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A Different kind of "Saga"


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#1 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 05:17 PM

 
Some time ago a man I've gotten to know on the interwebz mentioned he'd had some blood in the urine followed later by the sharp pains of a kidney stone.  I could relate, as I'd passed a couple myself several years ago and it was no joy, for certain!  He eventually had his dealt with by getting it blasted apart with ultra sound or some other new tech and I think he's doing fine now.
 
Shortly after that I had to spend several days dealing with a few different issues with my Murray riding lawnmower ... wouldn't start easily (ended up needing the valves adjusted), drive belt came adrift and would NOT go back on right (learned how to route the belt) - and then the deck belt decided it was too old and tired to keep going.  All this meant lots of crawling around/under/over and beyond on the concrete garage floor, up and down grunting and groaning for this 74 year old carcass. I think I removed and re-installed the damn mower deck four different times.  A couple days later I was startled by bright red urine one morning and figured I had managed to pull something during the mower efforts.  The color slowly went back to more normal that day and the next.
 
There was an annual visit to my primary care physician, Dr. Dixon, coming up soon, so I decided to tell him about it and spent another couple weeks finishing the last of the grass-mowing and first of the Fall leaf-mowing.  Mower did just fine, thanks!
 
Dr. Dixon set up urine specimen checks and had a full panel of blood work ordered and a day later set me up with a referral to a local Urology Clinic. The urologist, Dr. Tongco, slated me for a CT scan and Chest X-rays and called a few days later asking that I come in to review the findings.
 
It turned out that the CT scan shows a 'kidney lump' and 'renal mass' on the right side ... about where I'd kinda been noticing a dull achy pain which (again) I attributed to my mower repair efforts, thinking maybe I'd pulled a muscle. Dr. Tongco decided he'd want an MRI done to better determine what there was to see in there.  This led to an appointment to have a 'needle biopsy' done to get specimans from the kidney/tumor for analysis and a referral to an Oncologist.
 
Dr. Shao, the oncologist, scheduled a PET scan on January 3rd, '17 to determine if any of the 'small lesions' noted on the base of the lung in the original CT scan might need further biopsies done.
 
Meanwhile, Dr. Tongco has scheduled a pre-surgery visit on January 20th to educate us what will take place on the 27th in the Robotics Assisted Surgery theatre for my kidney/tumor removal (which is a 'nephrectomy' in medical jargon).
 
Dr. Tongco is a qualified surgeon using this Robotic 'da Vinci' system and it's pretty amazing to see the videos of this equipment peeling a grape, painting on a canvas the size of a playing card or folding an Origami bird.
 

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My wife, Judy, and I have been taking this all in, step-by-step and learning much, much more than we ever knew about this whole deal. She's my strength.
 
So far, there's no indication that this renal cancer has metastasized to anywhere else ... no indications on nearby lymph nodes, the 'lesions' on the lung could be traced back to bouts of pneumonia in my past ... guess time will tell.
 
I'm posting this as a way for me to vent a little and requesting input from any that may have been there/done that on kidney removal such as this, especially those with experience with the da Vinci systems.

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#2 spainter

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 07:41 PM

Good Luck Tom. My cancer is inoperable so I can't help with experiences with surgery. Just moral support and prayers.  I was diagnosed in 2005 in stage 4 and given about 18 to 24 months. 11 years later just like the energizer bunny still going. Never give up hope and never stop planning the future.


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#3 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 08:19 PM

Thank you,sir ... our future is unknown but we're still getting ready for this Christmas and a bunch more of them!


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#4 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 04:52 PM

After review of the PET scan today, Dr Shao has referred me to a "Lung Doctor" (his phrase) in the pulmonary department tomorrow where a determination will be made as to if and how to get biopsies of lung nodules, i.e. down through the throat or using needles in through the chest wall, I suppose. Kinda looking gloomier.

 

The robotic surgery for kidney and tumor removal is still scheduled for 1/27/17.


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#5 spainter

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:45 PM

After review of the PET scan today, Dr Shao has referred me to a "Lung Doctor" (his phrase) in the pulmonary department tomorrow where a determination will be made as to if and how to get biopsies of lung nodules, i.e. down through the throat or using needles in through the chest wall, I suppose. Kinda looking gloomier.

 

The robotic surgery for kidney and tumor removal is still scheduled for 1/27/17.

Prayers sent your way. Be strong and think positive no gloom. Attitude does make a big difference. Remember they gave me 18 to 24 months coming up on 12 years ago.


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#6 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 02:02 PM

What were called 'spots' after a chest x-ray in 2015 had become 'lesions' after the CT scan in November and now 'nodules' after the PET scan this week. Guess it's  just all terminology.  A CT guided needle biopsy of the 'nodules' in the lung is now scheduled for the 12th with an office visit on the 23rd to get results ... won't know till then whether there will need to be a Chemo program for the 'nodules'

 

We're still thinking there hasn't been any spread to lungs or the lymph system.


