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Husband's surgery tomorrow

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

My husband goes in to have the rectal tumor removed tomorrow.  He is not thrilled about this since he's been feeling so well lately and is afraid that this is going to knock him down and out for awhile.  He's been working since his diagnosis in August, with the exception of every other Friday on treatment days.  The surgeon's nurse said he may well need to take the next 4 months off - if the ileostomy is able to be reversed.   That still seems to be his biggest worry - the ileostomy, especially if it can't be reversed.  That and dying on the table.  My worries are mostly that the surgeon will find more cancer once he gets in and starts looking around.  

Would appreciate any advice on how to make things easier for him in the next few weeks - and prayers and positive thoughts are always appreciated.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1539
Joined: Jan 2013

Lets give 'dying on the table' a miss, OK!

I know people say 'well, it could happen' So could getting into a wreck on the way to the hospital. 

Go into the surgery positive and come out of it positive. 

Your husband and you will be in my thoughts and prayers all day tomorrow. 

Does your husband have a name you'd like to share? Then I can pray for him by name. If not, then I thoughts will work just as well. 

Blessings!

AnnLouise's picture
AnnLouise
Posts: 276
Joined: Mar 2013

But prayers and positive thoughts are on their way!  ~ Ann

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 466
Joined: May 2012

I hope surgery goes well for him. Does the Md say the temp ostomy is for sure going to happen. I had surgery last June - rectal cancer and surgeon said ostomy was a chance but I didn't get one. I was in hospital 6 days with rectal & liver tumor out and gallbladder out. I was feeling pretty good and walking 2 miles after 3 weeks and started chemo at 4 weeks post op. I think as young as he is he should do well. Let us know.
Sandy:)

Maxiecat's picture
Maxiecat
Posts: 524
Joined: Jul 2012

Let him know that there are lots of us praying for him.

 

alex

devotion10's picture
devotion10
Posts: 642
Joined: Jan 2010

and how he heals afterward.  Try to stay in the moment if you can and just be there for him through the surgery and the days afterward in the hospital.  Keep us informed and as the days go by there will be folks who can share their ideas for his particular needs (and yours). On a positive note, it may not be as bad as he or you think ... in a way, that is simply the best way to look at it if you can.  Many here have dealt with ileostomies and have found that they are of course life-saving to prevent blockage and that after the initial adjustment find that it is not as challenging as they imagined.

Best of luck to you both. -- Cynthia

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1533
Joined: Mar 2010

And a temporary ostomy, that was reversed 6 months later.  She is now (at 4 years out) totally discharged from care - considered cured.  It won't be fun, but it is doable.  And we do learn to live with changes that are way beyond our assumed comfort zones.

 

Wishing for a successful surgery, with all the best possible outcomes.

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks everyone. Yeah when he said he was afraid of not making it out of surgery I told him he needs a new surgeon if that is one of his worries. Surgeon said ileostomy is needed to let the bottom heal without use. I know he'd be thrilled to get clear margins and not need it but I dont think thats gonna happen. I find it kind of crazy that someone can be totally blocked and not be stage 4 and he hardly had symtoms and hes stage 4. Now since hes had months of chemo im wondering what is the purpose of having lymph nodes removed? I guess that would have been a question for the surgeon. Right now hes mostly bumming about the prep and not being able to eat! And the fact that he wont be able to see the baby for a week.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1539
Joined: Jan 2013

I myslef had a tumour the size of a man's fist, and was told I was 'this' close to a rupture, and my Cancer was classed Stage 3A.

I have a friend who is stage 2, and her tumour was as big as mine, just hadn't broken through the Colon to spread elswhere. 

So, yes, big tumours are not an indicator of what you are staged. 

I love how you say 'mostly BUNMMED about.....'   It always amuses me how we use that part of our body in our daily language. I always say 'I feel like crap' then I realize what I'm saying.

Again. My best wishes for tomorrow. 

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1196
Joined: Apr 2009

Just wanted you to know my thoughts will be with you guys tomorrow.  A temp ostomy takes some getting used to, but will give everything time to rest & heal. Many members suggest speaking with an ostomy nurse beforehand to make sure the chosen ostomy site is in a good place. They can tell you about the different types of appliances & care also. I helped JBG with hers after surgery. Clean & dry are very important.

Please update when you can.

