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Kidney Surgery for Stage 1 Renal Cancer

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

I will be undergoing open a partial nephrectomy on March 21, 2019 for a 4cm mass on the lower lobe of my left  kidney! Any advice on what to expect during and after surgery? The doctor intitial diagnosis is Stage 1 renal cancer but will not be confirmed for a fact if malignant until the mass is removed and patholigacally examined!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3216
Joined: Jan 2010

Chief,

 

 

Welcome to the club which no one in their right mind would volunteer to joim. Not fun that they want to yank all or part of your kidney out right out of the gate. We have all been there and done that. At 4cm your prognosis for a full and complete recovery from the surgery alone is excellent. If I told you the surgery was painless they would laugh me off this board. There is always a 10% chance that what looks like a malignant tumor is not.

 

 

icemantoo

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

Canceled!

Steph85's picture
Steph85
Posts: 158
Joined: Feb 2018

I had an open partial nephrectomy January 2018, Not fun! Mine was on my right kidney lower pole, 3.2 cm clear cell renal cell carcinoma. I was in the hospital 5 days. I had a hard time getting my pain under control. The anesthesiologist did not place the nerve block correctly and I felt EVERYTHING! Then I couldn't stop vomitting because of the diladid. This wont happen to you, don't worry!  You will be in some discomfort and pain, but that's to be expected. While recovering at home, I slept in the recliner, that helped soo much. Have a pillow handy for when you cough or sneeze. I wore a abdominal wrap during the day which helped with my pain. DO NOT rush recovery! Make sure to take your time, but do get up and walk around. Take your pain meds as needed, (you don't have to be a tough guy and suffer). Hopefully you will have someone there with you to help out. I know the thought of this surgery is scary, but you will get through this. It seemed like it took me 6 months before I felt a little more normal. I'm over a year and a month post op and I'm still working on getting my core strength back. 

         This forum has been a trmendous help. The people on here are so supportive, helpful, genuine and just all around awesome. We are here for you every step of the way. Good luck on your surgery, again I'm sorry you have to go through this. It's a good thing they found it early and get it out! I thought I was having gallstones and when they did the ultrasound, they discovered the mass on my kidney. Who knows what could have happened if it was discovered later. 

Take care, 

Stephanie

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

Thanks a lot for the encouragement! I’m positive and feel lucky that it was discovered when it was discovered, November 21, 2018.  I was having a sharp left flank pain for two days and I decided to go to the ER for treatment of whatever it was. The first CT scan w/o contrast was done and a mass was found on my left kidney but was not clear what it was. A second CT scan with contrast was done with the same result. The ER doctor discharged me and asked me to follow it up with my primary physician. My family physician was recommending an ultra sound. I arranged and set up an appointment with an Urologist who ordered an MRI with and w/out contrast.  The MRI was done on December 6, 2018 which revealed “a 4cm exophytic Bosniak 3 cystic mass of the lower pole of the left kidney possibly representing a cystic renal cell carcinoma.  The possibility of extension into the lower pole collecting system cannot to be excluded. The left renal vein and IVC are patent. No evidence of metastatic disease.” The urologist diagnosed it as Stage 1 renal cancer and recommended a total nephrectomy.  To which, I sought a second opinion at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Atlanta.  At CTCA, the urologist recommended a partial nephrectomy with an open surgery. I opted for the partial nephrectomy which is to take place on March 21, 2019.  The chest CT scan came out negative. Since November 21, 2019, I have neither had any more left flank pain nor any other symptoms suggesting that I’m sick with cancer or any other disease. I hope I am making the right decision!

Chief

Tapman63's picture
Tapman63
Posts: 136
Joined: Dec 2017

...although I'm sorry you have to be here.  My advice:  ask any questions you have or relay any feelings/fears you may have to this board.  The people here are super supportive and, most likely, at least a few have gone through similar experiences.  Also, don't visit Dr. Google looking for advice.  A lot of it is outdated and will scare the hell out of you.

Your tumor is approximately the same size as mine was and the good news is they found it early and you have a very good prognosis for the future.   I had a full nephrectomy and open surgery - the main thing I can tell you there is to listen to  your doctors and take your time after your surgery. Don't rush anything.  You're going to feel wiped out for a while...and while it's not AWFUL, post surgery isn't just a walk in the park.  Rest.  Don't push it.  Drink lots of water.  You'll start feeling like yourself after a while and then recovery really kind of speeds up.

