Recovering from radical nephrectomy

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  • Mike Austin
    Mike Austin Member Posts: 3
    Long and winding road...

    I am a survivor from Leukemia (AML) 15-years back but it all came rushing back this past March with a new diagnosis of kidney and bladder cancer. Fortunately it was noninvasive stage-1 for both locations. I had my right kidney removed and several tumors in my bladder. I was only out of work for 3-weeks...  I feel pain from time to time but try to hide the physical and emotional pain. I work out every day and look really fit. 1-1/2 hour strength training, biking 5-miles a day and jogging about 2 miles daily.  Putting up a good front... The problem I have is I think I am losing my mind. I think my wife and everyone has gone on with their lives and I am on hold. My wife lost 36-pounds and looks great. I wonder is she getting herself in shape to move to the next part of her life if I am not here. She is not availale on an emotional level with me.  I feel alone and lonely all the time now!! I am looking for a support group to talk with someone about what I am feeling.. Thingds have changed and I am not adjusting to it very well.  You cant tell from this rant but I am an upbeat person and enjoy life. Just lost my mojo...

  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647
    tbonepoke said:

    Question for GaryM and FoxHD

    How long was it before you guys were riding again?

    Thanks

     

    Welcome to the club...

    Hi tbone,

    It was about four months for me, but surgery was late November and snow & ice pretty much determined when I could get out and ride again.  I'd follow Ron's advice, no matter how good you think you feel, one slip and you'l be back in bed where you started.  Walking is a good way to speed your recovery and build yourself up, start with a few short walks every day and work your way up to at least two miles a day at a fast pace, you won't regret it.  Its also important to drink plenty of water to help your body and remaining kidney recover.  Let us know how things go.

    Gary

     

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    tbonepoke said:

    Question for GaryM and FoxHD

    How long was it before you guys were riding again?

    Thanks

     

    Maybe

    around a month. I was golfing and jogging in 3-4 weeks. I do remember when I came home, my wife said I had a sh1t eating grin on my face.

  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647

    Long and winding road...

    I am a survivor from Leukemia (AML) 15-years back but it all came rushing back this past March with a new diagnosis of kidney and bladder cancer. Fortunately it was noninvasive stage-1 for both locations. I had my right kidney removed and several tumors in my bladder. I was only out of work for 3-weeks...  I feel pain from time to time but try to hide the physical and emotional pain. I work out every day and look really fit. 1-1/2 hour strength training, biking 5-miles a day and jogging about 2 miles daily.  Putting up a good front... The problem I have is I think I am losing my mind. I think my wife and everyone has gone on with their lives and I am on hold. My wife lost 36-pounds and looks great. I wonder is she getting herself in shape to move to the next part of her life if I am not here. She is not availale on an emotional level with me.  I feel alone and lonely all the time now!! I am looking for a support group to talk with someone about what I am feeling.. Thingds have changed and I am not adjusting to it very well.  You cant tell from this rant but I am an upbeat person and enjoy life. Just lost my mojo...

    Welcone to the club...

    Hi Mike,

    What you are experiencing is the roller coaster of pain and emotion that comes with having RCC.  I think what happens is that when we're told "You have cancer and need surgery." our loved ones feel the same emotional pain as we do.  Then we go through the surgery and are told "We got it all!" at which point the physical healing begins for us and the emotional healing begins for them, so we get out of sycnc.  Our caregivers believe that a strong front is necessary and that can leave us without the support we need as we heal emotionally as they move back to their "normal" lives thinking we have too. Problem is we live a "new normal" with all the reminders that we had cancer and they don't really want to talk about it anymore its that elephant in the room.  Here you have found a group of people that have been there and understand, in short the support group you were looking for.  We'll answer your questions or listen if/when you just need to vent, for most that seems to be enough, but don't be afraid to seek a group where you can get some face to face support, or a professional if needed.  There is no shame in realizing you need, and asking for, help.  Spend some time reading our stories and getting to know us and join in whenever and wherever you want, you'll feel much better real soon, I know I did.

    We'll help you get your mojo back,

    Gary

  • a.oakley
    a.oakley Member Posts: 32

    Long and winding road...

