• Too much for the brain to handle!

    Asked by SharkinRN on Friday, May 1, 2015

    Too much for the brain to handle!

    I've read up on the nephrectomy procedure, post-op issues, and home recovery. It all seems very scary. What makes it worse is that I am an RN. When it comes to my own healthcare I become a babbling idiot.

    19 Answers from the Community

    19 answers
    • JeanB's Avatar
      JeanB

      I'm sure someone here with the same kind of cancer will answer shortly. Just remember, take baby steps. And breathe....don't forget to breathe. Praying for you.

      over 6 years ago
    • Susan254's Avatar
      Susan254

      Hello! I have had two robotic partial nephrectomies, right and then left kidney and am also an RN! With the first surgery, I had 4 abd hernias that were in the way repaired with a very large mesh placement which required a 5-day stay. The second surg I was home the next day. I had some depression with the 2nd surgery but have finally come out of it. Mine is renal cell carcinoma, stage 2 and I am being monitored every 3 months now with IVP/CT, CXR, labs, and urine and am good so far. I know what you mean about nurses---we're much better at taking care of others than ourselves! If I can answer any questions, let me know. Take care, Susan

      over 6 years ago
    • gonewest's Avatar
      gonewest

      I had a robotic nephroureterectomy in 2013 because of tcc (st2) that started up high in the ureter. My recovery was super easy.

      over 6 years ago
    • SharkinRN's Avatar
      SharkinRN

      Susan..thanks for responding. I was given my CT results today. Transitional Cell Carcinoma in the right kidney. Slightly larger than a golf ball. I'm trying to do some research but it all leads to a total nephrectomy. I need to get my affairs in order first, but I'm sort in denial right now. I'm hoping its just a dream.

      over 6 years ago
    • SharkinRN's Avatar
      SharkinRN

      gonewest...thanks for responding. I wish the robot was available here. Looks like a traditional laproscopic procedure for me.

      over 6 years ago
    • gonewest's Avatar
      gonewest

      @shark Doesn't Moffit in Tampa have robotics?

      over 6 years ago
    • SharkinRN's Avatar
      SharkinRN

      @gonewest Not sure, I'm on the east coast and sort of stuck with my insurance choice.

      over 6 years ago
    • gonewest's Avatar
      gonewest

      When's your surgery?

      over 6 years ago
    • Susan254's Avatar
      Susan254

      Well, denial is normal for you at this time, which I'm sure you know. But we still have to act. From what I've read, transitional cell is more serious and can be more extensive than mine (papillary in one kidney and chromophobe in the other---yeah, that's weird!) Mine is genetic. I have a half sister I just met 2 years ago that had RCC a few years ago, so when I suddenly found blood in my urine, I acted on it almost immediately and so did my doctors, thank goodness! Well, just take the steps you have to take one at a time and try to be positive and BE GOOD TO YOURSELF one day at a time!

      over 6 years ago
    • SharkinRN's Avatar
      SharkinRN

      @gonewest I haven't scheduled it yet. I just got the CT results this afternoon. I have few things to take care of like living will, health surrogate etc etc. The urologist said sooner than later, so I'm thinking within 30 days.

      over 6 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      While I don't have the type, stage, or site that you have, research can be much more negative than what reality is for a cancer patient. I think that they do that for several reasons. One to scare you into doing exactly what your doctor says, and then being grateful. Another is to keep from being sued, if things go south. They just give a synopsis of what sort of can go wrong for your stage. They also don't give enough details to confuse us, or have us ask too many questions and irritate the doctors.

      You're at the right place to get answers and most of them seem positive. Many people live a long life with only one kidney. Hang in there, Marines are tough. You'll respond well when the time comes, and you'll handle each challenge well. This is one battle where Boot Camp training means as much as medical training. We all have to dig deep in different ways. Good luck.

      over 6 years ago
    • gonewest's Avatar
      gonewest

      Ok, then. You just now found out. I really understand how hard it can be to comprehend the reality especially in the beginning. Remember to breathe. You have all my hope for the best possible outcome.

      over 6 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I'm stuck in NM and have to follow medicare and an advantage plan rules. We're all stuck with paperwork. Everyone wanted to ship me off-I have a rare incurable that many doctors and clinics don't want to treat. I was lucky, and right here a radiologist in a small clinic came up with a treatment plan for this. Guess what? It worked.

      over 6 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Palm Coast is a pretty and somewhat rural community but it isn't the end of the earth. Tampa is not the other side of the world and, if you ask around here with a second question, someone will give you a link to donated flights, donated housing, and help with insurance nightmares. Even the lowliest of insurance allows you to move within your State and, depending on how your friendly doctor writes, the robotic surgery could be yours if that is what you believe is best.

