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Feeling unprepared

Gtngbtr58 @aol.com's picture
Gtngbtr58 @aol.com
Posts: 206
Joined: Oct 2017

Surgery scheduled for the 27th-feeling so unprepared.  Will I be able to be home alone once I'm discharged?  What were you able to do for yourself right away?  I'm such an independent person and would rather be doing for others-I think this is going to be tuff.  What foods should I have in the house that might be tolerable after the surgery.  And what is the realistic recovery time.  I do desk work and I'd love to be back in 2 week-thanks in advance

Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2017

This is the absolute worst time.  just sitting waiting and worrying about everything is dreadful

It will get easier afterwards

Everything really depends how how large or small your mass is and how generally fit you are

But definitely for the first week you will be fit for nothing so you need someone to help ... 

Plus you need rest rest and rest  and you need someone to keep a eye on you 


Plus I know some people have gone back to work in three weeks ... but again it all depends.  Two weeks  is defintely not advisable

i was told six weeks and I was back at 5 but that first week was not easy   It was doable but not easy 

You will need easy digestible foods as again for first two weeks you wont have much of an appetite but you need to eat

Soups, toast and eggs and some mash and soft chicken is great   Apny and a few other people recommend this also

praying you are ok




Gtngbtr58 @aol.com's picture
Gtngbtr58 @aol.com
Posts: 206
Joined: Oct 2017

Thanks for your advise-sounds pretty solid. My mass is 3.7 not sure if I'm having partial or full- the mass is centrally located the Dr won't know till he gets in.  Thanks again

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3349
Joined: Jan 2010



At 3.7cm you should have an excellent prognosis. Take it easy though. Maybe you can ease into work at 4 weeks if all goes well. You are going to be a little tired for the first few months. Don't overdue it.




AnnissaP's picture
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

I had it in my mind I'd be at work in 3 wks. I just had surgery 2 weeks ago and I can tell you that will not be happening. Dr wrote me off for 6 wks and now I know why. Soup was my best friend even up until a cpl of days ago. Nausea was pretty bad and I still have it. You may not be fit for much during the first week and I know it is hard to depend on people. I didn't have a choice. I was useless and it was tough. I needed assistance getting in and out of bed and even to sit on the toilet and couch. I got dehydrated and ended up back in the hospital so please keep yourself well hydrated. I wish you all the best! It will be here before you know it and you will be on to recovery. Take care and accept help!!! It makes things easier.

Hoss79's picture
Posts: 78
Joined: Nov 2017

Everyone recovers different. I was discharged 19 hours after my surgery. I had a robotic radical nephrectomy. I spent about a day and a half in my recliner. After that I have been up and going. I return to work next week with not many restrictions. Prayers for a successful surgery and a fast healing. Also remember to drink plenty of water during the recovery.

Retcenturion's picture
Posts: 240
Joined: Mar 2017

Sorry to hear your diagnosis. This is a great place to prep for the surgery. There are many recent posts relating to pre op and post op. It is a good starting point to answer your questions. If something comes up your not sure of ask, it should be answered quickly. Sending positive thoughts to you and your family.

Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1327
Joined: Oct 2013

Good questions and concerns. I did have someone stay with me as I was alone.

BUT you can ask to go to rehab for a week or so. Discuss with doctor and staff so they are prepared in hospital.

I HIGHLY recommend having friends/familiy help you. I HIGHLY recommend you getting a velcro lumbar wrap. (used for those with bad back). Yu wrap it around you and it has outside extra straps for more support.  I used it for last 2 surgeries to support my sore, tender abdomen. I even asked for ICE and the nurse in hospital thought it was silly as I had so many pain meds ready to be used. Finally, the PT therapist went and got ice from the ice machine and put it inside a rubber glove. It helps MORE than the pain meds alone. It reduced the swelling and soreness around the larger incision where the kidney was actually removed from. I got relief right away. 

Are you going to have a partial vs a total kidney removal? No matter what if you are having ANY kind of incision, ice helps alot. 

I wore the lumbar wrap and put ice blocks (like for coolers) inside the wrap, over my underwear, rather than right over the incision. It helped a lot to get UP from sitting or getting up form laying down. It reduced swelling so my need for opiates were reduced greatly.

Make sure you have meals prepared to heat up. Arranged to have others do laundry, housework as you cannot strain your insides as they are HEALING. Even when you start to feel better, you are HEALING.

