New to forum, new diagnosis need help for post surgery

Optimisticgirl
Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member

Hello,

I have been reading here for just a short while, my husband was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago with  7 cm x 3 cm x3 cm kidney tumor. Dr thinks it is RCC but from position may be TCC.  Supposedly confined to kidney to the best of the Dr's ability to tell with ct scans. He is scheduled for davinci robotic nephrectomy in 2 weeks.  I hope you know how comforting reading your posts are to new people like myself. I have been attempting a crash course in renal cancer and try to keep feeling optimistic.  My main question tonight is what can I expect when he gets home from hospital and what can I do to help him be as comfortable as possible? Did you encounter anything unexpected after getting out of hospital?  I know the Dr said one, maybe two night stay then home. Scary! Thank you in advance for any thoughts and ideas!

optimisticgirl

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Comments

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,360 Member
    The first week at home is tough

    O-girl,

     

    The first week at home is tough. Make sure he has stool softeners when the big day arrives. Don't have him push himself too much in the begining. Each day will get a little better with maybe a bad day in between.

     

     

    Icemantoo

  • Bay Area Guy
    Bay Area Guy Member Posts: 581 Member
    The hospital will give him an

    The hospital will give him an incentive spyrometer (or should give him one) that he should regularly use.  It helps to re-expand the lungs and to prevent pneumonia.  I've used one after each of my operations (two abdominal and one kidney) and it's helpful.  My dad had some God-awful number of operations and swore by the thing.

    Also, walking is very important to help wake everything back up and expel the gas that he will undoubtedly have.  As ice says, however, don't push it too much.  It's important to walk, but it's also important to rest up and regain strength as well.

    In terms of the robotic (which is what I had for what turned out to be my 1.7cm lesion), it's a little easier than an open.  But he might be sore in the incisions area (yes, I did say incisions.....there are multiple to get the robot arms in various nooks and crannies).  I found on both my open abdominal and on the robotic that sitting with a pillow pressed up against the area helps a lot in case of a coughing or, heaven forbid, a sneezing fit.

    Best wishes for a boring operation and a swift recovery.

  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853 Member
    Welcome Optimistic Girl

    I also had robotic.  I spent 2 nights at the hospital.  As Bay Area Guy said, make sure he uses the incentive spirometer.  As a former Respiratory Therapist, getting those lungs back to normal lung expansion is critical so he doesn't have a pneumonia complication.  Due to sedation, pain meds, laying around more than usual and post-op pain one tends to breathe more shallowly.....not good for the lungs.  Short walks are important, so multiple times a day, with lots of rest in between.  Drink plenty of water, helps flush things out, keep that body temperature down in the normal range and help with the bowel activity....eventually.  Again, between being sedated and pain meds, usually takes a bit of encouragement to get those bowels moving again.  I also used a velcro lumbar support to give the feeling of everything being held together.  Helps a lot with moving from one position to another.  Another poster (Jan) always says she used dry ice with hers.  I wasn't aware of that addition or I may have tried it as well.  Personally, I did not have a lot of post-op pain, but I was VERY weak.  I typically am not the lay around type, so that was difficult for me to accept.  In time the discomfort eases and the strength comes back.  I literally didn't have much of an appetite after surgery for probably a good 2 weeks.  I would eat a few bites and feel so full.  It was nice that I lost a few pounds but the appetite returned and so did the weight.  Oh well.  Other than the above mentioned, have things for him that he may enjoy while laying around, books, movies, computer games, whatever.

    Best wishes,

    Donna~

  • DreamOnDeb
    DreamOnDeb Member Posts: 112
    edited August 2017 #5
    Hi Optimistic,

    Hi Optimistic,

    PLEASE ask your Dr./Surgeon about this before he has his nephrectomy.....

    Your husband's situation sounds exactly like my husband's.  He just had a nephrectomy yesterday, and he's home today.  It went really well.

    My husband's surgeon said that he had to be POSITIVE whether his tumor was Renal Cell or Transitional Cell, so he HAD to have a biopsy first.  The reason is this.....if it is TCC (Transitional Cell), then the whole kidney PLUS THE URETER that goes down to the bladder MUST be removed.  If it's RENAL CELL, then just the kidney can be removed.

