I am sorry to hear about Lizzie. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.
Removing a kidney is major surgery, best done by an experienced or board certified surgeon. Before thinking of surgery, I would do a chest Xray to look for evidence of the cancer spreading to the lungs, because then surgery would not be recommended. If she were mine, I would probably next do an ultrasound to get a biopsy, so I know if surgery would help or not.
The time she is from home would depend on how the surgery went. If it went well, maybe only a day or two. If there are complications, it might be longer.
She would alway be conscious, except during the actual surgery.
She will need to be on IV fluids during and for awhile after surgery. Fluids would not "build her up", just maintain hydration, electrolytes, kidney function.
Until we see if surgery is successful, if there is metastasis and what kind of cancer this is, I can't tell you quality/quantity of life.
Let me know what else I can answer.
The abdominal ultrasound would also be a way to look for metastasis.
If you have more questions, please let me know, and let me know if this was helpful. I am sorry to hear she has this condition. If it is a cancer confined to just the one kidney, she should do well after surgery. Let me know how she is doing.
My personal choice would be to do a chest Xray; if there is evidence of cancer in the lungs, I might question doing surgery if the tumor has already metastasized. Same with an abdominal ultrasound; find out if there is one tumor or more than one, and if there appears to metastasis to the liver before doing anesthesia and surgery. I personally would not be sure of the diagnosis just based on palpation and blood work. He should not have to be anesthetized to do a chest Xray or abdominal ultrasound.
I agree with doing fluids ahead of time.
Let me know what else I can help with and answer.
I hope you were able to see my responses; I have not heard back from you! How is Lizzie doing?