New here/ My story.

Dave418
Dave418 Member Posts: 95 Member
edited September 2014 in Kidney Cancer #1

Hello everyone, in the last four weeks, i've been reading a lot of your stories on this site and it helped me lot. I feel like i know a lot of you personnaly even if we have'nt met. I'm gonna tell you a bit about me and the cancer i am now fighting.

My name is Dave, 37, from a small town 45 minutes south of Quebec city, Canada. (That´s why my english isn't perfect). I am the father of a 7yo girl and a 4yo boy. 

I was diagnosed on august 7 2014, before that, nothing wrong with my health except for that lump on the left side of my abdomen that started it all. My life completely changed after the x-Ray made a couple of weeks before the diagnosis. They then sent me for an ultrasound where they told me i should get an MRI asap. I knew something was wrong by the changing faces of the persons doiing all those test. 

My doctor called me on august 7 with the mri results. Large 9,5cm mass on the left kidney...

I then met with my urologist 10 days later and he ordered Ct Scan and bones tests. Fortunatly, no mets, just a 3mm dark spot on the left lung to keep an eye on.

I had a laparoscopic radical nephrectomy on my 9 year wedding anniversary date september 3rd 2014. Tougher that i had tought, but i went through it. I am now home for recovery since sunday. Feeling tired, but better than expected. 

My next appointment is in 4 weeks(seems so far away), when i'll have the pathology report. 

I have a question, how long did it took you all to return to work? 

Thanks  for your answers and for reading, i'll keep you posted!

Dave 

Comments

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,361 Member
    Bon jour

    Dave,

    Welcome to our club. The first days and weeks are a little rough as you can see. At 37 you should be able to recover better than most of us older guys. I was 59 when I had my Neph 12 years ago. The 3mm spot on your lung could be nothing unless it grows. In my day they only did a lung xray which failed to show nodules in the lung under 8mm.

     

    As far as back to work it depends on an uneventful recovery and what type of work you do. Walk, do not run back to work.

     

     

    I live in Michigan about 30 miles North (yes North) of Windsor Ontario.

     

     

    Icemantoo

     

  • madzoon
    madzoon Member Posts: 40
    welcome

    I have been here about 3 maybe 4 weeks now, so I think i can still call myself a newbie Laughing I am having my surgery This Thrusday, Getting close. Having a Partial Robotic Nephrectomy, With My para-aortic lymph node partial removal, I have gotten alot of great information from here,  ICEMAN  has helped me in a lot of ways. he always repost to my posting with  great help and input.  I wish you best and a full recovery.

     

    Madzoon

  • GSRon
    GSRon Member Posts: 1,303 Member
    Dave, welcome..  sounds like

    Dave, welcome..  sounds like you are doing ok so far.  But I do get concerned when we see someone so young..  Suggest you get a copy of that pathology report, and make sure you get proper follow up.  Follow up usually includes a scan every 3 or 4 months, 6 months at the longest.  Stay on top of it.. and hope for the best..

    Good Luck..

    Ron

  • Hi Dave, and welcome.

    Hi Dave, and welcome. Returning to work depends on what you do.   I work in an office, and I was able to start working from home about 6 or 7 days after my surgery. I was not really comfortable sitting upright at my desk until 4 weeks after surgery.  I preferred working in a recliner with my laptop.  Fortunately, for me, I am the boss, and I was able to get back to work on my own schedule, but unfortunately, being the boss means that there was work that only I could get done.  Most of my work can be done on a computer from anywhere.  Hopefully, your situation is similar, and your workplace gives you some flexibility.

  • Dave418
    Dave418 Member Posts: 95 Member

    Hi Dave, and welcome.

    Hi Dave, and welcome. Returning to work depends on what you do.   I work in an office, and I was able to start working from home about 6 or 7 days after my surgery. I was not really comfortable sitting upright at my desk until 4 weeks after surgery.  I preferred working in a recliner with my laptop.  Fortunately, for me, I am the boss, and I was able to get back to work on my own schedule, but unfortunately, being the boss means that there was work that only I could get done.  Most of my work can be done on a computer from anywhere.  Hopefully, your situation is similar, and your workplace gives you some flexibility.

    Thanks to all of you.

    Thanks to all of you. Positive, i am also my own boss, so i will be able manage my schedule to my convenience. I own a sporting goods store, so i have half a desk job/half a "on the floor" job. The good thing is i can manage e-mails and a part of my desk job from home. For the rest, i lay it to my employees(whom i am lucky to have, there good). But, as a boss, you know how it is, we always want to be there.

    I have decided to give myself enough time, i'll start part time in a couple of weeks and see how it goes. 

    The more and more i read posts on this forum, the more i understand what´s happening to me. I am very glad i found it. Many inspiring stories and many questions answer. Thanks to all!!

  • aamdsi
    aamdsi Member Posts: 284
    Dave418 said:

    Thanks to all of you.

