Scared of the Big Bad Robot

JennyDra
JennyDra Member Posts: 24

Hello to everyone. I came across this page while looking for information about kidney camcer. About  month ago, my husband came across a mass in his left kidney. It was completely a surprise to us. He was just getting a CT scan for something else when they found it.  We were crushed.....and just in time for Christmas. The thing is, I don't know what you are supposed to do when you find out that you have kidney cancer. I went from being mad ...to sad... then it finally sunk in and we got used to the idea.  ( I can't believe you can get used to be diagnsed with cancer!!)

The mass was roughly 4.5 cm. So of course we went to a series of doctors. And they all agreed we have to have it removed ASAP.  And then we came across a surgeon that specializes in robotic removal of the kidney. He told us that because of the location (it is in the back part of the kidney and there is a risk it may be too close to blood vessels) so partial nephrectomy may not be possible although he is going to try.

So the surgery is scheduled for tomorow and I am kind of freaking out. I mean I am trying to stay positive and I have faith in the surgeon but a part of me is soooooo scared about complications. I am scared about the after too. I mean I feel so helpless. I don't know how I am supposed to feel. One minute I am fine and the next I feel like I am losing it. I am trying to keep it together for my husband but I think he is a bit scared too. 

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be here....one day before a robot goes in and takes out my husbands kidney...but here I am.

I would just like to know how was everyone feeling before the surgery. Is it normal to be scared? I have foud that reading the stories  on this site  so comforting and less lonely. Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your stories. It has made a huge diffrence.

Comments

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237 Member
    Scared

    I would say it would be pretty abnormal NOT to be scared. Cancer is not a nice word to hear and neither is surgery. Combine the two and...

    You get more worried than you should. 

    You're in the hands of professionals who do this type of thing all the time. They sound prepared for any complications that might arise. The tumour sounds pretty small (if there is such a thing as a small tumour, but mine was 10 cm). The sooner its done the better.

    Good luck. Let us know how he gets on.

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,361 Member

    Scared

    I would say it would be pretty abnormal NOT to be scared. Cancer is not a nice word to hear and neither is surgery. Combine the two and...

    You get more worried than you should. 

    You're in the hands of professionals who do this type of thing all the time. They sound prepared for any complications that might arise. The tumour sounds pretty small (if there is such a thing as a small tumour, but mine was 10 cm). The sooner its done the better.

    Good luck. Let us know how he gets on.

    Lucky

    Jenny,

     

    I know that that is not the word you expect to here. But if you are going to have Kidney Cancer (none of us volunteered for it) having only a 4.5 cm tumor is something many of the members of our club would almost die for. The cure rete from the surgery alone absent a realy bad pathology approaches the upper 90's percent.

    Mine was 12 and 1/2 years ago and about the same size. There were no robots then and there were no partials then. Faye across the street started with lung mets at age 62. She will be 82 this year. Liborio my cement guy is a year younger then me and he is over 20 years.

    I wish I could say something to make the surgery some sort of "procedure" , but it is the real thing (major abdominal surgery) and there is no way to sugar coat it.

    As with any major surgery there is a risk of complications, but those are usually minor like an infection causing your husband an extra day or two in the hospital.

    After surgery your husband is going to feel like sh--, but every day after that (there may be a bad day or two in between) he will feel a little bit better.

    Being scared, hearing the C word and being told you are having major surgery right out of the gate scared each and every one of us. That too shall pass.

    Good luck with the surgery. No Pain, No Gain.

     

    Icemantoo

  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    icemantoo said:

    Lucky

    Jenny,

     

    I know that that is not the word you expect to here. But if you are going to have Kidney Cancer (none of us volunteered for it) having only a 4.5 cm tumor is something many of the members of our club would almost die for. The cure rete from the surgery alone absent a realy bad pathology approaches the upper 90's percent.

    Mine was 12 and 1/2 years ago and about the same size. There were no robots then and there were no partials then. Faye across the street started with lung mets at age 62. She will be 82 this year. Liborio my cement guy is a year younger then me and he is over 20 years.

