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Open Radical Nephrectomy on Tuesday

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

Man, am I not looking forward to this, but we do what we've gotta do.

Any tips, tricks or wisdom for getting through this and minimizing the pain?

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3198
Joined: Jan 2010

Bugs,

 

 Not fun. Your bio indicates it is large. Time to get rid of it. If I told you the pain was minimal they would laugh me off this board. No pain, no gain.

 

 

 

icemantoo

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 779
Joined: Jul 2016

At the top right corner of this page is an icon "Search CSN Content".  Click that and type in key words for a search.  You'll see a lot of threads with advice for you.  

My only advice is to listen to your body during recovery.  Don't push it.  This is major surgery and you have to respect the need for your body to recover.  

Keep us updated as you move forward on this journey.  We'll try to help as much as you allow us to.

Blessings,

Stub

Jobie123's picture
Jobie123
Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2017

I’m 18 months out from a radical nephrectomy and to be honest i can honestley say i was never in severe pain just discomfort ! Yes it’s a slow road and you take time to gain strength and energy levels back but what i kept telling myself was , Keep strong , keep focused there’s no alternative road!

listen to your body , rest and sleep when you need too x 

take care Jo

eug91's picture
eug91
Posts: 125
Joined: Jan 2019

Sorry you had to join our group, but this is a great forum. We've all been where you are now and gotten through it, so we know you will, too. If you have any questions or concerns or just want to vent/complain, we're here for you. 

If you haven't already read it, I posted my radical nephrectomy experience here -> https://csn.cancer.org/node/318416

We'll be rooting for you - you've got this!

 

TomHop
Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2019

Hi Bugs. I had my open radical nephrectomy in mid-February. The first couple weeks were pretty tough but manageable. Keep a pillow handy for times when you need to cough. Listen to your body. Stay on your meds. Three months down the road I am reminded of the incision simply because it feels tight but no pain. You can do it!

Dominick0711's picture
Dominick0711
Posts: 87
Joined: Jan 2019

Mine was partial but also open and took place on January 15th.  Echoing some of what others have said but...for me pain was worse day after then day of and initially that worried me but by that same evening I was already seeing progress.  The every day felt better then the day before and though the first week was rough in terms of mobility, tightness and discomfort in some positions it was the getting better every day part that make me feel positive.  my biggest keys to recovery im sure you’ve already heard which is walk walk walk drink water walk walk walk drink water...repeat until feeling one hundred percent then hopefully it’s a life change for you and you keep on doing it anyway! We will be thinking of you! Hoping for a fast recovery and a cancer free future!

Dominick0711's picture
Dominick0711
Posts: 87
Joined: Jan 2019

I’m going to add something that people tried to tell me but I didn’t listen...don’t sweat the small stuff and have faith in your body. It will heal and recover.  I tortured my doctor a bit and was worrying about every what if and itt all proved to be unnecessary anxiety that only hinders your recovery not helps it.  Find a good doctor then trust that doctor and focus solely on your recovery.  Stay vigilant for sure and ask all the questions you need to ask but try to trust the answers and focus on getting better.

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

Thank you everyone for your thoughs and kind words. This is a great place for information and support. I'll make it thorugh this. This isn't my first rodeo with abdominal surgery, although last time I had youth on my side. I remember getting out of bed being a real adventure those first few times after surgery.

It seems strange that I haven't had any pain this week, but I saw the scans so I know it's real. I did my pre-op assessment yesterday and I'm good to go. The people there kept saying what a great surgeon I have, so that was reassuring. So Tuesday I put my game face on and do battle with the Beast. Wish me well.

Canadian Sandy's picture
Canadian Sandy
Posts: 486
Joined: Jul 2016

I wish you well Bugs and walk walk walk soon as you can. Keep the faith!

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

Thanks, Sandy...  I'll get to hoppin'!

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3198
Joined: Jan 2010

Bugs,

The first couple days are a little rough than each day should be a little better with maybe a bad day in between.

 

 

 

icemantoo

mukhopadhyay.arka01
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2019

I had radical nephrectomy and was walking in 1 week and within a month started working--I have desk job.

Partial nephrectomy should be better

How big is your tumour and on which kidney?

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

I’m having a radical procedure too. Right kidney. Big tumor. Looked big on the screen anyway.  As I recall, about 16x17x7 cm. Doc said to expect about a 6-8 week recovery, but then everyone is different. 

I’ve got a desk job too. Lots of computer time and long meetings. 

The woman who did my surgical pre-testing said these tumors are usually confined. Can anyone verify that?

mukhopadhyay.arka01
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2019

I had some pain but I was back fast--had to wear an abdominal belt--my company was kind enough to give me a room in the office premise--so I dint have to travel!

Is this your 1st tumour --thats a big tumour! Were there symptoms?

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

Thanks everyone for the input and encouragement. They released me yesterday. 

