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Surgery on the 8th.

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 908
Joined: Jun 2013

Finally the day is set to remove my rectal cancer at the Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Will be a bit complicated, because they also have to remove a part of my tail bone and do a flap from my stomach to have a better closure. So there will be the main dsurgeon, a plastic surgeon and a spine surgeon. I will end up with a permanent colostomy So ill be marked and educated by a stoma nurse before.

What should I take with me to the hospital?

Those of you who have colostomy, what would you suggest at the beginning?

Thank you, 

Laz

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

You will surely be in my thoughts and prayers!

As far as what to bring to the hospital, I brought very little when I went in for my surgery. Clothes you are wearing, slippers with a non slip sole, ipad, picture of your children. The less you bring the better.

eihtak
Posts: 886
Joined: Oct 2011

A good stoma nurse may become your biggest asset for a while. When she/he marks you, take into consideration where your pants sit on your waistline with or without a belt, or any other clothing concerns....proper placement can make things much easier. In your picture you look to be in good physical shape, that is a plus in having less ostomy issues. My colostomy was originally supposed to be temporary so I have what is called a loop ostomy, (there are several ways to create one), because of this I did not need the rectum and anus removed so the exterior of my bum looks as always, just out of commision. Unfortunately I have daily mucus drainage and need to wear a pad 24/7......once healed you will not have this, though your recovery will probably involve some packing and dressing changes, I am not sure of the time frame. I would assume also a bit of side-sleeping for a bit. (some people in the ostomy community will refer to your but as a "barbie butt")

Most hospitals have an ostomy supply manufacturer that they use supplies from, "Hollister" is very popular. But.....there are MANY manufacturers of MANY supplies. The stoma nurse will in time help you find what works best for you. When I woke up after my surgery the nurse on duty seemed clueless on ostomy care and I felt soooo frustrated. Fortunately I at had at least some knowledge myself from previous work in a nursing home. My stoma nurse was out of town for an extended time and there was not another in my area. The next day an angel of a nurse helped with all my concerns. I was sent home with enough supplies for a few weeks and a prescription. Ostomy supplies are often "for life" and I need my prescription refilled monthly, along with the doctor re-writing annually.

A VERY helpful on line ostomy support group is   C3Life  There are people with several different kinds of ostomies, temporary and permanent. young and old, male and female. There are topics about anything from supplies, diet, clothing, exercise, and even sex and romance along with much else. I don't post there often, or at least not for some time, but still check in and read often. There is even a link to receive free samples from various manufacturers when you're ready.

The first few weeks I imagine healing from the surgery to your backside will be the most uncomfortable, the actual ostomy is not bad, just a matter of trial and error with food for a bit......some just digests better than others.

Well, enough babbling for now, as to what to bring to the hospital......maybe just something more on the order of jogging pants or looser sweat pants or shorts and a looser shirt to wear home. Anything needed ostomy wise they should supply initially. You will be able to dress more as usual in time, but will want comfort at first. It will be easier to answer questions as they arise so please ask. I will have you much in my thoughts and prayers as you face this challenge, and know you will do just great as you celebrate your health!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3107
Joined: Jan 2010

Since I don't have an ostomy, I am unable to give you any good advice.  However, it seems you have gotten lots of tips from eihtak and that's great.  I think an ostomy nurse knows only so much if they don't actually have a colostomy.  The real advice comes from an ostomate who has been there, done that and knows how to handle any and all situations.  I am aware that there are online support groups and perhaps you will get some good tips from one of those too.  One that I am aware of is www.ostomates.com.  I do know that in my nearly 5 years of participating in online support groups for anal cancer that dealing with an ostomy initially can present some challenges.  However, most people adjust through trial and error with different products.  Some people master irrigation, which allows them to go without a bag for a period of time.  I am not an expert on this subject, but am just relaying what I've heard from people who are living with a colostomy.  I admire your attitude and I believe that you will do great.  You have the support of your wife and you also have the support of all of us here.  I wish you all the very best with your surgery and will be thinking of you on the 8th.  I think it will be the day that you are finally rid of your cancer and you will return to life without this disease.  Take care and know that you will be in my prayers. 

TraceyUSA
Posts: 149
Joined: May 2013

for you.  I cannot answer any questions for you but I have said a prayer for you.  I've read many of your posts and look forward to hearing how you are doing.

qv62
Posts: 338
Joined: Nov 2012

I just want to wish you all the best for the 8th, my thoughts and parayers along with positive energy are coming your way, I'm sure this next week will be a tough one, stay busy , stay focused, stay strong...

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Laz, wishing you the best. You've been very upfront and informative about all that's been going on with you. Please continue to do so throughout your surgery (when you're able to, of course). We all learn so much from those (like eihtak and others) who have been through all the various issues that arise from cancer.

 

All my best,

Rose

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

It is amazing how these three doctors will go to work to make sure they get the tumor and it doesn't come back. Let us know when it is so we can have you and your doctors in our hearts and prayers while you are under.

All the best

Sandy

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 908
Joined: Jun 2013

Today I had my last consultations. Looks like I wont need a spine surgeon, my main surgeon clip off my tail bone where the tumor is sitting. The plastic surgeon will flap my right abdominal muscle and fold it down to fill the space where the rectum was. The surgery is about 6 hours. I was also marked today where my colostomy will be. I'm scared, but at the same time I'm ready to get rid of my cancer. I really like my surgeon, a very warm reassuring individual.

I know you ladies will be with me there next Tuesday and all the way and I will draw strength from your support. You have done so much for me already.

Laz

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3107
Joined: Jan 2010

We have no intention of letting you go through this alone, even though our support is virtual!  I'm glad you have the greatest degree of satisfaction and confidence in your surgeon.  Scared--yes, I would be too--but you seem to be handling all of this very well and seem ready for what lies ahead.  Please know that I will be sending up copious numbers of prayers for you between now and the 8th. and beyond for a successful surgery, speedy recovery, and a life free from cancer.  May God bless.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

You have been in my thoughts and prayers all week and I will continue to pray for you throughout this battle. I hope you are able to relax a bit this week. I do remember how hard it was the week before my surgery. I know you are going to be unable to tell us how your surgery went for awhile. Maybe Mrs. Laz can keep us posted? If not, we will be waiting to hear from you. Know with complete confidence that I will be praying for you next Tuesday. You can do this! You are strong and your positive outlook on life is inspiring to me and, I am sure, others! Soon, this damn cancer will be a thing of the past and you and your beautiful wife will have a lot of fun to look forward to. This is one of those things you just have to get through to get to the good times!

eihtak
Posts: 886
Joined: Oct 2011

Laz, on the breast cancer forum when a member is scared or anxious about an upcoming appointment we all hop on a "virtual" pink bus to ride along and offer courage and support. We joke about having drinks, food, music, and fun......kind of a party bus thing to lighten the mood. At first I thought the idea was silly, but have come to respect the importance of knowing that having that emotional support is crucial. Maybe we shall ride in limos here! However, they get there, our thoughts are with you.

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