Recovering from radical nephrectomy

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  • RichGtr
    RichGtr Member Posts: 12
    garym said:

    "rr"
    I don't suppose you ride a Ha"rr"ley too do ya? Seriously though, you take the lead on this board when it comes to being positive and providing encouraging feedback, its nice for us newbies to hear from someone that has survived and is doing so well years down the road. Thank you and keep up the good work!!

    Scheduled for HAL Radical Nephrectomy left side on 8/31/10
    Just signed up so I could post. I have been reading these posts for awhile. First, thanks for great info from those who have been there! Most of my questions have been answered by previous posts.

    I have a 3.7cm tumor on the left kidney suspected to be RCC. From the CT scan, appears to be totally contained, but too big and too central to consider partial nephrectomy. A few things I'm wondering about:

    I haven't had any symptoms, other than some slight deep aches in my left flank area. I kind of wonder though, if some of the fatigue I feel might be from the cancer. I am 54, and have learned to accept that a certain amount of pain and feeling tired is just part of the deal. Not sure how to tell how much fatigue is just normal. I guess the real thing I'm wondering about is whether I might actually feel better, more energy, etc, after recovery from surgery, due to not have the cancer in me any longer.

    I have also had borderline hypertension for the past 7-8 years (about as long is this thing has been growing on my kidney.) When I first thought this might be a cyst that could be removed (from an incidental MRI that triggered the discovery), I was encouraged to read of several cases of kidney cyst removals resulting in lower blood pressure. But a little discouraged to learn that kidney removal can result in higher blood pressure.

    Just wondering if your nephrectomies seemed to cause any change in your blood pressure?

    I am in good health (unless you count probably having cancer). Ran 3.5 miles a few days ago and did some weights. I've set a goal to exercise at least every other day up until surgery. I am thinking that being in the best shape possible will help with the recovery, and help offset the non-exercise/activity recovery period.

    My job already allows me to Telework 2 days a week. I have scheduled 2 weeks of sick leave, and told them I would play it by ear after that. I can telework full time or part time for a few weeks as a transition, also. I'm sitting on 1100+ hours of sick leave time, so no need to feel rushed to returning to work.

    However, I do play guitar in a band. And if possible, I'd like to play a band gig about 1 month after surgery. I will shirk all of my "roadie" work. And sit in a chair if necessary.

    According to my doc, about 3 weeks afterward I should be able to do most things, short of lifting heavy weights. Some of the things I've read make me wonder if that is a little optimistic.

    Feb. of next year, I will be sailing in the Carribean.

    For now, feeling fortunate to have caught this before it grew larger and spread.


    Thanks!
  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,359 Member
    RichGtr said:

    Scheduled for HAL Radical Nephrectomy left side on 8/31/10
    Just signed up so I could post. I have been reading these posts for awhile. First, thanks for great info from those who have been there! Most of my questions have been answered by previous posts.

    I have a 3.7cm tumor on the left kidney suspected to be RCC. From the CT scan, appears to be totally contained, but too big and too central to consider partial nephrectomy. A few things I'm wondering about:

    I haven't had any symptoms, other than some slight deep aches in my left flank area. I kind of wonder though, if some of the fatigue I feel might be from the cancer. I am 54, and have learned to accept that a certain amount of pain and feeling tired is just part of the deal. Not sure how to tell how much fatigue is just normal. I guess the real thing I'm wondering about is whether I might actually feel better, more energy, etc, after recovery from surgery, due to not have the cancer in me any longer.

    I have also had borderline hypertension for the past 7-8 years (about as long is this thing has been growing on my kidney.) When I first thought this might be a cyst that could be removed (from an incidental MRI that triggered the discovery), I was encouraged to read of several cases of kidney cyst removals resulting in lower blood pressure. But a little discouraged to learn that kidney removal can result in higher blood pressure.

    Just wondering if your nephrectomies seemed to cause any change in your blood pressure?

    I am in good health (unless you count probably having cancer). Ran 3.5 miles a few days ago and did some weights. I've set a goal to exercise at least every other day up until surgery. I am thinking that being in the best shape possible will help with the recovery, and help offset the non-exercise/activity recovery period.

    My job already allows me to Telework 2 days a week. I have scheduled 2 weeks of sick leave, and told them I would play it by ear after that. I can telework full time or part time for a few weeks as a transition, also. I'm sitting on 1100+ hours of sick leave time, so no need to feel rushed to returning to work.

    However, I do play guitar in a band. And if possible, I'd like to play a band gig about 1 month after surgery. I will shirk all of my "roadie" work. And sit in a chair if necessary.

    According to my doc, about 3 weeks afterward I should be able to do most things, short of lifting heavy weights. Some of the things I've read make me wonder if that is a little optimistic.

    Feb. of next year, I will be sailing in the Carribean.

    For now, feeling fortunate to have caught this before it grew larger and spread.


    Thanks!

