Kidney Cancer and my life after Surgery

It was the 1st of October of 2009, when I received my Kidney Cancer diagnosis. Just shortly before that, I got really scared when I saw dark red blood while I was urinating. I picked up the phone right away and made an appointment with an Urologist. Since we both speculated that I probably had kidney stones, I was sent to get a CT-Scan to get clarity.

We were wrong. The CT-Scan revealed a large mass in my left kidney. On November 30th, my kidney was removed via a “laparoscopic robotic radical nephrectomy” – the entire removal of the organ using a minimally invasive technique and the assistance of a surgical robot.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about how I feel now, two weeks after my surgery.

To my surprise, I am doing very well and I can’t complain. Apparently, it’s too early at this point to start working out again. I also have to be careful with lifting up heavy items, or just in general all activities that could put strain on my abdomen. But what I really couldn’t understand at first: the doctors told me, that I will have no or only very limited dietary restrictions.

Considering that an entire organ was just removed from my body, I would have thought that there was some sort of adjustment period. But I really can’t feel any difference at all. I was told that I could eat and drink whatever I want. Only foods high in potassium or produce high levels of uric acid, I was advised to consume in moderation only.

Well, I personally have a slightly different take on that. First of all, I don’t eat meat at all. I was never a big meat eater to begin with and started completely staying away from any kind of meat shortly after my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also don’t eat any sweets, I never had a sweet tooth, so that’s no real sacrifice for me. And as for the alcohol, I stopped drinking completely as of February of this year.

Only a year ago, I had my blood and urine checked after I had to see my doctor because of joint pain I had encountered periodically. He diagnosed me with gout. My body was unable to discharge the excessive amounts of uric acid that were produced in my kidneys. Gout attacks are very painful. And I think only the stent that was put inside of me during a Cystoscopy, caused me more excruciating pain.

So I had the choice – staying off of anything that produces high levels of uric acid or to continue suffering from gout attacks. Apparently, this was a no brainer. Instead I joined my wife in living as healthy as possible. Very little processed food only, a lot of green and leafy stuff, green vegetable smoothies with some fruit, veggie juices made of locally grown organic produce, grains like millet, amaranth, brown rice pasta, etc.

I still do eat ridiculously big amounts of food and I probably will do so for the rest of my life. Nonetheless, since we only eat good quality stuff with a low glycemic index, I lost a good amount of weight and I am now in the ‘ideal range’ again.

Well, I guess the point is: I feel good and the only thing I miss at this point is to work out again. That, though, is not possible, yet, because it would be certainly detrimental to my recovery process.

The bottom line is: I am fine.

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