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Scared about having surgery

pat78
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2012

I really need to know how this goesv from someone who has been there. I have two kids to live for. operation set for Nov. 12th any advice would be helpful thanks.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2998
Joined: Jan 2010

Sorry you had to find us, but now that you have, all here will be glad to help you along the way with any questions you may have and any emotional support you need.

First of all, please tell us more about your situation...diagnosis, and treatment up to now and what kind of surgery you are scheduled for. All that will help us to help you.

Looking forward to your update.

Marie who loves kitties

pat78
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2012

Colarectal cancer stage two. I've had F U 5 chemo and radiation for six weeks. Now set for resection on 12th of Nov.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2998
Joined: Jan 2010

I assume that the chemo and radiation prior to surgery were done to help shrink the tumor. That is not an unsusal situation.

I can understand you are scared about surgery. One of the best reassurances is to have the very best colorectal surgeon you can find. In the capable hands of an experienced surgeon, things should go as well as possible.

I didn't have the typical resection as my tumor was in the rectum, but others here will be able to chime in and give you details as to what to expect.

Any surgery has it negative possibilities but there is every reason to believe that you will do just fine, unless your surgeon has told you otherwise.

Since you have children, it will be very helpful if you can get family or friends to help you out when you get home until you are feeling up to handling it all on your own.

Wishing you and easier mind about the surgery and good results.

Marie who loves kitties

pat78
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2012

Thanks Marie My tumor is also in the rectum that's why he said I might have the colostomy forever. This is all new to me and scary being that I'm only 34yrs. old but I'm A praying woman. Pat

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2998
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes, you are young but that can work to your advantage as you recover from surgery. I was 63.

I had rectum and anus removed plus a total hysterectomy. My recovery was not typical as I had to have second surgery while still at hospital due to a kink in the plumbing, but once that was resolved things moved along.

After the surgery they will want you on your feet and walking as soon as you can manage. The other important milestone will be to pass fluid/stool. When I first got home I found that it was difficult to lie flat on the bed, so I spent several weeks using the recliner as my bed. It was good because it did not put strain on the abdomine muscles and kept feet elevated. A pillow in the seat of the chair also provided extra comfort...my surgeon specifically vetoes a donut hole pillow as it would strain the closure of the anus.

The other thing about recovery which I feel is very important is to not rush being back to doing all the things you did before, particularly lifting things. The more care you take during recovery the less likely you are to have additional problems like a hernia.

It is a while before your surgery, and I am sure more specific questions will come to mind. Don't hesitate to ask.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4408
Joined: Feb 2009

Welcome to the board, but sorry you are here because of this terrible disease. Could you please give us a little more information about your diagnosis and the surgery you are having. What you have had done so far and what your doctor's have told you. We can answer most of your questions or just give your our insight on what you are going through. Look forward to more info so we can help you.

Kim

pat78
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2012

Doctor said that I might have to live with colostomy for the rest of my life and more chemo after surgery.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2998
Joined: Jan 2010

I have a perm colostomy.

One of the best resources I had, other than my ostomy nurse, was the book “The Ostomy Book: Living Comfortably with Colostomies, Ileostomies, and Urostomies [Paperback]
Barbara Dorr Mullen (Author), Kerry Anne McGinn RN BSN OCN (Author).” It was loaned to me by my ostomy nurse, but you can buy your own copy on Amazon.com or probably at your local book store.

Make sure your surgeon gives you a referral to an ostomy nurse at your hospital so that he/she can mark the best location just in case it is needed. This will help the surgeon place it in a location which is compatible with clothing. The ostomy nurse will also help you get started in the hospital with the supplies and how to get free samples from the manufacturers.

If you do have a colostomy after surgery, don't hesitate to ask any questions you have here. There are a number of us who have one and can give you the benifit of our experiences.

Just know that having a colostomy is not the end of the world. There are millions of folks who have one...you have probably passed them on the street or met them in other places and you just didnt know it.