    Thanks to all of you. Positive, i am also my own boss, so i will be able manage my schedule to my convenience. I own a sporting goods store, so i have half a desk job/half a "on the floor" job. The good thing is i can manage e-mails and a part of my desk job from home. For the rest, i lay it to my employees(whom i am lucky to have, there good). But, as a boss, you know how it is, we always want to be there.

    I have decided to give myself enough time, i'll start part time in a couple of weeks and see how it goes. 

    The more and more i read posts on this forum, the more i understand what´s happening to me. I am very glad i found it. Many inspiring stories and many questions answer. Thanks to all!!

    am sorry

    You're here - but glad you're doing well. 

    Isn't it so frustrating how slow/long it takes for us to feel better?  As the song goes, "Tiiiime is on our side" 8-)  Maybe you can use "on the floor time" for your walking when weather is bad (it's POURING out here right now)

     

  • Jojo61
    Jojo61 Member Posts: 1,309 Member
    Bonjour Dave!

    I live in Ontario, Canada...not too far from Toronto. Last December I had my right kidney removed via laprascopy with a 13 cm tumour. It was Stage 3. I have had one follow up scan since, but have one coming up next month. I went back to work 6 weeks after the surgery. I was fortunate to be able to work gradually for a few weeks til I was back to working full time. I work in an office. I was exhausted coming home. I still am! LOL But you have age on your side. I am 52 and things just don't bounce back as quickly as they used to!!

    Welcome to the forum - the best thing about nephrectomies is getting to know the wonderful group of people here!

    Hugs

    Jojo

  • Dave418 said:

    Thanks to all of you.

    Thanks to all of you. Positive, i am also my own boss, so i will be able manage my schedule to my convenience. I own a sporting goods store, so i have half a desk job/half a "on the floor" job. The good thing is i can manage e-mails and a part of my desk job from home. For the rest, i lay it to my employees(whom i am lucky to have, there good). But, as a boss, you know how it is, we always want to be there.

    I have decided to give myself enough time, i'll start part time in a couple of weeks and see how it goes. 

    The more and more i read posts on this forum, the more i understand what´s happening to me. I am very glad i found it. Many inspiring stories and many questions answer. Thanks to all!!

    Dave, sounds like you have a

    Dave, sounds like you have a great situation to ease yourself back into work.  One great thing about your job is that you are not confined to a desk--oh I would love to be able to be on the floor of a sporting goods store!  You may feel more tired than usual.  You will get a sense of what works for you.  One big positive of my recovery was it kept me out of the office for more than 2 weeks--something I had not done for over 10 years.  It gave me a new perspective on work-life balance.

  • todd121
    todd121 Member Posts: 1,448 Member
    Welcome. Hello.

    Hi Dave. Welcome to our group. Sorry you have to be here.

    I had a radical also (but mine was the right side). It was laproscopic, but I ended up with a pretty large incision because they wanted to remove the kidney in one piece (the tumor was right in the middle of the kidney). I took 6 weeks off work and was glad I did. When it was time to go back, I didn't feel ready. For me, sitting was the hardest position. It put pressure on wound. Laying and standing was much preferred. I have a desk job, and was worried about going back.

    While recovering, I usually walked around my room while watching TV, or laid on the bed. Sitting just hurt.

    Since you stand at work, that might be easier. On the other hand, I have to tell you that I would be exhausted every day by 4pm. The outsides heal up faster than the insides. Don't forget you're still healing for 2-3 months after the surgery and your body is getting used to less kidney function.

    I recommend followups with an oncologist and nephrologist, even if your surgeon doesn't think it's necessary. If you can, it's better to see an oncologist with RCC experience. This will be particularly important after you get you pathology report. RCC docs are usually more up-to-date on studies, where to look for mets, and may be more interested in following up on suspicious places than a urologic oncologist, because they (the oncologist) will be the one likely treating you should you get any recurrence. The surgeons often want to follow, but if something comes up, they'd refer you anyways, so I'd just go ahead if you can and find someone to follow you if possible.

    Please share how you're doing and your pathology report when you get it.

    I wish you the best.

    Todd

  • tyjsbtn
    tyjsbtn Member Posts: 50
    Dave, your story is a lot

    Dave, your story is a lot like mine.  I am a 44 yo female without any health issues.  Thought I was having a gall bladder attack and the scan came back as cancer.  My left kidney was removed and I am now 5 weeks post op.  I still do not feel ready to return to work.  I work in an office with an hour commute each way.  I am just now starting to feel more energetic.  Make sure that you take all the time that you need to recover.  Your body has taken a big hit and needs lots of time to mend.

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

    Dave, your story is a lot

    Dave, your story is a lot like mine.  I am a 44 yo female without any health issues.  Thought I was having a gall bladder attack and the scan came back as cancer.  My left kidney was removed and I am now 5 weeks post op.  I still do not feel ready to return to work.  I work in an office with an hour commute each way.  I am just now starting to feel more energetic.  Make sure that you take all the time that you need to recover.  Your body has taken a big hit and needs lots of time to mend.

    Could be top 5 question asked

    "When can I go back to work?" Remember that I am 3 1/2 years post surgery. This is a top 5 question. My answer is based on a few things.

