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Just had partial nephrectomy

Cindasong
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi All:

I am two weeks post partial nephrectomy for a 1.5 cm clear cell renal cancer. (stage T1a/grade 2)  Surgery went well, recovery at home going pretty well, had blood pressure spikes, some back pain, still feel "woozy " at times. I knew about the tumor for a year, it is very dificult to accept that this was actually a cancer. I am saddened even though the doctor says recurrence rates are very low, it is still a shock. I was laid off from my  job shortly before the surgery, will have to look for another one when I am better. How long did it take people to drive a car after surgery? What were your experiences in accepting the cancer?

Thanks a lot.

Cindy 

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

Hi Cindy!

Since you are post procedure, you've already had the initiation rites. We Just have to teach you the handshake!

March of this year I got the call that I ahd a "mass" on my right kidney. It was 4.5 cm and likely cancer. BAM, my heart hit the floor! Of all the place s in mylife I never thought I'd be, an operating room for cancer was NOT one of them.  I was an absolute wreck for several days until I stumbled in here!

From the moment I signed in, I found a virtual family of people who were cancer survivors. Thats an imprtant distiction to make!  I started, like you, asking questions and I found a wealth of information from a group of really great people.  by the time I faced my radical nephrectomy surgery in May, I was anxious, chafing at the bit, to go get this done. On my follow up my urologist said, "now you are a cancer patient. "

I have learned from others here that if you were going to have RCC, what you have described is likely the best one to have. Statistically, you have a virtual cure!  Seriously!  Does that mean you sit back and relax and take it for granted?  No!  Stay vigilant, but you are virtually 98% likely to never hear from that cancer again.

Others willcomein here and tell you the same thing.

Live your life!  Enjoy your life! I'd stay away from sky diving for a year or so, that and full contact rugby. You now have an extended family here, if you choose to adopt us!  Come in, make yourself at home.  Ask anything you want to ask. Lots of helping hands, helping hearts, and well informed people to help us along the way!

Michael

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1479
Joined: Jan 2010

Cindy,

Welcome to the club. For all practical purposes you had Cancer. You do not have it anymore. You should be able to drive anyday and feel sort of normal in about 6 weeks depending on your age and general heath.

You will have scans in the future, but with the size of your tumor you should not have to worry. Over the long term look into a Kidney friendly diet as you may lose some kidney function down the road especially if you have high blood pressure  There are some recent posts which address this issue that start with a "dumb question" Meanwhile enjoy life and within a month or two you should be able to do most anything you did before, except that roller coaster which may have to wait until next summer.

Right now I am 70 and 11 years post surgery (actually today is the 11th anniversery of when I went under the knife).. Faye across the street is a young 82 and 18 years post surgery. Pretty soon you will be counting years instead of days and weeks.

 

Icemantoo

Cindasong
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi Michael and Everyone:

Thank you all in this wonderful group for answering my post. Yes, I think I'll hold on the sky-diving for now. :-)  I am 17 days post and having back pain on the surgery side, headaches, and tummy aches. The surgeon did an ultrasound of that kidney three days ago and found nothing, said not to worrry about the pain. Just very annoying. Does this sounds familiar to anyone? Other than that, I know I "hit the jackpot" in the cancer arena , I can be "cured" foerever or for a long time. Still a little shocking to deal with. It is wonderful to meet you all and hear from you all!!!!!!!!!

Cindy

I am alive
Posts: 218
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi Cindy,

   Take a deep breath. You're in a really good spot, and by that I mean that your tumor was so small. But of course it is cancer and that is life altering. I have been dealing with the Big C since 2004 and I can promise you that you will reach a place of acceptance that is not ruled by fear - sadness maybe, a deep sadness, but not the terror that tore your world apart upon diagnosis. We all get to that acceptance place in our own time - and it can take years. No hurry. Be easy on yourself. It's all a process - the coming to grips, learning about RCC and it's treatments (which you probably won't need!).