    SO say, for example, that they go ahead and remove just his kidney, and then the pathology report comes back and says that it was TCC (Transitional Cell Carcinoma), your surgeon is going to say, "Oh my, i just screwed up.....his ureter should have been removed too!"  Then what?  They have to go back in?  

    The reason for this is that TCC acts more like a bladder cancer than a true kidney cancer, and that's why the ureter that's attached to the bladder must be removed as well.

    That's why it kind of scares me that he's scheduled for surgery already without being positive as to what type of cell it is...RCC or TCC.

    Please talk to him about that first.  Just trying to help.

    My husband's was NOT TCC.....confirmed by the biopsy.

  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    edited August 2017 #6
    Agreeing with advice to drink

    Agreeing with advice to drink lots of water and do as much walking and as soon as possible. I also hugged a pillow when coughing, laughing, or sneezing. I even hugged it while walking. Yes, the breathing apparatus is a must. I used it every hour. A couple of things suggested on this forum worked great for me, such as bringing a large garbage bag on the day he's going home. Put it on the car seat and this way he can easily swivel in and out without moving his torso. Bring a pillow too to cushion the seat belt. Get a large body pillow to prop up against the incision side when in bed. I was lucky to be able to sleep in my own bed thanks to the body pillow. My surgery was open but not nearly as bad as I had feared. So the robotic/lap should be even easier on him. All the best to both of you.

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member
    APny said:

    Agreeing with advice to drink

    Agreeing with advice to drink lots of water and do as much walking and as soon as possible. I also hugged a pillow when coughing, laughing, or sneezing. I even hugged it while walking. Yes, the breathing apparatus is a must. I used it every hour. A couple of things suggested on this forum worked great for me, such as bringing a large garbage bag on the day he's going home. Put it on the car seat and this way he can easily swivel in and out without moving his torso. Bring a pillow too to cushion the seat belt. Get a large body pillow to prop up against the incision side when in bed. I was lucky to be able to sleep in my own bed thanks to the body pillow. My surgery was open but not nearly as bad as I had feared. So the robotic/lap should be even easier on him. All the best to both of you.

    Thank you for the great ideas

    Thank you for the great ideas, never would have thought of a garbage bag but makes perfect sense! Much appreciated! I am making a shopping list as I read. 

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member
    hardo718 said:

    Welcome Optimistic Girl

    I also had robotic.  I spent 2 nights at the hospital.  As Bay Area Guy said, make sure he uses the incentive spirometer.  As a former Respiratory Therapist, getting those lungs back to normal lung expansion is critical so he doesn't have a pneumonia complication.  Due to sedation, pain meds, laying around more than usual and post-op pain one tends to breathe more shallowly.....not good for the lungs.  Short walks are important, so multiple times a day, with lots of rest in between.  Drink plenty of water, helps flush things out, keep that body temperature down in the normal range and help with the bowel activity....eventually.  Again, between being sedated and pain meds, usually takes a bit of encouragement to get those bowels moving again.  I also used a velcro lumbar support to give the feeling of everything being held together.  Helps a lot with moving from one position to another.  Another poster (Jan) always says she used dry ice with hers.  I wasn't aware of that addition or I may have tried it as well.  Personally, I did not have a lot of post-op pain, but I was VERY weak.  I typically am not the lay around type, so that was difficult for me to accept.  In time the discomfort eases and the strength comes back.  I literally didn't have much of an appetite after surgery for probably a good 2 weeks.  I would eat a few bites and feel so full.  It was nice that I lost a few pounds but the appetite returned and so did the weight.  Oh well.  Other than the above mentioned, have things for him that he may enjoy while laying around, books, movies, computer games, whatever.

    Best wishes,

    Donna~

    Thank you! Alot of great

    Thank you! Alot of great ideas. Much appreciated!

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member

    The hospital will give him an

    The hospital will give him an incentive spyrometer (or should give him one) that he should regularly use.  It helps to re-expand the lungs and to prevent pneumonia.  I've used one after each of my operations (two abdominal and one kidney) and it's helpful.  My dad had some God-awful number of operations and swore by the thing.