They took the right kidney and adrenal gland. Not sure what to expect in terms of side effects. I’m told that everything went well. We‘ll see what the pathology report says. Not having much real pain, but I’m really weak. Been sleeping a lot and any little activity knocks me out. Hoping my stamina improves this week. 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3198
Joined: Jan 2010

One day at a time.

 

 

 

 

icemantoo

eug91's picture
eug91
Posts: 125
Joined: Jan 2019

You did it! Way to go, Bugs! Now don't push yourself, listen to your body, and heal up!

Gtngbtr58 @aol.com's picture
Gtngbtr58 @aol.com
Posts: 204
Joined: Oct 2017

All the best.  Just remember that it's ok to ask for help.  Keep on top of your emotional health as well as your physical health. Although you've been thru something similar in the past each experience is different.  You've been successful once you'll be successful twice.  Best of luck-June

jazzgirl's picture
jazzgirl
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov 2017

Be gentle with your body and, as someone else mentioned, patient with emotional health. Breathe and savor being on this side of the surgery. Take care -

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1917
Joined: Mar 2014

Wishing you the very best. Take it nice and slow and don't push yourself but try to walk as much as possible. It does help recovery. Even a few minutes every hour around the house is good.

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

I appreciate all the encouragement. This is going to take some time and patience. Just pacing myself, taking daily walks in the woods and lots of naps.

One step at a time.

Madame Y
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2019

Hi,

The very best of luck with your recovery Bugs. Taking daily walks and lots of naps sounds like exactly the right approach. I think it's also really helpful to have a forum like this where you can find support and encouragement from people who have been through a similar experience because I think it's quite difficult for others to entirely understand what this feels like. Once you have got the pathology results, you will be able to process stuff and hopefully gradually start to regain your strength. The way I thought about it coming up to my partial nephrectomy was I have got to get this in the rear view mirror and you have done that by having the op. Wishing you well. 

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

The pathology report came back. The kidney tumor turned out to be cancer. They removed it completely along with the adrenal gland. Cancer was contained; margins were clear. Whew.

I'm getting various aches and pains, including frequent back pain, that are probably normal surgery-related things. But two weeks after surgery I'm also feeling heavy fatigue much of the time. I wonder if that has to do with the adrenalectomy. I did lose a lot of weight. Has anyone experienced this? Does it pass?

eug91's picture
eug91
Posts: 125
Joined: Jan 2019

Everybody goes through the fatigue. In the weeks after my neph, I took more naps than I probably have since I was a toddler. 

My post-neph back pain came and went. It definitely freaked me out at first, and my mind always wandered back to "maybe it's the cancer". In the end, it's just the body healing up. You've been through a lot, so try to take it easy. If the discomfort continues, don't be afraid to mention it to your doctor. But everything you're describing sounds normal to me.

 

WeAreWarriors's picture
WeAreWarriors
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2019

Good Morning Bugs,

My radical Nephrectomy was April 21. Six weeks and I finally almost feel like myself. Fatigue was overwhelming and still hits me hard after a long day. My Dr. warned me not to overdo it but it seems like I overdid it at least once a week. He told me I'd know I'd overdone it when I felt it! Man he was right. At 5 weeks I went to a BBQ thinking no problem I got this! I ended up laid out on the couch for 24 hours. Worst I had felt the entire recovery! So take it easy. Enjoy the chance to slow down if you can. It's so hard though all I want to do is go for a run and ride my horse but I know that could set me back weeks. Remember it's not just the surgey our bodies are trying to figure out how to function with one kidney too... you got this!

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1917
Joined: Mar 2014

Two weeks is nothing. Your body underwent major trauma. It'll take to heal and get back to normal. So aches and pains is natural. I did lose weight as I had zero appetite after suregery but then gained it back. And I also had a lot of fatigue. It takes a while (I want to say about a month) to start feeling somewhat like your old self. 

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

Whew!

So the weight comes back?  Crap!

WeAreWarriors's picture
WeAreWarriors
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2019

yep, the weight comes back! And right now other than walking there is nothing I can do about it. 

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

So much for the silver lining in this big cloud...

a_oaklee
Posts: 430
Joined: Nov 2013

Your back pain is most likely surgical pain, and also muscular strain from how different you are holding your body when you move, walking, sitting, sleeping.  That being said, if you are very concerned that the back pain is not going away, or getting worse, you should call your doctor and ask for an MRI of your back.  It's going to take a couple months to feel alot better, and perhaps six months to feel almost normal.  My husband worked half days for awhile.  On days he felt great, he would do too much and end up having a couple pajama days.  He had to learn to pace himself and not overdo.  He still struggles with overdoing it.   I hope you have a quick and uneventful recovery.  (Make sure you get your own written reports of the scans, operative report and pathology report).

Bugs Bollox's picture
Bugs Bollox
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2019

I agree. The pain is probably from the surgery. I’m not freaked out about it, but it is annoying. I have a follow up with the surgeon on Monday so we’ll see what he thinks. Sounds like the next couple months won’t be terribly productive.  Thanks for chiming in.

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