    I am a survivor from Leukemia (AML) 15-years back but it all came rushing back this past March with a new diagnosis of kidney and bladder cancer. Fortunately it was noninvasive stage-1 for both locations. I had my right kidney removed and several tumors in my bladder. I was only out of work for 3-weeks...  I feel pain from time to time but try to hide the physical and emotional pain. I work out every day and look really fit. 1-1/2 hour strength training, biking 5-miles a day and jogging about 2 miles daily.  Putting up a good front... The problem I have is I think I am losing my mind. I think my wife and everyone has gone on with their lives and I am on hold. My wife lost 36-pounds and looks great. I wonder is she getting herself in shape to move to the next part of her life if I am not here. She is not availale on an emotional level with me.  I feel alone and lonely all the time now!! I am looking for a support group to talk with someone about what I am feeling.. Thingds have changed and I am not adjusting to it very well.  You cant tell from this rant but I am an upbeat person and enjoy life. Just lost my mojo...

    time heals

    Mike,  I'm really glad you took a chance and wrote on this site.  Your surgery was only in March and I think it does take time to adjust, adapt, heal etc..  I also think there's a certain amount of "mourning" that goes on for both the patient and the caregiver spouse.  Mourning for life the way that it used to be prediagnosis.  All of the healing takes time.  Everyone is different.  It sounds to me like you are a "fighter" and are really doing your best.  I'm impressed with your physical ability and the workouts that you do.  Perhaps that makes people who are your friends and family think that you are back to normal.  I hope that you share how you are feeling mentally with your doctor.   There might be hormone level lab tests to be done, or something of that nature needs to be ruled out.  Perhaps you need an antidepressant to help you for a little while.  No shame in that.  Finding a support group is a great idea, and as another person suggested to continue to reach out on this site. 

    I wanted to share with you that when my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer (almost 2 years ago), I too lost a bunch of weight.  I was very upset, overwhelmed, tired and scared and didn't have much time for a meal.  I had to buy new clothes.  My looks improved.   I had extreme guilt!  The more ill my husband got, the better I looked.  I felt so bad about it I talked to my doctor.  I still feel really guilty.  Stress caused those changes in me.  Perhaps the same thing has happened with your wife.   

  • tbonepoke
    tbonepoke Member Posts: 3
    tbonepoke said:

    Question for GaryM and FoxHD

    How long was it before you guys were riding again?

    Thanks

     

    My surgery was five weeks ago today and I am feeling pretty good.  Still get the occasional pulling feeling if I stretch just so.  The first two weeks were really rough.  Then it rapidly started getting better.  Been back at work for a couple of weeks now, but not back to working 12 hour days just yet.  I walked a mile and two-thirds during lunch today and went to Tai Chi class this evening.  Other than being a bit tired, I feel great. I know the incisions are not completely healed, but they are slowly getting better.

    It is so tempting to try riding to work while it is unseasonably warm.  It is only 13 miles but I don't want to over do it.

     

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,359 Member
    tbonepoke said:

    My surgery was five weeks ago today and I am feeling pretty good.  Still get the occasional pulling feeling if I stretch just so.  The first two weeks were really rough.  Then it rapidly started getting better.  Been back at work for a couple of weeks now, but not back to working 12 hour days just yet.  I walked a mile and two-thirds during lunch today and went to Tai Chi class this evening.  Other than being a bit tired, I feel great. I know the incisions are not completely healed, but they are slowly getting better.

    It is so tempting to try riding to work while it is unseasonably warm.  It is only 13 miles but I don't want to over do it.

     

    Full recovery

    Tbone,

     

    I have no doubt from your history and positive attitude that you will make a full recovery from the surgery alone.

     

    I do have a few doubts however about your Kidney function which will not show up in Cancer statistics but could lead to heart incidents (more common) or kidney failure over the long term.

     

    Hypertension. being overweight, gout and losing a kidney all negativey effect kidney function as does getting older. My suggerstion is that you consukt with a Nephrologist about maintaining good kidney function numbers.

     

     

    Icemantoo

  • safado
    safado Member Posts: 17
    New here

    I just joined here after reading every post in this thread.  Thank you for sharing.  It's good for the soul to read such positive, optimistic posts.

    I'm a 52 y.o. W/M.  Diagnosed with RCC in March 2014.  Rad Neph L kidney in April 2014.  4 weeks out post op.  Stage 3 on the pathology report - but just barely.

    Met with the oncologist today.  Brain MRI scheduled for next week and a PET scan the week after.