I was told I could not do ANYTHING but walk for first 30 days. Even pushing is not recommended. YOur insides are healing. 

GET HELP arranged even if you go to a rehab facility after discharge for surgery. 

And make sure you iron levels are good. Doctor didn't i needed extra iron until I insisted he check my iron levels. Low iron means you are more fatigued and hurt more in my opnion. And I have had 4 abdominal surgeries, separate form nephrectomy. 

Do you have people to help you?

Sending you healing hugs, 


APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

As others said, recovery is so individual. All depends on size of incision, prior health and fitness, etc. I would say for the first week definitely have someone there with you. I was able to go up and down stairs and get up to use bathroom by myself, but getting in and out of tub for a shower (unless you have a walk-in shower stall) was trickier and my husband helped. I agree with soup, toast, soft boiled eggs and things like that for food. I didn't have much appetite for anything else. Overall it was not nearly as bad as I had feared as far as pain and helplessness was concerned but I was glad not to be by myself. Please arrange to have someone there even if for just the first week. All the best to you!

kiwi68's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2017

Let your doctor know that you won't be going home with support, he/she may be able to a authorise/organise a further day or two in hospital and or a stay at a rehab facillity. Most hospitals I know of won't let you go home alone, you have to have a responsible adult to take you home, at least to the front door.   Some of the referred pain to the shoulder tip is a bit miserable, though not long term.  You also want to make sure you will not get dehydrated which means eating and drinking regularly and that you are not up and about and suffering dizzyness that could result in a fall. 

You might be able to get a food delivery service, otherwise stock the cupboard fridge with foods that are good for post operative bowel operation and are easy to prepare and eat and have good calorific density.   For the bowel, prunes, prune juice, whole oat porridge, fruit (excluding banana it binds).   For protein and energy, eggs, baked beans, thick stews and soups.  Ham and cheese sandwiches frozen and ready to grill.  Some lasagne.  Clear juices.  Fruit smoothies with added protein powder. 

Organise how you will be getting your medications post operatively and how you would get to the Dr/hospital in the innitial 2 weeks  for follow up or emergency.  I started driving at day 10, I could have earlier, but didn't want to risk any injury.  I must say i was tired after it and glad it was short journeys.   

Who will wash clothes and dishes? Who will change bed linen.  I could make beds kind of at one week mark but only just and with a parital nephrectomy the kidney is ripe and needs to be looked after, no heavy lifting.   I was glad to help prepare meals but not have to clean up in entirety.  I think that would have made me very tired.  Then again I am cooking for 6 not 1. 

How will you do grocery shopping, answer the front door, you never realise how many times you get up for the front door until you have trouble doing it, or to answer a ringing phone. 

What is the plan if you don't come out of the operations suffering no complication, is there someone who could be on call to help with some of the more difficult self care or maintenace things at home.  Most things will be ok, they can wait till you are able,  eating, meds, hygiene, getting medical help can't wait. 

It's great to have a positive attitude, I bought every support device I could, a body pillow, lumbar wrap, scar ointments, ordered my Mum in to stay, ordered some healthy delivered meals to decrease shopping and preparation time.   I feel like I am where I am today (and I can compare to other operations) because I didn't do too much and minimised any complications I could by having everything 'set up'.  The fruit purees and soups are still in the freezer, didn't need them, but others who had same op as me and same age are still not keen on a normal diet.  So we are all different and it is hard to predict. 

Good luck. 

Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2017

Hi there - having a bunch of smoothies or protein drinks on-hand will help to keep you full even if you don't want to (or can't) cook. They're also easy for a friend or family member to help purchase and drop off to you if you need it! I'm wishing you all the best. These things can be stressful but I'm confident it will all be alright. Just take it slow, and be kind to yourself. We all need to take turns being taken care of sometimes! 

Good luck! 

Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2017

hope everything went well

Gtngbtr58 @aol.com's picture
Gtngbtr58 @aol.com
Posts: 206
Joined: Oct 2017

Yes surgery went well t"g-feeling physically fine-no prob with appetite, pain pretty independent right away but had help first week from family and friend-I"m driving and even going into work for a few hours this week-will not over due it-now trying to work on post surgery anxiety and been a little depressed too-thanks for asking

AnnissaP's picture
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Thinking about you this morning!! I hope it is a happy and peaceful day for you. We got quite a bit of snow and it is beautiful here this morning :-)

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