Good luck, and keep us informed!

Jim

Retcenturion's picture
Retcenturion
Posts: 240
Joined: Mar 2017

Again, sorry your here but it is a great place for your journey. Each member has a bio. Click on our name and see our history. Fill yours too it helps to see yours. Go through past Posts. There has been some recent surgeries that should give you an idea what to  expect. Try and limit Google, some info isn't up to date and misleading.The surgery isn't pleasant, but not as bad as your imagining. Line up help for Post Op. You'll be limited in mobility for a week or so and extra hands help. If any questions or concerns come up, ask, we'll try and answer.sending positive thoughts to you and your loved ones.

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 796
Joined: Jul 2016

I want to give you a few tricks to this site which may help you find information about our members and topics of interest.  1.  By clicking the "name" of people posting you will be taken to their personal page in which you can see the story of their cancer journey.  This is very helpful and I'd ask that you fill it out and keep it updated.  2.  At the top right of the page is a couple icons: "Search CSN content" and "Search CSN members" .  By clicking on the content icon you can search a topic of your interest.  This really helped me when I started my journey.

One of our members (Eug91) wrote an excellent piece about his surgery.  Here is the link to the post: https://csn.cancer.org/node/318416

You've received some great advice from members already.  Things will really start to move along now.  Try to stay busy and active up til the surgery.  As you approach the 21st continue to ask questions.  We'll try to help as much as we can.

Wishing you only the best!

Stub

 

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

Thank you all for the encouragement and advice. I am appreciative of them all!

eug91's picture
eug91
Posts: 149
Joined: Jan 2019

This is a great forum - I found it invaluable when I was first diagnosed. Hopefully you'll find lots of tips and advice here.

If you have any questions or just want to vent, we're here for you! 

 

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

Thanks!

Dominick0711's picture
Dominick0711
Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2019

Welcome and as many say, sorry you have to join this club. I had an open partial nephrectomy on 1/15 of this year and also agree the period before surgery is the absolute worst, followed by the days immediatley following the sugery, but it really was just days following the surgery that were rough and then it got better each and every day. Before surgery I highly recommend staying as busy as possible spending as much time with family and friends as possible.  Other then support sites like this try to avoid googling.  Dr. Google will cause you to go down a rabbit hole with every possible bad scenario creeping into your head.  Also drinking a lot of water and exercising, specifically walking as much as possible will help you before surgery.

This continues after surgery, where you should try to walk as much as possible as often as possible and you will literally feel yourself healing by doing this as each day will feel significantly bettter. After the first week, which was admittedly rough I really did in my mind feel good. Each week you feel good but when you look back at how you felt the week prior you realize it wasn't so good.  Bottom line is, because you are getting better day by day you always think you feel good.  Get a comfortable chair like a recliner, if you don't have one try to borrow one from a friend. It saved me because bed was not an option for a couple of weeks and no other seat was manageable or comfortable.  A grabber helped me for getting things off the floor because I couldn't bend over.  A treadmill would be great or you can just walk around your house or ideally outside but you want to walk right away when you come home so having a treadmill would help.

 

Stay positive! I had a 4cm tumor removed as well and less then two months out I feel close to 100 percent back to normal! I took a trip to PR at 5 weeks out and was able to enjoy everything!  I wish you luck and a cancer free future!

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

Dominick:

Thanks for the encouragement!

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 900
Joined: Feb 2009

Is the name of our Relay for LIfe Team.  Done that!  enough.  3 times was more than enough.

I'm happy to report that it's been 13 years since the first surgery and 10 since the most recent.  My Onc. NP saw me today and said we could finally go to an every 6 months visit.

I have hope for you, too, since you caught (they caught) it early.  Good Luck and all best Wishes.

donna_lee

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

Thanks a lot! Donna!

Sunono's picture
Sunono
Posts: 27
Joined: Mar 2019

I had a successful partial nephrotomy on March 21, 2019 and I am recovering well. Thanks be to God for His mercies. The pathology report says  t1b, clear cell carcinoma, Furhman Grade II.  I’m grateful! 

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