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#7 kellym

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 02:20 PM

Tom, sorry I missed all of this. I tend to skip right to the Lair or Sam's "House". You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. My boss is friends with one of the physicians who is considered the forefather of urological robotic surgery (as well as the other doctor referenced in this article):

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If any help to you, maybe one of them can offer you a second opinion? I wish there was something more I could do. As Spainter said, stay positive, life is full of pleasant surprises, and though this is all certainly terrifying, there's hope and love (and miracles when we need them - hopefully you won't!)

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#8 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 06:39 AM

THank you Kelly, I think I'm comfortable enough with the team assembled here to be beyond the 2nd opinion stage Dr. Tongco, the surgeeon has extensive history with the da vinci system in both the Bristol and Johnson City locations and there is agreement among all as to what the next steps should be. Now we just have to determine whether this has mestasticized to anywhere else and what to do if it has.    


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#9 kellym

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 06:48 PM

THank you Kelly, I think I'm comfortable enough with the team assembled here to be beyond the 2nd opinion stage Dr. Tongco, the surgeeon has extensive history with the da vinci system in both the Bristol and Johnson City locations and there is agreement among all as to what the next steps should be. Now we just have to determine whether this has mestasticized to anywhere else and what to do if it has.

Keep us posted, we're here for you.

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#10 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 12:14 PM

well,i've not been able to discussfuture steps,but the needle biopsy of the lungs apparently revealed the dame typeof renalcanceras the tumorso, probably looking atChemo lateron. The reason fot no dicussion yet,had some poor coordination  weak grip goingon last SATurday and when I spilled aplate of fried eggs and biscuits the wife said it's time fot theEmergency room. Diagnosis there was a small stroke and i;ve been in the hosp sinceWe've chosen in-patirnt re-haband may be released by the 30thand all this likely means a later date forthe robotic surgery

 

When it rains, I guess.



#11 livinginkaos

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 12:25 PM

Tom, 

     Wow, there truly are NO WORDS here, except I love you man.  You are in my prayers as I am sure you are in many other's prayers here as well.  Keep fighting the good fight knowing that every one of us is standing behind you cheering you on brother !


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#12 johnlgalt

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:00 PM

Prayers and parakeets and every good vibration I can send from down South. Take care of yourself.

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#13 spainter

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:21 PM

Hang in there. Like Kaos said we are all praying and pulling for you. Don't ever give up and keep fighting.


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#14 kellym

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:38 PM

Tom, I'm glad your wife encouraged you to go the ER immediately and mitigate the damage from the stroke. Hopefully this positions you to get stronger for your surgery. We're here for you, thinking and praying, with open ears and hearts at all times. Hugs.

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#15 SamuriHL

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:29 AM

This is not the "saga" anyone wishes for you, Tom.  Hang in there and know that you have a lot of prayers coming your way!


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#16 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:06 PM

A whole lot more exertion in Rehab today. mabe i'll be a

 

ble to sleep better tonight

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#17 soocold

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 03:55 AM

I wish you the best of luck. Stay strong

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#18 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 07:25 AM

           So,moreon-topic .stuff for this forum, really enjoyng the Nook &heard about taken off the brick &mortar shelves@ B&N,some kinda issue with thecharger connector,mine seems ok. Afte rusing the e-reader for about a dozen books, My Moto Pure has begun to feel a lot smaller

 

Then came this re-hab hosp & crap wifi..Couldn't get logged back in to Google after they had me do a re-set.B &N tech will be sending a return label& guess my choice of refund or new device

 

Tured outthe nook couldnt open a browser at that point in the re-start and the wifi needed me to go to a terms and conitions page to click on an Accept button.       Also some wierdness of no internet afterconnecting  ok with wifi. So when I needed to fix some Bank Bill Pay probs, I had Judy bring an Ethernet cable down with the laptop

 

Stroke clot on trght side of brain means left side of body gets hosed, left little finger no longer interested in doing Shift key.  Typing now sucks worse than ever.


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#19 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 12:44 PM

Thearpist just advised me to compensate with my stronger hand, there's a Shift key on boh sides of the key board!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ss


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#20 Tom in Bristol

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:20 AM

More on the Nook ... Wife tried one more re-set whileoon our home wifi &this time was able to complete the Google sign-in and can now reach the homescreen.
B&N had decided they were willintto replace it if I'd accept aSamsung Tab A on lollipop ($130 now but not a Nook ($250 now,Isaid no  Theother option was a refund of $50.I'll test it here on the hospital wifi and keep it if all is  working. Just bought 3 more nook books.

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