Marie who loves kitties

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

It's understandable that you're nervous or even scared about things. But the odds are probably greater that something could happen just driving to the hospital. I'm stage IV colon cancer since 2004 but have not had to deal with a colostomy. MANY people on here have had them and live a normal life. Cancer does have a way of throwing "New Normals" at us from time to time but I believe we can deal with most anything, especially if we have kids.
Here's hoping all goes very smoothly.
-phil

son of hal
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2011

Been there, done that, doing fine...Only thing different, I would say, is get a second opinion on the "mop up chemo" (after surgery). Many studies show it is not beneficial/ necesarry for stage II cancers. You'll do fine.
Take care, CJ

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1278
Joined: Oct 2010

We are sending good thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

I had my first colon surgery at 43yrs old. We are all afraid of the unknown. Some people told me it would take 3-4 weeks for me to get better, some said 3-4 months to feel better.

My experience is it depends on how good your surgeon is. My first surgery, it took me 3-4 months to really feel good again. I could move around normally at 5 weeks, but not exercise for about 4-5 months. My second surgery I was moving around well in 3 weeks, and exercising in about 5 weeks. The second surgery was an even more severe surgery and I just had a better surgeon.

Get in the best shape that you can. Both physically and emotionally.

Best Always, mike

k44454445's picture
k44454445
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

on the surgery. prayers for you & your family.
hugs
judy

Grace14
Posts: 61
Joined: Sep 2011

I was 38 when I was diagnosed with stage 2 rectal cancer! I have 4 boys. I had APR surgery which means I had to have a permanent colostomy. It took a while to get used to it, but the way I try and look at it is I'm alive and if this is what I needed for me stay alive so be it. In the beginning at least for me it was quite challenging, but now almost 2 1/2 years later its just part of who I am. I had a great ostomy nurse at my hospital she helped me a lot. If your worried about a permanent ostomy don't because you will live a normal life. Nobody ever new I had a bag unless I told them. My own family forgets that I have one sometimes. You will be fine I promise! Good Luck! Please come back and post to let us know how your doing!

Coppercent
Posts: 145
Joined: Jan 2012

Sounds like from the other posts you posted your tumor was on your rectum. That is the type I have too. I did the chemoradiation prior to surgery. I think that is pretty common procedure for rectal cancer. I had my first surgery on 11/15 and ended up with an emergency surgery on 11/20. I had two c-sections that caused some issues with my surgery. I had an awesome surgeon so after the two surgeries I was back to work full time in 5 weeks. When they did the surgeries I had a temp iliostomy put in and ended up with it for 11 months due to radiation and work schedule. Three days ago I had the reversal and so far so good. Going to the bathroom every 3-4 hours but that is expected. Having the illeostomy was not bad at all. It is something you can easily get used to. Matter of fact when people learned why I was having this last surgery they were shocked I had an ostomy. No one even knew or noticed it. It really doesn't change your life but sometimes makes it easier going to the bathroom. There are pluses and minues in everything. My cancer journey began on 11/15 and I have had an interesting year. But now that year is just a fuzzy memory and I am back to my old life. Stage II is a good stage. Mine was stage III and I am doing great. I did chemoradiation - surgery-chemo- reversal surgery in the 15 months and I am now back to my old self! You will do well. Just take it one step at a time. Find people in your local area. They are the ones that have good stories to tell. Sometimes those online are the ones that have had the rare situation that made their journey have a harder road. Good luck.

Coppercent
Posts: 145
Joined: Jan 2012

Dup

Coppercent
Posts: 145
Joined: Jan 2012

Dup

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4408
Joined: Feb 2009

My first doctor told me it would probably be permanent but got a second opinion and although he said he wasn't quite sure at the time (because was just starting chemo and rad) he said there might be a possibility of a temporary. Well the chemo/rad worked well and he was able to do a temporary ileostomy. This could become your new normal, but it will also save your life. Surgery is scary, especially because you don't know what to expect. We are here for anything you need as far as questions. Emotions will drive you around in circles right now. Glad you joined the board as you have a whole new family here.

Kim

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