Well.....i guess I'm in the club (41 year old male/11cm)

duster10 Member Posts: 29
edited September 2016 in Kidney Cancer #1

 Seems like some very supportive people in here.  It is appreciated more than you will ever probably know.  Got diagnosed 2 weeks ago (Aug 24 2016) with a 11CM mass on/in my right kidney.  The last 2 weeks have been a whirldwind.  Contrast CT does not show any signs of anything anywhere else.  I am being told that the doc wont know if it has spread the fatty part of the kidney until he gets in there.  Having open surgery this Friday (Sept 9th).  He is going in thru the front and taking the nodes and the right kidney.  Said he wanted to be aggressive since I am young and can recover.  Im in decent physical shape.....6ft and 195 pounds, so hoping that is in my favor.  Wont know if it is in the nodes until pathology comes back and he said that might take a little longer than normal based on my age and some special testing they will do.  

My support system is unreal, and I am fortunate in that regard.  I was really positive after my pre-op appt today, but feeling a little "down" after reading some of the recovery struggles, not to mention the fear of the unknown.  I'm a man of faith, so this is truly a test for me.  got a beautiful wife and 2 adorable daughters (9 and 11).  Just feels theraputic to type some of this out.  Any words of wisdom would be appreiated.



  • stub1969
    stub1969 Member Posts: 954 Member
    edited September 2016 #2

    Welcome, Duster. 

    I'll be honest, I would have liked to have met you under different circumstances.  I "joined" the club a little over a month ago when I was told I had a mass coming out the lower pole of my right kidney.  One thing everybody on this site told me is to make sure I was seeing a doctor that had experience with RCC.  I took their advice and have been working with Mayo Clinic out of Rochester, Minnesota.   I had surgery a little over a week ago.  Mine was a robotic partial and recovery was pretty smooth.  Yours will take a little more time.  My advice--listen to your body and you'll do just fine.

    Scared isn't even the right word to describe the feelings that we have when we are told this news.  Honestly, the first few days I was just a reck.  But, I stumbled onto this site and the people on here are  some of the best people there are.  Contribute to the forum and add your experiences to the conversation.  This is a rich place with a lot of experience and wisdom.

    I want to wish you luck in your surgery on Friday.  Being young and in good shape WILL help in your recovery.  Keep your faith strong--nothing is more powerful.

    Blessings of peace


  • Shecka1121
    Shecka1121 Member Posts: 116 Member
    Duster, I am glad you posted

    Duster, I am glad you posted on here. I was 44 with two young kids when I found out I had a mass on my kidney.  I was fortunate to have found mine small. You can read my profile.  There are several people who have large masses and have their kidney removed and that is the end of it.  we have some on this board.  You will also read some stories where that is not the case.  Each persons journey is different.  You are young and in great shape.  that is 1/2 the battle right there.  Stats show young people do well with beating RCC.  wishing you the best and remember to keep focused on God since you are a man a faith.  This helps me all the time.


  • dancnbear1
    dancnbear1 Member Posts: 86

    Duster, I am glad you posted

    Duster, I am glad you posted on here. I was 44 with two young kids when I found out I had a mass on my kidney.  I was fortunate to have found mine small. You can read my profile.  There are several people who have large masses and have their kidney removed and that is the end of it.  we have some on this board.  You will also read some stories where that is not the case.  Each persons journey is different.  You are young and in great shape.  that is 1/2 the battle right there.  Stats show young people do well with beating RCC.  wishing you the best and remember to keep focused on God since you are a man a faith.  This helps me all the time.


    Best of Luck

    Duster, wishing you nothing but the best and passing on my thoughts and prayers. You are at a great site for info. For me I was first diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in '08 which later turned out to be Stage 4 in '13 so I have been fighting this for a while and have found this site to be a great location for knowledge, sympothy, and just general support. Dont be afraid to ask the site your question. Most likely someone has been through it before and can help with the answer. Ok, its now time to kick some Cancer ****.

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,359 Member
    What a lousy club

    But it does beat the alternative. I would tell you that the neph was easy, but I would be laughed off this board. The firstweek post surgery is no fun, but it gets easier after that. Hang in there.




  • duster10
    duster10 Member Posts: 29
    edited September 2016 #6
    Thank you for the supportive

    Thank you for the supportive words.  For some reason. I had convinced myself that recovery was going to be rather easy for me.  I figured I might be out of the office next week, but would probably be able to resume a normal work schedule 10 days after surgery.......I mgiht need to change my mentatlity on that a little bit.  

    One additional area of concern........I feel the beginning effects of a cold coming on.  Will they delay my surgery if I am "sick".  Not sure I could wait another two weeks for all of this.  Im ready to get started on this journey to health.  Thanks again.

