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Long time listener, first time caller. Less that 24 hrs from surgery.

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Well, I guess it's time we introduced ourselves. I am the husband 46 and my wife is 44 from Arkansas, married 21 yrs this June.

First a brief history.....on Feb 8 my wife sent me a text saying thaqt she was in extreme pain in her right side and that she was going to the ER. While she was there the ER doctor who happened to be a highschool classmate ordered an abdominal CT to check for a kidney stone. There was also blood work and other things ordered, maybe a chest x-ray, not sure on that one but anyway......all the tests came back okay except the CT.

ER doc came back in to tell her that everything looked good BUT there was a 3 - 3.5 cm mass on her left kidney which seemed odd because her pain was in the right flank that shot down to her groin and upper right leg. The ER doc ordered a ultrasound for the following Thursday. The next 2 days were Hell and we really believe she passed a stone on that friday because it was an immediate relief from the pain the 2 days prior.

In the meantime we have a friend that is a surgical nurse who operates with one of the local urologists and she asked if it was okay if she talked to him about our case. She did.... and he told us that as soon as the U-sound was done, give it about 30 min and that we were to call him and he would pull it up and look at it himself. So.....we did as instructed and he told us that the mass was indeed solid appearing and wanted to meet with us that followin Monday morning.

We go to his office and he talks with us a bit and takes us to the Radiologists room where the actual Dr. sits at his computer and anylizes all the scans. He shows us the findings and spoke with us a bit. The Urologist refers us to a Dr. in Little Rock. Before I could even get it out of my mouth he says "If this was me or my wife or family member, this is the Dr. I woud see" he is a med school classmate of his and is one of the top urological surgeons in the state, esp with the Da Vinci robot.

We have met with him 2 times now, new CT ordered with contrast this time and he seems to think that we can go in and do a partial and given clear margins his words were "An excellent Outcome" and will only need routine follow up scans back with the origional urologist in the future.

So here we are, scared as Hell.....wondering if there is going to be any more bumps in the road.

We are to be at St. Vincent Hospital (which is where this particular Dr. likes to operate) at 5a.m. in the morning to start this whole process.

I don't really know what to expect but I am going to be there with her the whole time and do any and everything I can to help her recover.

Thanks so much for listening.

Boondock out!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3217
Joined: Jan 2010

Boondock,

With a mass under 4 cm it is highly probable that the surgery will take care of this. It did for me. The feeling you are going thru are normal. Nobody wants to hear the C word and than hear that they are going to yank out your kidney or part of it right out of the gate. At 44 years old she will have it easier than I (59 at the time I was nephed). The recovery is not fun, but each day gets a little better with maybe a bad day in between. You can do this. I did.

 

 

Icemantoo

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Thanks Iceman.......I have read many of your posts, as well as others on here before I joined. We are going to get thru this. We are ready to get this behind us and on to many more years of enjoying our lives together.

CRashster's picture
CRashster
Posts: 230
Joined: Mar 2017

Two days before my surgery, I was physically trembling, scared to death. I wanted to get up and run from the doctors office. But, I was broken, I was sick. I had to let go a little, lay down on the operating table and let the surgery team save my life. It was the only way. It's hard, but try and calm down and let them fix you.

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

Hello Boondock! I am so impressed at how you are advocating for your wife, kudos!

Yes, its a shock to hear the "c" word. But as Iceman said, under 7cm is usually stage I corrected by surgery. I was lucky to have joined here and asked so many questions, therefore being well prepared by the time I saw my surgeon.  I am 3 years NED=no evidence of disease.

She is lucky to have the robatic/laproscopic surgery technique as its less invasive and easier recovery for most of us. I have had 4 abdominal surgeries, all separate reasons, and two robatic ones. I wore a lumbar, velcro, wrap used to back backs and wrapped it around my tender abdomen. Then to reduce swelling (due to healing, post surgery) I put dry ice packs (less messy) inside the wrap, but not right on skin. As a result there is less swelling=less need for pain meds.

What hurt the most for me is that trapped gas they use to pump up the abdominal wall so surgeon can see. It gets trapped in weird places afterwards, like the shoulder. I kept moving my arm around in circles and walking to get rid of it. It does take days, Im afraid till its gone.

Feel free to email me (upper left menu) and ask any other questions.

She'll be fine, but do not rush the recovery. Most likely will be cancer free, but monitored for about 5 years or so.

