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Need help coping - post surgery

CtotheP
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2013

My first post, so I'm excited to join the forum! 

I found out that I had a 10lb cancerous tumor on my left kidney back in February. It was completely unexpected and I had no prior symptoms. Blood in my Urine led me to get a CT Scan which revealed the tumor. 2 days later I was in a 5-hour surgery and suddenly it was all over. I had tremendous friends and family support during my PHYSICAL recovery, but once my 2 month physical recovery had passed, I jumped right back into work, etc.

 

My issue is that I was able to Physically recover, but never had a chance to mentally/emotionally recover. I have been drinking a little more than I should and going to bed early at night. I just got a promotion and have been able to perform really well at work, but when I get home, I resort to a few drinks to mellow out, etc. My wife and I are looking for the best opportunity for support/coping to try and deal with the emotional/mental pieces.

 

I'm in the Chicago suburbs, so if anyone has any suggestions, it would be helpful!

sean_12
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2013

First of all kidney cancers are not as bad as other types of cancers. People live more than 10 years after surgery. As long as the nodes are negative , and if your doctor advised u that u do not need any medication, that is a good news. Now it is very important that u believe that u r completely cured of cancer. Just attend the follow up appointment. Do not google or read about ur cancer. Ignorance is bliss. It is nice that u r back to work.  Have a positive attitude in life. Just forget that u had cancer . And divert ur mind and concentrate on ur work and other activities. 

Good luck

a kidney cancer survivor 

Gamecocks's picture
Gamecocks
Posts: 30
Joined: Jun 2013

This site is the best support group that I have found, so keep reading and posting here.

I agree not to live on the Internet researching. All that did for me was to cause more mental anguish.

I am very fortunate to have a neighbor going through serious breast cancer problems. Her situation is far more severe than mine and it does not look too optimistic for her. She does have a very positive attitude though. We have become "cancer buddies" and take a walk everyday and discuss how we feel. This does provide good mental relief for us both and we are able to share emotions that our family members don't quite understand.

I am sure there are support groups in your area. Check them out and, again, come here often to share how you are feeling and you will find much needed support.

I am sure to already know that alcohol is a depressant, so that may be just bringing you down. Have faith...

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 813
Joined: Apr 2013

It is still early days yet to have fully recovered from the mental shock of this experience. It is rather like trying to recover from a form of post traumatic stress. 

Meditation works for me along with exercise and regular massages. I keep as active as I can so I don't dwell on things too much. My exercise of choice is swimming, I go whenever I can and take a sauna afterwards, that makes me feel very relaxed and peaceful.  Or maybe taking up a hobby,doing something that you find rewarding and consuming would help you. Gradually you will heal emotionally and mentally, and although the memory of this will never really go away, it will become easier to live with. 

Djinnie x

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

I guess you just soldiered on and dealt with diagnosis and surgery. Now the reality has hit. Cancer sucks. Sure does take the air out of your balloon. Many need some sort of support group. Others find that this site fits the bill. Be thrilled you are not dead. Count your blessings. Make plans. Live forward. Interact with others here. You will find much more difficult situations  others have had and with a little time, good mental adjustments will be made. Try not to dwell on the negative because it is energy lost. You'll do OK.

Bellweather
Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2013

C,

Look back at all the positives that life has afforded you, including the removal of your tumor and the lack of mets.  Live and Love moving forward, the alternative sucks!  We all understand your thinking.  We will cross the bridges when we get to them in our journey as no one knows the future.

Living healthy is never a bad decision.

 

 

anmazon's picture
anmazon
Posts: 129
Joined: Jun 2013

Hello,

I'm pleased to hear that your physical recovery is going so well.

I got "the call" about a tumor on my right kidney on May 20, had radical laparascopic nephrectomy June 5, and received confirmation that it was Stage II Renal Cell Carcinoma June 12.

My physical recovery has gone remarkably well, and I returned to work yesterday, June 24; two and 1/2 weeks post surgery (it took me longer to recover from my robotic hysterectomy in 2011).

I am still weak and tire easily, but it is summer in Albuquerque, which would exhaust just about anyone.

Emotionally, I have been a train wreck, but there are three things that I have found to be very helpful.

  1. I'm finding humor in everything I can.  Including a marriage proposal from an 83-year-old, who said he could really use my life insurance money. He called last week to let me know that we were going to have to cancel the wedding since it appears that I'm going to have a complete recovery.
  2. I'm getting pretty good at recognizing "emotional vampires" and staying away from them--you do not have to deal with anyone who will not give you complete love, respect and support.
  3. I've found a group, in Chicago, called Imerman Angels, who will do their best to find an "angel" for you.  Someone whose circumstances are similar to your own, and will be able to mentor you and help you through this incredibly difficult time.  I met my angel on the phone last week, and the care, compassion, support and understanding that I have received have completely changed my outlook.  I'm scared, still terrified sometimes, but knowing that there is someone out there who has gone through what I'm going through gives me hope.

Cool little word, hope.

You and your family are in my prayers.

Anne

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1593
Joined: Jan 2010

My little secret is that it took more than a few months and years to get the better part of cancer before it got the better part of me. While 11 years later I can brush off the fear and pain, the truth is that it took a long time to get that far.

Do what you can when you can to give cancer that kick in the ass it deserves. May those following me have it easier than me.

 

Icemantoo

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

I often tell my  family that I have no trouble dealing  with even themost difficult situations on an intellectual basis. Intellectually, I can handle anything and recognize good news when I hear it. I can intellectually deal with grim news.

Where I ALWAYS get in trouble is on the emotional side.

This site has done more for me in dealing with the emotional roller coaster of RCC than I could have ever imagined. WhenI am up and life is happy, I'm here cheering and encouraging as often as possible.

WhenI am angry, scared, or just a little hypochondriacal (?), all my family here returns the positivity and encouragement that I try to share more than a hundred fold.

I'm sorry you had to join, but I am glad to have another voice and another family member to carry us all through.

In GARYM's inimitable fashion, and quoting him, "Cancer Sucks!"  BUT, this site, and this group of people ROCK!

Michael

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