  • rhominator
    rhominator Member Posts: 233
    edited September 2016 #7
    Warm Welcome

    Hi Duster, glad to meet you. My radical nephrectomy surgery took five hours -- longer than expected.  Of course, it made no difference to me, but my poor wife.  I'm so thankful that friends from church came and sat with her throughout the entire ordeal.  Please ensure your support system extends to care and comfort your family while you're in surgery.

    I'm praying your surgery and recovery are both short and easy.

    God bless.

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    edited September 2016 #8
    Hey Duster,

    Sorry, youre on here but your very welcome. I think Stubbs has got it about right about the fear of diagnosis. Dont worry it is never as bad as your imagination makes it.

    But there is a great variety in treatment and experiance. One doctor said to me that the only predictable thing about RCC is its unpredictability.

    You'll be fine; great strides are being made weekly in the treatment of this and other cancers.

    You need to rethink your return timetable I think. Its not alarming but it is very serious surgery. Mine took 10 hours and a good few weeks to get myself mobile.

    I have to go and get irradiated. Good luck. You'll be fine but dont rush it.

  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853
    Welcome Duster

    Sorry you have to join us though.  As others mentioned make sure your doctor specializes in kidney cancer.  Other than that, luckily we have been blessed with extra parts huh?  2 kidneys, gallbladder, apendix and an array of other organs we can afford to get rid of.  In all seriousness though, make no mistake, it is major surgery you're confronting and you'll need to allow yourself the time to recover.  It's hard to say how long that will take you cause everyone is different, as well as their tolerance for pain, etc.  Listen to your body and ease into normal daily activities.  This will be a time to be extra kind to yourself, so be prepared to catch up on reading, movies, sleep, meditation, prayer, or whatever it is you prefer.  After surgery they will give you an "incentive spirometer" for deep breathing exercises, make sure you comply.  This will help avoid a pneumonia from setting in.  The combination of sedation, pain meds and having things rearranged inside leads to shallow breathing and that can be dangerous for your lungs. (I'm a former respiratory therapist, can you tell...haha)

    Not unusual to have a sick feeling coming on due to the stress of what you've just been told.  Usually, if you don't have a fever they will proceed. 

    I will keep you in my prayers....and that your doctors hands will be blessed with accuracy and speed to get in, do what needs to be done and get the heck out so the healing can begin and you can resume the celebration of life.


  • Teashea
    Teashea Member Posts: 89
    edited September 2016 #10

    Prayers for you and surgery Friday. Your faith in God will get you through any challenge you face. One day at a time and I bet it will not be any time at all until we hear you are in remission. God bless you.

  • penitent
    penitent Member Posts: 79
    Don't get too frisky

    Duster...plan on taking some extra time for recovery.  This is major abdominal surgery.    My son-in-law also had an 11+ cm mass removed that had basically replaced his left kidney and it took a good number of weeks to get back to anywhere near normal.  Recovery also depends on whether you have a vertical or horizontal incision.  Like you, he is 41 with two small children (2 and 9 mos) and so, also being a man of faith, prayer is 'good and efficacious medicine'.  

    I'm glad that he plans on taking the nodes as they certainly can be a spot for metastisis.  God Bless.  We'll be praying for your quick recovery and total cure.


  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    So sorry you have to be here

    So sorry you have to be here but you'll get tons of support from everyone. Recovery differs for people and I consider myself one of the luckier ones in that it really wasn't very bad at all. My fears and worries over it were way worse. Mine was just a partial but open, and I was able to walk the same night, came home 2 days later, and on the third day was sitting at my computer doing work. No, it's not a cake walk and there will be pain and discomfort. Laughing, sneezing, coughing, those are the worst. So hold a pillow to your incision while doing either of those. I think a lot depends on incision size, how they close it, etc., so depending on all that, yours may too be relatively easy. Don't be afraid to take pain killers the first few days or week. As for work, don't rush back. Your outside will heal a lot faster than your inside. For me the worst thing was the fatigue, not the pain. All the best to you and keeping you in my thoughts.

  • duster10
    duster10 Member Posts: 29
    Thank you all for the

    Thank you all for the encouraging words.  I am 40 hours away from surgery, when the true journey begins.  I have anxiety on fiding out if it is contained to the kidney, and then of course the pathology report.  I suppose I should get used to taking everything in steps.  Amazing group of people on this board......thanks again.

