New member "on board"--thanks for being there

Sm4pack
Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
Hi everyone-
My name is Scott. I'm 40 and I was diagnosed with stage RCC in my left kidney two days ago. I was having abdominal pain and the resulting CT scan showed a 4.5cm cyst on my left kidney. Biopsy followed and now I'm joining the club. I can't tell you how helpful reading the posts have been--I'm so happy this resource exists. I find myself re-reading the posts to keep my spirits up. Thanks to all of you for remaining active and sharing your experience and stories of survivorship.
I know it's important to stay positive and that the prognosis is very good according to my doctor but I experience so many emotions each day ranging from sadness to hope to jealousy. I don't want to be jealous, but when I see others who are able to be completely invested in the "moment" with their kids and wife I am envious. I look forward to the day when this doesn't consume as many of my thoughts as it does right now. I can't wait for surgery on 1/9. CT scan on my lungs is 12/27 and am praying that all is clear. I know that the recovery from the survery will be challenging but it's worth the piece of mind knowing my body is rid of this terrible disease.
Thanks again everyone and Live Strong.

Scott
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Comments

  • rae_rae
    rae_rae Member Posts: 300 Member
    Scott,
    Welcome, though it's

    Scott,

    Welcome, though it's through unfortunate circumstances. You will find a wealth of information here...we will do our best to walk you through the process. Do you know yet what type of surgery you are having?

    Merry Christmas
    Rae
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
    rae_rae said:

    Scott,
    Welcome, though it's

    Scott,

    Welcome, though it's through unfortunate circumstances. You will find a wealth of information here...we will do our best to walk you through the process. Do you know yet what type of surgery you are having?

    Merry Christmas
    Rae

    Surgery
    Thanks Rae and Merry Christmas to you too! I am having an open procedure, likely full due to location of the tumor. I know recovering will not be fun but it beats knowing that the cancer is still there.

    Scott
  • Jamie1.3cm
    Jamie1.3cm Member Posts: 188
    Sm4pack said:

    Surgery
    Thanks Rae and Merry Christmas to you too! I am having an open procedure, likely full due to location of the tumor. I know recovering will not be fun but it beats knowing that the cancer is still there.

    Scott

    open surgery
    Mine was open surgery as well. I won't kid you; it hurts. They know it hurts, so ask for more pain meds if you need them. You'll definitely feel better (and heal more quickly) if you do what they tell you to do: get up and sit in the chair, walk to the sink, walk the floor, etc. Everyone is different, but you'll likely be on the pain meds a while. You'll certainly feel better after just a few days at home, but I didn't start to feel really like myself until 6 weeks. That seems to be a real demarkation point for most abdominal surgery patients.

    Get any heavy lifting needed around the house done now so that you won't have to strain yourself too soon after surgery. Get pillows to prop up around you for the couple of hours you'll be able to stay in bed at a stretch. (Or borrow a few of the kids' stuffed animals.) Yeah, I spent a lot of time moving back and forth between the bed, couch, recliner. Do what you have to do to make yourself comfortable.

    Hey, this was your Christmas gift this year, though it may not seem like it -- early detection = surgical cure.
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40

    open surgery
    Mine was open surgery as well. I won't kid you; it hurts. They know it hurts, so ask for more pain meds if you need them. You'll definitely feel better (and heal more quickly) if you do what they tell you to do: get up and sit in the chair, walk to the sink, walk the floor, etc. Everyone is different, but you'll likely be on the pain meds a while. You'll certainly feel better after just a few days at home, but I didn't start to feel really like myself until 6 weeks. That seems to be a real demarkation point for most abdominal surgery patients.

    Get any heavy lifting needed around the house done now so that you won't have to strain yourself too soon after surgery. Get pillows to prop up around you for the couple of hours you'll be able to stay in bed at a stretch. (Or borrow a few of the kids' stuffed animals.) Yeah, I spent a lot of time moving back and forth between the bed, couch, recliner. Do what you have to do to make yourself comfortable.

    Hey, this was your Christmas gift this year, though it may not seem like it -- early detection = surgical cure.

    I like the way you think Jamie
    Thanks so much for giving me a heads up on what to expect Jamie. It really helps. I'm so with younon the early detection equals a cure. I desperatelynwantbto see my little boys grow up. Merry Christmas.
  • DMike
    DMike Member Posts: 259
    Sm4pack said:

    I like the way you think Jamie
    Thanks so much for giving me a heads up on what to expect Jamie. It really helps. I'm so with younon the early detection equals a cure. I desperatelynwantbto see my little boys grow up. Merry Christmas.