You will get your sea legs.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that terrible things happen to people every day - check out the nightly news. We drew the RCC card. There are worse. But hey! You've landed in the perfect place to express your fears and get answers to your questions. I found this site one year ago and I was so thrilled to NOT FEEL ALONE ANYMORE. That was huge. As supportive as family and loved ones are, there's nothing like talking to folks who wear the same shoes. So welcome. Come on in. Sit down. Take a load off.

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1182
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Cindy... in terms of Cancer, you just won the lottery..!  Nice that it got found oh so small...!!  I echo the comments up above...  Ya gotta love that dog Michael.. he gets away with his tongue sticking out at you...    :)

Be Well All..!!

Ron

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

I hadn't thought of that!

Tongue Out

Love it!

Cindasong
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2013

Ron:

I like "winning the lottery" or hitting the jackpot. I think I did!!

Cindy

TillieSOK's picture
TillieSOK
Posts: 232
Joined: Jul 2013

Hi Cindy.

welcome to the club.  The handshake is a ***** to learn, but when you learn it, you feel special.  I've just been here a few weeks.  I didn't find this place early on, because I didn't think I needed anywhere else to vent or talk about what has happened....WRONG!  Like the others have said, you've pretty much won the jackpot on this.  Hang in there and know that this group of people is wonderful and will always be there for you as you navigate this bumpy road.

jknorth's picture
jknorth
Posts: 44
Joined: May 2013

Few months ago in May was when I went through the same thing, same diagnosis, roughly same size, but had to wait 4 weeks for the pathology as the surgeon went on holidays. Did they already confirm your T1a. Couldn't believe the news either and still dont get it, its all just a coin toss, definitely not a fair thing. Going back to your when can I drive a car thing. I drove the car a bit like 4 days after the Da Vinci and was on a motorcycle in 3 weeks, mainly because I didn't take any of the pain pills. They are the main reason, your not supposed to drive while taking them. But if you need them, wait til next day to drive. 

TillieSOK's picture
TillieSOK
Posts: 232
Joined: Jul 2013

Does anyone know whether a person can scuba dive after a rad. nephrectomy?  We're planning a trip to Jamaica tan the end of Dec., and would like to make a dive or two while we're there, if the atmospheric changes underwater won't cause problems pressure wise.  If it's not advisable, I'll just snorkel. I figured y'all could answer it better than my "mushroom farmer" doctor.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1479
Joined: Jan 2010

Tillie, 

 The answer is yes, but 7 monhts after surgery may be pushing it.  See how you feel in November and speak with a doctor at that time about it. There is always next year. Eleven months after surgery at age 60  I went watersking and ended the run on one ski and with only one kidney. I felt that was pushing it, but not by too much.

 

Icemantoo

 

Icemantoo

TillieSOK's picture
TillieSOK
Posts: 232
Joined: Jul 2013

Common sense told me that was probably what the answer was, but ya never know unless you ask, right?  I can snorkel and have just as much fun, anyway.  And there is always next year, like you said.  Thanks for the info.

 

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

Hi Cindy, I am glad to hear that you are recovering well from the operation. It obviously takes time to heal both mentally and physically but you will get there. It is a terrible shock to the system when you are diagnosed with any serious disease. However, we are very fortunate that the surgeons were able to remove the culprit and give us our lives back. I have one friend with dibilitating MS, and another who has ataxia from an inoperable brain tumour. They often tell me they would swop places with me in a heart beat.

I know, it is a concern that we may have problems further down the road. Receiving constant monitoring for many years to come, has to give us some comfort in the overall scheme of things. This is my second time around with kidney cancer in ten years. It doesn't constantly occupy my thoughts though, I can't see any point in my worrying about what might happen in the future. I only worry about what I have to deal with right now. But, when it comes to facing the scans we all get shaky, it is difficult not to, we fear the worst but hope for the best on those days:)

All the best

Djinnie x

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1479
Joined: Jan 2010

Cindy,

 

Pain 17 days after sugery is perfectly normal. You just had major surgery, not a procedure. As stated earlier the initiation to our club is not easy. It is more like a felonious assault.