    A reflection on high blood pressure
    To: RichGtr; My blood pressure has always (30 plus years) been high but has been under control with medications for the last 30 years. I do not recall any problem this caused before or after my kidney surgery in 8/2002. I do recall the surgeon ordering a full physical before my Surgery including an EKG but I believe that is just a CYA procedure. I did have some pains that went away after surgery. I also went to the Caribbean 6 months after surgery. As far as your recovery timeline it sounds a little optomistic. Two weeks after surgery I went to work only a couple of hours a day. You are 5 years younger than I was, but your tumor is a little bigger raising the possibility that they may not be able to remove your kidney and tumor laproscopically and may require a larger incision. You may not fell like playing a band gig 30 days later. To your full reconery; Icemantoo
  • RichGtr
    RichGtr Member Posts: 12
    icemantoo said:

    A reflection on high blood pressure
    To: RichGtr; My blood pressure has always (30 plus years) been high but has been under control with medications for the last 30 years. I do not recall any problem this caused before or after my kidney surgery in 8/2002. I do recall the surgeon ordering a full physical before my Surgery including an EKG but I believe that is just a CYA procedure. I did have some pains that went away after surgery. I also went to the Caribbean 6 months after surgery. As far as your recovery timeline it sounds a little optomistic. Two weeks after surgery I went to work only a couple of hours a day. You are 5 years younger than I was, but your tumor is a little bigger raising the possibility that they may not be able to remove your kidney and tumor laproscopically and may require a larger incision. You may not fell like playing a band gig 30 days later. To your full reconery; Icemantoo

    Thanks!
    Thanks for the reply, Icemantoo.

    So, no real change in the BP either way. That would be a good outcome. I've been controlling mine through diet, exercise, weigh loss, salt restriction, etc. Still sometimes a little high, like 145/85. I'm just hoping this doesn't push me back on BP meds.

    Are you a sailor? I'm going on a charter in the BVI in Feb. Looking forward to that!

    If something forces them to abandon lapro, then all bets are off as far as my recovery. I'm basing my 'plans' on lapro. But, yeah, I realize that could change. Seems like 3.7cm is relatively small. But I've seen quite a few accounts finding a larger growth than what they saw on the CT.

    I plan on taking two weeks totally off. On the 3rd week, I don't feel ready, I'll take another week, off. If I feel up to it, I will Telework part time.

    I'm a little nervous about the band gig, but I hope to do it. It is a couple days shy of 5 weeks.
  • ConnieH40
    ConnieH40 Member Posts: 2
    RichGtr said:

    Scheduled for HAL Radical Nephrectomy left side on 8/31/10
    Just signed up so I could post. I have been reading these posts for awhile. First, thanks for great info from those who have been there! Most of my questions have been answered by previous posts.

    I have a 3.7cm tumor on the left kidney suspected to be RCC. From the CT scan, appears to be totally contained, but too big and too central to consider partial nephrectomy. A few things I'm wondering about:

    I haven't had any symptoms, other than some slight deep aches in my left flank area. I kind of wonder though, if some of the fatigue I feel might be from the cancer. I am 54, and have learned to accept that a certain amount of pain and feeling tired is just part of the deal. Not sure how to tell how much fatigue is just normal. I guess the real thing I'm wondering about is whether I might actually feel better, more energy, etc, after recovery from surgery, due to not have the cancer in me any longer.

    I have also had borderline hypertension for the past 7-8 years (about as long is this thing has been growing on my kidney.) When I first thought this might be a cyst that could be removed (from an incidental MRI that triggered the discovery), I was encouraged to read of several cases of kidney cyst removals resulting in lower blood pressure. But a little discouraged to learn that kidney removal can result in higher blood pressure.

    Just wondering if your nephrectomies seemed to cause any change in your blood pressure?

    I am in good health (unless you count probably having cancer). Ran 3.5 miles a few days ago and did some weights. I've set a goal to exercise at least every other day up until surgery. I am thinking that being in the best shape possible will help with the recovery, and help offset the non-exercise/activity recovery period.

    My job already allows me to Telework 2 days a week. I have scheduled 2 weeks of sick leave, and told them I would play it by ear after that. I can telework full time or part time for a few weeks as a transition, also. I'm sitting on 1100+ hours of sick leave time, so no need to feel rushed to returning to work.

    However, I do play guitar in a band. And if possible, I'd like to play a band gig about 1 month after surgery. I will shirk all of my "roadie" work. And sit in a chair if necessary.

    According to my doc, about 3 weeks afterward I should be able to do most things, short of lifting heavy weights. Some of the things I've read make me wonder if that is a little optimistic.

    Feb. of next year, I will be sailing in the Carribean.

    For now, feeling fortunate to have caught this before it grew larger and spread.


    Thanks!

    Having partial nephrectomy on 8/20/10
    I totally understand your feelings and questions. I am scared about the cancer, and equally about post surgery recovery. The tumor was found on my right kidney after trying to track down why I felt like I had a kidney infection, but had urine with no bacteria. The urologist said the tumor is about 4 cm and appears confined to the kidney and he thinks (80-90% sure)it is early stage renal cell carcinoma. I have to have an open procuduere the old fashioned way because it is so deep (maybe another way of saying I am "thick" in the abdomin) and the blood supply so extensive. He also said that he would have to remove a rib in the process. This is at Mayo Clinic, so I trust him, but it sure sounds overwhelming. He stated that at Mayo, they had done research and found that the survival rate was improved if part of the kidney could be spared. So that is the plan. It is only on this board that I have found real people talking about their experiences and what can realistically be expected post surgery. The only thing the urologist told me was that I would be on "narcotics" and would not be able to lift over 10 pounds, but could otherwise do what I felt like doing.

