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Appt with surgeon tomorrow....

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

My appt with my doctor after all the ct scans, ultrasounds, and biopsy....what questions should i ask??  i know i will forget when i walk through the doors so i am trying to put together something tonight...trying to prepare for everything...thanks in advance.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1470
Joined: Jan 2010

Crystal, 

For starters make a written list of the questions you have asked on your posts. Be prepared to ask follow up questions.Let the doctor know one way or the other whether he can discus confidential medical  matters with your fiance during or after surgery.

 

Icemantoo

Bellweather
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 2013

iceman is everywhere with great advice!!

Hang in there pauley, if you forget to write a few down, the doctor should be clear enough to inform you of the facts to lesson the need for questions.  If not, ice and many others are here to help!!

 

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1155
Joined: Jan 2013

Sorry, can't help with the before questions..  But make a short list for when you wake up...  They likely won't (right away) let you have water.. but they often will let you have ice chips.   I suspect you will love those ice chips.. as ice melts in to water...  :)   Also, you may find that those electric bed controls can be your enemy.. SLOW.. is the key word..   Oh and also, once you get to drink real liquids, you can ask for orange juice and if you are really good, they may give you popsicles..(you may have to ask).  I was very nice to the medical staff.. they even brought me popsickles at 2 AM..!

Be Well..

Ron

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 270
Joined: Apr 2013

- Bring someone who can keep his or her head cool with you. A close friends or similar. someone who will help you ask, but especially remember what was said

- If you dont understand the answers or information you get, keep asking even if you feel like bugging the oncologist/urologist. Its your health, your life, you have a right to understand the answers

- As Iceman said make a list of questions, or maybe just some bullet points of subjects you know you have to remember to bring forward

/G

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

My fiance goes with me to all appts.  He is a BIG help, because i forget everything that the dr says...I can remember all the negative points not so much the positive ones.  I already know what to expect from appt pretty much, but very nervous..dont know why?!? 

Thanks everyone for everything. This board is a blessing.  I dont feel so overwhelm and i feel like i am walking into this appt well prepared.

Darron's picture
Darron
Posts: 218
Joined: Jun 2013

the best advice is to write down any and all questions. Don't leave until e you are comfortable you understand.

there are no dumb questions.

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I took my wife, my grand daughter, hell, I even tried to take my neighbor because ai knew I woulld be so close to the situation to be objective, and that I wouldlisten selectively.  My caregivers took good care to cover me when I couldn't or wouldn't focus.

Be at peace! 

Michael

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

So I had my appt today with the dr.  he explained to me all about surgery, how long i will be under, how long i will be in hospital, and all kinds of other details that i cant remember....but i need some advise from everyone on what to do next. first available is July 1 (i am scheduled that day),  however i have my kids to think about, a vacation already booked and paid for July 13-21. they think as long as i take it easy i will be fine on vacation...13 days post op?? As long as i just lay around, which all our plans are is to lay on the beach for a week.  BUT if i want to wait till after vacation, i cant get in until Sept, he will be on a 6 week vacation.   Would you guys wait it out or get it over with and let the healing begin?? 

thanks,

Crystal

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 270
Joined: Apr 2013
Hi Crystal,
 
I looked up your original post, and unless something has changed I would assume they do a laprascopic nephrectomy. If its so, then I would say you can safely go on vacation. You wont be back at full speed, but given your age and IF its a lap neph, it shouldnt be a problem as long as you dont stress yourself. You should also be able to walk around a bit and not just be lying on your back with a pina colada looking at the pool boy :-)
If its open surgery, then I would be doubtful.
 
/G
pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

Hey G, it will be done by robot. DaVinci surgery, unless something goes wrong.  Have you heard of many with this? or is the same as the laprascopic?

Suekub's picture
Suekub
Posts: 112
Joined: Apr 2013

I had an open radical nephrectomy 2 years ago. Recovery uneventful. 1 week in hospital and unable to drive for a couple of weeks. There wasn't much I wasn't able to do so based on my experience would have loved a holiday to aid in recovery. As long as you take it easy, no heavy lifting etc I say go for it!

Wishing you all the best for your surgery.

Sue.

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

Thanks Sue. I am really worried about the pain and traveling...being post op 12 days and traveling, whats some thoughts on that?

