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It is official...

Posts: 24
Joined: Oct 2015

I am home from the hospital and the surgery was not fun at all...the recovery is slow going as well. The path report showed conventional rcc stage T1b (4.6 cm) grade 2/3 contained to the kidney. The doc said that there were only a few spots of grade 3 it was mostly a 2. Clear defined margins, lymph nodes were clear and no progression into the fat.

Overall he still says this is the cure but they will begin 6 month surveillance checks. I will push for every 3 month chest xray as the doc said the likely place of any return would be the lungs.

I am still a complete mess mentally but doing my best to not worry. Although I am hyper aware of any ache or pain now. 

I hope everyone else is doing great.


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3242
Joined: Jan 2010




Sorry about that little initiation called a neph. Been there, done that. Things will get a little better each dat with maybe a bad day in between. Treat yourself to a steak dinner in about a week.




Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

Tom, its in your past now!! ON to RECOVERY!!


BTW: I used a lumbar velcro wrap over my abdomen which helped support those healing muscles. I had two laproscopic/robatic surgeries and it really helped. AND I put a block of dry ice underneath the wrap, but not on direct skin and it helped the swelling over the incisions. Therefore, I needed less to no pain meds after about 5 days.

EACH day, week will start to get much better and you'll be feeling better too.

Follow the guidelines your doctor adheres to and you'll be okay. I am now 2 years post radical nephrectomy and doing great!

But I have this feeling you are usually anxious about stressors in life, are you? (you do not have to answer)

If you are more anxious, you may want to consider getting that evaluated as there is help for anxiety and therefore you do not have to suffer. Anxiety makes ALL body aches seem worse or creates physical problems. YOU can prevent that, Tom.

Now you need to adjust to recovery and HEALING, mind, body, soul in my opinion so you have this cancer out of your body and now onto a much better life!!!!

Gentle hugs, Jan

Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 2014

Everyday will get a little easier.  You will feel a little more normal with each passing day/week/month. 

I am also nearly 2 years post open neph., and although still worry about it coming back - I find myself going longer and longer between bouts of it.  Not sure you ever stop wondering if every little cough and such could be it coming back - but you do learn not to live your life around it.

Do as the Dr. says.  Drink lots of water, walk lots and lots, and rest often.  It does get better 8-)


Allochka's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Nov 2014

Congrats that it is over!

Jan is absolutely right - anxiety is aterrible thing. Your cancer almost definitely won't return, but anxiety wil ruin your life for sure. So you'll end up physically healthy, but morally a wreck, if you let it have its way. Please take measures to cope with severe anxiety if you feel it is taking over - even seek professional help, if needed. 

Stage 1 kidney cancer is not the worst enemy of your happy future - but severe anxiety is. 

But time will help! Good luck with recovery, and believe the docs when they say your prognosis is excellent (but don't skip follow ups anyway).

nancybuck's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: Sep 2015

The worse is behind you. Wishing you a speedy recovery and piece of mind.

Sending hugs, Nancy

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

Try to rest.  A few things after surgery that I remember:

1. Sneezing and coughing hurt.  My hospital gave me a pillow to clutch tightly when I coughed.

2. I sleep on my stomach.  For 2 weeks or so after surgery, I slept in a recliner to stay off my incision, which was tender.

3. Drink lots of water.  It helps, and you need to.  Even 1. 5 years later, I make sure I drink at least 12 8 oz glasses of water, plus another 4 glasses of fresh brewed green tea.

4. Walk as much as possible.  3 days after surgery, I could barely do 1 mile.  On the 5th day, I did 3 miles in the morning, and 3 in the evening.  I was bored, and it is exactly 1.5 miles to the beach from my house, so I had a nice goal.

5. It took a while to have a normal bowel movement.  I was a bit anxious after 2-3 days, but everything worked out.


Hope your recovery is smooth.

APny's picture
Posts: 1966
Joined: Mar 2014

Good advice from everyone. Glad it's behind you and with time the anxiety will lessen as well. If it doesn't, see someone. No need to suffer when there are meds you could take to help you through the worst times. I find that .25 mg of Xanax can do wonders to take the edge off. And yes, walk walk and walk some more. I used a body pillow to cushion me so I didn't roll over on my incision (plus I had a drain for a week) and I was able to sleep in my bed. You may give that a try as well. If they gave you a breathing apparatus, use it. It helps to keep your lungs clear.

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

your membership beenie is in the mail.

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 918
Joined: Feb 2009

I hate that you had to go thru the initiation to our exclusive club.  But it appears that you are going thru the hazing process and coming back to the real world.

So far, so good.  Don't freak it the doc doesn't think chest x-rays every 3 months are not in the cards.  Not everyone gets mets to lungs.  But do let him/her schedule regular CT's and or US of the abdomen with a chest X-ray as an alternative.

If you need to see my history, click on my user name.  On my most recent CT, the radiologist who read them was more concerned about the thinning disks and the small osteophytes that lead to arthritis of the spine.  Older age does have it's drawbacks.

Hang in there and keep improving.



izzycohen's picture
Posts: 75
Joined: Aug 2013

It may not feel like it , but it sounds like you're doing well.  Your prognosis is similar to mine.  I am 27 months post surgery.  All scans have beeen NED.

The members that are telling you it will get better and that the worst is behind you, are right.  You will find yourself feeling better every day.  Just don't try to do too much. rest is important.


Be well,


medic1971's picture
Posts: 190
Joined: Sep 2015

Hey man I am glad you are back home and I agree with you surgery was a bit rougher than I thought it would be.  I’m about 3 and 1/2 weeks out and I am doing a lot better. Those first couple of weeks were a little unpleasant.  I hate to hear you officially joined the club, but path report looks good considering everything.


Congratulations, you’ve cleared a MAJOR hurtle and it’s behind you.  You HAD cancer but now it’s gone!  Take care of yourself exercise and eat right.  Live in the moment and plan for the future because you never know what tomorrow has in store for you.



tkmj914's picture
Posts: 43
Joined: Jul 2015

Hi Tom,

I have a very similar diagnosis to you (5.2 cm tb1. grade 2/3 only because there were a couple grade 3 cells)

It only gets better from here. My anxiety has calmed way down after my first scan which was at 3mo post op, next is a CT scan at 6mo. I hardly think about it now because I've decided not to let this rule my life and sanity. I am choosing to believe that surgery was the cure and get on with my plans.

you are over the hardest part and once you're anxiety calms and your body heals you can move on and live!

best wishes and peace to you.


Posts: 24
Joined: Oct 2015

I would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and support over the last month. You all have been so great to me.

Physically I am getting better day by day. The tough part for me is still the mental side of things. I agree that I am ultimately not in control of much of anything so I am trying to not think too much or worry but I still struggle. 

I am taking xanax to sleep but I really want to stop that. So I am tapering the dosage down. 

I guess it will just take the time that you all say that it will. I am ready to put this behind me so I can move on and begin ENJOYING life again.


nancybuck's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: Sep 2015

It is great to hear you speaking so positive about your recent diagnosis and surgery. I would venture to say that each and every one of us on this forum have felt like you have at one time or another.  We all handle life's stress differently, but so many here wanted you to know that you would, indeed, get to a better place physically and emotionally. It just takes time. Your last sentence about "putting this all behind you and start enjoying life" is music to our ears. Perhaps one day you will be on the giving end of counseling a new member.

Happy Weekend Wishes!



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