    Very glad to hear that I'm not the only one hating to wear pants post-op.  Unfortunately, we have a dress code at work....  I started back 1/2 time three weeks post-op.

    My CA was Sarcoid, papillary and multi-focal.  12 tumors in the kidney - plus cysts, angiomelolipoma and a stone for good measure.  The radiologist called it the "Elephant Man Kidney."

    My wife and I are beyond pins and needles about the MRI and PET scan.  It's a huge fork in the road.

    Headed to MD Anderson in Houston for 2nd opinions and treatment/clinical trials if possible.

    It's nearly impossible to concentrate at work or otherwise.  

    Life quickly went from sunshine and roses with long-term plans to black clouds and the unknown in just a matter of days.

    Looking forward to learning more from you.

    Thank you!

  • Sallura
    Sallura Member Posts: 3
    New here

    Hi I stumbled upon this forum trying to do research about what to expect over the next few months. I just had a laproscopic radical right nephrectomy on December 14, 2016. I was sent home from the hospital on the 16th. I had a mass in the right kidney that was originally noted when the ER doctor found a tumor blocking 95% of my colon on Valentine's day. It was diagnosed at stage 2. had a laproscopic hemicolectomy for that and went through 6 months of chemotherapy. I had restageing scans done in October following the end of my chemo cycles. The mass had grown from 2.1×2.2 cm to 2.4×2.4 cm. I was referred to urology and sent for an ultrasound in November. In the ultrasound the mass was noted at 2.7×2.8 cm. That lead to the nephrectomy. I have been finding doing almost anything the past 2 days extremely painful.  I appreciated being able to read what others went through. My husband and I are terrified that even this won't be the end of our saga. I have no family history of any kind of cancer. I am even thinking of taking a medical leave of absence from my college classes until spring. I would love some input on what to expect the next few months. I am still waiting for the pathology report from the kidney to find out what the mass was. I see my urology oncologist again in the middle of January. 

    Thanks for any input in advance, 

    Jessica. 

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    edited December 2016 #251
    Sallura

    Hi Sallura. You're very welcome but I'm sorry you have to find yourself here. Whatever you are doing STOP! You just had major surgery and it sounds like youre pushing yourself way too hard. The first week after the surgery is legendarily bad, but dont worry it does get better. For now give yourself a rest. You say youre seeing your oncologist mid January. Thats a couple of weeks away, so why dont you take that time off and let yourself recover?

    None of us here are doctors, just patients and it sounds like youve been going through the mill a bit. Your kidney lump sounds reassuringly small so dont worry about it now (I know - impossible advice) let yourself be spoiled for Christmas.

    You might want to start your own thread rather tag yourself on the end of an old one. You'll probably get a bit more attention.

    Dont panic, it sounds like youre in good hands.

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    One more thing!

    Stop the research. Most of the stuff online is massively out of date, totally insane or both. THe treatment for this sort of thing is changing on an almost weekly basis. The prognosis is getting better all the time: I found a 10cm tumour 3.5 years ago and I'm noy planning on popping my clogs any time soon:-)

  • Wsavio
    Wsavio Member Posts: 3
    How long recovery time

    on Dec5 2016 had my left kidney removed and don't have to go back until middle of march for a scan my question i feel great drinking a lot of water every day now being the winter with snow on the way want to know if i can at least use my snow blower with traction (no hand shoveling))

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    Wsavio said:

    How long recovery time

    on Dec5 2016 had my left kidney removed and don't have to go back until middle of march for a scan my question i feel great drinking a lot of water every day now being the winter with snow on the way want to know if i can at least use my snow blower with traction (no hand shoveling))

    If I were you

    I'd find a teenage offspring to do that for you.

  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760
    edited January 2017 #255
    Wsavio said:

    How long recovery time

    on Dec5 2016 had my left kidney removed and don't have to go back until middle of march for a scan my question i feel great drinking a lot of water every day now being the winter with snow on the way want to know if i can at least use my snow blower with traction (no hand shoveling))

    Or...

    Or a neighbor. Or somebody who owes you. Or somebody you pay.  Because steering that sucker around is going to be a chore on your core and it's the twisting motions that your innards aren't ready for yet. 

    If in doubt, call your surgeon's office.  But this is really more than just a tad too much.  Enjoy your favorite hot beverage and sing "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"