Sending you both healing hugs,

Jan

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

Please feel free to post here with any questions or comments! We are here to help and everyone on this site has been a tremendous source of support for me. It is a very scary thing to be facing this at a young age. A year ago I had my partial nephrectomy for a 2.9cm mass that ended up being clear cell renal carcinoma. I had it done robotically and so far, feel great, and plan to continue to. Good luck to your wife!

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Thank you Jan & Kat. I've already gotten her an ab wrap because I had read earlier before I joined that you had done this. We will definitely be using it. We are not going to rush things and we are going to follow the Dr's orders to a "T". It'll be tough because she is so active. She owns her own business and is very active with the local humane society in rescuing dogs. I couldnt begin to tell you the number of dogs she has rescued in the last 21 yrs we've been married.

Heck, longer than tat really. We've known each other since we were 13 and 12 yrs old when I moved to the neighborhood. We used to hold hands on the school bus. lol....went to Prom together. Me and this girl have a lot of history together and plan on having much, much more.

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

What a wonderful story you kids have already written. While no one can really predict the future on any given day, it looks as though you two will have lots more time together. 

It was kidney stones that enabled them to find my kidney mass, too. Who knew something positive could come out of those wretched little kidney stones?

Oh, and you get to pick the dogs up onto the sofa or boost them into the car for a while. Their mama won't break, but she'll be mighty sore for a while. Short inside - then outside - walkies will be good for her (an excellent way to get rid of the nasty painful gas). 

tracylev
Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 2017

Hi, I just posted on this site for the first time yesterday. Your wife's cancer was caught while it is still small. How lucky she had that pain and went to have it checked out! I predict you will both have a long happy life together. The uncertainty of things is quite distressing I know all too well, waiting for scan results and other test results. She is so lucky also to have such a supportive husband. I talk about all this luck when I'm sure you don't feel that lucky right now. She will have pain but they should give her pain meds that will make the pain tolerable. If the pain meds they prescribe aren't doing the trick, call the doctor and get something stronger. Make sure your wife drinks lots of fluids when you go home to keep things moving. Bowel obstruction is a potential side effect of abdominal surgery, it happened to me and it was very unpleasant. So drink up. 

Im so sorry you are both going through the uncertainty and fear that cancer can cause. Good luck to you both!

Tracy

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Thank you Tracy and Jerzy. Yes....we are very lucky she went that day. If it had passed within 30 minutes or so I flat promise you she would have not gone and thought nothing more of it until it happened again no telling when.

We are very thankful that if we have to deal with all this, better now than who knows when down the road.

I hate to wish our lives away but my nerves sure wish it wa this time tomorrow and we were already in recovery and in our hosp. room.

We'll get there though.

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 797
Joined: Jul 2016

I'm glad you found us--although membership in this club is one you would rather avoid.  First of all, if you have been reading the posts here for a while you know the type of people that are members.  Some of the most caring, empathetic, with a good touch of "kick that cancer in the a**" attitude you'll find in any site.  We're here to help you as much as you want.  We'll share our expereinces--after all, we've all been through it.

My wife and I were childhood sweethearts since we were in elementary school, so your story resonates with me.  The only difference, I was the one with the mass and my wife was there to support me.  The mass on my kidney was found in late July with surgery in late August.  I also had a partial with Da Vinci--click on my "name" to read my story. 

Your wife is young and healthy, so recovery will not be that bad.  I encourage you to have her get up and walk as soon as she can.  That movement will help remove the gas they use in surgery.  I had surgery on a Friday and went home early afternoon on Saturday--I suspect it will be the same with your wife.  She will be sore for a while, so help her as much as she allows :).  Remember movement is really a key to a quick recovery. 

As others have said with the size of her mass surgery will most likely take care of this.  In the meantime, try to keep her calm.  The night before and the morning of surgery is the worst.  You guys will get through this!

Blessings,

Stub

lobbyist0724's picture
lobbyist0724
Posts: 388
Joined: Sep 2016

Hi, I am 42 and my mass was 3.2 cm, similar size to the one you are dealing with. I had an open surgery because it wass cystic, but the surgery was uneventful and the recovery is good. The surgery itself should be straight forward for the surgeon based on the size and the method chosen. It is very safe too especially for your age. Just relax and prepare for the things you will need during the recovery phase such as extra pillow, a good diet plan and etc.

All the best!

Carmen

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Thanks guys. 

