Pamela's Cancer Blog


Sunday: Well it is the day before surgery.  Feeling anxious and wanting to fast forward to Tuesday where my focus will be on recovery.  I did receive good news from my surgeon-Dr. Beiko on Friday--my kidney function test was good, my right kidney is functioning at just over 49% so I am a go for full removal of the left kidney.  This was a relief. My tumour is around a main artery so they were wanting to steer clear of doing a partial and dissecting around that area.

Another bright eldest daughter Kate is a nurse at KGH where I am having my surgery.  She is taking Monday off to be at the hospital with my husband.  On Tuesday Kate is working days and on Wednesday and Thursday she is working night shift so she will be popping in on her breaks to see me.  Nice to have a nurse in the family:) 

I will be chatting with you soon.  Positive thoughts.


Sabina threw a punch at your cancer.
3 people sent you a prayer.
Sabina, Carcarr25 sent you a hug.
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My thoughts are with you Pam and I will be praying for you right through it. I am so glad Kate can be there, that must be a huge comfort. Little do we know when we are pregnant that these babies grow up to be such beautiful angels:) My Danny is like that for me, has stuck by my side from the very beginning and he was said to be autistic when I had him and has grown to be a star basketball player and 6 years of college. We are blessed in so many ways. I will be here Pam... Please let me know when you can how your doing my friend..Positive thoughts:) hugs and love Sabina
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Wishing you a speedy recovery and that all goes well with your surgery, Pam.

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My oldest daughter is a nurse and spent two days in the he hospital with my other daughter, her sister, during her surgery. Slept on a pull out bed next to her. It gave us all that added level of security. It is nice to have nurses in the family.
Pamela my prayers are with you and your family. I wish you a speedy and healthy recovery!
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Hi Pamela Yes Poli was stable post surgery. They were able to remove a few lymph nodes in addition to the left kidney and the adrenal gland. He's in considerable amount of pain. Today is the first day he has been able to carry on an actual conversation.I am hopeful. Then I read the statistics and it just cuts through the hope. Staying positive. I think and pray for you daily. How are you feeling? Carla
Pamela thank you for the information. We are in shock as you and your husband are well aware. My feelings are one of hopelessness and Helplessness. Professionally I am a nurse practitioner. We own our own family practice clinic that is fairly new. Only two years old. Poli is my husband and also my office manager. When he began too feel tired and weak we performed blood work and he was anemic. That lead to further diagnostics and then the diagnosis. It is all so surreal.
The plan is to remove his left Kidney on the 18th of April. Then later, I believe 3 weeks they are too start him on Sunitinab.
Which chemo have they selected for you?
If there is anything I can help you with please let me know. Positive thoughts and prayers for you and your husband.
Hi Carla, thinking of you today and hoping Poli came through surgery without any complications.
Hi Carla, Glad to hear that Poli is stable and I have no doubt about the considerable pain he is in. I am assuming that he probably had an open surgery procedure and if so, this will be a longer recovery period. I want you both to stay positive. The way I look at it Carla is that the health care professionals obviously felt the benefits of having this surgery outweighed the risks/long term outcome of not having this surgery for Poli. I see this as a positive sign. There is no way that they would put Poli through this ordeal if there was not hope. Don't let the statistics overshadow the successes and hurdles that are accomplished. Yes be aware, be knowledgeable(which I know you are) but more importantly be present in the moment. It is easier to dissect things into smaller manageable bits than taking on the whole which can be very overwhelming. In the immediate days to come, focus on your visits at hospital with Poli, what you can do to make your home recovery friendly for when he returns home and also your own self care.
Here are some things that I experienced or found helpful at home....I am not as yet sleeping in my own bed. Initially we decided that I would be better off on one of our couches on the main level of our home. This couch is extremely comfortable (I think it must be the foam in the cushions) and has removable cushions that I can use either for support behind me during the daytime and it is removed at night. I assumed that I would be able to sleep on the side with no incision but that has not been so. The side with the incisions (there are a lot of stitches inside in various areas where the kidney is disconnected and my ureter had about 6" removed and then the rest of it basically dries up over the next 6 months)is difficult to lie on for obvious reasons and it feels like things are being pushed on. When I attempt to lie on the other side(right), it feels like things are pulling on the left side which I assume is most likely this leaves you pretty much on your back lying down or on your back in various upright positions. Trying to go from a lying position to sitting is a killer at first. Staying on the main level of our home also allowed me access to everything I needed (shower, toilet,kitchen, tv etc.)while avoiding stairs. Waistbands on clothing are still bothersome as they seems to cause pressure. A recliner chair also worked well as sitting completely upright is not always the most comfortable. As well, hopefully the hospital will be giving Poli stool softeners, mild laxatives as the narcotics for pain are very binding.
I was 3 weeks post op yesterday and I am moving around much more freely now and don't have any pain but more discomfort/soreness in the area. You do get physically stronger every day. Please keep me posted on Poli's progress. Take care of yourself Carla....that is so important. Pamela
Pamela I've meant to thank you for your ideas on recovery for Poli. Time just seems to be on an exaggerated speedy track. Poli came home after four days post op. It seemed a bit premature. However the nephrectomy healing has been smooth. We followed your ideas and we slept in our guest bedroom the first week. The bed is not as high off the ground as ours is. This allowed him easy in and out access. Unfortunately the previous surgical procedure to his hip has caused a set back. Five muscles became detached from his femur. Caused an incredible amount of pain and swelling of his left leg. He is now primarily wheelchair bound. We're scheduled to start physical therapy. Hopefully this will help him walk again. My concern is that he starts on Pazopaneb tomorrow. Very concerned about the side effects and his tolerance to everything. On a lighter note we shared our birthday week last week. Friends came over to celebrate and we had a great time! I see you have a birthday coming up. Happy Birthday to you dear lady! Have a wonderful day! Carla
Hi Carla, thank you for your prayers and well wishes. Tomorrow I will be one week post-op. As you probably know, I had full removal of my left kidney. For me, the time from diagnosis up to surgery has been the worst. The waiting and I was trying to remain very calm and positive for those around me. I was trying to control my environment in a situation that left me quite vulnerable. My family was very worried and several times I found I was consoling my husband. Everyone feels helpless and everyone tells you "if there is anything I can do "......and they mean it. I drew my strength initially from the many supporters on this normalized my feelings, what lay ahead and left me feeling grateful because things could always be worse. And look, here I am only one week later being able to share my experience. As for my recovery, I am still very sore but my pain medication manages that. I am learning how to take the best care I can of my remaining kidney,definitely some permanent lifestyle changes happening. My husband has taken a couple of weeks off work because he says he just wants to take care of me. He has been tremendous. I guess I am just living in the moment which is not always easy for me cause I'm a worrier. Does your husband know what surgical procedure he will be having yet? If you/your husband have any questions whatsoever, please ask. I wish him well on his upcoming surgery and know I will be thinking of you in the days to come. Keep in touch.
Sending you healing energy!! Take care!
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"The Club"

