Runners with only one kidney

alli_45242
alli_45242 Member Posts: 14
edited March 2014 in Kidney Cancer #1
Hi everyone. I am new to this site. Just diagnosed on June 22nd with kidney cancer (right kidney). I had radical nephrectomy on July 2nd and am recovering slowly. I have been an avid runner, which is how I found out about the cancer. I ran a race in hot Tennessee on June 20th and got severely dehydrated and ended up in hospital where they ordered a CT scan which showed the tumor. Thank God for that hot race! My tumor was about 6.5 cm and contained to the kidney, stage 1. So, I think prognosis is good. I am healing slowly, lost weight before surgery and some after so now am a little underweight. Are there any other runners out there that have had to have a kidney removed? If so, did you start running again and how long after surgery? I just want to know that I will be able to do something that I love again. Thanks and God Bless!

Comments

  • jane99
    jane99 Member Posts: 15
    running

    I would ask your doctor, but I had my right kidney removed
    on 6/22 and my doctor said I could jog at 5 weeks. I am four weeks
    past my surgery now and still aching, so I think that may have
    been an optimistic prediction in my case. Everyone is different
    though.

    Jane
  • alli_45242
    alli_45242 Member Posts: 14
    Runners with only one kidney
    Thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. How are you feeling? How is your pain level? I still have pain, but my stomach has been bothering me more than the pain. Could just be my nerves. It just seems like slow going as I fatigue easy after even a short walk. How much activity are you doing daily?
  • WilSchretz
    WilSchretz Member Posts: 16

    Runners with only one kidney
    Thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. How are you feeling? How is your pain level? I still have pain, but my stomach has been bothering me more than the pain. Could just be my nerves. It just seems like slow going as I fatigue easy after even a short walk. How much activity are you doing daily?

    Hello,

    Today is two weeks since my left kidney naphrectomy and I have been able to do 1/2 mile walks but no running. I walked about 1.5 weeks after surgery but got very tired afterward and slept for an hour and half when I got home. Today I feel like 75% of my old self and my energy levels are coming back to normal each day. Some people take up to a year to feel "normal" again and others recover faster. I feel like I am doing very well considering surgery was two weeks ago! I am 41 and was in good shape before the surgery. I have lost about 10 pounds since the surgery but i can afford to lose some. My appetite is back and I am trying to eat healthy as possible (no junk food, sugar or salty foods) I will probably return to work next week and return to the golf course in a couple months. As far as running I would take it slow. You have to heal up and allow your insides to settle into their new locations as well as your remaining kidney and adrenal gland must adapt and adjust to doing double the work.
    I was told that your colon and internal organs fill the space left behind by your kidney removal and it takes time for fat to accumulate around them to lock them in place so take it easy with the running.

    I have my followup appt with my Urologist tommorow and will ask for a possible timeline to return to normal activity. I do plan on playing golf with my doc sometime in Sept. I guess you need to set some goals (small steps) and then try to meet them. You also need to heal and not mess things up and take a step backwards in your recovery. Have Patience it will come.

    Take your time and you'll be back running again.

    Will
  • alli_45242
    alli_45242 Member Posts: 14

    Hello,

    Today is two weeks since my left kidney naphrectomy and I have been able to do 1/2 mile walks but no running. I walked about 1.5 weeks after surgery but got very tired afterward and slept for an hour and half when I got home. Today I feel like 75% of my old self and my energy levels are coming back to normal each day. Some people take up to a year to feel "normal" again and others recover faster. I feel like I am doing very well considering surgery was two weeks ago! I am 41 and was in good shape before the surgery. I have lost about 10 pounds since the surgery but i can afford to lose some. My appetite is back and I am trying to eat healthy as possible (no junk food, sugar or salty foods) I will probably return to work next week and return to the golf course in a couple months. As far as running I would take it slow. You have to heal up and allow your insides to settle into their new locations as well as your remaining kidney and adrenal gland must adapt and adjust to doing double the work.
    I was told that your colon and internal organs fill the space left behind by your kidney removal and it takes time for fat to accumulate around them to lock them in place so take it easy with the running.

    I have my followup appt with my Urologist tommorow and will ask for a possible timeline to return to normal activity. I do plan on playing golf with my doc sometime in Sept. I guess you need to set some goals (small steps) and then try to meet them. You also need to heal and not mess things up and take a step backwards in your recovery. Have Patience it will come.

    Take your time and you'll be back running again.