Yes, Carmen.....we actually have 2 big fuzzy body pillows ready to pack in the car tonight before we venture out tomorrow a.m. at 4:00 to make it to the hospital by 5:00

The wife has just now layed down on the couch for the evening. She's been a buzzsaw for the last 2 weeks since we got a go on the surgery date.

I tell ya, and ya'll already know this by being there and doing that but, I have learned so much about myself in the last month. Things that I used to make a big deal of, now I just let them go. Things that I used to think were important have almost become insignificant. I didn't know I could love as hard as I have since we got the news of this Demon that we are facing down.

We are both rather calm tonight considering.

I'll let everyone know how it all goes tomorrow.

Boondock out!

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

Sorry you have to be here. Smaller mass removable by partial is on the good news side of things. You won't know for sure what's going on until you get the pathology report back. They can't tell 100% from imaging. That's part of why they have to remove it. Heck, it might not even be cancer. I don't know what they told you, because it depends on what they say. However, my docs were saying it was about 80% likely to be cancer and there was some 20% chance it wasn't. Or it might have been 90%. There are different kinds too and they all have different risks/prognosis.

Never get ahead of yourself with your worry. Go with what you have on your plate today: the surgery. Then face what comes when it comes/as it comes.

Hope the surgery all goes smooth and ya'll will get the best outcome.

Best to you both,

Todd

sandy23
Posts: 137
Joined: Jan 2017

We are pretty much right where you are Boondock.  My husband is 2 days past surgery so if there is anything that we can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask.  Or if you just want to chat.

If it is reassuring at all, he walked 2 miles yesterday, just one day after surgery and he is in very little pain.

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Oh wow Sandy!!!! That's so awesome. Tell him to press on and I for one am proud of him.

They just took her back to prep about  20 minutes ago. Nervous wreck right now.

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

We are done with this hurdle in our journey. Just spoke with the surgeon while surrounded by so many family and friends.

Surgery took a little over 2 hrs. Was able to use the robot, removed the tumor, no suspicious lymph nodes, was not attached to anything and that he was able to save 90ish% of her kidney & that she did great. He said we will have the Path report as soon as he does.

She's in recovery right now and I'm still in the waiting room. Everyone else bailed on me to go eat but I'm not going anywhere, I want to be the first one to go see her and give her the biggest, although gentle hug I can.

Thanks everyone so much. This is such a wonderful place.

Ill update later.

Boondock out!!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3217
Joined: Jan 2010

Boondock,

 

Sounds like she made it thru like a trooper. A little pain will come as she gets off the pain meds. Sending good karma for an uneventful recovery.

 

Icemantoo

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

Great to hear! Now move on to recovery and the rest of your life!

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1947
Joined: Mar 2014

What a lovely history you have and there'll be many more years to add to that :) My husband and I are pretty much the same. Met at 15 and 17 and here we are 50 years later. So glad the surgery is over and she's in recovery. Make sure she walks as much as possible (I walked the same night) and that she uses the breathing apparatus they give you to keep your lungs clear. Mine was an open procedure yet I was home the third day and walked my butt off every single day. She may not have much appetite and that's ok. I hardly ate for a week. Maybe broth and soft boiled eggs. Also, she may have some gas pain from the surgery and going number 2 will take a while. Wishing you both all the very best!!

Steve.Adam's picture
Steve.Adam
Posts: 460
Joined: Oct 2016

That's about the best outcome you could have hoped for. It's great that she kept 90% of the kidney.

She looks really lovely in the photo.

I wish you both a long and happy life together.

Steve.

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

That's super news, and then some. I'm impressed on the 90% kidney-keeping (heck, I think even my KIDNEYS are impressed on the 90%). 

BTW, there's a good chance that later she won't remember most of what happens during the first sort-of day after surgery. Not to worry -- it's just the anesthesia's effects.  Now both of you can get some rest (Well, aside from the walking she'll need to do to work out the carbon dioxide AND get her strength back).

Deanie0916
Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2016

Like many others have said, walk as soon as possible and as often as possible. So happy they didn't have to remove more of the kidney and it was partial. Good news!

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Well we got up and walked the length of the hallway this morning. I could see the grit and determination on her face thru the pain. Ate s good breakfast too.

Saw the surgeon again this morning and he ordered the catheter out and she has started going on her own a little so far. If she's still doing that and feels up to it we will likely be discharged this afternoon. 