Suekub's picture
Suekub
Posts: 112
Joined: Apr 2013

i can only comment on my own experience, even after major surgery (I had a midline incision of about 30cm, my tumour being 20 cms) I left hospital after 7 days without needing any pain relief -  I guess I must have been extremely lucky. I had the staples removed 10 days after surgery and did not need to see the surgeon for another 4 weeks after that. If I had had the opportunity I would have jumped at the chance of a holiday!

I guess it all depends on mode of travel and your intentions when you get there. Hopefully you will only be required to lay around enjoying the sunshine and be spoiled by your family. 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1470
Joined: Jan 2010

Crystal,

I know that you are at least 20 years younger than me when I had ny surgery and that yours is robotic and not Laproscopic, i THINK THAT YOU WOULD ENJOY THE VACATION BETTER IF IT WAS POSTPONED. tHIS IS MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY AND NOT SOME KIND OF PROCEDURE..

 

I will however not be offended if you prove me wrong.

 

Icemanroo

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

I know i would enjoy it much more if i just postponed the sx.  Sept is a long time, or seems that way.  A long time to set and think of everything that could go wrong.  I was in the room with my patient tonight and she was talking about how her husband just died and said he had kidney cancer, she didnt go into detail, and i was already overwhelmed from seeing my doctor today.  I just set there let her cry and talk, i wanted to cry too.  Of course my dr was very optimistic stating we caught this early and i should do just fine being that  I am 30 years old no other medical history and in fairly good shape.

 

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 270
Joined: Apr 2013

...only partially and it *is* a tough call to be honest. To elaborate a litlle:

Pros:

Robotic/laprascopic surgery is not very invasive in strict surgical terms compared to other major organ surgeries

The above is also why you normally is dispatched within 48 hours. Meaning that your pretty fast back at a level where you dont need 24h care or assistance/monitoring

Your age plays a big part in the recovery and youre definitely above average

Spending a holiday to recover and relax is in my eyes positive contribution to your overall recovery (thats very individual obviously)

 

Cons:

Side effects from the surgery in terms of anastesia especially pain in the abdominal area is impossible to predict and *very* individual

Complications related to the actual surgery *can* manifest but are unknown until youre off the table

Level of pain after having a major organ removed. Impossible to predict and very individual. You may be off all pain killers after 4-5 days or not...

 

In the end I can only relate and examplify with my own case. Radical lap nephrecctomy. Dispatched after 48 hours. On oxynorm for another two days. Ibuprofen for another couple of days. The following week i didnt have any pain, more was I kind of fatigued and took some extra naps. But that was it. after three weeks I started working again (deskjob). Having a relaxed vacation thrown in somewhere between week 2 and 3 wouldnt have been a bad thing :-)

/G

 

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

I had a Da Vinci assisted partial nephrectomy in March, I waited six weeks to have my operation. The waiting is very stressful, the relief of having the operation behind you is enormous. Knowing how you feel now do you think you can handle the pressure of waiting until September?

I can tell you that the first few days after the operation i had quite a bit of pain. The second week I had recovered enough to go for longer walks. I felt discomfort and pressure around the site, but by the third week that was much easier. I was down at the coast on my third week, walking along the beach. The pressure under the ribs took several weeks to subside but that was not unbearable.

Long car journeys are the worst thing because of the continual vibration. I found that sitting on a memory foam cushion helped reduce that, reclining the seat slightly and using a small cushion between me and the seatbelt also helped.

You are young and strong, there have been others on this site around your age who recovered very quickly. If your Doctors do not feel it would be a problem, I would consider taking the early date to free yourself from all of this stress,and then go and enjoy your holiday with some peace of mind. You will just be able to relax and recover.

 

Djinnie x

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 363
Joined: May 2012

I have a hand assisstent radical nephrectomy.  I ended up canceling a vacation 2 months post op because I did not think I could do it.  It is major surgery.  You need to let your body heal.  with that said, I had complications (wound got infected...).  I am still in pain one year out.   Optionally, you could have the surgery right after the vacation.  It will be the last time you feel good for a while.  RCC is usually not that agressive, and three weeks should not matter.