    Hang In There
    Scott,
    I had an open partial nephrectomy on December 6th, so I'll be about a month ahead of you in recovery. The emotions you are experiencing sound very familiar. I'm still experiencing some of them but I now have the surgery behind me and have answers to a lot of the questions you're waiting to have answered.
    The surgery and recovery are tough but once you get the surgery behind you, you can start moving forward. I felt the same way about not being able to wait for the surgery. It's a great feeling to have that behind you.
    Hang in there!
    --David
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
    DMike said:

    Hang In There
    Scott,
    I had an open partial nephrectomy on December 6th, so I'll be about a month ahead of you in recovery. The emotions you are experiencing sound very familiar. I'm still experiencing some of them but I now have the surgery behind me and have answers to a lot of the questions you're waiting to have answered.
    The surgery and recovery are tough but once you get the surgery behind you, you can start moving forward. I felt the same way about not being able to wait for the surgery. It's a great feeling to have that behind you.
    Hang in there!
    --David

    Hanging in there
    Thanks David. I'm happy to hear that you are doing well. I know that I need to take it day by day-selfishly I'm hoping the next two weeks fly by. Congrats on getting the surgery out of the way. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    --Scott
  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    Sm4pack said:

    Hanging in there
    Thanks David. I'm happy to hear that you are doing well. I know that I need to take it day by day-selfishly I'm hoping the next two weeks fly by. Congrats on getting the surgery out of the way. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    --Scott

    Hey Scott.
    Sorry to welcome you. But Jamie is right. Especially about getting your heavy lifting done. And as on other threads, get your recliner in position. It is soo..helpful. Otherwise, the bad news has been delivered. The good news is your new friends will be here,and your medical people will take care of you. Remember your family loves you so stay strong for them too.They will likely have a harder time with this than you will. I always say to read as much as you can and be informed when options are offered.....Hope you enjoyed the ball game.
  • braswelm
    braswelm Member Posts: 41
    foxhd said:

    Hey Scott.
    Sorry to welcome you. But Jamie is right. Especially about getting your heavy lifting done. And as on other threads, get your recliner in position. It is soo..helpful. Otherwise, the bad news has been delivered. The good news is your new friends will be here,and your medical people will take care of you. Remember your family loves you so stay strong for them too.They will likely have a harder time with this than you will. I always say to read as much as you can and be informed when options are offered.....Hope you enjoyed the ball game.

    Hello Scott
    My surgery was Nov. 23, laparoscopic, but the tumor was 7.8cm so he had to make a larger incision to get it out. The others are correct about lifting, I still am very careful about it. Also, don't try to overdo any activity. I am going back to work part time tomorrow, but taking it slow.
    There will be emotional ups and downs, but keep your positive attitude, it will carry you a long way. And definitely stay in touch on here, there are a lot of great folks who have been through the same experiences that you are having right now. Check out icemantoo's posts, he is one of the "old timers" and will tell you that there is no way to sugar coat the surgery, or first few days of recovery, but jut hang in there.
    Keep us posted as you progress, we'll be praying for you.

    Mike
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
    foxhd said:

    Hey Scott.
    Sorry to welcome you. But Jamie is right. Especially about getting your heavy lifting done. And as on other threads, get your recliner in position. It is soo..helpful. Otherwise, the bad news has been delivered. The good news is your new friends will be here,and your medical people will take care of you. Remember your family loves you so stay strong for them too.They will likely have a harder time with this than you will. I always say to read as much as you can and be informed when options are offered.....Hope you enjoyed the ball game.

    Loved the Game
    Really happy the Packers won, but a little worried about the defense. Thanks for the support and staying active on here. I know you post a lot and it helps all of us newbies. Definitely getting the recliner set up. If there is one thing I've taken away is that the surgery recovery is challenging and that slow and steady will win the race.
    On the family side of things, we are going to tell our kids today--didn't want to have them think about this during Christmas. I've got tears in my eyes thinking about telling them, but it's best to be open and positive with them. We'll make it.
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
    braswelm said:

    Hello Scott
    My surgery was Nov. 23, laparoscopic, but the tumor was 7.8cm so he had to make a larger incision to get it out. The others are correct about lifting, I still am very careful about it. Also, don't try to overdo any activity. I am going back to work part time tomorrow, but taking it slow.
    There will be emotional ups and downs, but keep your positive attitude, it will carry you a long way. And definitely stay in touch on here, there are a lot of great folks who have been through the same experiences that you are having right now. Check out icemantoo's posts, he is one of the "old timers" and will tell you that there is no way to sugar coat the surgery, or first few days of recovery, but jut hang in there.
    Keep us posted as you progress, we'll be praying for you.