    Will

    Runners with only one kidney
    Thanks so much for the info. It is wonderful how well you are doing. I hope your followup goes well. I am now almost 4 weeks out and still not walking as far as you, but am getting there. I went into surgery underweight, and of course lost more weight from surgery, but am getting my appetite back as well. I still have not gone back to work and will probably wait until mid-August. I fatigue pretty easily. Maybe I am not doing enough? My back aches, but again I think that is from inactivity as I usually workout/run about 4 - 5 days a week and am not used to being a couch potato. Thanks again for the info and take care!!
  • jane99
    jane99 Member Posts: 15

    Runners with only one kidney
    Thanks so much for the info. It is wonderful how well you are doing. I hope your followup goes well. I am now almost 4 weeks out and still not walking as far as you, but am getting there. I went into surgery underweight, and of course lost more weight from surgery, but am getting my appetite back as well. I still have not gone back to work and will probably wait until mid-August. I fatigue pretty easily. Maybe I am not doing enough? My back aches, but again I think that is from inactivity as I usually workout/run about 4 - 5 days a week and am not used to being a couch potato. Thanks again for the info and take care!!

    Runners with one kidney
    Hello,

    I am now five weeks past surgery and this week I can really feel a positive change
    in my pain and energy levels. I really haven't jogged yet, but I have
    been walking more and using the steps at work instead of the elevator.
    Not huge accomplishments, but I have found out that if I overdo it, I pay for it
    later with pain and fatigue. Hope everyone is doing well.

    Jane
  • jhsu
    jhsu Member Posts: 80
    jane99 said:

    Runners with one kidney
    Hello,

    I am now five weeks past surgery and this week I can really feel a positive change
    in my pain and energy levels. I really haven't jogged yet, but I have
    been walking more and using the steps at work instead of the elevator.
    Not huge accomplishments, but I have found out that if I overdo it, I pay for it
    later with pain and fatigue. Hope everyone is doing well.

    Jane

    Runners with one kidney
    Hi,

    16 months ago I was diagnosed RCC, clear cell type, T2N0M1. The whole left kidney was removed plus a piece of left lung got wedged out. The size of the major tumor was 9cm and the one met to the lung was 1.2cm. A radical nephrectomy was done in May 2008 followed by a 2nd surgery to remove the lung nodule immediately after biopsy was done one month later.

    I have been a runner for about 8 years and want to keep it going as long as I can. I ran my 2nd half-marathon in November the same year, 2008. Also, I finished my first and 2nd marathon in March and April this year, 2009. And, another one is scheduled in coming 2 weeks.

    Well, I think everybody is somehow different, you need to find your own pace and the way of adjustment. There's always tomorrow to try it again if your body complains today.

    Now a days, I run about 60km on weekly basis. I learned to listen to what the body has to say to me. Often time, I let the body take the lead, to go as long as the legs can take me to. It is so wonderful that when one feels the mind and the body be able to work together during the course, I call that a running meditation. Enjoy your running.

    Jon
  • alli_45242
    alli_45242 Member Posts: 14
    jhsu said:

    Runners with one kidney
    Hi,

    16 months ago I was diagnosed RCC, clear cell type, T2N0M1. The whole left kidney was removed plus a piece of left lung got wedged out. The size of the major tumor was 9cm and the one met to the lung was 1.2cm. A radical nephrectomy was done in May 2008 followed by a 2nd surgery to remove the lung nodule immediately after biopsy was done one month later.

    I have been a runner for about 8 years and want to keep it going as long as I can. I ran my 2nd half-marathon in November the same year, 2008. Also, I finished my first and 2nd marathon in March and April this year, 2009. And, another one is scheduled in coming 2 weeks.

    Well, I think everybody is somehow different, you need to find your own pace and the way of adjustment. There's always tomorrow to try it again if your body complains today.

    Now a days, I run about 60km on weekly basis. I learned to listen to what the body has to say to me. Often time, I let the body take the lead, to go as long as the legs can take me to. It is so wonderful that when one feels the mind and the body be able to work together during the course, I call that a running meditation. Enjoy your running.

    Jon

    Runners with only one kidney
    Thanks for your reply, that is encouraging to hear. When I first posted, it was right after my surgery on 7/2/09 and I thought everything was fine. Then I met with oncologist and found out that it was stage 3a, not stage 1 as I thought it was. Now after several medical tests, I have decided to take part in a clinical trial (sutent vs. nexavar). I just started last week. Still haven't run any at all but do try to go to gym in mornings when I am less fatigued and do the elliptical and bikes. I don't know when I will be able to run again, but am hoping to at least keep some fitness level till I can. You give me hope as your tumor was larger and had spread, while mine may have been staged as 3a, it was only because it came out of the capsule by 0.2 mm and had not gone anywhere else. Did they suggest a clinical trial for you or are you on any type of chemo drugs? Hang in there and I will keep you in my prayers. Take care, Allison
  • jhsu
    jhsu Member Posts: 80