    I am finding it hard to sleep and then when I do go to sleep, to stay asleep. All these questions keep going through my mind. These posts have been very helpful.

    Thanks to everyone.
  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,359 Member
    ConnieH40 said:

    Having partial nephrectomy on 8/20/10
    I totally understand your feelings and questions. I am scared about the cancer, and equally about post surgery recovery. The tumor was found on my right kidney after trying to track down why I felt like I had a kidney infection, but had urine with no bacteria. The urologist said the tumor is about 4 cm and appears confined to the kidney and he thinks (80-90% sure)it is early stage renal cell carcinoma. I have to have an open procuduere the old fashioned way because it is so deep (maybe another way of saying I am "thick" in the abdomin) and the blood supply so extensive. He also said that he would have to remove a rib in the process. This is at Mayo Clinic, so I trust him, but it sure sounds overwhelming. He stated that at Mayo, they had done research and found that the survival rate was improved if part of the kidney could be spared. So that is the plan. It is only on this board that I have found real people talking about their experiences and what can realistically be expected post surgery. The only thing the urologist told me was that I would be on "narcotics" and would not be able to lift over 10 pounds, but could otherwise do what I felt like doing.

    I am finding it hard to sleep and then when I do go to sleep, to stay asleep. All these questions keep going through my mind. These posts have been very helpful.

    Thanks to everyone.

    Things do get better
    ConnieH40, I wish I could tell you that the surgery does not hurt. But I can not. There is no way to sugar coat the surgery, but things do get better. This is major abdominal surgery, not a procedure. However it sure beats the alternative. I am 8 years post surgery and I view the surgery as but a bump in the road. If they are able to get all of the Cancer out then there is no further treatment. No chemotherapy, no radiation. No medicine. The first 10 days you are going to feel really sore. You wont even be thinking about lifting 10 pounds. From there everything is uphill. My surgeon wrote on my discharge summary 2 days post surgery that I was discharged without pain. Not quiet accurate. Every body recovers a little differently. Eleven months after surgery for my 60th birthday family reunion I went water skiing. In 3 years I will be 70 and maybe I will try water skiing again.
  • Johnnyb
    Johnnyb Member Posts: 17
    Kidney Cancer or Renal Cell Carcinoma
    I was having pain in my right side going back to May of 2010. Finally on 07/30/2010 my wife made me go to the Doctor. After I was looked at they had be go and have a CT Scan. Before I got home was told to go directly to the Hospital you have a bad appendix they are waiting for you. I came home after Surgery and my Doctor calls and ask me to come in. I was told that I had a large Cyst on my right Kidney they found it on the CT Scan. After more test I was told that I have Renal Cell Carcinoma or Kidney Cancer. It is in Stage #1 about 6.1 CM X 5.4 CM.
    Have not had thte surgery yet. kinda of Scared at first and I am still a little well, a lot. I lost my step father to Cancer in 1997. They are going to do a Radical Nephrectomy on August 30 at 1:00 PM. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and I have faith that all will go well. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and explained more to me what to expect after surgery. Keep me in your prayers my journey is yet to come.
  • Johnnyb
    Johnnyb Member Posts: 17
    RichGtr said:

    Scheduled for HAL Radical Nephrectomy left side on 8/31/10
    Just signed up so I could post. I have been reading these posts for awhile. First, thanks for great info from those who have been there! Most of my questions have been answered by previous posts.

    I have a 3.7cm tumor on the left kidney suspected to be RCC. From the CT scan, appears to be totally contained, but too big and too central to consider partial nephrectomy. A few things I'm wondering about:

    I haven't had any symptoms, other than some slight deep aches in my left flank area. I kind of wonder though, if some of the fatigue I feel might be from the cancer. I am 54, and have learned to accept that a certain amount of pain and feeling tired is just part of the deal. Not sure how to tell how much fatigue is just normal. I guess the real thing I'm wondering about is whether I might actually feel better, more energy, etc, after recovery from surgery, due to not have the cancer in me any longer.

    I have also had borderline hypertension for the past 7-8 years (about as long is this thing has been growing on my kidney.) When I first thought this might be a cyst that could be removed (from an incidental MRI that triggered the discovery), I was encouraged to read of several cases of kidney cyst removals resulting in lower blood pressure. But a little discouraged to learn that kidney removal can result in higher blood pressure.

    Just wondering if your nephrectomies seemed to cause any change in your blood pressure?

    I am in good health (unless you count probably having cancer). Ran 3.5 miles a few days ago and did some weights. I've set a goal to exercise at least every other day up until surgery. I am thinking that being in the best shape possible will help with the recovery, and help offset the non-exercise/activity recovery period.

    My job already allows me to Telework 2 days a week. I have scheduled 2 weeks of sick leave, and told them I would play it by ear after that. I can telework full time or part time for a few weeks as a transition, also. I'm sitting on 1100+ hours of sick leave time, so no need to feel rushed to returning to work.

    However, I do play guitar in a band. And if possible, I'd like to play a band gig about 1 month after surgery. I will shirk all of my "roadie" work. And sit in a chair if necessary.

    According to my doc, about 3 weeks afterward I should be able to do most things, short of lifting heavy weights. Some of the things I've read make me wonder if that is a little optimistic.