    Mike

    Thanks Mike
    I've read all of your posts Mike. Thanks for sharing your story. Over the last week this site has helped me a lot. 'm so happy your life is starting to get back to normal--who thought going back to work would become a milestone for us. I will definitely keep you posted. CT scan on lungs is Tuesday. I really need some good news right now. Have a great first day back to work.
  • keephopealive11
    keephopealive11 Member Posts: 21
    Sm4pack said:

    Loved the Game
    Really happy the Packers won, but a little worried about the defense. Thanks for the support and staying active on here. I know you post a lot and it helps all of us newbies. Definitely getting the recliner set up. If there is one thing I've taken away is that the surgery recovery is challenging and that slow and steady will win the race.
    On the family side of things, we are going to tell our kids today--didn't want to have them think about this during Christmas. I've got tears in my eyes thinking about telling them, but it's best to be open and positive with them. We'll make it.

    you are not alone
    Hi Scott, we have something in common. We are in 40s, and have two kids and lovely family. My kidney mass is 5.8x6.2, and my surgery will be laparoscopic on Jan 24.
    On the family side of things, I haven't told my daughters yet because I just felt too difficult to say. I just mentioned to kids that my kidney is not good, and doctor has to perform the surgery to fix it.
    Good lick!
  • Bill Baker
    Bill Baker Member Posts: 23

    you are not alone
    Hi Scott, we have something in common. We are in 40s, and have two kids and lovely family. My kidney mass is 5.8x6.2, and my surgery will be laparoscopic on Jan 24.
    On the family side of things, I haven't told my daughters yet because I just felt too difficult to say. I just mentioned to kids that my kidney is not good, and doctor has to perform the surgery to fix it.
    Good lick!

    Good luck Scott! I am also
    Good luck Scott! I am also in my forties. Just had an open surgery on November 28th. I agree with all the other statements. Be patient, eat well and rest often. It is easy to overdo and forget some of your restrictions (especially once you begin to heal). How old are your children? My daughter is 15 which made the conversation easier. Kids are more resilient than we think. They may be more aware than you know. Also, you will be able to model how to deal with this issue; i.e. it is okay to cry, express your feelings etc.

    This is a journey so pace yourself. I begin chemo on the 6th; which I am now trying to "prepare" myself.

    Welcome to the forum. My thoughts go out to you. Again, good luck tomorrow.

    Bill
  • cww71964
    cww71964 Member Posts: 97
    same size
    hi scott,
    I was diagnosed with a 4.5 in my left kidney on 12/4/11. My surgery is 1/17. I know exactly what you are going through. I try to remain positive and pray a lot. My chest xray and bone scan were negative so that provided some relief. I am in my forties and have 4 kids. At least you are having a better football year than me, I am a dolphins fan! We are going to be ok and get through this surgery and put all this behind us. Read as much of this blog as you can, there is some great information and a bunch of awesome people who have been there and are eager to offer support, prayer,and positive thoughts.
  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,360 Member
    cww71964 said:

    same size
    hi scott,
    I was diagnosed with a 4.5 in my left kidney on 12/4/11. My surgery is 1/17. I know exactly what you are going through. I try to remain positive and pray a lot. My chest xray and bone scan were negative so that provided some relief. I am in my forties and have 4 kids. At least you are having a better football year than me, I am a dolphins fan! We are going to be ok and get through this surgery and put all this behind us. Read as much of this blog as you can, there is some great information and a bunch of awesome people who have been there and are eager to offer support, prayer,and positive thoughts.

    Welcome to the club
    Scott,

    Hopefully you are a lot better prepared for this than I was almost 10 years ago. As for the Packers hopefully our Lions (who used to be known as the pussycats) can show them a little disrespect on New Year's Day. Seriously best wishes on what hopefully will be a mere bump in the road towards a lomg heathy life.


    Icemantoo
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40

    you are not alone
    Hi Scott, we have something in common. We are in 40s, and have two kids and lovely family. My kidney mass is 5.8x6.2, and my surgery will be laparoscopic on Jan 24.
    On the family side of things, I haven't told my daughters yet because I just felt too difficult to say. I just mentioned to kids that my kidney is not good, and doctor has to perform the surgery to fix it.
    Good lick!

    Talk with the Kids went well
    Hope,
    We broke the news to the kids yesterday. I have two boys ages 8 and 11. To my relief they took everything in stride. We were very upfront and truthful with them regarding the fact that I have cancer but that the surgery will remove the cancer from my body. The 11 year old had lots of questions, he's a pretty smart boy. He wanted to know the chances of survival etc. All in all, I feel better having told them. There are times I just want to talk openly with my wife about how I am feeling and hated having to manage the conversation around the kids.
    We'll be enjoying the warm Summer weather in no time.
    Scott
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
    cww71964 said:

    same size
    hi scott,
    I was diagnosed with a 4.5 in my left kidney on 12/4/11. My surgery is 1/17. I know exactly what you are going through. I try to remain positive and pray a lot. My chest xray and bone scan were negative so that provided some relief. I am in my forties and have 4 kids. At least you are having a better football year than me, I am a dolphins fan! We are going to be ok and get through this surgery and put all this behind us. Read as much of this blog as you can, there is some great information and a bunch of awesome people who have been there and are eager to offer support, prayer,and positive thoughts.

