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I wished I knew about this site before I had my surgery

babycakes11's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi everybody! I just came about this site last night in the wee hours because I couldn't sleep. I still have some much on my mind since my surgery and I get anxiety all the time. I am a 44 year old female who had a radical open nephrectomy of my left kidney on March 4th. It was the day after my 44th birthday, so happy birthday to me right? I was so bummed because on my birthday I was on the wonderful cleansing and a diet of clear liquids.....not my idea of a good time. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer on February 15th and everything just seemed to be whirl wind after that. The constant worry about the surgery and not to mention waiting to have the bone and chest scans done to make sure it hadn't spread. What a relief two days before the procedure that the tests results were negative. My tumor was 12 cm. and it was on it's way up to the renal vein, but lucky for me it was found on time. The surgery took about 4 and a half hours and when I woke up I was hooked from one end to the other by some type of IV or machine. Waking up to my family at my bed side was the best thing I could ever wish for. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days following the surgery but every day I had a new complication to deal with. The first day my blood pressure was very low, the second day I got a fever, the third day I was having trouble with my breathing and then my hemoglobins were low possibly needing another unit of blood, but by the care I was given in the hospital, I overcame all these obstacles and got to come home. I am 6 weeks out of surgery and I am finally starting to feel better. I am able to walk quite a bit but my energy levels are still pretty low. I still have some pain and tightness in my abdomen ( the incision is all the way across the front of my stomach right underneath the breast bone) and it is very uncomfortable to wear jeans or an underwire bra. My back aches because I have been over compensating my back muscles for my tummy....so I need a a good massage real soon!! I stopped taking my pain meds two days after I got home because I hated the way they made me feel. My doctor told me I would be back to work exactly one month after the surgery. I'm glad I listened to my body and stayed out for one more month because there is no way I would have been able to do my job as a correctional officer. My job entails a lot of physical work and just taking a shower and doing my hair and makeup was hard enough on me. I was so lucky to have so much support from my family, friends and co-workers these past 6 weeks. I went through a bit of depression and staying home for so long was enough to drive me nuts. I would have never imagined anything like this ever happening to me and it all happened so fast. I didn't have time to really gather myself together during such a very scary time. I am now in the process of having some genetic testing done due to several different reasons, once including several family members having cancer in my family. My grandmother died at the age of 93 with the same cancer I had and one of my uncles was also diagnosed in his 70's with the same thing. Five other family members have had some type of cancer, so I am still scared about it coming back some day. I will continue living my life with a positive attitude and I will not take anything for granted!

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3362
Joined: Jan 2010

It is not fun being told you have Kidney cancer and than have to undergo major abdominal surgery right out of the gate. Most of us on the board have gone thru the same and most of us barely heard of Kidney Cancer until the diagnosis occured when they were looking for something else. Hang in there things do get better. You were very lucky yours was caught before it got bigger.

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

I bet as you've cruised around this site, you've seen some familiar details. We've discussed that horrible bowel prep the day before surgery. We've discussed post surgical depression kicking in a few weeks after surgery. We've discussed how recovery times always seem to be longer than the docs say, especially if you had the open big slice. I've even had a few conversations with a cop and firefighter on this site about not over-doing it after surgery to avoid herniating. So, you are in familiar company. : )

You are very welcome here. Moan and groan, or lend a hand to someone with questions about their upcoming surgery.

babycakes11's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2011

Thank you both for your support and I know this network is going to be very beneficial to me. Heres to good health to all and awesome support for the future!!

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