    Runners with only one kidney
    Thanks for your reply, that is encouraging to hear. When I first posted, it was right after my surgery on 7/2/09 and I thought everything was fine. Then I met with oncologist and found out that it was stage 3a, not stage 1 as I thought it was. Now after several medical tests, I have decided to take part in a clinical trial (sutent vs. nexavar). I just started last week. Still haven't run any at all but do try to go to gym in mornings when I am less fatigued and do the elliptical and bikes. I don't know when I will be able to run again, but am hoping to at least keep some fitness level till I can. You give me hope as your tumor was larger and had spread, while mine may have been staged as 3a, it was only because it came out of the capsule by 0.2 mm and had not gone anywhere else. Did they suggest a clinical trial for you or are you on any type of chemo drugs? Hang in there and I will keep you in my prayers. Take care, Allison

    Runners with only one kidney
    I did not take any medical treatments after the surgery, both the doctor and I thought there's no target to treat for and evaluate subsequently.

    The CT scan of my latest post surgery check-up showed a new nodule (0.9cm) reoccurred in the right lung a couple months ago. I was pondering either to have another piece of the lung cut away or to participate in the RAD001 clinical trial. I applied but flunked its screening test, the CT scan reports the nodule shrink to 0.8 cm. This is surprisingly a good news. it seems like something is working somehow behind the scene to cause it to shrink, I'm hoping for the best that this is true and not the CT scan resolution/measurement issue. Meanwhile I'll just relax and run my marathon until the next CT scan assessment.

    Jon
  • alli_45242
    alli_45242 Member Posts: 14
    jhsu said:

    Runners with only one kidney
    I did not take any medical treatments after the surgery, both the doctor and I thought there's no target to treat for and evaluate subsequently.

    The CT scan of my latest post surgery check-up showed a new nodule (0.9cm) reoccurred in the right lung a couple months ago. I was pondering either to have another piece of the lung cut away or to participate in the RAD001 clinical trial. I applied but flunked its screening test, the CT scan reports the nodule shrink to 0.8 cm. This is surprisingly a good news. it seems like something is working somehow behind the scene to cause it to shrink, I'm hoping for the best that this is true and not the CT scan resolution/measurement issue. Meanwhile I'll just relax and run my marathon until the next CT scan assessment.

    Jon

    Runners with only one kidney
    Take care Jon and enjoy your marathon! I will be thinking of you out there running and praying that the nodule continues to shrink. Alli
  • Ronald Lawrence
    Ronald Lawrence Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2016 #11
    Effect of loss of a kidney on running

    Hi,

    I haven't seen any recent posts on this topic, but I thought I'd ask my question. I'm 71, have been an avid runner, but a slow one, for 25 years. I run races almost every weekend - mostly 5K, but some longer ones. I lost my right kidney to TCC a bit over two years ago. I was lucky, we caught it early via a routine blood/urine test as part of my annual physical, and it was pre-stage 1. Needed no follow-up. A year ago, I started running again, and enjoy it a lot, especially racing. But my times have slowed considerably. Right before the kidney loss, I was running 28 minute 5K races. Now I'm running 38 minute races. I am at a  loss as to why my times have slowed so much. I have been back to running for a year. I know I'm older, but that would account at most for a minute or two per race at my age. Could it be that having only one kidney, my body (meaning the one kidney left) cannot process my blood fast enough when racing? My racing HR is about 150 - 155 beats/minute. My creatinine is high, I have a good nephrologist, I haven't asked him about whether running would be compromised - but I wonder if other runners who've lost a kidney have gone back to running and if so, what the effect of the loss is on speed.

     

     

  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    Can't comment on the running

    Can't comment on the running but I'm concerned about that "no follow up" thing. I think everyone, including stage 1 people should have regular follow ups with chest x-ray and at least a kidney ultrasound. I'm stage 1 too and get checked every six months with x-ray and ultrasound. I really think you should too.

  • Blueraidermike
    Blueraidermike Member Posts: 25

    Effect of loss of a kidney on running

    Hi,

    I haven't seen any recent posts on this topic, but I thought I'd ask my question. I'm 71, have been an avid runner, but a slow one, for 25 years. I run races almost every weekend - mostly 5K, but some longer ones. I lost my right kidney to TCC a bit over two years ago. I was lucky, we caught it early via a routine blood/urine test as part of my annual physical, and it was pre-stage 1. Needed no follow-up. A year ago, I started running again, and enjoy it a lot, especially racing. But my times have slowed considerably. Right before the kidney loss, I was running 28 minute 5K races. Now I'm running 38 minute races. I am at a  loss as to why my times have slowed so much. I have been back to running for a year. I know I'm older, but that would account at most for a minute or two per race at my age. Could it be that having only one kidney, my body (meaning the one kidney left) cannot process my blood fast enough when racing? My racing HR is about 150 - 155 beats/minute. My creatinine is high, I have a good nephrologist, I haven't asked him about whether running would be compromised - but I wonder if other runners who've lost a kidney have gone back to running and if so, what the effect of the loss is on speed.