    Happy that your scans were negative
    CWW-
    I am so happy to hear that your scans were negative. That is really, really good news. I am having my chest CT today and am very nervous. I totally agree that this blog is sent from heaven. The advice and words of wisdom from all of the survivors is a blessing. You are right-we will get through this. The Pack has one a lot of games but I am worried that their offense lays an egg in the playoffs. Their defense can't stop anyone so the offense has to pick up the slack each and every game. My son Aiden and I will be heading over to Lambeau on Jan 1st for the Lions game. We go to the last game at Lambeau every year.
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
    icemantoo said:

    Welcome to the club
    Scott,

    Hopefully you are a lot better prepared for this than I was almost 10 years ago. As for the Packers hopefully our Lions (who used to be known as the pussycats) can show them a little disrespect on New Year's Day. Seriously best wishes on what hopefully will be a mere bump in the road towards a lomg heathy life.


    Icemantoo

    Better prepared thanks to you and others
    Iceman-
    I feel pretty prepared as a result of all the great info on this board. You are an inspiration to us and I want to thank you for remaining active and helping us through this. I'll be at Lambeau on New Year's to wath the Pack play the Motor City Kitties. Sounds like the Pack is going to play to win versus rest their starters.

    Scott
  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647
    Sm4pack said:

    Happy that your scans were negative
    CWW-
    I am so happy to hear that your scans were negative. That is really, really good news. I am having my chest CT today and am very nervous. I totally agree that this blog is sent from heaven. The advice and words of wisdom from all of the survivors is a blessing. You are right-we will get through this. The Pack has one a lot of games but I am worried that their offense lays an egg in the playoffs. Their defense can't stop anyone so the offense has to pick up the slack each and every game. My son Aiden and I will be heading over to Lambeau on Jan 1st for the Lions game. We go to the last game at Lambeau every year.

    Lions vs. the Pack...
    Sm4pack,

    Please add my thoughts and prayers to all of those that support you, and whether you live on Lake Michigan's eastern or western shores we all start anticipating summer right about this time of year. I've been a life long Lions fan, but the Packers have always been a close second, I loved Lombardi's philosophy/attitude. I actually met Ray Nitschke one time on a cruise, what an incredible experience and what a cool guy, but I digress. I can only echo what everyone else has already said, adding that you will be fine and I am sure you will be returning to Lambeau with your boys for many many years.

    Good luck and God speed,

    Gary
  • Sm4pack
    Sm4pack Member Posts: 40
    garym said:

    Lions vs. the Pack...
    Sm4pack,

    Please add my thoughts and prayers to all of those that support you, and whether you live on Lake Michigan's eastern or western shores we all start anticipating summer right about this time of year. I've been a life long Lions fan, but the Packers have always been a close second, I loved Lombardi's philosophy/attitude. I actually met Ray Nitschke one time on a cruise, what an incredible experience and what a cool guy, but I digress. I can only echo what everyone else has already said, adding that you will be fine and I am sure you will be returning to Lambeau with your boys for many many years.

    Good luck and God speed,

    Gary

    Motor City Kitties
    Hey Gary-
    Thanks for the support. I'm happy the Lions are having a great season. Lion fans deserve it. I remember the 70s and 80s when the Packers were the NFL's doormat. Favre and Reggie White brought the franchise to life and we haven't looked back. Stafford looks like he will be good for a long time. This Sunday at Lambeau I'll be rooting for the Pack but I have a suspicion I won't be taking football games so seriously moving forward. The playoffs will be a nice distraction during my recovery though.

    Scott
  • garym
    garym Member Posts: 1,647
    Sm4pack said:

    Motor City Kitties
    Hey Gary-
    Thanks for the support. I'm happy the Lions are having a great season. Lion fans deserve it. I remember the 70s and 80s when the Packers were the NFL's doormat. Favre and Reggie White brought the franchise to life and we haven't looked back. Stafford looks like he will be good for a long time. This Sunday at Lambeau I'll be rooting for the Pack but I have a suspicion I won't be taking football games so seriously moving forward. The playoffs will be a nice distraction during my recovery though.

    Scott

    New perspective...
    Scott,

    Your suspicion is correct, your perspective on what is and is not important in life is going to continue to change because of this life changing event. You will remain on the emotional roller coaster for quite awhile, eventually things will settle down and return to "normal", but I guarantee the everyday things that used to rock your world will no longer be focal points. One of the few good things about cancer is that it teaches you how fragile life really is and you learn to appreciate things that are truly important like family and fulfillment. It may not seem like it yet, but you have been given the opportunity to enjoy life for what it is without the worries for what it is not.

    Good luck this Sunday and beyond,

    Gary