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Debulking

wlkdnose
Posts: 45
Joined: Jun 2011

Please tell me about your recovery from the debulking surgery. I want to know what to expect after my sister's surgery. She has heard that she won't be able to anything for weeks. She is more optimistic though.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

You don't want to hear my story. I had all kinds of complications and had to spend 16 days in the hospital. I had to have blood transfusions and TPN feedings. But most women recover more quickly than that.

Virtually all of us had a 14 inch incision, though, and it does take some time to heal from that kind of surgery. I was on pain pills for what seemed like a long time to me, so I couldn't drive for a long time. I think it would probably have been fine, in retrospect, but I just didn't want to risk it. I don't think your judgment is at its best when you are under the influence. I'm sure everyone who gets behind the wheel after a six pack thinks they are sober enough to drive, too.

I had had a partial hyst years ago, so my debulking consisted of removing ovaries, tubes, tumors, omentum, and 6-8 inches of obstructed bowel. It took 7 hours.

Tell your sister to take however long it takes. Don't try and rush it. I don't think I heeded the "no lifting" order as I should have, and I ended up with an incisional hernia. I will be having surgery to repair it in the next month or so.

Carlene

LaundryQueen's picture
LaundryQueen
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

Ugh! I was so optimistic going into surgery, too. It turned out to be so much worse than i could have imagined. Like Carlene, I bled A LOT & needed transfusions & had to have some of my large intestine chopped out & have it sewn back together again.

I had "carcinomatosis" written on my CT scan, too. If you do a Google search on cacinomatosis, the information is really scary (the word incurable is tossed around). BUT I was told by one of the oncology nurses that ovarian cancer (OVCA) tends to splatter all over the place anyway (that's what is meant by carcinomatosis).

There is supposed to be a better success rate when the chemo gets to the splattered cancer more directly. I didn't get the IP chemo because of the bowel resection (IP chemo could cause a problem with the bowel not healing well). I went into remission without IP chemo.

This disease tends to create a lot of anxiety for the survivors & loved ones because of the uncertainty of the outcome. The platinum drugs are really good at getting women into remission. Staying in remission for at least 2 years is a very big deal for us. Chances are very good that your sister will get into remission. There is a lot of research going on & we are waiting for the next breakthrough that will give us hope for longer remissions & maybe even a cure.

(((hugs to all of you)))

LQ

mom2greatkids's picture
mom2greatkids
Posts: 516
Joined: Jun 2011

I was very fortunate. I recovered very well after my surgery. My major problem was that I developed some REALLY bad diarrhea. The dr. said that the fluid build up most likely caused the intestines to not work right. I had surgery May 18. I feel better than I have in a few months. I am so sorry for those who have difficulty after surgery. The first week I was home I slept a lot. Each week it has gotten better. Best wishes to everyone fighting this horrible disease. I pray for all of us every night!!

LaundryQueen's picture
LaundryQueen
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

Mom2: Have you started chemo yet? If your diarrhea is gone, good for you. If not, I'm worried you might have the same infection that I had picked up in the hospital--C. diff. The infection can be deadly in old people & cancer patients. You are probably OK because you say you are feeling well...but just in case your diarrhea is still there, see your family doctor about having stool cultures done before you start chemo.

LQ

mom2greatkids's picture
mom2greatkids
Posts: 516
Joined: Jun 2011

I was checked for C-Diff while in the hospital. It was negative. It's MUCH better now. I also have IBS so that accounts for some problems. My Mom had C-Diff. she died in '08 from non-hodgkins lymphoma. My dad has never had cancer, but he's had C-Diff twice. That's some bad stuff!! Thanks for your concern.

LaundryQueen's picture
LaundryQueen
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

Glad to hear you are OK. I was found to negative for C. diff before I was released from the hospital and still had it. Sorry to hear about your mom.

LQ

wlkdnose
Posts: 45
Joined: Jun 2011

Thank you all for your responses!

leesag's picture
leesag
Posts: 625
Joined: Jan 2010

Mine was fairly easy,I went in the hospital on Wednesday 2/10 and was discharged on Sunday 2/14.

My suggestions: Don't overpack! lol

Take:

a pillow
a brush
a book or word search mag
extra large granny or boy panties (I loved my 2 sizes too big boy panties, they accomodated the catheter)

Follow docs orders!

Don't tell them you farted when you didn't. Farts indicate that everything is working again and they can start feeding you. If they feed you before you fart,it doesn't go anywhere and that's BAD!

They'll tell you to get up and walk. It hurts, I know it does, mostly the getting out of bed, the walking isn't so bad. But the more walking you do the quicker it gets better.

Do not lift anything!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you get home...you are on vacation...no laundry, no vacuuming, no dishes, no cooking...let yourself be treated like a queen!

Also, the first few nights, I slept in a recliner, that way I didn't have to worry about stairs in the middle of the night. (My bathroom is on the first floor, weird I know).

Sending you healing thoughts and prayers!

Leesa

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

I recovered really well from surgery, apparently i had the flattest stomach the docs and nurses had seen after surgery!!!! (unfortunately that no longer applies - damn!!!!) Anyway the only real problem i had was constipation after about 5 days when i really had awful stomach pain but that only lasted a few days and then was as right as rain.... was back driving and back at work after 3 weeks. In fact i went to a bbq after about 10 days and shopping (for clothes - not food)after about 1 week. I tried to rest when i was tired but otherwise slowly built up my stamina.
Hope all goes very well for your sister.
Michelle x

mopar
Posts: 1954
Joined: Apr 2003

I was very fortunate, in that my recovery went well and I was in good health prior, so that helped a great deal. I was up and around the next morning, which is good for circulation, healing, and starting the bowels to work again. Mind you, there wasn't much there - hadn't eating anything 3 days prior to surgery, and after surgery no liquids or eating for another 6 days. Needless to say, I sure lost weight. But I felt good. Had the bikini incision, staples removed about a week later, just a tugging sensation when they removed them. I actually had a numbness around the incision and area surrounding. Had ENG (nose/stomach tube) in for a day or so to aide with removal of intestinal contents (takes a load off your system to do it this way, aides in healing), and catheter. Didn't need any pain meds, so I don't know if it's just me or the way the doc did the surgery.

Again, walking is important, very slowly. Had my headset for music, my roomate was loud and had lots of visitors late into the evening - had to alert the nurse to that. Didn't sleep much (so much activity and noise in a hospital). So I relied on my headset alot, and headphones with TV. Was allowed to chew gum (which also helps to get the bowels moving), or maybe suck on some hard candy for that yucky mouth taste.

Plan on a 6-week recovery. I wish the best for your sister. Please let us know how she is doing after surgery. Will pray for her speedy recovery!

Monika

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