    Feb. of next year, I will be sailing in the Carribean.

    For now, feeling fortunate to have caught this before it grew larger and spread.


    Thanks!

    My surgery is one day before yours.
    To: RichGre, I see your surgery is one day after mine. It is my right kidney. I just had a surgery 30 days ago to remove my appendix thank God they found this on the same CT Scan other wise may have been on stage 3 or 4 in a couple of years. I will be praying for you and your surgery to go well. Both of us will be going to be recovering at the same time. They are taking mine out from the front making the 8 to 10 inch cut. OUCH! God will be with you. My surgery is 08/30/2001 at 1:00 PM.

    Johnny B.
  • RichGtr
    RichGtr Member Posts: 12
    Johnnyb said:

    Kidney Cancer or Renal Cell Carcinoma
    I was having pain in my right side going back to May of 2010. Finally on 07/30/2010 my wife made me go to the Doctor. After I was looked at they had be go and have a CT Scan. Before I got home was told to go directly to the Hospital you have a bad appendix they are waiting for you. I came home after Surgery and my Doctor calls and ask me to come in. I was told that I had a large Cyst on my right Kidney they found it on the CT Scan. After more test I was told that I have Renal Cell Carcinoma or Kidney Cancer. It is in Stage #1 about 6.1 CM X 5.4 CM.
    Have not had thte surgery yet. kinda of Scared at first and I am still a little well, a lot. I lost my step father to Cancer in 1997. They are going to do a Radical Nephrectomy on August 30 at 1:00 PM. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and I have faith that all will go well. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and explained more to me what to expect after surgery. Keep me in your prayers my journey is yet to come.

    Actually, my surgery is 8/30 at 1pm also!
    Hi Johnnyb,

    I had the date wrong when I posted that. My surgery (Hand Assisted Lapro Radical Nephrectomy, left side) is actually Monday, 8/30. Also at 1pm. I check in at 11am, with surgery scheduled for 1pm. I'm in the central time zone (KC area).

    I've had this scheduled for a month. Kind of "abstract" for a while. But becoming a little more real every day. Just had my pre-op appointment yesterday. I had been attempting to keep up a good exercise regime to help with my recovery. But, it seems like exertion (running, hiking) make the back pain flare up(like a deep, deep cramp.) So curtailing that now.

    In my case they are not 100% certain it is RCC until they get the kidney out and have Pathology check it out. But the doc is at least 80% certain it is cancer, based on the appearance in the CT scan. I think the largest dimension of my tumor is 3.7cm. (Kind of went through a transition of calling it a cyst, then a mass, then a tumor. It is located in the center of the kidney, so a partial is possible, but pretty problematic. I am much more comfortable with removing the whole thing, rather than risk bleeding/leaking complications, and the possibility of missing some of the cancer.

    As I tell friends, co-workers, etc., that I am having this done, it seem like everyone has a family member or friend who has been through this. I can't believe it is this widespread, and I didn't know till now.

    I count myself very fortunate to have found it at this stage. I (and my doctor) could have easily shrugged off the back pain until it spread. And, if you've looked into this, you know that you don't want to let RCC spread. Totally different ballgame, then.

    Best wishes on a smooth, successful surgery, and a speedy recovery!
  • jo_luka
    jo_luka Member Posts: 1
    RichGtr said:

    Actually, my surgery is 8/30 at 1pm also!
    Hi Johnnyb,

    I had the date wrong when I posted that. My surgery (Hand Assisted Lapro Radical Nephrectomy, left side) is actually Monday, 8/30. Also at 1pm. I check in at 11am, with surgery scheduled for 1pm. I'm in the central time zone (KC area).

    I've had this scheduled for a month. Kind of "abstract" for a while. But becoming a little more real every day. Just had my pre-op appointment yesterday. I had been attempting to keep up a good exercise regime to help with my recovery. But, it seems like exertion (running, hiking) make the back pain flare up(like a deep, deep cramp.) So curtailing that now.

    In my case they are not 100% certain it is RCC until they get the kidney out and have Pathology check it out. But the doc is at least 80% certain it is cancer, based on the appearance in the CT scan. I think the largest dimension of my tumor is 3.7cm. (Kind of went through a transition of calling it a cyst, then a mass, then a tumor. It is located in the center of the kidney, so a partial is possible, but pretty problematic. I am much more comfortable with removing the whole thing, rather than risk bleeding/leaking complications, and the possibility of missing some of the cancer.

    As I tell friends, co-workers, etc., that I am having this done, it seem like everyone has a family member or friend who has been through this. I can't believe it is this widespread, and I didn't know till now.

    I count myself very fortunate to have found it at this stage. I (and my doctor) could have easily shrugged off the back pain until it spread. And, if you've looked into this, you know that you don't want to let RCC spread. Totally different ballgame, then.

    Best wishes on a smooth, successful surgery, and a speedy recovery!

    right radical nephrectomy
    hi all

    it seems many, many people have found out about their kidney cancer through scans for unrelated problems. I also found out about mine by chance - and I got a phone call on my 39th birthday, at work, to tell me I needed to see an urologist urgently.