Well I was just diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma on March 17, 2014 and I feel like I now belong to this "club".  Albeit I feel somewhat on the outside looking in cause everything is so new......nephrectomy, partial, radical, open, NED, staging, grade............what language is this?  My new language as I am quickly discovering.  Now I am not much into "clubbing" but I have to say that this site has been particularly helpful so I think I will remain part of this club (I'm pretending like I have a choice:).

All joking aside, thank you to those that have shared your stories, your experience has been invaluable to me's like have a huge panel of experts right at my fingertips.

I will keep you posted.  Thanks again.


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hello pamela, unfortunately it does indeed sound like you belong to this club. its a great place to be though so welcome :)
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Hi Pamela, I had surgery 3 years ago and had 1/2 my right kidney removed. I had an open partial, and was in the hospital for 5 days. I too had night sweats, and was 48. I thought the night sweats were peri menopause. Now I have panic issues if I am hot at night, and it prob is only peri menopause now. lol. What a roller coaster ride it is, sorry you had to join the club... Lois from Hamilton.
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Pamela... I'm sorry to welcome you to this "club". Given the choice, I think we all would rather not belong because the membership dues are a little steep. I was diagnosed in March 2011 and had a right partial Nephrectomy on April 21st, 2011 to remove the 'golf ball' growing in my kidney. I pray that you have skilled and compassionate doctors and a very supportive and loving family. Mike from Saskatchewan
Hey Mike, Thanks for your welcome and yes the dues are steep. I just found out today that my surgery is scheduled for March 31, 2014 and I do feel very confident in my doctor. I have one more test to undergo this week which will determine if I am having a full or partial nephrectomy. We have a great medical facility in Kingston, ON and I do have an extremely supportive I am very fortunate. On a lighter note....I see on one of your posts that you are involved in hockey. Hockey is one of my passions......just love it! My 13 year old daughter plays rep hockey and I am one of the bench staff. My winter has been a whirlwind of travel to rinks that span from Toronto to Cornwall. I am actually having my surgery in between winter and spring hockey! So Canadian:)
I was fortunate that my surgery was in the "off season". I was able to get back into coaching and reffing the next season. I have three kids in hockey. A 14 year old boy playing bantam house, my 10 year old daughter is a goalie for the female atom team, and a 9 year old boy playing his last year of novice. My older son and I ref which we both love too. The nice thing about having your surgery now is that you can recover while watching the NHL teams battle for playoff spots (hopefully you aren't a Leafs fan). My surgery was an open partial nephrectomy. I was off work for 6 weeks and it was really about 4 months before I felt about 90%. Even today I have some after affects from the surgery but it's just part of life now. I will be praying for you, your family, and your medical team on the 31st!
I wish you well, Pamela. So sorry to hear about your diagnosis.
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Sorry to hear your diagnosis.. this is a great place with remarkable people who will be here to support you Pamela..I will be praying for you.. hugs and love Sabina
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Vital Info


March 18, 2014

Newburgh, Canada

June 2

Cancer Info

Kidney Cancer

Renal-Clear Cell Carcinoma

March 17, 2014

over 6.1



Margins clear

May 5, 2014

Tenderness in the upper left side, night sweats


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