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renal cell cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2003

I found out I had kidney cancer on a ct that was done for something else.they say it was caught early.since my left kidney was removed in feb. 2003.I am still in pain i am also numb in the area can anyone post info about the recovery?

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2003

It takes time to recover from major surgery. It is a very large incision. I got all my medical records (not the summary, but the day to day notes) when I left the hospital. They sent them a few weeks later. I read the blow-by-blow account of the surgery. It helped explain a few random pains here and there that were not near the incision. It also explained why my shoulder and neck were sore (because of the position they put me in to do the surgery), etc. Also, I went to the health food store and got a bottle of liquid B12 vitamin. This helped my energy level a lot. Don't push yourself. It took me about a year to get all my energy back.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi chelly
My kidney cancer was also found while looking for something else, but as it turned out it was the problem we were trying to solve so all for the better.
smallorder is right. It takes time. My pain lasted a good 1 month and then another 6 or so months before I had full motion in the waist without pain. Another 1 to 2 months before they would let me lift anything to speak of.
But don't worry it gets better rapidly once you get back to moving around and getting on with your life.
The numbness last a lot longer. I had my surgery in Jan. 2001 and still have some numbness on the scar. It isn't hard to live with so after a time I forgot about it.
I didn't have the back and shoulder pain others have so guess I was lucky there.
Best thing to do is take time to let it heal. There is a lot going on in there, there was a lot of tissue damaged during the surgery and it is going to take time to heal.
Hope this helps some.


Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2002

Your surgery was very recent. As the others have indicated, you can expect it to take a full year before you feel completely back to normal. But in about 6 months, you should feel pretty good. As for the numbness, you may have a certain amount of that indefinitely - I still have some from a 20 year old knee surgery. Superficial nerves are cut and do not regenerate, although they may reroute, which explains why you can touch yourself here and feel it there. It's been 20 months since my radical nephrectomy for stage 3 renal cancer (had my renal vein removed too because the tumor had spread into it), and I still have pain where my kidney used to be - organ memory pain? Yet tests show nothing abnormal. My research shows that some nephrectomites (a word?) have no pain after recovery, some experience a bit, and some lots. We're all snowflakes, I guess....Wishing you the very best.

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2014

I have called myself a "nephrectomite" since my surgery in February 1969.  So yes, I think it is a word, and you and I can probably take credit for inventing it.  I was a young guy back then with a 28-inch waist, so the surgery was easy and uncomplicated for both me and the doc.  

Perhaps this may be some reassurance to other "nephrectomites" that it is possible to live a long and relatively healthy life after the surgery.  I got my pilot's licence a few years later and learned to ski, too.  

Best wishes to all our fellow "nephrectomites" wherever you may be.  


Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

I Know that when my son had kidney cancer. It was a long hard process of recovery. And they say children heal faster so i can only imagine how painful iut must be. I recommend that you take it easy and only do what you feel you can, I wish you the best in your recovery and i wish I could offer more advice.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

They found mine while checking my gall bladder.
I'm a 29 year old survivor of rcc. My right kidney had a golf ball size mass and was removed 09/11/02. After 3 months of constant pain, my dr FINALLY referred me to a pain center. I strongly suggest that everyone ask for one if they haven't already gone.

My newest dr (in a long line of drs) perscribed a lidoden patch (simular to novacain received in a dentist chair- it numbs the area.), Baclofen (a muscle relaxer), Vioxx (once a day pain killer - gentle on the kidneys) and loratab (5mg for the rough times) as well as physical therapy. At Physical Therapy, I received a TENS unit (uses electrical waves to "block" the pain).

The TENS unit didn't work for me (only dulled pain for 4 hours) but the patch... I live and breathe by it!!!

I returned to work on Feb 11th. It's rough and it still hurts... but it's usually tolerable.

My physical therapist, I believe, enjoys causing pain. The deep tissue massages are the worst. But 2-3 days later, I'm walking faster, sitting longer and the pain is less. He says that the massages desensitizes the scar tissue.

