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Colon Surgery - what can we expect?

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 232
Joined: Feb 2012

My wife (stage IV w/considerable liver mets) just finished 6 months of 1st line chemo (12 treatments w/FOLFOX-avastin) with mixed success. the primary tunor in the ascending colon has not responded well. we are consulting with a surgeon for possible resection of colon even though she is not symptomatic.

would like to hear from anyone who has gone through this kind of surgery.

thanks,

pete

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4347
Joined: Feb 2009

My cancer was in the rectum and they removed that and then made a rectum from the colon, but I'm not sure how they would do your wife's. Someone will give you their experience on it. One round of chemo is way too early to say that it has "mixed success." Seems a little too early to say the chemo isn't working. Why is it that the doctor says it's not responding. Maybe you can get a second opinion if you haven't already. Wishing your wife much success.

Kim

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 232
Joined: Feb 2012

Thanks Kim - I edited my comment as I was not clear - my wife had completed the entire first line (12 chemo sessions) with mixed success.. so we are looking at options, which likely includes surgery....

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1537
Joined: Mar 2010

I had a piece of my sigmoid colon (descending colon) removed as well as a portion of my ascending colon (cecum, appendix, rt. hemicolectomy) and a portion of the ileum. My surgeon stitched all the pieces back together, and I have a fully functional bowel - normal in every way. It took time for the healing, it did take a while. In some cases, you need a temporary colostomy, but that wasn't the case with me. I was very fortunate, and my surgeon is one of the best in the world. Surgery is no fun. The recovery was miserable, tho I had many rare complications, plus I had 4 liters of chemo infused directly onto my newly resected bowel the day after surgery (treatment for stage 4 appendix cancer). That first year was hell, between recovery from surgery and the various chemos (I had intraperitoneal as well as systemic.) Today, I do everything. I'm just back from bicycling, followed by a big dinner at a French restaurant. I eat everything as well.

Wishing your wife my outcome,
Alice

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 232
Joined: Feb 2012

thanks Alice...I would love to take my wife out for a big dinner, something she hasn't had in 8 months...but your experience gives me hope

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4347
Joined: Feb 2009

Just hoping that a new treatment is well in the plan. Don't ever hesitate to get a second opinion. Thanks for clearing that up.

Kim

gophergenius
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2012

My cancer was right side, 3C, had surgery to remove about half the colon, waited 4 weeks and my oncologist started me on chemo the following week. I did not have any problems, just regular pain from surgery which, of course, you'll get pain meds. It may be different with liver mets, and she already has had chemo. Just curious, why wasn't the surgery to remove the colon cancer before the chemo?

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3476
Joined: Apr 2010

My colon cancer was NOT removed until AFTER chemo myself, Feb was diagnose date, December was colon/liver/ureter resection. In my case I was considered to far gone, too many mets and too large in the liver, in that case they will not resection. Fortunately the chemo shrunk, removed/calcified tumors and I was able to have my colon/liver/ureter resection surgery.
After the nine and half hour surgery for all the resections I was up and about in a week, doing housecleaning in three weeks.
Surgery was pretty smooth, the first couple of days YIKES, then after that things went smooth so the surgery should go pretty good. Glad if she is able to have it!!!!!
Winter Marie

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 232
Joined: Feb 2012

My wife has had no sugery - went straight into chemo. I understand this is now standard protocal as her colon tumor was not symptomatic. plus her liver has a lot of mets (about 50% cancerous) and it was felt it was too risky to go after the colon tumor first with the liver being priority. Sickness and pain from the liver is what led her to doctor and diagnosis of Stage IV.

Goldie1's picture
Goldie1
Posts: 255
Joined: Sep 2011

Last January, my husband Pat, also stage IV, had Low Anterior Resection surgery, where the sigmoid colon and a portion of the rectum was removed. He had radiation and chemo before the surgery, which did shrink the tumor. He also had numerous mets on his liver. He had to have a colostomy, which may or may not be reversible someday...but his quality of life has been so much better with it that even if the option of a reversal is possible, he may not do it. The recovery from surgery took about 6-8 weeks. A recent CT of the abdomen shows only 2 lesions now on the liver, one on the left lobe, one on the right lobe, down from "numerous". It has been a blur of a year but Pat is feeling pretty good. Back to doing things that he enjoys, eating, putting on weight, and very happy with the outcome of his surgery.