    I had a 5cm renal cell carcinoma on my right kidney. It was removed laparascopically on 27 August. The surgeon and anaesthetist were uncertain about doing the surgery locally (I live in regional Queensland, Australia) as I am obese with a BMI of 45 and this brings additional risks. They also thought it was 90% likely that I would have to have full open surgery. Finally after more testing and discussion they decided they would do the surgery (thank God) and now it's all over with.

    All I can say is, I can't IMAGINE the pain of an open surgery, cause the pain of this is certainly enough! I spent 5 days in hospital, had an epidural in for 2 and a half days and had a few shots of IM morphine along the way too. The last two days in hospital I had panadol, tramadol 100mg and oxycontin morning and night. Leaving hospital all I have is a week's worth of tramadol and panadol, and the pain is still pretty intense.

    I also have numbness of the belly, and a harsh burning feeling in that area when I stand up - I'm sure this must be nerve damage from the surgery? That is what I have read anyway. I want to buy one of those maternity belly slings or something, to help support my stomach, cause at the moment I can hardly walk because of that and find myself slumping over to avoid the pain.

    The tramadol is also interfering with my sleep - I can't seem to sleep longer than 1 hr at a time, even at night. So I'm dozing on and off all day. I think it's also making me constipated, and due to the pain in my belly and wounds, it hurts to 'push' on the toilet as well.

    I find myself in tears a lot - I really haven't had time to process all of this - the 'c' word was scary enough in itself, but it all happened so quickly... seemed I just got hit with the diagnosis and then wham, in surgery. I have two teenage kids - telling them was just awful - and my daughter, who also suffers anxiety, is taking this really badly and I'm not sure how to help her. My husband also lost both his parents to different cancers and this is taking a huge emotional toll on him. I feel like our family is falling apart and I don't know where to turn...
  • RichGtr
    RichGtr Member Posts: 12
    jo_luka said:

    right radical nephrectomy
    hi all

    it seems many, many people have found out about their kidney cancer through scans for unrelated problems. I also found out about mine by chance - and I got a phone call on my 39th birthday, at work, to tell me I needed to see an urologist urgently.

    I had a 5cm renal cell carcinoma on my right kidney. It was removed laparascopically on 27 August. The surgeon and anaesthetist were uncertain about doing the surgery locally (I live in regional Queensland, Australia) as I am obese with a BMI of 45 and this brings additional risks. They also thought it was 90% likely that I would have to have full open surgery. Finally after more testing and discussion they decided they would do the surgery (thank God) and now it's all over with.

    All I can say is, I can't IMAGINE the pain of an open surgery, cause the pain of this is certainly enough! I spent 5 days in hospital, had an epidural in for 2 and a half days and had a few shots of IM morphine along the way too. The last two days in hospital I had panadol, tramadol 100mg and oxycontin morning and night. Leaving hospital all I have is a week's worth of tramadol and panadol, and the pain is still pretty intense.

    I also have numbness of the belly, and a harsh burning feeling in that area when I stand up - I'm sure this must be nerve damage from the surgery? That is what I have read anyway. I want to buy one of those maternity belly slings or something, to help support my stomach, cause at the moment I can hardly walk because of that and find myself slumping over to avoid the pain.

    The tramadol is also interfering with my sleep - I can't seem to sleep longer than 1 hr at a time, even at night. So I'm dozing on and off all day. I think it's also making me constipated, and due to the pain in my belly and wounds, it hurts to 'push' on the toilet as well.

    I find myself in tears a lot - I really haven't had time to process all of this - the 'c' word was scary enough in itself, but it all happened so quickly... seemed I just got hit with the diagnosis and then wham, in surgery. I have two teenage kids - telling them was just awful - and my daughter, who also suffers anxiety, is taking this really badly and I'm not sure how to help her. My husband also lost both his parents to different cancers and this is taking a huge emotional toll on him. I feel like our family is falling apart and I don't know where to turn...

    Hang in there
    Hang in there jo_luka. Hopefully every day will get a little better. Non-metasticized RCC is one of the better "C" scenarios you can have.

    I had my left kidney removed Monday 8/30. Hand-assisted laproscopic. Came home Wednesday. Haven't got the pathology report results yet, but I've adjusted to the idea that it is cancer, and it is GONE. And as I've started telling people about my situation, nearly everyone has a friend or relative that has been through this exact thing. A silent epedemic. Glad you found it before it became larger.

    My first surgery ever. Certainly painful to get up and down, or even talk loudly. But every day is a little better, fewer pain meds every day (though if you hurt, don't be a hero; you need quality pain-free rest. If I start to over-do it, and the pain flares up, I retreat to a percocet power nap.

    My digestive system is not quite working right yet, either. But the fasting, anesthesia, and narcotic pain meds all will do that. "Pushing" is not a good option for me, either. When the pain flares up, I can't even raise my voice.

    It's going to take some time. Best wishes on your recovery!
  • ConnieH40
    ConnieH40 Member Posts: 2
    RichGtr said:

    Hang in there
    Hang in there jo_luka. Hopefully every day will get a little better. Non-metasticized RCC is one of the better "C" scenarios you can have.

    I had my left kidney removed Monday 8/30. Hand-assisted laproscopic. Came home Wednesday. Haven't got the pathology report results yet, but I've adjusted to the idea that it is cancer, and it is GONE. And as I've started telling people about my situation, nearly everyone has a friend or relative that has been through this exact thing. A silent epedemic. Glad you found it before it became larger.

