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Being an advocate for a parent who has kidney cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2013

If I could get some help from an Urologist; my father was diagnosed back in the 2nd to 3rd week of Nov.2013 of 2 masses in one of his kidneys, and the surgeon does not appear to have any urgency with removing them, despite the fact that my father has been hospitalized for back and abdominal pain the last week of Nov. that he continues to have now.  His surgery is scheduled for Jan. 8 and he is going down hill fast.  Is the wait to schedule him because he is on Medicare?  The bigger of the 2 masses is like 5.? cm and the other is around 2.? cm      My father is now too weak and not quite withit by having to be on perscribed pain meds for over a month to be an advocate for himself.  I have no idea if this is a standard length of time for a patient to have to wait to get surgery for something like this, with him being in so much pain?  Please provide any useful suggestions for me to be a better advocate for my father to get this done ASAP.  Bab

Gordon Charles's picture
Gordon Charles
Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2012

Bab:   My only suggestion is to call the doctor or office or surgeon scheduled to do the operation and ask direct, specific questions.  If you can formulate and ask them of us then you can do the same of the people I mentioned.  Advocacy is a bit like baseball...one swing home runs are dramatic and showy but a couple of singles and a stolen base get the same result. You've got to plug away at it.  You know what information you want to have...ask until you're satisfied.  And yes, like most things the more answers you get the more questions you will have.   We'll be here.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3247
Joined: Jan 2010



The circumstances where they do these really quick is where the tumor is large enough to metatisize or has already metastisized. These masses assuming they are Tumors are not that size yet. You do not want to be at the head of that line.Another concern is your fathers age and health. There is a recent study suggesting where the patient is over 65 and the tumor is 4 cm or less that the surgery risk may be more than the Cancer risk. One or 2 months from diagnosis to surgery seems to be the norm except those going to the front of the line because they have more baggage. My wait was about 9 weeks from diagnosis to surgery.



My surgery was at age 59 and I am 70 now. The surgery is is no fun for any senior citizen including myself, but it beats the alternative.




Djinnie's picture
Posts: 945
Joined: Apr 2013

I am sorry to hear about your Dad, how old is he? You say he is getting very weak, I assume with the stomach pain he is unable to eat. Will he drink a blend of vegetable juice and vit c through a straw. My Mum had bowel Cancer, I found that to be the best way of keeping her strength up prior to surgery!


Djinnie x

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

My kidney was removed just a few days after I had severe pain which landed me in the hospital. I had to be admitted for pain management. Be more assertive.

Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2013

My dad is 76.  He is weak do to no appetite from his pain and pain meds. Thanks again to all with your responses; good to know that it doesn't seem too out of the ordinary to have his surgery pushed out this long. Bab

Posts: 500
Joined: Nov 2013


I also don't think that the time frame is out of the ordinary.  It probably just has to do with that doctors schedule.  The better the doctor the busier they are.  It's probably a good sign.  Our local small town doc wanted to whip the tumor out the next day.  We elected to go to a major medical center and the wait was 6 weeks for an opening in the schedule to operate.  It's a long story, I won't go into, but my husband lived with his 5cm tumor for another year before it was removed. 

I do suggest that you have your dad sign something at the hospital or doctors office that allows the medical professionals to communicate with you.  I had a really hard time when my mom was hospitalized and they wouldn't divulge any information to me until the proper paperwork was filled out. 

Re Medicare...it's been good to us, and it has nothing to do with the time frame to operate. 

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