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surgery

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi everyone! This is my first time posting. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in March and finished 5 and 1/2 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy(zeloda) at the end of May. It went pretty well with few side effects. I have an appointment with the surgeon on 6/10 and will hopefully set a date for surgery at that time. I am extremely nervous about having surgery. I have never been hospitalized for anything except to have babies. What should I expect? How bad will it be?
Thank You,
Jamie

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Jamie, and welcome to our club. Sounds like you are doing well through this first round....good for you.
Responses to surgery vary from person to person and with the type of surgery....what type of surgery will you have?...will they go in abdominally and are you anticipating needing a colostomy?
I had my colectomy in January '04, but sure seems long ago. I was in good health before, and lost about 6 inches of colon, with 1 positive node. The surgery went really smoothly for me, despite being in the hospital for 4 nights over a snow emergency weekend, some pretty tired nurses there!!
One suggestion for anesthesia that really worked for me was an epidural that was used in addition to general anesthetic and left in for 3 days after surgery. I don't do well with a number of pain relievers, and I needed nothing in addition to the epidural, and felt relatively little discomfort. I know some others have had probs with the epidural dislodging, but it worked really great for me. I came home on tylenol with codiene for 2 nights, and that was it.
I thought that waiting for my surgery was one of the worst parts of this whole journey. Hope you have some pleasant things planned to keep you occupied! Good luck to you; hope all goes well and keep us posted. I have found that the suppport and info here are just awesome.
Judy

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Jamie,
Welcome to this group. I'm sorry you have occasion to be here, but this is a wonderful, supportive group. I was also diagnosed with rectal cancer (Dec 02) and had 5.5 weeks of chemoradiation before my surgery. I'm glad to hear your treatment went well, with minimal side effects. Congratulations on finishing that!!

Everyone's experience with surgery is different but I honestly didn't find it too bad. I found it useful to get as much information as I could before the surgery, in terms of the doctors expectations (how long I would be in, etc). Your doctors/nurses will probably encourage you to get up and walk around as soon as possible after the surgery and I think that is great advice. I also am a great believer in effective pain management - I think it speeds up recovery. I was in the hospital for 8 days after my surgery - but I was walking around the track the day I came home! (to the horror of my family! - but they are used to my bull-headed ways!). I wish you all the best with the upcoming surgery. Please let us know when the date is set. And don't hesitate to ask any questions. I am rooting for you!
Tara

littlejulie's picture
littlejulie
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi crazy lady,
That name should be mine :) My mother was diagnosed with rectal cancer and finished 5 weeks of pre op chemo & rad end of may. Her surgery is july 8th -so i know how you feel. Many people on this website had a successful surgery for rectal cancer and im sure you'll hear from them soon. how old are you? you sound a lot like my mom - she's never been sick or hospitalized either.

julie

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