    Also, walking is very important to help wake everything back up and expel the gas that he will undoubtedly have.  As ice says, however, don't push it too much.  It's important to walk, but it's also important to rest up and regain strength as well.

    In terms of the robotic (which is what I had for what turned out to be my 1.7cm lesion), it's a little easier than an open.  But he might be sore in the incisions area (yes, I did say incisions.....there are multiple to get the robot arms in various nooks and crannies).  I found on both my open abdominal and on the robotic that sitting with a pillow pressed up against the area helps a lot in case of a coughing or, heaven forbid, a sneezing fit.

    Best wishes for a boring operation and a swift recovery.

    Thank you so much for your

    Thank you so much for your great advice! I have looked up the davinci robot which is used in our area..it is amazing how that thing works.   I appreciate your help, thank you!

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member
    icemantoo said:

    The first week at home is tough

    O-girl,

     

    The first week at home is tough. Make sure he has stool softeners when the big day arrives. Don't have him push himself too much in the begining. Each day will get a little better with maybe a bad day in between.

     

     

    Icemantoo

    Thank you! From my reading on

    Smile

    Thank you! From my reading on here, you are the wise sage of long living after nephrectomy! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member
    edited August 2017 #11

    Hi Optimistic,

    Hi Optimistic,

    PLEASE ask your Dr./Surgeon about this before he has his nephrectomy.....

    Your husband's situation sounds exactly like my husband's.  He just had a nephrectomy yesterday, and he's home today.  It went really well.

    My husband's surgeon said that he had to be POSITIVE whether his tumor was Renal Cell or Transitional Cell, so he HAD to have a biopsy first.  The reason is this.....if it is TCC (Transitional Cell), then the whole kidney PLUS THE URETER that goes down to the bladder MUST be removed.  If it's RENAL CELL, then just the kidney can be removed.

    SO say, for example, that they go ahead and remove just his kidney, and then the pathology report comes back and says that it was TCC (Transitional Cell Carcinoma), your surgeon is going to say, "Oh my, i just screwed up.....his ureter should have been removed too!"  Then what?  They have to go back in?  

    The reason for this is that TCC acts more like a bladder cancer than a true kidney cancer, and that's why the ureter that's attached to the bladder must be removed as well.

    That's why it kind of scares me that he's scheduled for surgery already without being positive as to what type of cell it is...RCC or TCC.

    Please talk to him about that first.  Just trying to help.

    My husband's was NOT TCC.....confirmed by the biopsy.

    Thank you DreamonDeb! Yes the

    Thank you DreamonDeb! Yes the Dr is automatically taking the ureter due to this issue. He also has a family background of TCC in grandmother and cousin both passed from it. It seems strange to be hoping for a certain type of cancer, but I am rooting for RCC! :-) 

    Wishing you and your husband all the best!

    Thank you again for your great advice!

     

  • Retcenturion
    Retcenturion Member Posts: 240 Member
    edited August 2017 #12
    Stairs were hard

    I had to take stairs real slow. Moved a gravity lounger into living room for first week as I had hard time getting into and out of bed.the chair helped a lot. Watched a lot of tv, and caught up on some reading. When not napping.The surgeon limited lifting anything over a gallon of milk for 6 weeks. I moved slow and tried not to lift anything!

  • DreamOnDeb
    DreamOnDeb Member Posts: 112

    Thank you DreamonDeb! Yes the

    Thank you DreamonDeb! Yes the Dr is automatically taking the ureter due to this issue. He also has a family background of TCC in grandmother and cousin both passed from it. It seems strange to be hoping for a certain type of cancer, but I am rooting for RCC! :-) 

    Wishing you and your husband all the best!

    Thank you again for your great advice!

     

    Very good!  I feel better now

    Very good!  I feel better now...lol.  My husband only spent one night in the hospital and he's recovering really well.  Good luck to you and your husband!!!  Hugs and healing prayers!