    My first surgery ever. Certainly painful to get up and down, or even talk loudly. But every day is a little better, fewer pain meds every day (though if you hurt, don't be a hero; you need quality pain-free rest. If I start to over-do it, and the pain flares up, I retreat to a percocet power nap.

    My digestive system is not quite working right yet, either. But the fasting, anesthesia, and narcotic pain meds all will do that. "Pushing" is not a good option for me, either. When the pain flares up, I can't even raise my voice.

    It's going to take some time. Best wishes on your recovery!

    No Cancer!
    I had my partial nephrectomy of the right kidney on August 20 and they found that the mass was a type of tumor that is benign!!!!I think that happy news has made the "after" seem much more tollerable. They had to do it the open incision way (10.5 inch scar!)but did not have to remove the rib like they thought. I had a epidural during the surgery that lasted most of the first day and they hydrocodone. The pain was pretty bad initially. By day 4 I was allowed to go home. I used pain medication, but gradually reduced it till now I just use Aleve and tylenol. I had some withdrawal symptoms from the pain medication--intense anxiety, GI disturbance, headache. I know we have to use it, but I would sure recommend that you watch it closely and get off as soon as you can. I really felt better after 2 weeks. As a matter of fact, I am returning to the University this week to resume classes and drove today to the grocery store. I am also walking everyday and am uup to 1/4 mile, but going a little farther each day.

    Thanks to everyone for all their encouragement and prayers. I just praise God!
  • Johnnyb
    Johnnyb Member Posts: 17
    RichGtr said:

    Actually, my surgery is 8/30 at 1pm also!
    Hi Johnnyb,

    I had the date wrong when I posted that. My surgery (Hand Assisted Lapro Radical Nephrectomy, left side) is actually Monday, 8/30. Also at 1pm. I check in at 11am, with surgery scheduled for 1pm. I'm in the central time zone (KC area).

    I've had this scheduled for a month. Kind of "abstract" for a while. But becoming a little more real every day. Just had my pre-op appointment yesterday. I had been attempting to keep up a good exercise regime to help with my recovery. But, it seems like exertion (running, hiking) make the back pain flare up(like a deep, deep cramp.) So curtailing that now.

    In my case they are not 100% certain it is RCC until they get the kidney out and have Pathology check it out. But the doc is at least 80% certain it is cancer, based on the appearance in the CT scan. I think the largest dimension of my tumor is 3.7cm. (Kind of went through a transition of calling it a cyst, then a mass, then a tumor. It is located in the center of the kidney, so a partial is possible, but pretty problematic. I am much more comfortable with removing the whole thing, rather than risk bleeding/leaking complications, and the possibility of missing some of the cancer.

    As I tell friends, co-workers, etc., that I am having this done, it seem like everyone has a family member or friend who has been through this. I can't believe it is this widespread, and I didn't know till now.

    I count myself very fortunate to have found it at this stage. I (and my doctor) could have easily shrugged off the back pain until it spread. And, if you've looked into this, you know that you don't want to let RCC spread. Totally different ballgame, then.

    Best wishes on a smooth, successful surgery, and a speedy recovery!

    Surgery was a Success
    Hello all,

    My Surgery on 08/30/2010 to remove my right Kidney didn't go so well. I am OK now but had a hard time during the operation. My blood pressure bottomed out and my heart rate when way up. I also started vomiting during the surgery. Was in suregery for over 4 hours and recovery room over 4 hours also. I couldn't eat or hold any food down for 4 days. Finally on the 5th day with shots for nausea was able to keep Beef broth down, milk and jello. My blood counts were off too they had to give me 4 units of blood. It has been 2 weeks now and I am back to walking did 2 miles on Wednesday but that was a bit much and I payed for it that night so only walking 1/2 mile or so. Surgery his healing very well can't hardly see were I was cut in my belly button or the other 3 cuts about 1 inch. The pathalogy test confirmed it was Renal Cell Carcinoma or (kidny Cancer) They did all kinds of test too afterwards moree scans and ultrasounds. My Doctor is telling my I am clean no Cancer anywhere and I should be able to live a normal life from here on out. I still give the honor and glory to my God Jesus Christ for allowing my appendix to go bad so that they could find this much worse thing that in a year or two would have been termal Cancer. I wish all that have cancer to turn their lives over the Christ and pray for your healings. He is the answer to all our problems. Wish the best ....God bless. Feeling almost normal now.
  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,359 Member
    Johnnyb said:

    Surgery was a Success
    Hello all,

    My Surgery on 08/30/2010 to remove my right Kidney didn't go so well. I am OK now but had a hard time during the operation. My blood pressure bottomed out and my heart rate when way up. I also started vomiting during the surgery. Was in suregery for over 4 hours and recovery room over 4 hours also. I couldn't eat or hold any food down for 4 days. Finally on the 5th day with shots for nausea was able to keep Beef broth down, milk and jello. My blood counts were off too they had to give me 4 units of blood. It has been 2 weeks now and I am back to walking did 2 miles on Wednesday but that was a bit much and I payed for it that night so only walking 1/2 mile or so. Surgery his healing very well can't hardly see were I was cut in my belly button or the other 3 cuts about 1 inch. The pathalogy test confirmed it was Renal Cell Carcinoma or (kidny Cancer) They did all kinds of test too afterwards moree scans and ultrasounds. My Doctor is telling my I am clean no Cancer anywhere and I should be able to live a normal life from here on out. I still give the honor and glory to my God Jesus Christ for allowing my appendix to go bad so that they could find this much worse thing that in a year or two would have been termal Cancer. I wish all that have cancer to turn their lives over the Christ and pray for your healings. He is the answer to all our problems. Wish the best ....God bless. Feeling almost normal now.