    First, after 35 years in health care, I've seen thousands of people undergo some sort of surgery. Except in drastic need of $ or to keep a business afloat, or risk of job loss, absolutely no good can come from doing too much too soon after surgery. Including work. Certainly physical work. Even a desk job wil be a strain on your system. Only a patient will ask this question. No concientious caregiver would ever recommend returning to work before being physically ready.

    Second,  For those that think they are not pschologically affected by being diagnosed with cancer, trying to return to work to soon is an act of denial. They want to return to their "pre-diagnosis" self, get on with their lives, and forget that it ever happened. But guess what? Returning to work does not make what you just went through go away. It is another stress to overcome. Believe me, you never forget being diagnosed with cancer. Or having had surgery. Or the fear of re-occurence. That is why another top 5 topic is scanxiety.

    Third, many people feel like they have something to prove. "I'm tough, and can just move on as if nothing happened." Your body has taken a major hit. It is not just an incision you need to heal from. Your physiology is permanantly changed. One kidney doing the work of 2. Protective reflexes not allowing certain motions, generating pain, or creating compensations in function and movement.

    Looking back a year or so after surgery,  having taken a few more weeks off is insignificant in the full scope of things. But hurting yourself by returning too early could create long lasting damage and dysfunction. There would be only one person to blame for this. One would never recommend doing something that could injure yourself. Like doing drugs, or drinking and driving, or riding a Harley. (OK, forget that last one.)

    Every case is different. But everyone seems to think that they are that "special" one that can just move on with their life. But from where I sit, I know that isn't true because they asked the question.

  • Dave418
    Dave418 Member Posts: 95 Member
    foxhd said:

    Could be top 5 question asked

    "When can I go back to work?" Remember that I am 3 1/2 years post surgery. This is a top 5 question. My answer is based on a few things.

    First, after 35 years in health care, I've seen thousands of people undergo some sort of surgery. Except in drastic need of $ or to keep a business afloat, or risk of job loss, absolutely no good can come from doing too much too soon after surgery. Including work. Certainly physical work. Even a desk job wil be a strain on your system. Only a patient will ask this question. No concientious caregiver would ever recommend returning to work before being physically ready.

    Second,  For those that think they are not pschologically affected by being diagnosed with cancer, trying to return to work to soon is an act of denial. They want to return to their "pre-diagnosis" self, get on with their lives, and forget that it ever happened. But guess what? Returning to work does not make what you just went through go away. It is another stress to overcome. Believe me, you never forget being diagnosed with cancer. Or having had surgery. Or the fear of re-occurence. That is why another top 5 topic is scanxiety.

    Third, many people feel like they have something to prove. "I'm tough, and can just move on as if nothing happened." Your body has taken a major hit. It is not just an incision you need to heal from. Your physiology is permanantly changed. One kidney doing the work of 2. Protective reflexes not allowing certain motions, generating pain, or creating compensations in function and movement.

    Looking back a year or so after surgery,  having taken a few more weeks off is insignificant in the full scope of things. But hurting yourself by returning too early could create long lasting damage and dysfunction. There would be only one person to blame for this. One would never recommend doing something that could injure yourself. Like doing drugs, or drinking and driving, or riding a Harley. (OK, forget that last one.)

    Every case is different. But everyone seems to think that they are that "special" one that can just move on with their life. But from where I sit, I know that isn't true because they asked the question.

    Thanks

    Thanks for everyone advices, i'll allow myself enough time to make sure i heal well, so i won't have any rebounds later.

    I am now 12 days post surgery and feeling better everyday. The staples were removed on saturday and the scars seems to be healing quite well. I still feel some pain, but it´s managable, so i stoped dilaudid and only use Tylenol now. My only worry is that i have lost 21 pounds in 12 days. (I know i was overweight and needed to loose some, but isn't it a little fast?).

    I am very anxious for my pathology report in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to know what was in that kidney and how aggressive it was!

     

    Dave

  • donna_lee
    donna_lee Member Posts: 1,041 Member
    Dave418 said:

    Thanks

    Thanks for everyone advices, i'll allow myself enough time to make sure i heal well, so i won't have any rebounds later.

    I am now 12 days post surgery and feeling better everyday. The staples were removed on saturday and the scars seems to be healing quite well. I still feel some pain, but it´s managable, so i stoped dilaudid and only use Tylenol now. My only worry is that i have lost 21 pounds in 12 days. (I know i was overweight and needed to loose some, but isn't it a little fast?).

    I am very anxious for my pathology report in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to know what was in that kidney and how aggressive it was!

     

    Dave

    Weight loss comes with the Dx

    When I saw the Oncologist a day after being told I had Kidney cancer that had already metastasized, my stress level went up and my weight went down.  I dropped 10 pounds in less than 2 weeks.  And another 15 before surgery.  

    Once you recover from surgery and feel like eating, make an effort to not over-eat.  And watch out for the coming "eating season"- Halloween, TG, Christmas season, rapidly followed by Valentines.  Your friends and family need to in on not encouraging you to over do the food.

    Keep that smile on your face and good luck on the pathology results.

    Donna