The drain pump is still in and she says that it's really uncomfortable and hurts at times but other than that I think we are on schedule to bust outta this joint sometime this evening.

lobbyist0724's picture
lobbyist0724
Posts: 388
Joined: Sep 2016

Walking is good! I hound walking helped reducing the pain, but of course not walking for miles ;)

Remember not to make her laugh, that really hurts!

marosa's picture
marosa
Posts: 332
Joined: Feb 2015

and uneventful recovery!

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

All righty now~ on your way to a full recovery!

Keep us posted if you can, what a guy!

Warmly, Jan

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 797
Joined: Jul 2016

I don't know which was worse coming out--catheter or drain tube.  What happens if the better of two evils is a tie??

Good luck and keep her moving--she'll be moving a lot better in a couple days.

Stub

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1947
Joined: Mar 2014

I went home with the drain and it stayed in almost a week. Taking it out was no biggie for me. In fact, it was a huge relief not to have my unwanted BFF glued to my side 24/7, lol.  Glad to hear wife is walking and eating. All the best!

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

Today is our first full day home. We've been walking a good bit just inside the house but she has been so exhausted. She slept a good bit this afternoon and evening and I took the opportunity to lay down and nap with her. I know she's the one going thru "Hell Week" as Iceman called it but I was exhausted too.

i didn't sleep at all in the hospital, not because I didn't have a the place to lay down but I just wanted to be up when she needed water or needed pillows fluffed or adjusted etc....

The drain.......OMG!!!! That thing was at least 65 miles long, I aint kidding. Lol

Seriously tho.....I had no idea it was in there that far. I thought maybe a few inches but when the nurse pulled it, I didn't think it was gonna ever end. You have to know my wife but she never says a foul word unless it's because of something I've done but she did when that sucker came out. I don't blame her tho......I would have said way more than she did.

She's resting right now with the dogs on their beds on the floor, they all had to be next to her and I'm watching the Arkansas v Ole Miss basketball game. 

The support we have gotten from family and friends, even here has been humbling. I can't begin to thank or repay everyone enough.

 

Boondock out!!

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

The drain actually goes all the way up to the kidney. I think I said this in one of my prior posts but she is going to be SO tired for a good amount of time. Even when she feels great, don't overdo it, she will get exhausted quickly. While the scars are small, it is still major abdominal surgery. I felt physically better with little soreness but the exhaustion was what lingered.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3217
Joined: Jan 2010

Boondock,

 

 

The pain medication makes one constipated which is not good when the big day arrives. Have her take some stool softener as no one in their right  mind wants to be constipated when the big day arrives.

 

Icemantoo

Beverly30
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2016

Warm Prune juice is good as well. Lots of fiber and water. 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

wonderful people. Priorities are in place with a great support system. Because of that you will be blessed.

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 797
Joined: Jul 2016

It took a couple days of drinking MiraLAX with prune juice to be able to get things moving.  I also drank coffee.  She'll feel much better after that first BM.  I was able to get off the narcotic pain meds after being home a day.  Moved right into Tylenol.  Don't have her rush it, but the sooner she can get off those powerful pain meds the better. 

I agree with you about that drain tube.  But, I felt the same way with the catheter.  I don't think my bladder is in my chest, but when that tube came out I could have sworn it was a couple feet long. 

The worst is behind her now.  Rest and relaxation will help her heal.  Have her keep walking, but in moderation.  She'll know when enough is enough.  Each day gets better from here on out. 

Good luck, Boondock.  I wish you and your wife the best.

Stub

belowpar
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2017

Boondock, I am certainly no expert as I had a radical nephrectomy on Feb 20th, but it sounds like things went well and she has you for great support. I have found great comfort in reading everyone's posts and it has definitely helped me recover Better.

 

wish you and your wife the best!

 

 

JTgreybeard's picture
JTgreybeard
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2017

Glad to hear all went well.  My turn comes up Apr 11th.  Nice to here all the positive stuff here.  I am still in the stage of emotional rollercoster.  Some days I am fine with all of this and others not so much.  So glad your sharing your journey so others  (Me, myself and I) can see it is not all doom and gloom.  Continuing to pray for each of you in your journey's. 

rhominator's picture
rhominator
Posts: 232
Joined: Nov 2015

JT, you're right, it's definitely not all doom and gloom. Tough at times. God's been with me on my journey, as He will be on yours. It's great to see Him at work in my life.

