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RCC - clear cell type Parital nephrectomy sceduled for 2/25

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2011

I went to the ER on December 19 for abdominal pain and bloody diarhea where I had a CT Scan and was told I have a renal mass on right kidney suspicious for renal cancer. I was also told I had a suspicious lesion on my Liver (suggesting metastases) and a nodule on my left lung. I was also told I had a rather large hemangioma on my Liver. Subsequent MRI proved no cancer on Liver just the Hemangioma which is nothing. Chest X-Ray showed no cancer on the lungs.

The kidney mass is in the 3 or 4 cm range - not very big. Biopsy of mass proved to be Renal Cell carcinoma, clear cell type. At first it was recommended that I have RF Ablation. The Urologist Surgeon is only comfortable with a robotic assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. I never did get a straight answer as to why he feels this way. Doctors have said this tumor has been growing for "years"

I have been reassured that this tumor is on the low end of aggression, was caught early and does not appear to have spread. Surgeon has said that my prognosis is excellent.

Unless there is something found in this Tuesday (2/8) colonoscopy I am scheduled for surgery on 2/25.

I know I am very lucky and grateful for having this mass found at an early stage. I am very grateful to be able to be treated at DHMC in NH. Having said that I am very scared and anxious. I am 59 years old and have never been sick or had any surgery. It seems like it has been a lifetime since all this started unfolding on Dec. 19. It is major life changing event to be told you have cancer and need surgery. I don't think life can be the same because there will always that nagging thought about the cancer coming back.

I was hoping to hear from people who have experienced similar. I am very concerned about how long my recovery will be. How much pain and recovery time for a laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. I don't have a great deal of support at home and I am the one who does everything. I have large animals to care for as well as equines at another farm near by. I can not afford to be done for a extended period of time.

I was told I might be in the hospital 1 to 3 days. Nothing was said about how I am going to feel when I come out of surgery. I was told I could not ride my horse for at least 6 weeks.

Thank you all for reading. You can email me also at woofie0421@aol.com. Any help is appreciated.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3353
Joined: Jan 2010

I too had my surgery just after turning 59. I am now 8 and 1/2 years post surgery and doing fine after a 2.7cm tumor and my left kidney was laproscopically removed. I know how you feel. You seem to be dealing with the information responsibly and realisticaly. Welcome to the club. The odds are that you will not have to worry about the cancer coming back, so just get the surgery and recovery behind you.

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you for your support. It is very much appreciated. I go tomorrow for the surgery and I am extremely anxious. Just want to get it over. It seems like three lifetimes since this all started.

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2011

I am 59. Diagnosed through routine CT Scan. Tumor <2cm. Anything less than 7cm is supposed to be considered small? Or, it maybe 3 or 4 cm. I do not know why your surgeon or doctor told you laprascopic. I understood that this is your choice, because even though there is less recovery time, it is still undergoing scrutiny. Oh, well. I had an open, partial nephrectomy, where he went in and literally scooped the tumor out, tested it, it was malignant, and then, he went around and around and around the area, testing, to the best of his abilities surrounding tissues, and nothing was found.

My life has not been the same. Surgery was 2-1/2 hours, and it took me 2-1/2 hours to recover from the surgery. I was in such pain; they kept waking me up and putting me under. This may not happen with the laproscopic method. I do not know. All I know, is the pain was surreal.

One important thing: if they give you a pump with pain medicine, and they tell you that you are the only one that can use the pump, say bull .....!!Family members and friends who stay with you can administer the pain medication. The nurses at Kennestone Hospital, Marietta, GA said that no one could do that but me; however, how can I give it to myself (yourself) when you are asleep, and it is controlled, so there can be no overdosing by family members. So, when I woke up, I went into shock from the amount of pain, and it was another ordeal. I was in the hospital for 5 to 6 days, and I can't remember any of it.

It is important to walk. My surgeon said I was remarkable with my recovery, so this does make me feel good.

I just do not know of anything that alleviates the fear, anxiety or emmotional trauma of the diagnosis, the surgery, and the continuing checkups except faith in God. I, too, do not have a lot of support, and if it were not for my faith in God, I do not know what I would do. I am going to a wellness coach at the Georgia Cancer Specialists, and she is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

Goodluck. I'll pray for you Woofie. We are the same age. I am also on FB, and I am a member of the Kidney Association, which is on FB. I hope you read this before your surgery.

Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2008

I also had a partial nephtomy 7cm tumor and 1/2 of my kidney removed. Sorry but surgery is surgery! It took about 12 weeks for me to feel like my self. But I still get kidney pain when I over do it. You will need help, with the animals. I'm three years free of kidney cancer, but I am checked every six months at Sloan Kettering in NYC. Now I have to get my thyroid checked next week , hoping no mets! Good luck and hope to hear from you best wishes anne

Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2010

Good luck with your surgery tomorrow. I hope that you will be a cancer survivor post op with no further treatment needed!!! I had a radical nephrectomy on August 31, 2011. You will have pain after surgery, the open flank is harder to recover from than the laparoscopic procedure. While in the hospital your pain should be pretty well controlled.

When you get home, try not to over do it. A scar cream will help the incision feel better. I used an elastic back brace which gave lots of support, especially while walking. I could not wear a bra and wore a camisole at first then when to a sports bra.

Try to get plenty of rest and sleep. You won't feel like eating much at first. Eat your favorite foods. Take each day at a time and be confident that it will get better every day!!

I will keep you in my prayers. Please let us know how you do!!!

A grateful survivor,

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you for prayers.

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you for prayers.

Cafewoman53's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Jul 2010

I am recovering from an open nephrectomy and it was a painful surgery but I am recovering quickly but you will have to take it easy for at least 6 weeks. Line up help for your animals even though you are having it done laparscopically you are still cut internally. Eat healthy to speed up the healing process, relax and try to dwell on the fact that this may be your only treatment besides follow-up scans. Good Luck !

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2011

The good news is....they found this early! The better news is....in 6-8 weeks you'll be back on your feet, riding your horse etc.

I had my surgery on 11/30 (saved 90% of my kidney). It took me until the mid of January to start feeling "reasonable" (not getting tired in the middle of the day). For me, there were many mini-milestones: get the staples removed, getting the drain out, getting to walking without tiredness, driving the car, getting back to the gym, and getting back in the pool (my milestone of TODAY!!). So, what's that, about 3 months duration? I still do feel in the incision at times.

My suggestion: look up Cancer Support Community and see if there's a face-to-face group near you, or join their online forum or support groups. Or, attend support groups at your hospital. You are not alone...there are many of us living "new normal" lives very much as it was prior to being diagnosed with kidney cancer.

antjeanne's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2010

I had my left kidney removed in july. i had hand assisted lapricopy. 3 small holes and a slice through my belly button. i had some belly pain,sometimes bad, take your meds, and rest. i would get real tired very easy.listen to your body. as you heal you wont get as tired.Best of luck to you.

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