    Welcome to the club of Kidney Cancer Survivors
    To Crissold, garym, RichGtr ConnieH40, Jo_luka, Johnnyb and all of the others who are now new survivors:

    Welcome to the Club. I hope each of you is able to welcome all the new survivors 8 years from now as I am doing today. As each of you recall in my earier posts, there is no way to sugar coat the Surgery, but things do get better. I went waterskiing 11 months after my surgery. It was just before my 60th birthday. Any challangers?

    Icemantoo
  • annamania
    annamania Member Posts: 1

    Also still recovering
    Hello Wendy:

    I am now 2 months post op. I had my radical nephrectomy (right kidney as well) on 7/21. While I returned to work just Monday 9/21 I am not totally healed. healing will continue for many months for me. My Dr. indicated that my vody will continue to heal for 6 months plus.

    My surgery was the "gold standard" way with a long 12 inch incision. One of my lungs were collapsed and a rib was resected. I also have collateral nerve damage to my left thigh from the pressure on being laid on my left side for the duration of the surgery. At first, I would have flare ups that felt like my skin was being peeled away from my thigh and that section of my leg was on fire. Now, there is only a slight burning sensation at times. The numbness still remains as well.

    My mid-section is also still swollen inside and has that numb feeling as well. Often my midsection will feel "tight". I kind of relate this feeling to the feeling of a blood pressure cuff being squeezed too tightly around you; only with that odd numbness sensation as well.

    I could not wear my normal slacks until only recently.

    I can relate to some of what you are feeling as well regarding your hesitancy. After my surgery, it was like "Okay, we are done with you for now, Good-bye!". But I was like, "Hey?? wait a minute!?!?! I'm still leery, I'm still scared! I need more guidance on what not to do physically and when I can begin to do more!!... It was like a whirlwind... You have cancer! Good Bye, we are done with you!.

    I have sometimes felt lost in that regard as well, or cheated or gipped by some extra kind of support.

    I think we all worry it will come back. I know I think about it. And it might very well come back. Or maybe not.

    So all we can do is hope, live life, find happiness, don't sweat the small stuff, and all that jazz.

    I told my cancer to GET THE "F" OUTTA HERE!!!.. and I hope I sent it the message that I meant business.

    If it does come back... that's out of my hands, and I cannot do anything until then, but I will start paying more serious attention to my "Bucket List".

    i wish you the best in your continued healing. While so many of us have kidney cancer in common, our situations are unique. Try not to compare where you are with others, but do continue to address your concerns with your doctor.

    My best to you,
    Diana

    Hi Diane
    I was looking for someone that might have gone through "the Gold Standard" because I am due to have surgery October 7th. My doctor already prepared me that she will have to cut me open. I want to know what to expect cuz doctors never seem to give enough info. Atleast in my case... It infuriates me that doctors can be so insensitive. I can completely relate with your experience. I felt like my doctor was leaving me to die when I told him I would not accept blood! He told me "Well even if we do surgery most RCC patience die within 2 yrs. Until I started to complain to everyone that would listen I was finally referred to a hospital that specializes in bloodless surgeries but Where is the compassion?

    It's nice to hear your humor and positive outlook inspite of everything that you've been through... that's how I try to deal with it.

    Thanks!
  • bellablue79
    bellablue79 Member Posts: 1
    ltingle said:

    Very Nervous
    Hello everyone. I just signed up on the website because what you all are talking about is exactly whats keeping me up at nights. Alot of you haven't mentioned your ages but those of you that have are older than me and i value the opinion of my elders....no offense. I have gone through many tests since January of 2010 and two weeks after my 26th birthday i was told that i have a rare form of renal cell carcinoma. This rare form happens in young females and is only seen in 5% of people and lucky me i got it. Luckily it is isolated to my right kidney so on May 24, 2010 im having my right kidney removed which they say should get rid of the cancer. Im scared, anxious, nervous and overflowing with questions. Can anyone give me any information about the length of the hospital stay or more of what to expect after? Also any tips on helpful things to do to stay healthy after my surgery. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.

    Hello. I also had RCC at a
    Hello. I also had RCC at a very early age. I was dx'd in 1999 with RCC on my 20th birthday. Had radical right nephrectomy and have gone on to have a child, finish college, and start my career. I'm 11 years cancer free and have had very few problems. Good Luck with your recovery!
  • crissoid
    crissoid Member Posts: 6
    icemantoo said:

    Welcome to the club of Kidney Cancer Survivors
    To Crissold, garym, RichGtr ConnieH40, Jo_luka, Johnnyb and all of the others who are now new survivors:

    Welcome to the Club. I hope each of you is able to welcome all the new survivors 8 years from now as I am doing today. As each of you recall in my earier posts, there is no way to sugar coat the Surgery, but things do get better. I went waterskiing 11 months after my surgery. It was just before my 60th birthday. Any challangers?