Luv,

Wolfen 

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

He'll do fine. He's young, strong and in good shape. That makes the recovery a lot easier. I understand your concern re additional cancer. That is my exact fear with Steve's possible upcoming surgery. In your case, I think there will be no surprises. This must be very scary for him. It sounds like it's his first big surgery. Then there is the additional concern about the stoma. Feel free to PM me with specific questions about any issues that may develop after surgery or any questions about the ileostomy (if that even ends up happening). Steve and I are feeling like old pro's when it comes to this sort of thing.

Good luck. Will be praying.

Chels

steveandnat's picture
steveandnat
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

Praying that the surgery goes as planned....no surprises allowed!  Positive vibes coming your way.  Jeff

fatbob2010's picture
fatbob2010
Posts: 397
Joined: May 2012

Hoping the best in speedy and pain free recovery.  As others have said, I recommend that you stay focused on the moment and the immediate needs of your DH.  Let's take a miss on the idea that there is a reason to be concerned about loss during surgery, and, that there is more cancer found once the surgery is started.  

I am not a member of the "Brown Bag" club, but, there are others on the board who are.  They can, I am sure, provide helpful comments.  

((HUGS)) Art

Aicirtap's picture
Aicirtap
Posts: 48
Joined: Apr 2013

Praying that everything goes well! 

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4673
Joined: May 2005

My thoughts are with your husband and you. Surgery is never fun, especially if you're feeling ok. It can set one back for a bit. I think it's best to take things one step at a time, then you'll know how best to help him. Also, we can probably give more helpful advice.

I hope things go very smoothly today.

Hugs...

phil

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks everyone. He's in surgery now. Surgeon said about 3 hrs. He was nervous but drawing comfort from the many prayers and good wishes from friends family and friends here. The pre..or nurse was able to reserve him a private room and said we could bring the baby up for shorts visits when hes up to it so that made him feel better too.
Thank you all for your support and kindness.

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

That's great news. Must make him feel better to know he'll to able to see the baby. That will give him something to look forward to. Nice that he won't have a roommate. Will likely sleep better without one. Soon you will know where things stand.

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annalexandria
Posts: 2280
Joined: Oct 2011

Let us know when you can, Jen.  We're all thinking of him, and hoping for great results.  I saw he got a private room...that alone should help him heal up faster.  Nothing quite like a snoring roommate who keeps the TV on all night to slow down the healing process.  Hugs to you both (and baby too)~AA

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks...surgery went well. Was 5 hrs...couldnt be done laparascopically. Surgeon said he had an amazing response to chemo and he had a hard time finding where the tumor was. He thinks he got clear margins but we'll know for sure next week. Ileostomy is temporary. Hubby is already doing laps around the nurses station. Complaining mostly about a painful shoulder. One nurse said it sometimes happens during laparascopic surgery from the air they use? Everyone seems to have a different opinion...but no solution!

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1539
Joined: Jan 2013

What wonderful news!

Tumour gone, out of bed and doing laps already. This is all good news. 

I know the waiting for the results of biosies are hard, but you both seem to be handling this as well as can be expected. 

We'll wait here for the biopsy repot. 

I had shoulder pain with every laparoscopy I've had (and I've had several). It just gravitates upward and comes out your shoulders. Its short lived. 

Blessings!

Varmint5's picture
Varmint5
Posts: 384
Joined: Feb 2012

I'm so glad his surgery went well. The best thing he can do for the painful shoulder from the air is to walk, walk, walk. It will resolve. Sounds like he's on the way to a quick recovery - you'll probably have to remind him with the new ostomy not to be lifting any more than the Dr. says is ok. My daughter didn't follow that advice (had a 7 week old baby when she had her surgery) and has a large hernia for it. I think both of you will be surprised at how quickly he recovers from this seeing as he is young and otherwise healthy. Best wishes to all of you.

Sandy

Aicirtap's picture
Aicirtap
Posts: 48
Joined: Apr 2013

Great news!

i had a laparoscopic surgery three weeks ago (something minor) and had pain in the shoulder for two days. I was told that it is the gas the surgeons use to inflate the stomach during the procedure for additional room. The surgeons squeeze the gas out once they are done but some can remain and cause pain in the shoulder. I too was told to walk as medication for gas does not help in this case. 

good recovery! 

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

Jen,

Great news regarding your husband's successful surgery! 

