18.2 PTC Cancer Life Phases: Kidney Cancer Recovery

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 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 . . . 

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A cancer diagnosis can affect every aspect of the patient's life, including work, financial issues, appearance and sexuality. Coping with cancer treatment is never easy, but following healthy lifestyle practices, like eating right, exercising, and dealing with your emotions can help. There are also many treatment options for easing cancer pain. Cancer caregivers should also be sure to look after themselves to keep up with this demanding role.  And then there is the lifetime recovery challenge as a cancer survivor - celebrate the fact that you are now in that elite community known as a 'cancer survivor'!
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What is the recovery process from kidney cancer 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.

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    DISCLAIMER: The content of this TRIO post-transplant cancer Web site is not influenced by sponsors. The site is designed primarily for use by transplant recipients and their supporters. The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Please check with your transplant team or a physician skilled in cancer and your organ type if you suspect you are ill.