  • JMGateley
    JMGateley Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2017 #14
    Take It Slow And Steady

    This is the start of my second week after having a partial nephrectomy on my left kidney. I am 36 years old with a history of testicular cancer. I am relatively good health but I am slightly overweight. The first week was very rough. I found that it was easiest to get confortable in a recliner (just be careful that it doesn't take too much effort to recline or to sit up after reclining). Most of my big pain came from moving and trying to initially sit down or stand up or lay down and get up. I stopped taking the pain meds I was prescribed on Sunday evening after having the surgery on Tuesday. I felt it was time to switch to something not as heavy. Be prepared to aid him to get comfort in whatever way he can get it. He may not feel like eating and drinking as I had no urge to do so but it is important to hydrate and to keep soomething down as his diet allows. Even broths and jello are better than nothing. Do not eat anything that could cause him to be nauseous other anything heavy. That can cause discomfort and if vomiting can cause severe pain. I dry heaved a few times I think from the pain meds and mixture of anasthesia and it was extremely painful. I found having a pillow or something to squeeze when coughing or riding in the car home was good to help to absorb the pain or keep it down. Gatorade and water are good to have on hand. I took time to walk each day around the house or whatever I could do. I started walking down the driveway to get the mail. Then I went a little farther to walking down my block. Just be careful not to over exert him. It can be more harmful than good. He may get to feeling better and think he is alright. He still needs to take time. Time is the biggest thing I am finding is the thing. Take time to rest, to take care of yourself and him, and take time to feel okay that it's alright to not do anything if that makes sense. I work a lot and tend to puch myself. I had to learn it was okay to not do ANYTHING. Sleep is good and it helps the body heal. If he can walk once every hour or so then thats good. I do not mean miles, but rather trips around/through the house. Do what you can and take it one day at a time. I hope that helps and I wish you and he a safe journey.

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member
    edited August 2017 #15
    JMGateley said:

    Take It Slow And Steady

    This is the start of my second week after having a partial nephrectomy on my left kidney. I am 36 years old with a history of testicular cancer. I am relatively good health but I am slightly overweight. The first week was very rough. I found that it was easiest to get confortable in a recliner (just be careful that it doesn't take too much effort to recline or to sit up after reclining). Most of my big pain came from moving and trying to initially sit down or stand up or lay down and get up. I stopped taking the pain meds I was prescribed on Sunday evening after having the surgery on Tuesday. I felt it was time to switch to something not as heavy. Be prepared to aid him to get comfort in whatever way he can get it. He may not feel like eating and drinking as I had no urge to do so but it is important to hydrate and to keep soomething down as his diet allows. Even broths and jello are better than nothing. Do not eat anything that could cause him to be nauseous other anything heavy. That can cause discomfort and if vomiting can cause severe pain. I dry heaved a few times I think from the pain meds and mixture of anasthesia and it was extremely painful. I found having a pillow or something to squeeze when coughing or riding in the car home was good to help to absorb the pain or keep it down. Gatorade and water are good to have on hand. I took time to walk each day around the house or whatever I could do. I started walking down the driveway to get the mail. Then I went a little farther to walking down my block. Just be careful not to over exert him. It can be more harmful than good. He may get to feeling better and think he is alright. He still needs to take time. Time is the biggest thing I am finding is the thing. Take time to rest, to take care of yourself and him, and take time to feel okay that it's alright to not do anything if that makes sense. I work a lot and tend to puch myself. I had to learn it was okay to not do ANYTHING. Sleep is good and it helps the body heal. If he can walk once every hour or so then thats good. I do not mean miles, but rather trips around/through the house. Do what you can and take it one day at a time. I hope that helps and I wish you and he a safe journey.

    Thank you!

    I appreciate your helpfulness so soon after your own surgery.  I hope you have a quick recovery and will do my best to heed your advice!  

    Thank you!