    I wish I could say something to make the surgery some sort of "procedure" , but it is the real thing (major abdominal surgery) and there is no way to sugar coat it.

    As with any major surgery there is a risk of complications, but those are usually minor like an infection causing your husband an extra day or two in the hospital.

    After surgery your husband is going to feel like sh--, but every day after that (there may be a bad day or two in between) he will feel a little bit better.

    Being scared, hearing the C word and being told you are having major surgery right out of the gate scared each and every one of us. That too shall pass.

    Good luck with the surgery. No Pain, No Gain.

     

    Icemantoo

    So sorry you have to be there

    So sorry you have to be there but you couldn’t find a nicer bunch of helpful people who will answer your questions, address your concerns, and generally help you through this. ITA that it’s normal to be scared, mad, helpless, you name it, I think we’ve all felt it. I was terrified when I was diagnosed and told I needed surgery. I never had surgery before and was only in the hospital once for fainting and hitting my head so they wanted to observe me. The thought of having to be in a hospital and having part of my kidney removed from cancer just about made me lose my mind.

    But honestly, the dread and anticipation of surgery was a lot worse than the actual surgery. I had a partial open surgery for a 3.5 cm tumor and it wasn’t anywhere near as awful as I feared it would be. Lap surgery should be even easier as far as pain and recovery is concerned, or so everyone says. Hope the surgeon can save the kidney and do a partial on your husband but if not, he’s in good hands and they’ll do what is best for him.

    Hang in there and make sure he drinks lots of water once he’s allowed and that he walks as soon as they tell him to get out of bed. I was home in two days and barring complications so will be your husband. Best of luck to you both!

  • JennyDra
    JennyDra Member Posts: 24

    Scared

    I would say it would be pretty abnormal NOT to be scared. Cancer is not a nice word to hear and neither is surgery. Combine the two and...

    You get more worried than you should. 

    You're in the hands of professionals who do this type of thing all the time. They sound prepared for any complications that might arise. The tumour sounds pretty small (if there is such a thing as a small tumour, but mine was 10 cm). The sooner its done the better.

    Good luck. Let us know how he gets on.

    Footstomper
    Thanks for your

    Footstomper

    Thanks for your insight. It really helps believe it or not. I agree with you about the sooner it's over the better. Having the surgery looming is really driving me mad. I think once it's over we can start to move ahead nd some how put it behind us (if that is actually possible)

     

    I will try to update as soon as I have news. :-)

     

  • JennyDra
    JennyDra Member Posts: 24
    icemantoo said:

    Lucky

    Jenny,

     

    I know that that is not the word you expect to here. But if you are going to have Kidney Cancer (none of us volunteered for it) having only a 4.5 cm tumor is something many of the members of our club would almost die for. The cure rete from the surgery alone absent a realy bad pathology approaches the upper 90's percent.

    Mine was 12 and 1/2 years ago and about the same size. There were no robots then and there were no partials then. Faye across the street started with lung mets at age 62. She will be 82 this year. Liborio my cement guy is a year younger then me and he is over 20 years.

    I wish I could say something to make the surgery some sort of "procedure" , but it is the real thing (major abdominal surgery) and there is no way to sugar coat it.

    As with any major surgery there is a risk of complications, but those are usually minor like an infection causing your husband an extra day or two in the hospital.

    After surgery your husband is going to feel like sh--, but every day after that (there may be a bad day or two in between) he will feel a little bit better.

    Being scared, hearing the C word and being told you are having major surgery right out of the gate scared each and every one of us. That too shall pass.

    Good luck with the surgery. No Pain, No Gain.

     

    Icemantoo

    Iceman, I have read quite a

    Iceman, I have read quite a few of your posts on here and have found them very enlightening. It's so nice to know that you have been through this and are here to help the rest of us 12 1/2 years later.

     

    I hope and pray that my husband will be as lucky as you, Faye and Liborio!!