  • sblairc
    sblairc Member Posts: 585
    Welcome to the club

    Just take it one thing at a time. And be reminded of the many years of survivorship of many here beyond what they have been told once upon a time. My husband was 47 at the time, our daughter was 8. With little ones: just tell them what they need to know. Ours knew "dad's kidney was taken out." We waited weeks to tell her it was "cancer" until the surgery was over and pathology was back and he was home from the hospital recovering. Please take it easy from the surgery. Take your pain meds, there is no medal for going without them!! Even now, almost 3 years later, I still say to my husband: "There are no awards for the most yard work done in a day for a man with one kidney, can't we go to Costco??"

  • foroughsh
    foroughsh Member Posts: 779
    edited September 2016 #15


    I was 36 once they took out a 10cm malignant tumor, it was not spread so I was considered to be stage two survived patient. I've just celebrated the second anniversary of being rid of it and everything is as good as someone may wish for.

    As you're young, the recovery seems to be easier. I spent two night at the hospital but only the half of first night was difficult, I started walking almost 18 hours after surgery and it helped a lot. As I remember I could do all my personal daily routines on my own once I came back home., I came back to work 6 weeks post surgery and after two days I had no problem at work either.

    It wasn't easy to remain hopeful but time helped and I'm an optimist laughing girl again.

    Opening up with my hubby, going back to gym, talking with a therapist, joining a book club, dancing were among factors which helped me back on track again. I learned I can do no good by worrying and waiting for death.

    Wishing you a successful surgery and a quick uneventful revovery


  • Jan4you
    Jan4you Member Posts: 1,330 Member
    Glad you could come  here and

    Glad you could come  here and ask for what you need Duster. If you never had any surgeries, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a large lumbar velcro wrap to use afterwards. I have had 4 abdominal surgeries, 2 were laproscopic, and given permission to use this lumbar wrap helped tremendously to hold in those aching, hurting tissues, internally while you heal.

    I also used dry ice packs inside the wrap over the incision to help reduce the swelling and as a result used less pain meds. Didn't read all the posts above, but with ANY abdominal surgery, they pump this gas to lift up the abdominal wall so surgeon can SEE. It gets trapped in weird places (and not always inside intestines, but outside), mostly in the shoulder. Now that entrapment won't kill you, but hurts like heck. I kept moving my arm in circular movements to move this gas around and out. Also WALKING helps too, best you can given you have a large incision.

    BTW: my brother in law had a tumor encompassing his entire kidney 20 years ago and is still doing great, no further sign of cancer all this time.

    YOU my dear, will be in my thoughts and I am sending you thoughts of healing, learning and care!

    Gentle hugs, Jan

  • MattInVa
    MattInVa Member Posts: 50
    Surgery is the easy and fun

    Surgery is the easy and fun part. Recovery isn't bad. I was riding a motorcyle 4 weeks later after my open radical (10cm). I had a complication of a thrombectomy extending onto my IVC with a partial resection. I was in surgery 6 hrs, ICU 2 days, 3 days recovery...Walking day after ICU unassisted. 

     The real wait is your first couple of scans where the remission part becomes the goal.



  • duster10
    duster10 Member Posts: 29
    edited September 2016 #18
    Surgery Update

    Had open surgery on Friday afternoon.  Based on what I am being told, it went rather well.....surgery was about 4 hours.  The tumor was closer to 15cm as opposed to the 10 or 11 originally thought (I guess the pathology report will confirm the actual size).  I am being told it WAS contained to the kidney based on what the surgeon said (GREAT NEWS!!).  As I mentioned before, they took some lymphnodes and those will be anlayzed.   Doc said he hopes to get the pathology back on Wed (praying for more positive results).  I came home yesterday, less than 48 hours after surgery.  Modern medicine is really amazing.  I feel pretty much like crap, but Im surviving.

    Thanks again to all the support on here.....means a lot.  

  • stub1969
    stub1969 Member Posts: 954 Member
    Now rest

    Now it is time to rest and listen to your body.  Healing will take a while.  Schedule your walks and gradually add distance and pace.  Your body will tell you if it's okay to speed up or go an extra lap.  Push it a little, but not too much--it's kind of a balancing act.  You'll know what I mean.  I'm glad it all worked out and ,yes, I'm praying for good results on your path report.

    Blessings your way!


  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    edited September 2016 #20
    Glad it's behind you and you

    Glad it's behind you and you're home. Yes, do take it easy and don't push too much. Walk a lot and drink lots of water. I walked around my house for 5 minutes every hour. It was winter so couldn't be out in ice and snow. Also, if they gave you a breathing apparatus (spirometer, I think) make sure you use it to keep lungs at maximum capacity. Best to you and hoping for a good path reoport!

  • LauraM3
    LauraM3 Member Posts: 27
    edited September 2016 #21
    Your faith in our God will

    Your faith in our God will carry you through this time in your life.  Believe!  Hope!  Pray!  :D