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Making life altering decisions

NewDay's picture
Posts: 267
Joined: May 2012

Hello everyone,

I’m having a nephrectomy in 2 weeks. This experience has me reassessing priorities and I wondered if anyone else did the same and made significant changes in their lives. I’m considering whether to make a permanent move to the town where my sisters live because we have been getting closer and I’m pretty lonely out where I am. I’m not being gloom and doom, but if my time here is going to be shortened, I want to spend as much time as possible with family. I am 59 and live alone and have no children. But leaving my current job means giving up a really good salary with really good benefits including really good long term disability insurance. I don’t know how this is going to affect my ability to get health insurance in the future. Having a good salary means being able to save for retirement (if there is any such thing any more). It would also mean walking away from my mortgage because now I owe way more on my house than it is worth. I’m guessing some people on the other side of this reassessed their priorities and made changes. I’m very hopeful(most days) and hope that this is just a bump in the road and that I will live to be 87 like my mother(still living). I know you can’t help me reach a decision, but I’m interested in the life altering changes others made and how they came to a decision.

alice124's picture
Posts: 897
Joined: Mar 2012


First, you haven't had your nephrectomy yet. So I assume you don't know any of the specifics yet--grade, stage, etc. And I'll assume you have some tenure in your job since you say you are 59 with great benefits, etc. I'll go a step farther and say that probably includes a vacation package.

My recommendation is to breathe deep, get the nephrectomy, the pathology report afterwards, and then make your decision. I wouldn't make a rash decision at this point. And you can use your vacation to visit your relatives after your nephrectomy and take you time deciding what you want to do.

I know I was recently surprised when my sister-in-law went through health insurance hunting, and was turned down for conditions I considered relatively minor. She had great difficulty.

So don't make a quick decision. Take your time, see what hand is dealt to you, and make your decision on fact and not emotion. What you are feeling is perfectly normal, but you have time. This board will help you through. . .

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 2686
Joined: Jan 2010


I took the time to reread your earlier posts.
What is the hurry to make a decision. Get the surgery over with. Get the recovery over with. Give it 6 months and see how you feel then. Even with a little larger tumor than most of us start with you have an excellant chance for a full recovery.


foxhd's picture
Posts: 3114
Joined: Oct 2011

Listen to Alice and Iceman. It's too early to make a life changing decision. You don't have all the facts yet. And you sound much too smart to be impulsive. Even if you have been thinking about this for a while, it would be hasty..... Do great with your surgery. Then get better, then think about your future. Fox

NewDay's picture
Posts: 267
Joined: May 2012

You are all right. I'm normally a very low key, practial, logical person. I'm just stuck in some kind of cycle of hyper/worked up followed by crash and burn. It doesn't help being by yourself all day. I need a distraction. Just bare with me while I try to process what is happening. Thanks for the advice.

sunlover_56's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Apr 2012

Sounds like you have a great insurance policy.. for that reason alone, I wouldnt make any hasty decicions.. At this point in time you really need to keep your insurance. I hope your surgery goes well and you have a speedy recovery


JackieP125's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: Jan 2012

Please don't leave your insurance. Chances are you may never be insurable again without HUGE (and I mean HUGE) premiums. When they hear the "C" word... the insurance companies see $$$$$$$$$ cha ching!!! They panic!! You will need your insurance for future maintenance, such as meds and scans... lots of scans.

dhs1963's picture
Posts: 512
Joined: May 2012

I am not kidding. This time leading up to the nepherectomy is anxiety producing. I found that Ativan kept me sane: without it, I was sleepless with anxiety.

I am now 1 week post surgery. Still waiting for the path report. Not the time to be making life altering decisions.

Anything you need to do can wait 3 months.

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 775
Joined: Feb 2009

I was diagnosed at age 63, 6 years ago...and it recurred twice after that time. No way would moving have been on the agenda. You have friends, a job, insurance, a place to live. And you have relatives who can visit you and you can visit them.
A repeat of "wait until surgery" is over is in order.
Exactly 6 years ago, I was being discharged, minus 1 kidney, 1 gall bladder, 1/2 a liver, a set of lymph nodes and with 2 pints of someone elses blood. Several weeks earlier, I had cried myself to sleep thinking about the death sentence of "you have about 5-7 months, unless surgery can be done." I awoke the next morning with a very dry mouth, but realized I was still breathing and was alive. That seemed to be a benchmark for making up my mind to get on with living.

Sure, I've had my down times, anger, frustration, including depression and feeling the need to see a counselor. Last weekend, I participated in my 5th Relay for Life and will continue to do so until....

Tests regularly became a way of life, as they will for you. I just had another round this past Monday and get results on 7/2. Over a year ago, my oncologist felt I was having too much CT scan exposure, so that is only done once a year. On the other 3 or 6 month checks it's untrasounds and Xray; and now that my thyroid is growing unusual nodules, it, too is checked.

Bottom line-don't make any big decisions under stress. Keep up renewed communication with family and take care of yourself. You'll be a survivor, like the rest of us.
Good luck!

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2803
Joined: Nov 2011

Sound common-sense and you're always such a good read Donna-lee.

Posts: 158
Joined: Mar 2012

I am with the others on here don't leave your job and where you live till you know everything. Stay with your current job as long as you can and IF you have to leave and move back to where your other family is just maybe you can go out on long term disability and some companies will let you keep your health insurance along with that.

I am a caregiver and dropped out of school for a semester when my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Cancer. I am back in school right now and will be here as long as I am able. If you are able and stay where you are you'll have something to keep your mind busy and keep you hopeful all days instead of just most.

These are just my suggestions. This site has given me lots of knowledge and hope for my hubby and I pray it will do the same for you!!

alice124's picture
Posts: 897
Joined: Mar 2012

K-Back in school--great! I really admire how you're moving ahead despite everything. Bet your hubby is proud too.

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