     

    Thanks for taking the time to give me some peace of mind...I really need it :-)

     

  • JennyDra
    JennyDra Member Posts: 24
    APny said:

    So sorry you have to be there

    So sorry you have to be there but you couldn’t find a nicer bunch of helpful people who will answer your questions, address your concerns, and generally help you through this. ITA that it’s normal to be scared, mad, helpless, you name it, I think we’ve all felt it. I was terrified when I was diagnosed and told I needed surgery. I never had surgery before and was only in the hospital once for fainting and hitting my head so they wanted to observe me. The thought of having to be in a hospital and having part of my kidney removed from cancer just about made me lose my mind.

    But honestly, the dread and anticipation of surgery was a lot worse than the actual surgery. I had a partial open surgery for a 3.5 cm tumor and it wasn’t anywhere near as awful as I feared it would be. Lap surgery should be even easier as far as pain and recovery is concerned, or so everyone says. Hope the surgeon can save the kidney and do a partial on your husband but if not, he’s in good hands and they’ll do what is best for him.

    Hang in there and make sure he drinks lots of water once he’s allowed and that he walks as soon as they tell him to get out of bed. I was home in two days and barring complications so will be your husband. Best of luck to you both!

    APny, thanks for the tips

    APny, thanks for the tips abaout after the surgery.

    I agree that the anticipation gets you pretty worked up. I am certaily not looking forward to the waiting room tomorrow!!!

    Thank you so much for your kind words. It really helps :-)

     

     

  • What everybody else said. 

    What everybody else said.  And Tom Petty--the waiting is the hardest part.  I had surgery as a newborn, and at 47 my partial open nephrectomy was the first surgery I had.  I was scared and freaking out prior to the surgery.  I look back at myself pre-surgery and feel kind of silly about the whole thing.  But I realize the biggest thing to deal with is that nasty "C" word--should be four letters, coupled with the fear of the uknown.  Take solace in that your tumor is small and you are in good hands.   The recovery period is not bad at all for most people.  The first couple of days to 2 weeks may be a little difficult, but in hindsight, the whole procedure and recovery was easy for me, and my surgery was an open surgery.  Good luck. 

  • Allochka
    Allochka Member Posts: 1,057 Member

    What everybody else said. 

    What everybody else said.  And Tom Petty--the waiting is the hardest part.  I had surgery as a newborn, and at 47 my partial open nephrectomy was the first surgery I had.  I was scared and freaking out prior to the surgery.  I look back at myself pre-surgery and feel kind of silly about the whole thing.  But I realize the biggest thing to deal with is that nasty "C" word--should be four letters, coupled with the fear of the uknown.  Take solace in that your tumor is small and you are in good hands.   The recovery period is not bad at all for most people.  The first couple of days to 2 weeks may be a little difficult, but in hindsight, the whole procedure and recovery was easy for me, and my surgery was an open surgery.  Good luck. 

    Your husband will be allright!

    Small tumor, caught in tiem - as Iceman said, chances  of full recovery are excellent.  We went through the same thing with my fiance in December, and now it's all behind us. I was scared at first, but this board has calmed mē down and I went into fighting mode. With you the same - calmness and readiness to fight and firm belief that Your husband will be all right! Good luck!

  • Jojo61
    Jojo61 Member Posts: 1,309 Member
    Hi JennyDra,
    I am sorry to

    Hi JennyDra,

    I am sorry to hear that you had to join this club - but now that you are here, Welcome! I hope that everybody's words have put your mind at ease, a bit at least.

    We have all been where you are, approaching the day of your husband's surgery. He will be in good hands and before you know it it will all be behind you.

    I had my right kidney and 13 cm tumor removed December 2, 2013. Things have been great since. They diagnosed it at Stage 3. But life has returned to pretty much normal! Of course, now there are scans, blood tests and follow ups.....

    I wish you all the best for your husband tomorrow. Hoping he has a quick recovery. Please keep us posted on how you're doing, and share any questions with us and we will try and help you as best we can.

