Cancer Surgery Whirlwind


August first through 18th

The surgery was successful. Dr. Paul Russo removed the cancerous tumor that surrounded my right kidney. The removal kept the tumor intact so it did not spread cancer.

About a third of my right kidney was removed because it had been damaged by the tumor. This process, called a partial nephrectomy, is very good news.

It means over 60 percent of my right kidney has been saved while at the same time removing the threat of cancer. (If I were paid by the word, I could go on and on.)


The photograph above shows my first view of Freedom, discharge from the Hospital. I was discharged Monday, August 19th, escorted by Torrance, an orderly of enormous insight, to the blue van. The van goes from Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital at York Avenue and 83rd  Street to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge. Almost home I almost prayed as I took this photograph en route home.


What was not successful was my good behavior. The combination of this hectic journey from State College PA 250 miles from New York City combined with fear, relief, and the stress of major surgery adversely affected my behavior and caused me to behave atrociously. The key concept here is that it is not enough to survive cancer. Returning to life as usual can be a distressing experience.

Readers may wish to return to this site for photographs, video, more words and a song when the limitations of my posting by iPhone are replaced by a computer with a screen (currently on the floor of my room at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge).

For an earlier account of previous poor behavior while being cured of a different kind of cancer, you may wish to read Learning to Live Again available here.

— Joel Solkoff

Copyright © 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.