I've had my 1st follow up CT and Abdominal X-ray. All was clear. I'm hopeful. I really don't know if I can go through this again.

I have only 6 months under my belt. Honestly, I'm getting tired of hearing "It takes time" but it's true.

The wierdest part is the layers of pain. You have the surface pain that heals fairly quickly (4-8 weeks), the deep inside pain (I'll let you know if it stops) and my newest one is the rib pain (from stretching the ribs to make room for the dr's hands and the kidney). I'm sure I've left some levels out and that there are some I have yet to discover.

Best of luck! (((everyone)))

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

I had 50% of my left kidney removed January 15, 2003. Pain was strong for the first five weeks, then it seemed to decrease rapidly from that point. Still have some slight pain, but have not done any significant lifting so I don't know how the surgery site will react. I have not experienced any numbness though.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

You will be fine. The pain went away for me after I got home and started moving. I was diagnosed one year ago today. I had a radical nephrectomy on my right kidney. The tumor was slightly larger than the kidney. I was 37 years old at the time. I was in fair shape, a litte overwieght. I was walking (very slowly) a week after surgery. I started jogging 3 weeks later and will hopefully run in my first marathon next month. The pain goes away, it was really tough for me to sleep the first couple weeks as I could not get comfortable. I was off pain medication 10 days after coming home. The numbness starts going away after 6 months, and after 1 year I can say its probably 90% gone. Try to keep your head up, you have a really great chance of winning completly. Feel free to email me if you have any questions along the way. God Bless.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

Reading this thread made me realize how differently this type of surgery affects different people. I had my radical right nephrectomy in 2000. The pain I experienced was fairly intense for the first three or four weeks. No major pain meds for me! The doc put me on Tylenol 3s and I didn't have to take a bunch each day. Sure there was pain, but if I didn't move 'this way' or 'like that' I could handle most of it without meds. I still sleep on my left side most of the time. Not from any pain, just from force of 'acquired habit'. I found that in 2002, I had developed a new mass in the adrenal gland on the same side. That came out with pretty much the same results, pain wise. The major difference is that the first doc cut me from almost sternum down my rib line, and the second doc went from low abdominals to darn near my armpit! So I have a BIG "X" on my right side. Even with all this surface nerve damage, some of it is coming back. There are still places that are 'not there', but for the most part I can feel the whole area. Hope this helps!

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

Aloha Chelly,
Hope this mail would help you alittle bit and to your speedy recovery. I had my right kidney removed because of cancer and it was done in the year 1993. It took me quite sometimes to recover and had numbness feeling for sometimes. But it went away gradually when I started light excercises like, half sit-ups and side bends. I kinda help the dead tissues form into good tissues. So do not get discouraged but just keep on going and enjoy your life.
I had two other surgeries besides my kidney. My first was in 1985, surgery for cancer in my right lung. Right lung was removed, no kimo and was cancer free until 1993. Had part of my right colon removed because of cancer in the year 2000. That took quite awhile to heal. But I am cancer free once more, doing what I like best, and living a normal life. Strange thing about this is that I had no kimo treatment.
Take care and God Bless. Write if you want to.


Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

My left kidney and urethea were removed in January 2003. I am just now in the fifth month since surgery and am getting better everyday. I started walking the morning after my surgery and have walked everyday since - about wore the nurses out the 7 days I was in the hospital and they finally told me to start walking on my own. I have no pain but I do have the numbness that you refer to. The doctors say this will deminish with time. My PET body scan and cysto scope were both clear and show me to be cancer free. Knowing this I can put up with some numbness for awhile. I am on a three month checkup schedule for the next year. Hang in there as it gets better by the day.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2003

Chelly, I was happy to read about you. Not happy about your pain but to know I'm not alone. I thought it was just me and am about to find another doctor for another opinion since my doctor seems to think I should be able to do anything I want to do. And I too am tired of hearing "it takes time" and "you're so lucky it was found early". Sometimes I don't feel so lucky when I can't do what I want to do. According to all of the other replies to you, things will get better. I sure hope so. Good luck and God Bless.

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