 

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

Im sorry you had a rough time.  i was given a choice of July 1st or mid September for surgery.  I am afraid i will in pain but then again i am afraid of driving everyone insane waiting for September :(

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 363
Joined: May 2012

I know, though.  The car ride will be tough.  You will need to stop a lot.  Three weeks, I could see delaying the surgery.  Thee months, no.  Can you cancle the vacation if you are not up to the trip?  For example, on the 10th of July you realize things are not going well?  It also depends what you are doing...I was planning on flying cross countyr then driving the oregon coast.  About 2 weeks before the trip, I realzied that it would be a really bad idea.  On the other hand, 6 weeks after my lung sugery (removing a met), I did a solo trip to florida for spring training.  everyone and eveery sugery is different.

good luck. 

anmazon
Posts: 125
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi, Crystal.

I'm sorry to hear you are going through this.

I had a radical nephrectomy two and a half weeks after I got "the call." 

That was the worst time of my entire life.  i was so horrified that this "thing" was growing inside of me, all I could think of was getting it out of me.  A friend told me about how he wanted to take an Xacto knife to an excruciatingly painful boil rather than wait to see a doc--which sounded like a very reasonable solution to my problem.  Thankfully, we both waited for treatment from trained professionals.

Followed up with surgeon one week post-op. He confirmed that it was Stage II RCC and that they got  it all.

Physically, I'm fine.  The incision site is a little tender yet, and I'm pretty easily exhausted (100 + degrees in Abq is probably contributing to that, though).

Emotionally, I'm a disaster.  I think going back to work on Monday will be good for me--I have WAY too much time right now to think about what happened over the last month.

Emotional state notwithstanding, in my case, having the surgery almost immediately was the best thing that could have happened.

 

God bless you, Crystal, and I'll keep you in my prayers.

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 270
Joined: Apr 2013

...ignore thos concerning recovery after *open* surgery. There is a world of difference between recovery after that and lap/rob nephrectomies.

/G

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

Thanks guys. All this really helped. the car ride is my biggest fear, but maybe if i sleep thru most of it, ill be ok... i usually have a high tolerance to pain, so maybe i will be ok.  this is just so much to take in all at once.  My doctor told me i would b in icu a day or two for around the clock monitoring. did any of you experience that? that scares me more.  i think i would have been ok until he thru in that lil tid bid.

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

Hi, 

That is not unusual, I was monitored around the clock through the first 24 hours. Don't read anything into that, it can only be a good thing anyway. You will be absolutely fine, you have to believe that. 

All the best

 

Djinnie x

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

Thanks for all the info. Others i have talked to about the da vinci has also said recovery time was shorter than open, but they also had gynecological surgeries vs urological.   Da Vinci is big around here now so alot are doing just that.

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

I think you will be amazed at how easy it is on the body. I don't know if you have experienced regular sugery but you will be up and about within  24 hours after this op.

Are you on nights, or just up early?. It is only just after 11 am here in France.

 

Djinnie x

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

I work midnights. I do sleep studies.  When i come back after surgery i will be doing secretary works so then i will be on days.   i had a endometrial ablasion and a tubal ligation feb 2012 and i was up walking that day, next day i was home alone doing everything on my own.  So maybe with just a little more recovery time i will be just fine. that wasnt a big abdominal surgery, but i was cut at my umbilicus and my abdomen was brused for a few weeks due to the cutting of the muscle (so my doc said). So maybe this will be similar.  I actually had surgery on a wednesday and went back to work on the following Monday. 

Crystal

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

How long do you have to make a decision on the date?

 

Djinnie

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

Count another vote for the early date - I'd take it without a moment's hesitation. 

You are young, fit, you have a tiny tumor and the op will be laparoscopic (why can almost no-one spell this correctly?!) - you shouldn't have any problems at all - even with the travelling two weeks later - just take all the sensible steps to make the journey as comfortable as possible. 

All the stres and anxiety of having this hanging over your Family until September is a much less attractive prospect.

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

Get it out and celebrate at the beach.  I had a motorcycle crash, 6 broken ribs, punctured lung, fractured scapula, and a severe concussion, CT in the ER found my tumor.  Four weeks later I had a lap. rad. nephrectomy, five days after that they made an 8" incision and went into my chest through the broken ribs to repair damage from the crash, two weeks later I was back at work (desk job) and would not have passed on a trip to the beach except it was December and Michigan beaches were white with snow.  Will you be sore, probably, but you won't be lying there thinking about cancer, you'll be showing off your scars and telling everyone "Can you believe it, 2 weeks ago I "HAD" cancer!".