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463 Member
    JMGateley said:

    Take It Slow And Steady

    This is the start of my second week after having a partial nephrectomy on my left kidney. I am 36 years old with a history of testicular cancer. I am relatively good health but I am slightly overweight. The first week was very rough. I found that it was easiest to get confortable in a recliner (just be careful that it doesn't take too much effort to recline or to sit up after reclining). Most of my big pain came from moving and trying to initially sit down or stand up or lay down and get up. I stopped taking the pain meds I was prescribed on Sunday evening after having the surgery on Tuesday. I felt it was time to switch to something not as heavy. Be prepared to aid him to get comfort in whatever way he can get it. He may not feel like eating and drinking as I had no urge to do so but it is important to hydrate and to keep soomething down as his diet allows. Even broths and jello are better than nothing. Do not eat anything that could cause him to be nauseous other anything heavy. That can cause discomfort and if vomiting can cause severe pain. I dry heaved a few times I think from the pain meds and mixture of anasthesia and it was extremely painful. I found having a pillow or something to squeeze when coughing or riding in the car home was good to help to absorb the pain or keep it down. Gatorade and water are good to have on hand. I took time to walk each day around the house or whatever I could do. I started walking down the driveway to get the mail. Then I went a little farther to walking down my block. Just be careful not to over exert him. It can be more harmful than good. He may get to feeling better and think he is alright. He still needs to take time. Time is the biggest thing I am finding is the thing. Take time to rest, to take care of yourself and him, and take time to feel okay that it's alright to not do anything if that makes sense. I work a lot and tend to puch myself. I had to learn it was okay to not do ANYTHING. Sleep is good and it helps the body heal. If he can walk once every hour or so then thats good. I do not mean miles, but rather trips around/through the house. Do what you can and take it one day at a time. I hope that helps and I wish you and he a safe journey.

    No appetite

    If we have no appetite I tink we should not eat. It is our body communicating with us. I had no food for 4 days after my surgery and still recovered perfectly. If we're well nourished then we have reserves to get us through.

    If I had to go through that again I would eat a very light diet for a couple of days before surgery.

    Steve.

  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995 Member
    I also had absolutely no

    I also had absolutely no appetite and lived on toast, broth, and soft boiled eggs for quite a while. At least 5 days or so. I did drink a lot of water though. So don't worry if he has no appetite. It's perfectly normal. A little broth is most likely enough especially the first couple of days. 

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member

    No appetite

    If we have no appetite I tink we should not eat. It is our body communicating with us. I had no food for 4 days after my surgery and still recovered perfectly. If we're well nourished then we have reserves to get us through.

    If I had to go through that again I would eat a very light diet for a couple of days before surgery.

    Steve.

    Thank you! His appetite has

    Thank you! His appetite has been waning ever since being diagnosed, I think from anxiety.  Time to stock up on soup and broth!

  • Optimisticgirl
    Optimisticgirl Member Posts: 82 Member
    APny said:

    I also had absolutely no

    I also had absolutely no appetite and lived on toast, broth, and soft boiled eggs for quite a while. At least 5 days or so. I did drink a lot of water though. So don't worry if he has no appetite. It's perfectly normal. A little broth is most likely enough especially the first couple of days. 

    Thank you for the advice, I

    Thank you for the advice, I would have been concerned had I not heard from several people about lack of appetite. Much appreciated!

     

  • Reiterate what others have said. Drink LOTS of water, and as soon as able to do so--walk as much as possible.  I pushed myself on day 3 after surgery to walk 2 miles and on day 4 upped it to 4 miles, and it was worth it, as I recovered quickly from OPEN surgergy (not laparascopic or robotic).  I had a beach near me, so walking was a pleasure.  But we are all different, and recover at different rates.  I had a cough/sneeze/laugh pillow too. Sneezing was the worst.  Good times!

    I like your screen name.  Good luck!

  • MFoster
    MFoster Member Posts: 17
    Take it easy

    I had this surgery 7/21/17 and it was the easiest surgery to date recovery wise. Easier to sit in recliner for a few days. Drink lots of water. My main issue was being tired. I also had an allergic reaction to Dermaflex used to glue my incisions and it was the worst! At four weeks post-op I began peeing alot and burning when I pee accompanied by pelvic pain. I've been treated for kidney and bladder infections but nothing is helping. Hope your hubby has a smooth operation and easy recovery.