As of today, I am 2 weeks post surgery for the removal of my colorectal tumor.  (After 6 weeks of chemoradiation, my tumor also shrunk substantially and was being referred to as an "ulcer".  The surgeon said he could barely find it, as well). Before they could remove my tumor, though, the surgeon called in an OB/GYN to remove my uterus - as it was the size of a 20 week pregnant uterus due to numerous fibroid tumors that I knew about previously - and he didn't have a clear filed to do the resection.  So, they removed my uterus as well as my ovary - as it looked "funny" (due to radiation therapy). Once the uterus was removed, the tumor removal went smoothly and fortunately I didn't have to have any kind of ostomy (which surgeon couldn't say for sure until the actual surgery). So, I can't give you any tips on the ostomy situation - but there are many here that can.

I, too, was walking laps around the surgical floor daily.  Encourage that!  The more he walks, the more blood flow to heal the incisions, and the more the gas dissipates.  (Gas is more painful than the surgical site, I found). I've had shoulder "gas" before - and found that sticking my rear end in the air and shoulders to the ground can let gravity do its work and move the gas around and out.  Unfortunately, with an abdominal incision, this won't likely work as movement is limited.  So, the walking is the likely the best solution here.

I was released from the hospital earlier than my surgeon originally planned (again, I'm sure to my pacing the floors daily).  Surgery Thursday afternoon (late) and released from the hospital the following Wednesday. Stopped taking painkillers on Saturday after returning home - as I think they were making me have a rebound effect of increased pain.  Further, I was concerned about constipation issues and these prescriptions can cause that.  Regular Tylenol is working just fine.  The "pain" feels more like "bruising" now anyway.  Like I was the recipient of a boxers numerous punches to my abdomen.  I had my surgical staples removed this past Tuesday.  It stings a bit when they are removed but isn't painful.

Today, I'm driving myself to my oncologist appointment.  So, tell your husband to be encouraged.  I may have been what they considered a "healthy 50 year old woman" - but I'm far from in shape or living a healthy life style (compared to many others).  I am, however, stubborn - so maybe that counts for something??? :)

Best wishes to both your husband and yourself on his speedy recover.  Stay positive! I hope to hear good updates!

J

 

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

Wow..thanks for the encouragement. Sounds like you are doing very well! Good luck at the onc appt!

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

The first night - right after surgery - the morphine pump wasn't cutting it for me.  Everyone reacts differently to pain meds.  (What works for one may or may not work for another - due to their chemical make-up).  Plus, I have a bad back - so back pain was (is) an issue for me, as well.  So, they gave me shots of Toradol every 6 hours for the first couple of days.  It's a really heavy duty anti inflammatory - but it can cause kidney damage.  The max they let me have it was 48 hours - if I remember correctly.  But it did help me get through the first few days.

Also, I ran a low grade fever off and on the first several days, as well.  I think that may be pretty common and was told unless it was over 100.5 (my highest was like 100.2), it would not likely be a problem.  Here's praying that your husband's temp stays low!

Prior to leaving the hospital, I was switched to Percocet for pain.  Frankly, the oral Percocet worked better for me than the morphine pain pump.  My pain was significantly less.  I could have 2 every 4-6 hours.  I chose to try 1 every 4 hours and pretty much kept to that schedule for a couple of days.  Then I gradually weened myself down to 3 a day.  After a day or two more, I realized that the "level" of pain that I was having when it wore off was worse than prior to the RX.  So, I switched to plain Tylenol.  Now I only take the Percocet at night - as by the end of the day my bad back is killing me from over compensation of my belly wound/incision.

Again, everyone is different - so hang in there!

BTW - My onc appointment went well. Surgeon left notes that my post surgery progress has been "remarkable".  Post surgery chemo starts in 2 weeks.  Not looking forward to the chemo - but looking forward to getting this over with!  :)

Best,

J

 

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

His went up to 101.7 earlier...but last checked it was 99. Surgeon isnt worried...no word on xray yet. Hes getting cranky...too many in and out of the room. Poor volunteer came in to ask if he wanted magazines...water...anything. he said just want to sleep! She left quickly...

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1539
Joined: Jan 2013

I love it when my Oncologist tells me I'm healthy.  People outside of our disease don't seem to realize that you can have Cancer and be healthy. That, I guess, is why so many people end up stage 4 before knowing that something is even going on inside of them. 