      I can't keep all the nicknames straight but a gal on FB got volunteers to fly her to the Mayo for proper treatment because she wasn't getting treated up to snuff in her home town. I'll ask her to contact SharkinRN when she is next on here.

      It sux being a patient. Everybody is demanding things and decisions from you while you are in a state of shock. People you have not ever met are suggesting that you trust them with your life. Your own brother doesn't know as many intimate details about your person and have the photos to prove it too! For whatever reason, I'm reminded of the Native Americans who slew the mighty buffalo by stampeding the herd over tall or, at least, leg breaking cliffs.

      Take a breath. Take another. Oxygen is calming and enables the brain to work better.

      Best wishes.

      P. S. I play golf. Wanna learn? Then you will have something to literally do with that golf ball sized tumor once it is taken out of you. I sold land up in Palm Coast when they were first building the place. ... at dinner parties! Coincidentally, the first time I saw the place there was a forest fire. It was difficult getting folks to mobilize and drive me out of there. They kept (dunderhead crowd) joking about jumping in the ocean in case of trouble.By the time I was able to coerce my ride to get moving, the fire was jumping lanes on both sides of the highway. Very scary.

      There! You've had 30-80 seconds away from your troubles and some small assistance is coming up.I don't know a thing about what you need but if you believe it is robotic surgery, don't spare any effort in getting it. Good luck & best wishes.

      over 6 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Hey SharkinRN , My nephew, a PCP will attest to the fact that the best medical personnel make the worst patients.

      over 6 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Agreed---I was just saying this in different terms to another new friend.

      over 6 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      It does sound complicated. All I can do is wish you have the best luck in getting well again. Have you tried to really clean your diet with juicing, antioxidants and other healthy habits if you are allowed to do them? Barryboomer in here is an advocate of juicing and keeping a very clean diet. When I now go out with friends, I eat more vegetables and healthier choices now. Are you limited in how much you can drink? I know of somebody who had to limit the amount of liquid she could drink in one day because kidneys did not function well enough. Just curious.

      over 6 years ago
    • IronMom45's Avatar
      IronMom45

      As a nurse doesn't mean you have to know everything or not be scared even overwhelmed. As a nurse, use your knowledge of what you do know about to enhance your learning of what you need to know now. Being a nurse can be a blessing and a curse as a patient, you decide. Make it a blessing. Advocate for yourself like you would for a patient. Give yourself time to absorb then pull it together and fight. Nurses fight evey shift worked so you got it in you. Prayers for you.

      over 6 years ago
    • rnmdiv's Avatar
      rnmdiv

      SharkinRN. Of course being a nurse has its advantages. But don't let it get in the way of trusting your doctor either. I've been living with my kidney cancer (rcc) for 16 years. I stress "living" because if I gave in to all the directions well meaning advice from friends, I would have greatly increased my stress level. I, too am an RN. And heard many cancer tales. Before you take anyone's advice, pray. Having a peaceful heart is important to making a good decision.
      The doctor who was my surgeon was someone I had worked with for many years, and someone I trusted. My tumor was huge, and I had a radical nephrectomy. Eventually mets were discovered in an unrelated chest x Ray years later. But the important thing is that I am still alive and functioning. My oncologist is a smart, delightful young woman with a positive attitude and current expertise.
      After asking the questions you have that worry you, have the surgery and offer prayers for your surgeon and caregivers. And that expectation you have about" I know it, therefore I should do it"
      isn't true. If I thought that, I'd be a concert musician. But I'm not, and that's ok. Have some gentle
      loving people as your caregivers and trust. You'll do a lot better than you're envisioning.

      over 6 years ago

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