Today, it’s been three weeks since my surgery for kidney cancer. I thought that I’d put down how I’m feeling, as well as memorializing here on the blog what’s been going on since the hospital. It’s been on Twitter and Facebook, but not here.
I’m doing well. I spent a total of five days in the hospital. We discovered the day I left the hospital that the surgery was a complete success; the tumor was the “right” type (i.e., it wasn’t the “spread and kill you” variety). It was a bit smaller than expected (6 cm, not 7 cm). And most importantly, the pathology report showed “surgical resection margins negative for malignancy.” That means that the surgeon cut out the tumor plus a margin, and he got it all. Let me share the important part of the pathology report:
I choked up when I read that; turns out there’s a world of difference between “I’ll probably be OK” and “I’m going to be OK.”
So that’s it. No chemo or radiation with this kind of cancer; there will be regular followups for the next five years, but now I’m in the 85% chance of a total cure category. It doesn’t look like kidney cancer is what’s going to kill me.
Recovery has been painful, and I’m really ready for it to be over. The wonders of Percocet and Vicodin have been plumbed, and found wanting. My side hurts less now, of course, but it’s still not exactly a picnic. I’ve been back to work this week just a little; maybe a couple hours a day. It’s no surprise that recovery from major abdominal surgery takes weeks, but I’m impatient for it to be done. I get tired easily, and almost always need an afternoon nap. Healing is hard work. Who would have thought?
Once again, I thank those of you who sent your kind thoughts, your best wishes, and your warm encouragement. It’s really meant a lot to me, and I am deeply grateful to have such a community of friends and family.