Hwang, he is a urologist/oncologist and head of Robotic Surgery but Dr Verghese's name sound very familiar to me...

 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1851
Joined: Oct 2011

Now after all the fortitude you have shown,(you're not my wife are you?)( probably not. you only have 2 dogs). kidney cancer doesn't care if you are man, woman, or rock. You have shown you can beat the odds with your drive in life. The challenge is different. Our control is in choosing good practioners and fighting with all we have. Paula admits she will fight dirty. So, I think you have the right tools. I have no doubt you know how to use them and also no doubt that you can fight dirty too. Tough chicks rule. Live on Road!..you too Paula, if you are checking in.

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 503
Joined: Oct 2012

It surmise that Dr. Verghese must have taken over as Head of Urology after Dr. Kwart passing.  At least that was his position when he performed a radical nephrectomy on me in May 2010. 

They really have some top-notch doctors affiliated with WHC.

Wishing you well and a quick recovery after your Feb. 8th surgery.

 

-N

Johnnyb's picture
Johnnyb
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug 2010

Hello,  My name is John.  I had my appendix taken out on July 30, 2010 and the surgery went well.  After I went home I got a call form my Doctor telling me they needed to talked to me. That is when they told me I most likely had Kidney Cancer.  the Mass was 2.5 cm 3.0 cm and it was Reno Cell Carcinoma.  30 days later I am back in the hospital having my right Kidney removed.  The Operation was to be about 3 hours.  Well, when I woke up it had been 8 hours.  The Doctor told me my blood pressure went to almost Zero twice, I had lost a lot of blood.  They gave me 3 units during the surgery and another 6 units afterwards 2 units each day.  I couldn't eat for 5 days just sipping water and ice cubes.  I was so week could barely sit up.  That was two and half years ago.  I am doing find now. Totally recoverd back to work not having any more issues from the surgery.  Feeling good most of the time.  My Step Father James a year ago had the same surgery they found he had cancer too.  The problem is his cancer has returned it is in his lungs and liver now.  I am very depress now thinking my cancer could return.  I trust in God that he will take care of me and help me with my depression in this matter but hearing the news of what is going on with my Step Dad is sad.  The Doctor's told my mom thre is nothing more we can do for him.  Radiation, Chemo nothing is stopping the growth.  So basicly I just need prayer and God will take these thoughts away.  I am 52 years old and in June will be 53.  Seeing others who have had cancer and what they had to go through is scary for me thinking this will all happen to me someday.  Thanks for listening just need some encouragement I guess.  God Bless.

 

 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1851
Joined: Oct 2011

Don't let this consume you. I know, easy to say. We may never be out of the woods with this RCC. So we keep all follow up appts. and tests. We stay vigilant and try to keep informed with all the options available now and coming ahead. Our lives are changed. Try not to devote too much energy into worrying. People without depression will almost always do better in the long run for any health issue. Appreciate everything just a little more. Make simple pleasures meaningful. Behavioral therapists will encourage refocusing on the positive. Energy spent on worrying and depression is misdirected and lost. It may take concious effort but you can do it. All your loved ones would want nothing else for you.

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

John, it's sad about your Step Dad but it has no bearing on your health.  Are you having regular scans (at least every 6 months)?  If not you should arrange to get a CT scan soon.   If you are being monitored properly and you're OK two and a half years later, you shouldn't be needing to worry - just make sure you're being checked out and you're probably going to be fine.

You had a tiny tumor and although the op was a nightmare you're probably cured and won't have more trouble with cancer, especially if you have a sensible lifestyle - no smoking, keep your weight down, not too much alcohol, balanced diet and regular exercise.

If you find yourself unable to stop worrying, do get appropriate counselling - local support groups or a good clinical psychologist, preferably with some experience of helping cancer survivors - and do remember that you survived and you should have many happy years of good health ahead.

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

Hi John,

While I attempted to do my homework and read some of your other posts (as your blue space notes 16 posts), I couldn't find anything other than this post. I must be doing something wrong in my search attempts. Where are you located?

Anyway, I'm sorry that you have joined "the club" but you've joined it at the right time as progress in fighting kidney cancer is advancing quickly. One of my favorite thoughts on kidney cancer is "We're treating kidney cancer as a chronic disease not a fatal one." There has been much progress and even more in the pipeline. I'm not sure of your stepfather's details, but I can't help but question why you don't mention the usage of votrient, sutent, or some of the newer drugs being used to combat RCC.There's reason for a lot of optimism for those with RCC. These threads are filled with them. My husband, John (one putt) is doing great on the Votrient/Nivolumab trial.

Life is good and sometimes I believe illness and sickness is God's way of keeping us from taking it for granted.  So embrace it and try not to let fear and worry rob you of what you've been given. 

 

 

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

Alice, you could catch up on Johnny's earlier posts by starting at July 31 2010 on our biggest thread - "Recovering from radical nephrectomy" at page 2.

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