    Hugs,

    Jojo

  • Jan4you
    Jan4you Member Posts: 1,330 Member
    Jojo61 said:

    Hi JennyDra,
    I am sorry to

    Hi JennyDra,

    I am sorry to hear that you had to join this club - but now that you are here, Welcome! I hope that everybody's words have put your mind at ease, a bit at least.

    We have all been where you are, approaching the day of your husband's surgery. He will be in good hands and before you know it it will all be behind you.

    I had my right kidney and 13 cm tumor removed December 2, 2013. Things have been great since. They diagnosed it at Stage 3. But life has returned to pretty much normal! Of course, now there are scans, blood tests and follow ups.....

    I wish you all the best for your husband tomorrow. Hoping he has a quick recovery. Please keep us posted on how you're doing, and share any questions with us and we will try and help you as best we can.

    Hugs,

    Jojo

    I can appreciate your

    I can appreciate your concerns. I had the same exact situation about the same size tumor. Because of it being close to blood supply, I had whole kidney removed. This was my 2nd robatic surgery. The first was relatively painless, honest. I was pressing on incisions right away, amazed at how it didn't hurt.

    My kidney surgery went very well also. I did use a lumbar wrap (for bad backs) to support my muscles/incisions as they healed. Even wore to bed. Used it for both my surgeries, approved by both surgeons.

    Also, I would put dry ice block inside the wrap, but not against the skin. This helped the pain from largest incision where the kidney was removed. I needed fewer to no pain meds then.

    So, your husband's tumor is probably stage 1. Mine was as well. Also found mine looking for something else. Glad they did.

    Let us know how things go as we'll be cheering for him to have a good recovery. Just know that the AIR they pump into the abdominal caviety gets trapped and can hurt until you walk it off. It seems to like to get stuck in the shoulder area. THAT was the worst pain. If you can imagine the worst gas pain or contraction that would be it. Just tell him its harmless.. but can hurt like heck.

    Hope to hear from you soon ! Good luck!!

    Warmly, Jan

  • jason.2835
    jason.2835 Member Posts: 337 Member
    My turn - wow a lot of parallels

    I had robotic neph on October 21 of last year. All in all, the experience was good. If you're worrying about recovery, know that robotic assisted surgery has the best outcomes for recovery because it is the least invasive and also allows the surgeon to be more precise inside the body. 

    Of course it's normal to be scared before major surgery! God, I was terrified! But this calm sort of came over me the day of the surgery, because I knew that the disease was coming OUT and that's the main thing. 

    But, wow, his story is so similar. My tumor was also in the left kidney(upper pole) and also in the back of it. (2.8 cm) And it was too close to the blood vessels. My surgeon said the exact same thing and it did turn out to be a radical neph after all was said and done. I feel fine. Just tell him to think like he donated a kidney and it will be alright. It sounds like your husband is one of the lucky ones... Caught early and incidentally. We will be ok. 

    Make sure you let us know how it all turned out... You are also lucky to have a surgeon proficient in robotic surgery... They are few and far between. Good luck and Godspeed. 

  • sblairc
    sblairc Member Posts: 585 Member
    My husband had robotic surgery

    Hello, and welcome! I post here on behalf of my husband, as his caretake when he was recovering from his radical left neprectomy (robotic) in October 2014. This is a pretty awesome group of people. 

    As for my husband, we didn't even have time to really think about anything since he was admitted to the hospital with bleeding and didn't leave until the surgery was over. We were both so shaken, it just happened fast. I didn't have time to research, we were so freaked out and my husband was quite ill from the bleeding kidney tumor we would have done whatever they said to make that stop. 

    Needless to say, if I could have hugged that robot, I would have. I think I probably would have actually kissed it too!! My husband's surgery for his large tumor was a success. His incisions were tiny, but since his tumor was 7.5 cm, they needed to do a larger one to get the sucker out. Getting up and walking around the next day was hell, but when you know that it's literally "the first step of the rest of your life" you just do it! 

     

    Take care and keep us updated on how it goes, ask as many questions here as you need to.