18.2 PTC Cancer Life Phases: Kidney Cancer Recovery
Once you've lived through the first three life stages of dealing with cancer - PREVENTION, DIAGNOSIS and TREATMENT, we face long term recovery and practices that make that the best living possible, hopefully, cancer-free for many, many years. Those practices include maintaining vigilance of PREVENTION with regular self-exams and periodic testing to continue to catch any future cancers early on with a prompt DIAGNOSIS and TREATMENT. The following will help live beyond that TREATMENT experience with long term RECOVERY . . .
What is the recovery from kidney cancer process like?If you have surgery for your kidney cancer, which many people do, you should be ready to spend up to a week in the hospital afterward. This depends on how your overall health was before surgery, and the kind of surgery performed. You will have a catheter in place for a little while during your recovery. The doctors will give you instructions about what you can/should eat and what you can’t eat and do. You will first start with doing light, everyday activities like walking and doing dishes when you feel able to, but you won’t be able to do anything hard or lift heavy things for a few weeks. Once you are completely recovered, more people go back to their normal activities.
How long does it take?If you have surgery for your kidney cancer, which many people do, you might spend 2-7 days in the hospital afterward. And it can be several weeks (4-8) before you can go back to doing some of your usual activities.
What types of support would a patient need?After kidney surgery for your cancer, you will need someone to help take care of you until you can go back to your normal activities. You may also want someone to go to your doctor appointments with you to help you to ask the questions you want to ask, and to remember the information the doctors give you. You will need to do regular check-ups with your doctor to make sure that the other kidney or the rest of the kidneys are doing well.
What resources are available?You can seek support from nutritionists, counseling services, pain management professionals or maybe even physical therapy. Also be sure to seek social support by surrounding yourself with supportive and helpful friends and family members. Some cancer survivors also find it really helpful to join an online group of other cancer survivors because they feel well-understood by those people and can talk openly about their experiences with one another.