     

     

    You can run your best on one kidney

    I have completed mulitple Ironman races and marathons on one kidney.   Now, I only have 2/3rds of one kidney and PR'd a half-ironman race last summer.   I am only 51.   It has to be something else.  

  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853
    edited May 2016 #14
    Welcome Ronald

    A 38 minute 5K sounds fast to me, but then I don't run.  I like to remind people that every horse is not a race horse and the only time you'll see me running is if I'm being chased by someone with a knife!  Yikes!!

    Enough with the funny stuff tho.....I really can't comment other than to say I've not heard of this situation before in my travels as a kidney cancer survivor or as a health care worker, unless of course there are other underlying issues.  I assume you've discussed this with your doctor and had a work-up done to rule other things out?

    Best wishes to you and keep us posted.  In the meantime I'll keep you in my prayers,

    Donna~

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    edited May 2016 #15
    Ran 35 years

    I had decided to give my weight training and running a push with the goal of, "When I die, I want to be in the best shape of my life." But I sensed my running was not meeting expectations. Then the cancer diagnosis. After surgery I restarted running in about a month. I never got back to my running proficiency but ran another 2-3 years. I do miss it now but peddle around the neighborhood. We have had several marathoners return to distance running. No problems. Have some good training.

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

    Ran 35 years

    I had decided to give my weight training and running a push with the goal of, "When I die, I want to be in the best shape of my life." But I sensed my running was not meeting expectations. Then the cancer diagnosis. After surgery I restarted running in about a month. I never got back to my running proficiency but ran another 2-3 years. I do miss it now but peddle around the neighborhood. We have had several marathoners return to distance running. No problems. Have some good training.

    Running with one kidney

    Is this a bit like the egg and spoon race?

  • Trebor27
    Trebor27 Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2016 #17
    So inspiring

    Stories about people who have a kidney removed and are out doing Ironman and half marathons -- sooner or later -- are incredibly inspiring. Thanks!

  • mytech_LEE
    mytech_LEE Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2018 #18
    running with one kidney

    Hi~

    11 years ago I was diagnosed RCC, clear cell type in left kidney. A radical nephrectomy was done to remove the whole left kidney. The size od Tumer was 6.8 cm, stage 3a. I am still undertaking medical test with my urine and blood samples to check out a remained a remained right kidney because it has not good function unforunately. A doctor warned me to avoid strong exercise. 

    But, I have gained in weight slowly for 5 years since the radical nephrectomy.

    My running started on 2016 to lose weight. At first, short distance, 3km or 5km. I did run marathon 26.2 miles after half-marathon, 8 times last year 2017. 

    Although my level of creatinine is higher than normal, It is lower after running compared to before, as well as my weight too.

    Now I'm running about 4 ~ 5 days a week, each time 6 ~ 10 km to challenge my 3rd-marathon 26.2 miles this year. My running with one kidey will be continued. 

    Let's run together

  • mytech_LEE
    mytech_LEE Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2018 #19

    Effect of loss of a kidney on running

    Hi,

    I haven't seen any recent posts on this topic, but I thought I'd ask my question. I'm 71, have been an avid runner, but a slow one, for 25 years. I run races almost every weekend - mostly 5K, but some longer ones. I lost my right kidney to TCC a bit over two years ago. I was lucky, we caught it early via a routine blood/urine test as part of my annual physical, and it was pre-stage 1. Needed no follow-up. A year ago, I started running again, and enjoy it a lot, especially racing. But my times have slowed considerably. Right before the kidney loss, I was running 28 minute 5K races. Now I'm running 38 minute races. I am at a  loss as to why my times have slowed so much. I have been back to running for a year. I know I'm older, but that would account at most for a minute or two per race at my age. Could it be that having only one kidney, my body (meaning the one kidney left) cannot process my blood fast enough when racing? My racing HR is about 150 - 155 beats/minute. My creatinine is high, I have a good nephrologist, I haven't asked him about whether running would be compromised - but I wonder if other runners who've lost a kidney have gone back to running and if so, what the effect of the loss is on speed.

     

     

    slow marathon with one kidney

    Thank you for your post. I will remember "slow marathon"

  • mytech_LEE
    mytech_LEE Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2018 #20

    You can run your best on one kidney

    I have completed mulitple Ironman races and marathons on one kidney.   Now, I only have 2/3rds of one kidney and PR'd a half-ironman race last summer.   I am only 51.   It has to be something else.  

    Let's go together

    Physical condition is the same with me.

    Although my level of creatinine is still higher than normal, It is lower after running compared to before.

    My run will be continued even though the bellow CNN article.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/28/health/marathon-running-kidney-injury-study/index.html 

    Let's run together