Monthly Archives: November 2008

Sunday in the house….

If y’all interested, here are some answers to your questions, I posted a few days ago, don’t want them to roll off before I post, since I can not figure out how to get my archives to work properly.

I’m still feeling puny, my van is broken, something on the left wheel broke, I have no clue of what it is, Tony is talking to a friend about it, so I am grounded. which sucks, as I hate just sitting here, knowing that soon enough I won’t be able to go do stuff alone. I’m supposed to be going to Columbus, Ohio next weekend but, I am not sure if that is going to happen or not.

I hate this. I hate life being so up in the air, I’m mad my van is broke down and just angry at the universe. So, I guess that’s enough for now.

Feeling puny today, really don’t feel like posting or doing anything at all, so I’ll sit here and rot. Ok, I actually think I have a cold and I just don’t need that right now.
Have a good Saturday.

Questions answered….

Quite a few people have asked why the surgery is so risky, and other questions so answering in blog posts vs. one on one is a bit easier.

First, the surgery is an open radical nephrectomy. Which means they do about a 20 inch incision, and open the fat, muscle, etc, wide open to get to the abdominal cavity and my kidney. Since I am fat, they have to have that large of an incision to retract everything enough to see it.

The radical part is the full kidney, adrenal gland, lymph nodes, and surrounding fat have to go. That is fairly traumatic to the body, even though the kidney really isn’t that hard on its own to remove as it is only a few attachments to the body.

There is a risk of blood loss, a huge risk of infection, a risk of them nicking another organ, entering the chest cavity (and collapsing a lung), and of breakdown of the incision. There is a risk or the incision ripping itself back open in a catastrophic manner. Or it just opening enough to allow a hernia, which could be dangerous as well.

The risk of death in an average person having a nephrectomy is 2%. I do not have a number for someone my size, as there aren’t that many supersize people having nephrectomies.

Following the surgery, I have to be able to get up and get moving. As most of y’all know I use a cane/walker/wheelchair to get around depending upon the day. I have bone and muscle issues that cause severe pain with walking (things that have nothing to do w/ my weight before anyone says that, although being thinner would make those issues easier to work around.) So, I have to walk. No matter how much the pain, I have to be up on my walker and moving to prevent wound breakdown, to prevent blood clots that go to my lungs, to prevent pneumonia.

Luckily, the fact that I quite smoking 2 years ago, and am not on the birth control pill lowers my risk of blood clots, but, my father did have pulmonary embolisms following surgery about 10.5 years ago, which makes a family history of it.

I am going to make it through this though. Complications or not, I will get out of that hospital as quickly as possible. I will be ok and will be home for Christmas morning.

News, finally.

We have a surgery date December 1st at MCV in Richmond, VA. They are going to do the nephrectomy that morning. I will be in the hospital the day before for some preoperative stuff. Following the surgery, I will be in the ICU for at least a day, then several weeks in the hospital.

While part of me is relieved to be moving forward, I’m scared. The doctors have been completely upfront with me, there is a huge risks of complications, and my recovery will be horrendous. The risk of death is large and was impressed upon me multiple times, yet, without the surgery I will die anyway when the cancer spreads.

It’s a hard choice but surgery is my best chance at longer survival. I am scared, I am researching as much as possible but, nothing can completely prepare me for what I am facing.

In fact the doctor, the junior surgeon, laid it all out “After the surgery, whether you live or die is up to you, you have to be strong, and get up, and move, no matter how much it hurts.” Tough broad time it is. Mean tough bitch so I can get through this, and live.