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1470
Joined: Jan 2010

Crystal.

My thoughts were towards cancelling your vacation not putting off the sugery. Hopefully My comments were wrong and you will be able to enjoy the vacation.

Icemantoo

 

MeMeJoy
Posts: 68
Joined: Apr 2013

My surgery was a hand assisted laparoscopic radical left nephrectomy. We went on a 1 week vacation 13 days post-op. I would say that as long as you aren't planning a Disney trip or horseback riding or something else strenuous you will probably be fine. For me the hardest parts were the drive (~4hrs, but it wasn't horrible) and sleeping. I took pain meds at night just to help me sleep b/c I couldn't get comfortable. Honestly I think going on vacation, relaxing and soaking up some sun as opposed to sitting in my house, helped me recover faster!

Just make sure you are comfortable with whatever you decide.

Note** I didn't drive, my husband did! (I'm on my iPad and I can't go in and change "drive" to "car trip"  for some reason..)Undecided

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I'm with Texas Wedge on this one!

Get it out, over and done. At two weeks with a hand assist laparascopic I was driving, albeit not far. I substituted in a class for a four hour stint. Was I tired? Yes! Was I sore? Occasionaly.

I would say, using Icemantoo's logic, that roller coasters are OUT! So would be scuba diving, sky diving, alligator wrestling, mountain climbing, panning for gold in the Yukon, and a number of other heavily physical options.

If we are talking about beach time, hotel time, being lazy and taking the opportunities for numerous breaks and naps and letting your partner take primary rsponsibility for the kiddos, then get the surgery and get that vile thing out of you. Then take the vacation and let others take the lead in everything except you resting and enjoying the trip!

Send me a post card!

Michael

DonMiller's picture
DonMiller
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

I am sure you wll be fine.  I went to a family wedding  by air to the midwest  10 weeks post op from a hand assisted lap.  I wasn't in any pain or anything but of course I had to act like a big man and pretend I was 100%.  I think this was more a l guy type mistake and I ended up pretty  exhausted.  As long as you are not doing anything physicially demanding I don't think you will have any problem whatsoever.  In fact I think the opposite is true.  You sit around for a couple weeks watching TV and it is really boring. It can drive you nuts especially with almost everyone being nice to you and everyone else pretending to be).    That kind of stuff can wear pretty thin.  Family Friends Beach!

pauley13's picture
pauley13
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 2013

Thanks everyone for all the info you have shared....I go today for all my pre-op stuff, then Friday for a Angio, then Monday i will be in surgery to kiss this cancer good bye!!! Wish me luck!!

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

You're going to be fine - you won't need luck, but, of course, we all wish you the very best of it anyway and look forward to hearing a good account from you by about this time next week.

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

Hi Crystal,

I've had 5 hole-in-ones playing golf, but you should see peoples faces when I tell them the "luckiest" thing that ever happened to me was the motorcycle accident that saved my life.  Truth is I don't believe much in luck, I believe everything happens for a reason and everything works together for good, that makes it easy to believe that you are going to be fine and you'll have the next 50 years or so to prove it.  The next couple weeks will be a bit rough, but after that you'll have smooth sailing and soon this will all be a distant memory.

Godspeed,

Gary

DonMiller's picture
DonMiller
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

Could thought and prayers your way Crystal........you will be fine

I get the same reaction as Gary when I mention how blessed I was to have a badly  heriated disk at L4,5. It still really hurts somedays but I am no longer mad about it at all.  That damn back saved me and I also believe everything happens for a reason

 

Don

DonMiller's picture
DonMiller
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

Could thought and prayers your way Crystal........you will be fine

I get the same reaction as Gary when I mention how blessed I was to have a badly  heriated disk at L4,5. It still really hurts somedays but I am no longer mad about it at all.  That damn back saved me and I also believe everything happens for a reason

 

Don

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

I am so glad you decided to have the operation sooner than later. It will soon be over and you can look forward to a new beginning. We will all be thinking of you, and waiting back here to hear from you:-)

 

Djinnie x

 

 

 

 

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

Kicking it in the keister is far superior to kissing it goodbye!

This thing is trying to hurt you. It is your enemy! Do it dirty!

Laughing

Waiting anxiously hear back!

Michael

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