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Getting past RCC

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

I had a radical neph for a 3.7 cm mass.  I'm trying so hard to get past it all -start functioning like before RCC but I feel so down- like the happiness has been sucked out of me.  Anyone been there? any suggestion?  Will I ever be myself again-thanks


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3351
Joined: Jan 2010



  You just had major surgery. Your prognosis should be excellent. You will be here for many years to come. Your strength will come back in the coming weeks and months. It took me almost 11 nonths to waterski after my Neph when I turned 60.




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

You always have an upbeat commom-thanks-but what about real depression just feeling sad nervous can't relax I have a knot in my stomach- does it get better? How?




Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 514
Joined: Jun 2016

The knot in your stomach is natural.  Hearing the diagnosis "kidney cancer" directed at you is going to put that knot there and cinch it very tightly.  It's also going to be very natural that you're going to obsess about it for a while too.  I'm not going to say that the knot and the obsession eventually disappear.  They don't.  But that knot gradually loosens and the obsession lessens and lessens to a point where it pops up for me only around the time that I have a scan scheduled.  I've had two scan cycles already (6 and 12 months after surgery) and have been moved onto an annual scan schedule.  I'll confess I was very nervous before and during each of the scans, to the point where I had to take a Xanax to calm myself down for the first one.

Regarding the depression, it's real and it's a recognized phenomenon in some people post-surgery.  ain I had it for a little while.  The depression goes away as your strength returns, as your pain (if any) lessens and your activity level starts to return to normal.


Best wishes!

APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

Yes, it does get better but I'll be honest, there are still days when I'm down about the whole thing and it's been almost four years. I  just ride it out until I feel better and tell myself it's ok to feel that way. And you will feel better too. We went through a lot. Be patient with yourself.

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

I was hoping thats what I'd hear-I'm trying to be patient but its just so hard to go on feeling this way-day to day tasks are hard I feel like I"m walking around like in a fog-

SarahD1983's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2017

I had a right radical nephrectomy on 11/02/17 to remove a 9.8cm tumor.  I was diagnosed with T2A N0 M0 Chromophobe RCC.  Even though the diagnosis was best case senerio for me, i am struggling mentally.  I actually ended up in the ER last week because of a panc attack.  I was referred to a therapist and put on an anti depressant and anxiety medicine.  I also started attending anxiety classes and seeing a therapist.  I think you need to remid yourself (i constantly have to) that you have been through a life changing ordeal.  I am 34 years old.  I never thought this could happen to me at this age.  My therapist says these feelings are completely normal after a huge life altering event. Time will hoefully make things better.  Hope this helps.  I have found that talking about it has helped a lot.

Hoss79's picture
Posts: 78
Joined: Nov 2017

I just had surgery on 11/6/17. I was told on 10/17/17 that the Drs were 95% sure I had cancer. I was like you it felt like my whole world/life was sucked right out of me. It is normal. The biggest thing that has helped me is laughter. I am very blessed to have an amazing family and a great group of friends. It took about 3 weeks for my worries about having been diagnosed with cancer to finally ease up. No one wants to hear the words cancer. Just this past week I’ve finally healed up enough to start playing my drums again. Music is another avenue of getting away from all negative feelings. Hang in there. This board has also been helpful as many people have shared their experience and it helps knowing what to expect and to realize you’re not alone in this battle.

AnnissaP's picture
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

I think and hope it just takes time. I too am in a fog. I don't feel connected to the world at this point. We went through something life changing and in a short period of time. I am sure it takes time for all of this to settle. One day at a time my friend.

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

Thank you sooo much your words they are priceless-may each day be one day better for each of us-thanks

Posts: 51
Joined: Dec 2017

I feel much the same way and your post and a lot of great positive responses have helped me too.  Don't mean to hijack your thread, but thanks for sharing what you did and all the responses.

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

And I don't have to read your history. It's because all of us have to deal with this life changing experience. For those of us who are going to die from our cancer or it's complications, our time becomes limited and valuable. We can not afford to waste it. It takes a committment but living with cancer exposes ones character. To have and develope a technique that becomes automatic and reflexive will help make you the person you want to be.

It's ok to go through a million emotions for a while. Go ahead and get it out of your system. But prepare to change. Behavior modification works and it takes a few weeks of practice. But learning to share and project a positve outlook is contagious. Good karma.

Make it a practice to eliminate negative thoughts. When you catch yourself doing so, change focus to a previous or anticipated good experience. Remember the feelling and hold on. Probably have to do this a thousand times a day. You can always spin anything into a positive. You will have an increasing percentage of each day improving your outlook.

Eliminate negatives in your speech. "How are you?" "Not bad you say?" Unless you are confiding with you doctor, your answer will always be, "Great!" "Awesome!" or equivalent. Think about asking 100 people how the are. The majority will say, "alright" or "not bad."  Bummer man. If things were worse maybe you'd be happier. When you answer their inquiry and say "Excellent" most people practically jump back in surprise. How unusual to be enthusiastic. See some of those same people several times aweek or month and I guarantee a positive vibe will develope as this becomes contagious good karma.

Good luck getting out of your funk. The rest is just healing.


marosa's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: Feb 2015

For Gtngbtr58 @aol.com and for the rest of us all!  You are totally right!   

BoondockSaint's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Mar 2017

Fox, you are like a lighthouse. Battle tested yet strong and unwavering.


APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

I need to have fox live in my head. Then when I get down he can talk some sense into me. I won't even charge rent :)

Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2017

I don't have my surgery until next week, but I have lived with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life. Whether it's long term or short term, it absolutely sucks. And it's ok to say that! Everyone is different, and finding a way to deal with it that fits you is key.

My counselor was a big part of my processing all my emotions after being diagnosed, and she has helped me develop a plan on how to manage it when it gets bad. That can include medications, getting in to see my counselor (we only get together on a need basis), exercise, diet, reaching out to friends, cuddling with my dog, etc. And it starts with simple steps, not all at once - Just one step at a time. I try to talk to a friend once a week since going out to meet them is not always doable.

If you can, find a counselor that specializes in cancer/illnesses - they can help you walk through your emotions, and really just be a safe place to talk. I can remember sobbing with my counselor, i was so scared! But I knew I could do that with her because of the trust we had with each other.

As others have said who actually have had the surgery, it does get better. But until then be proactive and deal with it now - its ok to admit you are struggling! And boy, is it hard - I totally understand that. If you need anything just ask - and I hope it gets much better VERY SOON!


hardo718's picture
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Part of the healing process.  Physically healing and mentally healing.  The happiness and joy will definitely return.  I look at it now like it was an awful journey I was on.  No guarantee that cancer won't rear it's ugly head again, but I live my life differently now.  I now have a better sense of what's truly important and what I can avoid because it's not worthy of my precious time.  I also came to terms with the fact that just maybe this journey was something necessary for me to get it straight.  I try to look at it as a lesson.  All that being said, I'm still in the process of it all and it's been 5+ years.  I'm haunted by the experience at times, just not as frequently, so I try to look at it as a reminder of my blessings.  Better for me to focus on those.

I'll keep you in my prayers,


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