As far as the surrgeon's comments about your pain mine wrote on my discharge summary that I was discharged without pain. Either he was pretty high when he wrote that or he was doing stand up comedy on the side.

 

Having a partial is more painful than a full nepherectomy as they do more cutting. When I had my surgery 11 years ago they were not doing partials yet.

Icemantoo

Cindasong
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2013

Thank you! that was very helpful AND made me laugh!

Cindy

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1875
Joined: Oct 2011

You have a lot going on in your head. Let it drive you a little crazy. Then it will be out there and out of the way. After my nephrectomy, I was more concerned to get back to exercise, running and golf. Besides you can't have a Harley and not want to ride it. My goals were all short term. Now some people make bucket lists. Not me. I'm already a happy boy. Most bucket lists are made of unachievable goals. Something else to drive you crazy. Just take what is in front of you and enjoy the hell out of it. Live on my friend.

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 368
Joined: May 2012

I made my bucket list acheivable.  I have accomplished most of it, all but the goal of traveling to all 50 states (missing KS and MO) and Seeing a total solar exclipse...that will take $$$ or time; 3 years and 10 days or about 10K. 

Bucket lists are things I want to do, but put off because I was too busy.

T1ffanyz's picture
T1ffanyz
Posts: 41
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi Cindy, I had a partial nephrectomy in July and I still have pain and feel woozy.  The great thing about joining the discussion board is I learned everything I'm feeling is normal. I start driving last Thursday when I hit my third week, but just in town no more than 15 minutes.  I find it difficult and painful. I have a pillow to protect my incision, but turning the wheel and backing out kills.  I'm usually quite ill after a drive.  Best of luck ok you on your recovery. Good luck in your future job hunt.  Ps my mass was found by accident, a blessing in disguise that they found it early and we can move on from this

Cindasong
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2013

Tiffany:

Thanks. Your story sounds like mine. I tried driving a few minutes around the area in weeks 2 and 3 and it was fine. Many blessings to you.

Cindy

Veitsi
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

First of all , let me tell y'all how much comfort I've been getting from reading your posts. I had a partial, removing about 75%-- it was about 13 months ago, and my physical pain and symptoms from the robotic surgery are gone. What bothers me is being told that I have stage III, except that -- it's "chemistry" would have made it Stage I or II, but b/c of its large size they have to call it III. 

So, then, what does Stage III mean in your experience? I am, for example, very very very careful about what I eat, to keep sodium and protein to under certain levels -- so as to keep my remaining 1.25 kidney function as healthy as possible. My family thinks I'm a bit nuts to be so precise and limiting in my diet, but Stage III seem so ominous, even after successful surgery. Your thoughts, insights, and experience are gratefully requested!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1479
Joined: Jan 2010

Vietsi,

Stages have a lot to do with prognosis. There are many on this board doing relatiely wekk even with a diagnosis of Stage 3 or 4 with the new treatment and drugs becoming available. I know it is very personal, but it is difficult for our club members to relate their experiences to yours without you diclosing your patholgy and size of your tumor. Once you do that it is likely that some members will be ablr to relate their story with yours on a personal level with this information. Sorry you had to join our club, but you will soon find our group informative and at times humerous even if we cross the line once in a while.

 

While Stage  has to do with a chance of recurrance you also have to be concerned with your Kidney Health down the road. Kidney Cancer and Kidney disease are seperate as yiu can have one withiut the other, but they do overlap.

 

 

Icemantoo

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

Veitsi, iceman has said just about all one can sensibly say on the basis of the tiny amount of information you've given us.

If you want to get the best possible benefit from us, please tell us your gender, age, ethnicity, location and general state of health.  Also copy us some info from your path report - the size and location of your tumor, the grade (if you were given one) and the histology (clear cell, papillary, chromophobe, or one of the still rarer types) plus any sarcomatoid change.

Your Family may think you're nuts for being careful now, but your new 'family' here doesn't and we know a lot more about it all than they do!!  Your outlook really isn't "ominous" even though it may feel that way at times but tell us more and we will be able to tell you more!

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