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Robotic Partial Question

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

Hello everyone.  Newly diagnosed and scheduling a robotic partial nephrectomy at Mayo Clinic in early October.   My issue is that I live 9 hours from Mayo.  My daughter lives about 45 minutes from there.  I can either fly there then fly back or fly one way and she could drive me back 4 days after surgery.  That would save me some money however I am unsure if I will be in too much pain to ride in a car for 9 hours and would be better off flying.   Mayo says I can do either as long as I get up and walk every hour to hour and a half of the trip.  Can any of you who have had this tell me which you think would be best?

 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3181
Joined: Jan 2010

Whitefeather,

You need a week or 2 to rest before flying back or driving 9 hours. At least thats how I felt as a 59 year old kid, 16 years ago.

 

 

icemantoo

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

Thank you, Icemantoo.  I worry about either way, it seems.  

medic1971's picture
medic1971
Posts: 189
Joined: Sep 2015

Is there any way you could drive there and then fly back home? You could do a one-way car rental or have someone take you down there...  

 

I was in the same boat as you.  Live in OKC and had RPN at MD Anderson in Houston.  Driving to Houston takes anywhere from 6 1/2 hours to 10 hours depending on how you hit traffic.  I drove down for surgery but flew home.  My family helped with logistics of it all.  I spent two nights in the hospital, four nights in a hotel, and then on post-op day 7 I flew home by myself.  Short flight, 59 minutes from wheels up to landing.  If you do fly take advantage of any pre-boarding they do for people with "medical needs".  That way you get a good seat.  It's one of the only times I played the cancer card... 

 

Good luck to you.  You are getting treatment at a great organization!  

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

I have considered this.  In my case, flying back would have a plane change and take 6 hours including the layover.   So, I just wasn't sure if it would be easier on my body to just ride in a car.  Neither option seems great.  I can stay with my daughter a few days but she is busy and would want to take off work, which she can't afford to do right now.  But there are hotels at Mayo and that may be an option for a few more days before flying back.  

CRashster's picture
CRashster
Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 2017

i just had robotic surgery. I don’t want to get on a plane or in a car right now.

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

How long ago did you have it?  I found another option.  I could fly out of Minneapolis.  It would be an hour and a half car ride but the flight would be direct.  I could stay in a hotel a few days before that.  

CRashster's picture
CRashster
Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 2017

it was hernia repair. yes, it was less invasive. Still not a cakewalk.

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

Sorry you had to go through that.  

CRashster's picture
CRashster
Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 2017

its just a thing. Plan a couple recoup days before you travel, if you can. The hardest part is getting up and down. You’ll be fragile for a while. Can’t drive for like a week. You wont feel like eating much.

Angie1496's picture
Angie1496
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2017

I had a robotic partial one year ago. I had a 1 hour car ride home 2 days after and it was fairly uncomfortable. Regardless of your travel method, make sure you have a pillow for “hugging“ your abdomen when you cough, laugh, hit rough roadways Etc... Wear a dress or very loose clothing. I couldn’t handle pants for any length of time until 3 weeks or so after surgery. Remember to keep pain meds available and stay ahead of the pain. Good Luck to you!! I go for my 1 year scans on the 25th. 

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

Great advice.  I will have about that long of a car ride after I'm dismissed from the hospital to get to my daughter's house.  One thing that worries me is actually getting in her SUV.  I may need some sort of step stool.

JoeyZ's picture
JoeyZ
Posts: 191
Joined: Mar 2018

I had a radical, open neph in March. Rough surgery, 17" cuts. In 7 days, I did an 8 hour car trip home. We stopped every hour to get out and move at least a little. I survived!! I also took 10 mgs. oxycontin every 3 hours. Of course I did not drive. 

Logistics are easy enough to figure out, but the long haul is the hardest. One thing is vital: A travel pillow to place across your stomach then place the seatbelt over top of that! Made life a lot easier. 

I am 64 years old. If you have someone to do the driving, you ought to be just fine. 

I found out fast that you just do what you have to do. When push comes to shove, we can do more than we think. I did not take any unnecessary risks and was very careful in everything.

The worst was getting in and out of bed. My husband had to lift my legs off the floor and swing them onto the bed, fast, and I'd holler every time it hurt so darned bad. I'd tell him, "Just do it!" He hated hurting me. Poor man. Sometimes I think all this was harder on him than on me.

I personally hate flying so I was thankful to take the car trip and get home. I was never so happy to be home. I was not sure I'd even BE home again at the time. If you want to, read my profile and you'll see why. Here I am, 6 months later.

