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newbie caretaker needing some guidance

gatorgirl11
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2013

Hey all, first off I want to thank all of you that have posted your stories on this board. It has really helped me the past few weeks.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancerin 1999, she had a double masectomy along with a tranflap. Those were the hardest times for my family seeing how I was only 9 at the time. This year my family decided we were going to move to Uruguay to open a Christian based orphanage. After we sold our house my mom went to the doctors to check on some knee pain. She's 59 years old so she thought it would be normal results for her age. When theydid the CT scan they found a 2.7 cm mass in her kidney half in the kidney and the other half in the urine pool. She's petrified of whats going on and I don't know how to deal with it. They're planning an open partiap nephrectomy for June 26th. When we met with her surgeon it was literally for 2 minutes while he explained how he was going to cut her and couldn't perform it laparoscopic because of the tranflap 13 years ago.

 

Iwouldd really appreciate just any sort of advice y'all could give me. I know her doctor is amazing due to my own research and talking with his patients. But I know she needs to see an oncologist to really understand whats going on. She's petrified of going through chemo or radiation again. 

Also would any of you know how long it takes to be able to fly? My mom is stubborn and states that once she's cleared to fly she's going to Uruguay and she will find a doctor there that will keep up with the xrays and CT scans. Ijust wish I could be more help to her. Right now she's expecting her first grandchild and all she keeps saying is that she wants to make it to the birth. I know that the size of the mass shouldnt give us cause to worry right?  

Iapologize for the long message and thank you for anything you might say to bring us peace.l

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

I am so sorry to hear about your Mum, I know first hand how hard it is to find out you have cancer yet again. I have had cancer several times and it never gets any easier. Your Mum sounds like a very strong lady, she will pull through this. As you say the tumour is small, and they are planning to save the kidney, so that is very good news. I had a partial in March and my follow up scans a set for September. There will be no other form of treatment unless they find anything else at that time.

Your Mum is very fortunate to have your support, you are wise to have an oncologist on board who deals with kidney cancer, if only to put your Mum's mind at rest. I don't know what your time line is in flying to Uruguay, but flying particularly long flights are not recommended for some time after the op. The risk of a blood clot would be too great. I was advised to wait at least 2 months before I took a long flight. I was supposed to be flying to NY next month but decided to play safe and postponed it for a while. This is definitely something you need to speak your doctor about.

All the best:)

Djinnie

gatorgirl11
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2013

Djinnie, You have no idea how much your words mean to me. I have to constantly remind my mom that there is no chemo and that there is no radiation because I know that is her biggest fear. Like I said earlier her surgery is next week so we're all trying to spend as much time together as a family because we know that the road ahead is going to be a long one. I pray that your scans will be clear from here on out and that you never have to go through the big C again!

As for our timeline to head to Uruguay, we're currently staying in a property we used to rent out but the closing date is July 2nd. We negotiated with the buyer to let us stay until the end of August so that's what we're praying for. If it's possible we're going to take flights with some breaks in the middle so she can walk around and not stay seated the whole time. Hopefully 10 weeks after her surgery is enough.

Thank you!

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

I will be sending your Mum positive thoughts, I am sure she will be fine. I would imagine that the hardest part for you will be ensuring your Mum takes things slowly post op. The recliner is a very good idea, sitting and standing will be difficult at first. Make sure your Mum keeps on top of her pain meds initially. She will need to keep hydrated and also it might be an idea to buy some Sennacot or prune juice to help get the bowel back in motion. 

It is important to start walking as soon as possible, obviously just short walks initially then gradually build up. It will help to stretch the body and improve circulation. As you know there should be no bending or lifting. As the intestines will have been disrupted it is best to eat little and often to begin with, reduces digestive problems.

Anyway, all the best with your move, I hope everything works out for you with the rental.

Eims won't be able to answer your post just now, she is away on holiday for 10 days.

 

Djinnie x

 

Eims's picture
Eims
Posts: 420
Joined: Feb 2013

hi gatorgirl,

im sorry to hear about your mam but from the sounds of it im with djinnie on this she is one strong lady and you know that is half the battle.  i had a full nephrectomy on the 14th of january this year (my daughters 2nd birthday!) and i flew to new york from dublin (ireland) on the 17th of march.  my doc said that its best to wait at least 6 weeks after surgery to fly anywhere.  in saying that i wouldn't have been able to the way i felt!!  i had open surgery and that does take a little more time to get over and that is just being honest.  your mam will know herself when she is ready but she must give herself a chance to heal.  i know i underestimated the operation and it was a shock to see how disabled i was for a few weeks.  planning is vital and organisation is key.......she will be fine once she doesn't push herself too soon,

eims x

gatorgirl11
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2013

Eims,

You are a fighter my friend! I can't imagine having to go through such a surgery with a small child. She's lucky to have a mom that is a fighter. How big was your incision, if you don't mind my asking.? Also, in your case, did they have to remove your rib? We're trying hard to plan for whats coming up but we all feel like this isn't something you plan for. We bought her a recliner and a portable toilet just in case. It was a life saver last time so we thought we might need it this time. We have a week left to get most of our stuff in storage and really clean this place from top to bottom to make sure that there's nothing to worry about afterwards.

What kinda stuff did you have planned before hand? I appreciate any kinda feed back you can give in that regard. Thank you!

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