I enjoyed your post, as it sounded allot like my hospital experience. Much better than the Chemo, I can tell you. 

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

I laughed the first time my oncology team described me as healthy!  :-)  

I'm thinking:  I have cancer.  Healthy.  Really?  I guess it's because I'm "only" Stage 3.  I do get the feeling that none of my oncology team has ever had cancer...but they do mean well.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3451
Joined: Apr 2010

The news about the tumor and looking clear is wonderful, happy for both of you.

now to the shoulder pain, it could be one of two things I believe from experience.  The first possibility is an air pocket, aftesurgery any many many years ago I had this horrible pain in the shoulder, so bad it made me cry (it takes a lot of pain to do that, never cried from the colon/liver/ureter resection) but the shoulder pain was so so bad.  It took almost two weeks before it left, nothing you can do about it but bear it.  It was a very sharp pain that did not take movement to hurt, and if I bent that side down and walked funny it would go away.

the second time was after my resections, according to my onc, they throw your shoulders up and are not particularly careful about it, once I got cortisone injections in each shoulder the pain went away within a couple of days.  This pain was caused by movement.

hoping it's one of those, if cortisone shot doesn't work then it's probably an air pocket.  I am so sorry for his pain.

Winter Marie

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

Shoulder is getting better. Hes running a slight fever now so they are keeping a close eye on that. Hes beat...no rest to be had in the hospital! Hes been dosing all morning but it seems like every 5 to 10 mins someone is at the door.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4306
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey Jen

He's "running" laps now.....morphine is an amazing drug...you can come out of surgery and lap the field.

Wait till he gets home though...once the last shot of morphine wears off, it can be a brand new ballgame - all of a sudden, you can go back to ground zero....morph keeps you on your feet and sometimes paints a false illusion of how things will be.

Not for everyone...but just be prepared if he changes back a little bit.  Because, mostly what they send you home on Oxycodone or Tramadol, perhaps Percoset if you can get approval for it. 

I didn't respond too well to these medications......meaning, they really didn't work for me to even dull the pain...and they can back you up, etc. etc.  So, for myself, I tend to just gut it out and live through the pain.

But, if hubby does respond favorably to any of the meds he will be sent home with, then make sure you get up on the pain before they discharge him from the hospital.....call for another morphine shot before you go....that will get him home and in the door before those meds wean out of him...then you can have him take his prescription rx's to stay ahead of the pain curve....once breakout pain sets in, it's very difficult to get ahead of it again.

So, for awhile, just have him keep taking them even if he doesn't feel like it or thinks he's bettere.....perhaps a week or two?

I had shoulder pain too when I did my last lung surgery....it wasn't from air though....they said it was from the way they positioned my body for the surgery....one of the gals I trust, said they massage you like dough in there and put you in some pretty precarious positions......thank goodness we are unconscious:)

So very glad that surgery went well....what a relief to you both.  Just wanted to say hi and wish you both the speediest of recoveries with minimal pain:)

-Craig

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks for the good advice Craig! Funny the surgical team thought it was positioning too...but then wouldnt the pain meds help? Think im going with the nurse on it being from the air. Temp is going up and hes not feeling to great...took him down for a chest xray...waiting on results.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1539
Joined: Jan 2013

I think it was probably the position Craig had to be in for his surgery, whereas, I think your husband was proably on his back.

 

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

One more thing the surgical team/nurses didn't tell me beforehand.  I had really bad intenstinal pain after surgery due to gas (likely both mine and the gas they pump you up with).  The gas was more painful than the incision.  The nurses finally told me that, unfortunately, the pain meds don't really touch the gas pains. (So, I've been pushing the pain pump for nothing??).  You just have to wait for them to pass.  (Here again, walking does help...).

Best of luck!

 

J

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1196
Joined: Apr 2009

Before I head out to my "home away from home"(wish it was a Comfort Inn,  LOL), just wanted to say how glad i am that all went well. Give your hubby & baby a kiss for me.

Luv,

Wolfen

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2280
Joined: Oct 2011

My surgeon actually prefers the full opening for this type of surgery, as he feels he can really look around in there and make sure he doesn't miss anything.  All of mine have been done thay way.  Longer period of healing, but I've had some great results.  Hope this will be the case for your DH too...and I hope he's starting to feel better.  Hard to do while you're still in the hospital, unfortunately.  Gotta get him home asap. Hugs to both of you~AA

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