All our best to you and your wife,

Ellen & Pat

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

I had a large tumor in the ascending colon. Surgery was over a year ago. It took a couple of weeks for swelling to go down. I didn't take any pain meds at home. Pretty uneventful.
One thing that I have done after abdominal surgery........and I've now had 3 in the past 14 months (liver x2).......
I am very, very, conscientious and very careful in moving, lifting, etc.

1) My husband helped me with putting on my socks (it was winter time). Bending over that far seemed like it would have been "stretching it". He also lend his arm when I was laying in bed or on the sofa.

Especially while healing, I really, really, tried to use my ARMS in pulling (or pushing) myself up.....NOT my abdomen muscles. No one told me to do this.....it just made sense. I wanted to avoid a hernia.

2) Also....I am still and probably always will be very careful when getting in and out of a car. That is probably the worst twisting motion we do, so I just make sure I don't twist my torso.......again, just a habit to avoid any complication.

Praying all goes well and she has a speedy recovery.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2291
Joined: Oct 2011

because I've had so many surgeries. Five so far, all involving resection of some part of the intestines. I've lost most of my large colon, a fair bit of my small intestines, and a little section of the rectum. Also had a complete hysterectomy while they were in the neighborhood (had one tumor that stuck to the uterus). My hospital stays have ranged from two to 14 days. I usually haven't had complications, except once, when the tumors were all over the place and the surgery was really complicated. I had trouble eating and that led to the longer stay. Otherwise, the surgeries haven't been all that bad. Not fun, but doable. I've managed to avoid having a colostomy. Chemo never worked for me, so I will be doing only surgery from now on. My surgeon has said that he feels that surgery may ultimately lead to a cure for me. I did finally get a clean scan in March for the first time in three years, so maybe he's right. If not, and it comes back, I can keep having bits whacked for a long time if I have to. Hoping the very best for you and your wife! Ann

thingy45's picture
thingy45
Posts: 584
Joined: Apr 2011

I had a left hemicolectomy, surgeon took 10 lbs of cancer over 3 places, I lost 34 cm of colon, and 4 cm by rectum. It took awhile to get over the surgery, approx. 6 months, but all is working normal, NO LIFTING is very important, but walking is good. Now a year later I am NED , clean ct scan and waiting for a clean colonoscopy.
Bland diet helps me, juicing of vegetables, eat lts of chicken,fish and turkey with a steak ones every 2 weeks, however I take small portions 6 times a day. Works for me.
Wishing you and your wife the best, Marjan

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 232
Joined: Feb 2012

Thanks everyone, for sharing you experiences, and your well wishes..I take my wife in for 1st visit with surgeon on Wednesday.....

peter

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3476
Joined: Apr 2010

Got my fingers crossed and will be sending every good vibe I've got on Wednesday. Here's hoping for the surgery!!!
Winter Marie

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 507
Joined: Mar 2012

I was Dx on 1/13/12 with stage 3b colon cancer with 3 nodes and no mets (ascending colon). The hemicolectomy was 1/31/12 where the ascending colon (and tumor) was removed along with 19 nodes. It is abdominal surgery so since I had 2 C-sections with my kids I knew not to lift or try to use any stomach muscles. Make sure your wife uses her arms to get up and rely on the legs too. To get out of bed (depening which side she sleeps on) roll to left side, left arm under left side and gently push yourself up, keep right arm in front of you and you will be seated. Carefully slide off the bed and hold on to side of bed or footboard. I used this technique 24 years ago with my C section and it worked great with the colon surgery. They will want to see your wife get up and move on day 2 in the hospital. That is important - you do not want blood clots. I used a walker that was in the hall of the hospital for a day or 2 it helped (I am only 49 and I did not care I was using a walker - it worked). Keep the incision clean and dry and it will heal nice. Mine is almost gone. Best of luck to you both. You may not think you can get throught this but trust me you CAN!

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1252
Joined: Oct 2010

I had the ascending removed. It is a semi difficult surgery. It will hurt for 3-4 days after. Then there will be a discomfort for about 2-3 months. Your body will adjust to the fluid absorbing. In the beginning you will need to drink much more fluids then normal. I was drinking 5-6 liters a day to stay hydrated. Else you will poop out more fluids then you are taking in. It is really important to drink a lot of fluids.

Soft toilet paper, Nupercanal, alcohol free baby wipes are a must! Bananas, Electrolyte replacement, and ginger helped me through the nausea and acidic diarrhea. The Acidic diarrhea will be an issue for months to come.

Best Always, mike

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