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

Glad to hear from you again, Boondock! Sorry about the drain. Glad I never had one.

Besides just having major surgery, where her insides are still swollen, General Anesthesia uses powerful medications that are not completely out of our system for days. THEN you add IV meds, then switch to oral pain pills and the result is fatigue. Glad she still has both kidneys. Once she is cleared of these drugs she'll be less tired, but still has to take it easy as her insides are healing.

Glad she has you!

Keep in touch, we care!

Jan

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

I wonder why some of us get them and some don't? Does anybody know what's that about? I've had 2 surgeries now laparascopically (nephrectomy, adrenalectomy) done at two different hospitals: no drain.

Is that a partial thing in case the partial leaks?

Todd

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

I'm not sure......I just figured it was standard procedure. Hopefully somebody with more knowledge than I can shed a little light on the subject as I am interested to know as well.

we go back for the one month follow up and to go over Path findings on the 13 April with the surgeon then he said we'll be turned back over to our orig urologist for the routine scans.

path report came in this past Friday.

clear cell RCC

PT1a nx

limited to kidney

no sarcomotoid features

no rhabdoid features

margins clear / uninvolved for carcinoma

Tumor necrosis none identified

lymphovascular invasion none identified.

the rest of the report is a description of the tumor itself and is sounds gross......orange/red lesion containing a cyst filled with yellow fluid....uhhh yack city!! Lol

i think we got a pretty good report card.

I'll tell her that the great people on this site are checking on her. Thanks so much.

Chad & Pam

 

 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3217
Joined: Jan 2010

Boondock,

 

So far, so good.

 

Icemantoo

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1320
Joined: Oct 2013

I've had several abdominal surgeries and radical nephrectomy and NEVER a drain. Not sure why they choose to and why they don't use one.

Hmmm..

Jan

Steve.Adam's picture
Steve.Adam
Posts: 460
Joined: Oct 2016

It makes great reading, doesn't it? 

Mine was similar to yours, stage 1, and it was better than War and Peace (or Harry Potter, or anything).

As for the drain, they kept me in hospital until my drain stopped draining. At first it was filling the drain bag in less than 24 hours. One time it was like a balloon about to burst. As soon as it stopped draining on day 7 or so they waited a day then removed the drain and sent me home.

I think they would have sent me home with the drain in place if it had continued leaking a little.

Steve.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

That is such good news that I'm going to say something that I've never said before. I think that if anyone has ever been able to just forget this has ever happened it's you.  You have presented nothing but good vibes in your posts. If there is such as thing as Karma, it surrounds the both of you. Make certain you have timely follow ups including scans. You'll have routine blood work done. Your health will be justly qualified for close monitoring. That means it is unlikely that any disease or metabolic dysfunction will ever sneak up on you again. Keep it as another positive thought. There is no use for worries.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

I think it is safe to say that there is no surgical rule for using drains. Everything is dependent upon what, where, why, surgery is being done. Some tissues need vascular tie offs, some prone to bleeding. Lymph drainage, surgical bed hemmorrage are more factors. It's easy to see that someones lungs may be prone to filling with fluids leading to things like pnuemonia and congested heart failure. Medicines may be contraindicated so a drain is a good idea. And it works immediately.

I didn't have drains in gall bladder, kidney, or multiple other procedures. Aspiration doesn't count. But I bet I could have used one after nephrectomy.

Kat, if you read this, In your experience, do you often see large hematomas in surgical beds during scans? I think mine was there at least a year.

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

Hey Fox! Just saw this, sorry about that, must have missed it the first time reading. We actually do see hematomas and fluid collections quite often and they stick around for quite sometime. The biggest culprit for this is actually gallbladder! For a such a small organ, it gets residual serous fluid and occasionally leaking bile that accumulates in the gallbladder fossa and tends to just hang out there and slowly get reabsorbed by the body. 

Drains, in my experience are less likely with a total organ removal, and more likely for repairs (a partial neph could fall into this category). This is due to the fact that with total organ removals the vessels are usually easily seen and accessed but with repairs the vascularity, tubules, and ducts are at a more micro level and can leak. Of course patient condition, surgical site trauma, and other things are taken into account also.

hardo718's picture
hardo718
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Sorry, I'm a bit late to the party.  I've been out of town and then down & out with a viral thing and haven't been checking in much. 

Glad everything went well for you and you're probably well on your way in your recovery. 

I'll be praying for you both.

Donna~

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