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my renal cancer story

Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2013

First  I want to say hello to everyone...I'm so glad I found this site!   I've been poking around, and it's amazing to see how many others are in the same boat as I am.


I am a 42 year old female, and until recently I considered myself to be in pretty great health.  Back in April I went to the dr. to check out a pain in my lower right abdomen that had been coming and going for two years.  The pain was pretty mild and only came every four to six months, after a few hours each time...was gone.  So it was pretty easy to ignore.  Once the pain became more frequent, I decided it was dr. time.  They started with an x-ray of my lower right pelvis/abdomen area....nothing was found...nothing!  Was sent home, told to come back in a few weeks if it kept on...so back I went a month later.  I was then given an ultrasound, followed by a mri. 


They found an angioma on my liver, which I already know about...but it has grown quite a bit (whether to treat it is on hold for now).  They also found a mass on my right kidney.  I was told by our urologist that he would need to remove the whole kidney...can do it now or look again in three months...that was about all he told me!Surprised   Of course...I went for a second opinion.  They came to the conclusion that it was either an oncocytoma or renal cell cancer, but in spite of doing a biopsy, they could not tell...either way surgery was necessary anyway.  I had surgery on July 12, and it did turn out to be cancer.  Half of my kidney was removed, surgery went greatI!  Looks like it didn't spread and they got it all, no more treatment necessary at this point.  I am so grateful I went for that second opinion. 


I am feeling as well as I can expect two weeks after surgery, but holy smokes...the bloating in my belly!!  I look and feel four months pregnant!  It's causing half my discomfort.  Has anyone else experienced this kind of bloating following surgery?   Did you find anything that helped?  I would be sooo grateful for any suggestions on beating the bloat. 


Thanks so much for listening to my story...feels good to have a place to discuss it!  Cool  I'm looking forward to getting to know others here!

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3260
Joined: Jan 2010



I had a lot of swelling around my incision. The Dr. said it woukd take a year to completely heal. It did. Chalk it up tp that initiation you just went thru. Welcome to the club which nobody in their right mind chooses to join.



You should be able to go on a roller coaster next year as long as it is not at Six Flags over Texas.



MDCinSC's picture
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

Shall we invite Lucky Ducky toCedar Point with us next summer!

The more the merrier!

Icemantoo is right!  Nobody wants to join this club!  However, now you're family!

Welcome to the asylum!

My surgery was May 14 and I'm still not ready for rollercoasters.  Mine was a laparascopic radical however so I didn't get the kind of swelling you guys are talking about.  The surgery memories will fade and you'll be here cheering others on in no time!

Glad to have you aboard!


Darron's picture
Posts: 310
Joined: Jun 2013

First of all, sorry to welcome you to such a club. 

I had swelling from a full hand assisted laparoscopic in October 2012, but not as bad as you are describing. Make sure your doctor hears your questions, as every one if us reacts differently. I had a 17cm tumor and the entire kidney removed, so there was quite a massive area removed to absorb some of the swelling. I am wondering if being a partial, there is less void to fill and therefore any swelling would wind up being more pronounced.

Just a theory, but I would check wih your doctor on any post operative concerns.

Hope to hear news of your full recovery soon.


foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

About our journey with kidney cancer. Sharing is therapuetic and beneficial to all. That's why we are all here. Good luck.

garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi LD,

I'm sorry you are here, but welcome to the club.  We've all been right about where you are at one time or another, I remember stumbling onto this site and the relief it provided almost four years ago now, you will be amazed how quickly time passes.  About the bloating, did you have drain tubes following surgery?  A certain amount of drainage (and thus drain tubes) from the surgically altered kidney is quite normal for partials and this could be the cause of your bloating especially if you had no drain.  It should be absorbed and subside naturally over time, but check with your doctor to be safe.

Hope this helps,


Djinnie's picture
Posts: 945
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Lucky, 

I am glad you came across this site, there is always someone to offer a friendly ear, as a member you will never feel alone with any fears or concerns. Your story is a little like mine, I also had elusive pains which eventually led to the discovery of kidney cancer. It was the second time for me though, this time I had a partial nephrectomy, like you, on my right kidney.

The bloating is normal, I know it is very uncomfortable. I found sitting up straight very difficult, I felt like I had an airbag implanted. I found that sitting back in a recliner helped when relaxing. I had my surgery at the end of March and it was at least four weeks before the bloating completely subsided. You could try some slow deep breathing exercises to help to ease the stress in your stomach muscles. Also a gentle massage with some warming oils such as wintergreen helps.

All the best


Djinnie x


Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2013

Thanks Icemantoo, MDCinSC, Darron, foxhd, garym, and Djinnie for the friendly welcome!  Hope you are all doing well...

I did talk to my Dr. and like you said Djinnie, the swelling is normal, just have to wait it out.  I did have a drainage tube in like you said garym, but it could possibly be draining slightly still.  Guess I need to work on being patient with this.  I'm sure before I know it I will be back to bouncing off the walls again.  But yeah Icemantoo...Six Flags will not be added to my bucket list..lolSmile





Jenner86's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2013

Hi luckyducky,

just finished writing my "back home" post.  I was advised to check in with you, as our stories are similar.  I look pregnant too! I have been told I need to be patient...and it isn't easy.  I just try to celebrate each new victory appropriately (Getting up the stairs, getting out of bed on my own).

hope to hear more of your speedy recovery!




twinthings's picture
Posts: 409
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi Lucky, and welcome to the club!  I am 2 months post-op, laparoscopic radical nephrectomy.  I too, had the worst swelling and bloating after surgery.  In fact, I'd have to say the bloating was the worst part of the whole stinkin' experience!  I quite litterally went without pants, or even panties (sorry guys) for the first 4 weeks.  It seemed nothing would fit around me and even the slightest pressure on my belly was unbearable so, going commando was the only way to go.  The good news is, now, just two months out, I no longer look pregnant (at least no more so than before neph) and have started exercising.  You will be back to normal before you know it and this will all be just a distant memory. 

Other than my initial post-op visits, I haven't begun the usual follow up scans, xrays, bloodwork, etc.  I will have my first scans in December.  Until then, I'm going to eat better, exercise more and stay positive.  Initially, my fight with cancer took a lot out of me, emotionally speaking.  But, in the 11 weeks since diagnosis, I have gained so much more than I've lost, spiritually speaking. 

Wishing you a speedy recovery!!



todd121's picture
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

Someone asked you about drain tubes already. I didn't see your response. It reminded me that I met a man that had had a partial nephrectomy and he had had a leakage issue with the partial and he informed me that it's one of the more common complications with partial nephrectomies. It's unlikely, but be sure to contact your doctor and tell him about any problems you are having. If it's bothering you, tell your doctor. Don't assume. That's why we pay them the big bucks. :)

I hope you are feeling better now. I would suppose your bloating has already subsided. 

Did you have a laprascopy? They pump your abdomen full of air, and some can get trapped in there and that can cause some bloating and it takes awhile for that air to be reabsorbed.


Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2013

HI LuckyDucky, 


I have found another 42 year old female with this issue.  Same here.  I had my right Kidney and half of my adrenal gland removed on May 16th, 2013.  I recovered very quickly but did have swelling for about 4-5 weeks post op.  I have just completed my first round of follow-up tests and there is concern about my GFR and Creatinine levels. 

I am seeing my family Dr. this friday but so far the follow-up x-rays are clear. ~phew~.  I am scheduled for a CT scan and ultrasound in October.  I am crossing my fingers.

Good luck with all your follow-up.  


Dawn McKay

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