    Icemantoo

    Greetings everyone I'm glad to report I'm back at work I stayed out the whole eight weeks as instructed and glad I did. Icemantoo many blessings to you and your family everyone was such an encouragement to me. I go for my second check up on Nov, 8. I feel good and gained quite a bit of weight. lol But grateful to be able to be here to share my story. So to all the members in the group be blessed take the time you need to heal, luv you guys peace. P.S the stamp is not going up next year congress said no. lol
  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647
    icemantoo said:

    Welcome to the club of Kidney Cancer Survivors
    To Crissold, garym, RichGtr ConnieH40, Jo_luka, Johnnyb and all of the others who are now new survivors:

    Welcome to the Club. I hope each of you is able to welcome all the new survivors 8 years from now as I am doing today. As each of you recall in my earier posts, there is no way to sugar coat the Surgery, but things do get better. I went waterskiing 11 months after my surgery. It was just before my 60th birthday. Any challangers?

    Icemantoo

    New warriors
    I see there are some new recruits on the board since my last visit, I'm sorry that you are here but welcome aboard. If you are a recent addition to the crew, the worst is behind you for now. I am 11 months post op today and the pain, trauma, and mental anguish are all but forgotten, its nice that our brains work that way. Scars and routine CT's will remain constant reminders but we can all LIVE with that. I had 7 close friends all die from RCC before I was diagnosed following an accident, I carry their shields to battle every day now. I just returned from a 4,900 mile motorcycle trip and have plans to bike Hawaii next May and hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim next summer at age 60. If you don't have a bucket list, make one, a long one, its a mind freeing experience. Live, love, and pray my fellow warriors.

    Gary
  • amurillo63
    amurillo63 Member Posts: 29
    Hi Wendyleigh,
    I was

    Hi Wendyleigh,
    I was wondering how you are doing now... I just had surgery to remove my right kidney on Oct. 7th, 2010 I hope all is well with you! It is always a reason to celebrate when I hear from long term survivors!
  • Von55
    Von55 Member Posts: 57
    ConnieH40 said:

    No Cancer!
    I had my partial nephrectomy of the right kidney on August 20 and they found that the mass was a type of tumor that is benign!!!!I think that happy news has made the "after" seem much more tollerable. They had to do it the open incision way (10.5 inch scar!)but did not have to remove the rib like they thought. I had a epidural during the surgery that lasted most of the first day and they hydrocodone. The pain was pretty bad initially. By day 4 I was allowed to go home. I used pain medication, but gradually reduced it till now I just use Aleve and tylenol. I had some withdrawal symptoms from the pain medication--intense anxiety, GI disturbance, headache. I know we have to use it, but I would sure recommend that you watch it closely and get off as soon as you can. I really felt better after 2 weeks. As a matter of fact, I am returning to the University this week to resume classes and drove today to the grocery store. I am also walking everyday and am uup to 1/4 mile, but going a little farther each day.

    Thanks to everyone for all their encouragement and prayers. I just praise God!

    No cancer!
    Hi Connie H40!
    I don't know if you're still on the forum, but was wondering what your tumour actually was? My story is very similar- a 5cm Bosniak 3 cyst, 4hrs of surgery, an open partial nephrectomy with a 14" scar- and my tumour was a benign Metanephric Adenoma. This tumour is rare, and was only identified in 1995. It is impossible to differentiate it from RCC except Immunohistochemically (microscopic pathology etc). I've read that it is the benign adult form of Wilm's tumour, and like Wilm's it results from embryonic kidney tissue that failed to develop into normal kidney in utero. It can (rarely) metastasise, so I'm on 6monthly scans for the next 3-5yrs.
    My Urologist told me virtually nothing about this condition- all he cares about is that it was benign. I like to know everything about what's going on in my body, so am searching for as many answers as I can. I am so thankful that I am cancer-free, but open surgery is very painful & I'm still recovering after 7 weeks post-op. Hopefully one day these tumours will be diagnosed more precisely, and fewer nephrectomies will need to be performed. Mine was causing identical symptoms to malignant tumours (except for metastasis) so it had to come out, worse luck!
    I hope you're recovering well, and keeping up with your walking!
    Von
  • mea01
    mea01 Member Posts: 4
    hello....I had a radical
    hello....I had a radical nephrectomy on sept 7th,2010..also had gallbladder removed with a small hernia repair....they removed my left kidney..I was so scared..I still am..I can't help but feel it will return some where else on my body..I'm still real tired...but not as bad as in sept.I'm still uncomfortable wearing pants...still wearing stretchy banded waist pants.The doctors and most of the people act like its no big deal...but it is.I guess I am thankful that the cancer was all contained in the kidney and that it hadn't spread to other organs..I can't say that everyday I feel better...more like every week it gets better and now I can move more freely...especially when I take a shower..that was my daily dread for awhile.my tumor wasn't as large as yours mine was 5.6cm..it looked huge on the ct scan.the tumor was found by accident so like you everything happened so fast.I'm thankful to have others who are in the same position as I.I feel a little better to have shared my feelings with you