Hang in there, I wish you all the best. I think you'll surprise yourself.

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

I'm single and live alone so I will have to figure out how to swing my own legs into bed.  haha

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 238
Joined: Mar 2017

A helpful tip on the gettin in and out of bed........my wife found that at least for her, it was easier and less painful to crawl in to bed on her hands and knees then roll into a comfy position rather than sitting on the edge then swinging her legs up into bed.

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 757
Joined: Jun 2016

I got those risers that promise you can store more stuff under your bed. It's probably half-past helpful advice for you now, but it was great for me. I'd pull my knees up and roll my WHOLE body to get out of bed. Worked really well. An added bonus? My dog can't store dead birds under the bed any more because I can SEE under the bed from the doorway to the bedroom.

a_oaklee
Posts: 416
Joined: Nov 2013

I think I would plan to stay a week at your daughters place.  Do you know when your postop appointment is?  I would go to that before coming all the way home.  

You could have a talk with your daughter that you just want to rest at her house and she should go to work.  You can just lay around, sleep, watch movies.  She doesnt need to be with you all day.  

It would sure be nice if a friend came to drive you all the way back home.  Many stops along the way.  Perhaps you know someone who would love to do this for you.  I dont think its asking too much.  

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

But I really don't have anyone in my life who could do that right now.  Wish I did.  

The only thing I've been told is I would have to go back in 3 months.  I guess my post op will be with my local nephrologist?

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1422
Joined: Dec 2012

I had my radical nephrectomy on the 10th of December and I think I drove from Los Angeles to Vegas on the 20th. It's about 4 1/2 hours. Drove there, walked around a couple of days, then drove back. I did ok. I think you will need 10 days at least. I wasn't really supposed to be driving. However, you need a backup plan in case you need to stay (at least) due to things not going exactly as planned. You don't want to be far away if you have complications. It's safer for you to stay in the area 2-3 weeks if you can. I would not want to be in the position of having complications and going to an ER and having other docs take care of me that didn't do the surgery. I'd want to be near the place that did the surgery.

Lots of cancer centers and cancer hospitals have housing for patients that live a long way away. Did you ask about this?

Todd

WhiteFeather's picture
WhiteFeather
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2018

My daughter lives in a one bedroom apartment with her husband.  I'm pushing my welcome at a few days.  But I did speak with Mayo.  They think its fine but suggested I stay with her a few days after surgery in case of complications.  I did check on housing for patients.  The one place I found was great but required you to have a care taker stay with you.  Again, no one I know can do that.  

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 923
Joined: Mar 2012

Sorry to hear of the surgery. It sounds like since just a partial that is good news! Truthfully, i would not buy plane tickets for the return home, you never know what can happen between now and then.  Sometimes they say partial but at times have had to do full removal, which is a longer period of rest. Hopefully that won't be your case but getting a plane ticket back sounds like a risk, alot of walking, waiting and standing. If you were my  mom i would let  you stay right in the middle of the living room until you were good and rested! :)  You should give yourself at least a week to 10 days before traveling. Maybe a nearby hotel?  Sending good vibes for a great successful operation and recovery and safe trips back and forth.

steelr66's picture
steelr66
Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 2018

i would wait before flying and even a 9 hour drive seems excessive. would staying with your daughter be an option? at least a week or two? wishing youwell on this journey, you will find this to be a great resource of support and positivity. 

TeeBizzle's picture
TeeBizzle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 2018

Google some options for hotel discounts or free places to stay. I hated traveling anywhere a week after. I had a left side open partial and it hit the seat belt perfectly. Someone i just talked to stayed at Ronald McDonald house while recovering. You can check these options:

https://www.google.com/search?q=free+hotel+stay+for+cancer+patients&oq=free+hotel+stay+can&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0j69i64.6390j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

The first day out of the hospital was (hopefully) the worst day of my life. tons of pain and lack of appetite, nausea, bloody urine. you know all the fun stuff. So if they can help that day would be crucial. I have a plastic folding stool in the kitchen for rare times to reach high. might be worth purchasing at walmart or amazon. usually pretty cheap. 

https://www.amazon.com/Utopia-Home-Foldable-Step-Stool/dp/B072JJQ437/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1537882007&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=folding+stool&psc=1

it can fit in your luggage. could help with not just the car but also bed at home. My bed isn't too high, but it hurt stepping up to get in.

My ride home from the hospital took 2 hours and was miserable. the pain meds wore off it took forever to check out and everything. I took a pillow from the hospital but every bump was rough.

CRashster's picture
CRashster
Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 2017

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