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After Surgery - My Mom

AZlisabeth
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Hello,

I am posting to try to find some help/relief for my mom who was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer about 5 weeks ago. She had a colonoscopy, was admitted and had surgery the next day. The tumor was in the sigmoid area of the colon and I know she had about one foot of colon removed. Unfortunately, it was stage III by this point. She had a colonoscopy 18 months before so I was a bit upset about this, but anyhow....

She is 84 years old, but a young 84. She has never had an illness before and I think that is making it more difficult.

After surgery, she was in a rehab center for two weeks and she insists she did better then, but I wonder if it was all the pain medicine. This is her second week home and she complains of feeling very weak, low energy, nauseous and has cramping pain after eating... She also has multiple bowel movements and is very uncomfortable with a "burning, tight feeling."

Can people tell me how long does it take to recover from this kind of surgery? Any suggestions on things that help with energy and also pain after surgery? Her primary care doctor was surprised she was still having so much cramping and I am not sure if I should talk to the surgeon, the oncologist or her GI doctor.....

Sorry for the length!! Any help/suggestions would be appreciated! There is more, but right now I just would love for to feel a bit better...with less discomfort... I think it just takes time, but she is so frustrated and upset and I feel at a loss for how to help her.

Lisabeth

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

So sorry to hear this, Lisabeth.
I remember cramping for a long time. The dr. told me to add more fiber. I did and it really helped. More people will jump in on this i am sure.
Good Luck
Judy

AZlisabeth
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Thank you.....I will talk to her about this! Did most suggestions come from your oncologist, primary care or surgeon? I wonder if the oncologist has a nutritionist that could help. This is where it gets confusing-multiple providers. She is a WRECK.. and it is hard to know what is emotional or physical - I know she is scared and I understand - but she wants to take a pill for every symptom and I hope she learns some coping strategies. There is a great support center nearby but I can't get her to leave the house quite yet.....
Lisabeth

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2900
Joined: Jan 2010

If your mother is in distress then you should call her surgeon and/or the GI doctor. It may be that they will have meds/dietary directions/creams for burning, etc. which they will recommend. None of what she is feeling is unusual, but certainly some of it can be controlled with proper care.

If she was feeling better in the rehab, some of that may have to do with the diet and/or dietary schedule she was on there.

Best to talk to the experts on her case...the surgeon and the GI doc.

Hope she feels much better soonest.

Marie who loves kitties

AZlisabeth
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks Marie.......We have creams - but I should ask about meds..... I wonder if in the rehab, it was also all of the pain medicine and also reality has set in now that she is home.

Lisabeth

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

My surgeon, told me to add fiber. I kept fighting him, cause it didn't make sense to me. I was going to the bathroom. But so many trips because I wasn't sure if i had to go or it was just cramping.
This is what he told me. the colon has a rythmn. We just screwed it up by taking a third of it out. So now it has to find it's rythmn again. It needs something to grab onto. "SO JUDY GET THE DAMN FIBER".What he suggested was some kind of wheat. I got it at a health store. i am sure they would know if you told them what it is for. Whey??
I would also call the dr. Maybe an antidepressant. I know they offered it to me. Someone from the cancer society to talk to.Tell your mom to be patient, not easy, but the more relaxed she is the better chance things will settle down.
Hugs, & prayers
Judy

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