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Anxiety around liver resection

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 821
Joined: Dec 2017

Is it normal to worry about what if my lesions on liver don't shrink enough to remove, the surgery itself, the recovery time, the hospital stay (was in the hospital for 19 days for diagnosis, colon resection, and recovery), how my cats will worry, what I can do to get my body ready, etc? My surgeon is confident. My oncologist is confident. I am confident that a year from now, I will be back to healthy. But right now, with my surgery about a month away, I feel like it fills me with anxiety and is the cause of my insomnia. 

 

How long does it take to recover from liver resection? My doctor said less than the liver resection. But I was just reading an old thread where they were saying it takes 6 to 8 weeks, which isn't much different from the bowel surgery recovery.

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 659
Joined: May 2013

in fact it's probably not normal if you don't. I am not the one who is sick my husband is but I can tell you he said that his liver resection was very tough recovery. He had a full insicion, and standard protocol was two days in ICU. Hos surgery was on a Wednesday and he came home on a Monday. He was pretty tired and it wiped him out but he he hid it well. That's what he does though. He said he would never do it again, but here he is having to do it again. The one thing he s by is the quicker you stop hitting the button on the pain meds and get up and move the faster you will feel better. I am sure you will do fine! I hope you have someone to come care for the cats, I am sure they will miss you but in the end you all will be ok. 

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

I generally worry about everything - it's just the degree of worry from thing to thing. 6 months ago I was worried about survival and making sure my family could continue on without me. Then I worried about working to maintain our insurance and lifestyle. Then about the side-effects of chemo and radiation. Then surgery and recover, and then the port installation and now chemo. I think that we all worry about this stuff. It's a rough road that we're all on and it's a long journey.

BTW, every doctor that I've talked to said that I'll get through this. And I think that they are generally correct. But I'm a skeptic and a worrier and a planner to try to decrease the worry. So while the doctors do say that, I want backup plans in case something goes wrong. And I try to cover all of the bases as best I can.

One thing that helps to alleviate worry for me: exercise, work, studying, taking out the trash - the stuff that you have to do as part of life. For some, a good book, a movie, dinner out or in with friends, going shopping.

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

The most challeging recovery I had was from a lung resection. I underwent three liver resections. One laparoscopic, and two via full incision (same incision). I was out of the hospital in four days in my last operation. And that included them taking 40% of my liver and gallbladder. There definitely was pain and discomfort but luckily it seemed bearable. I learned to listen to my doctors and follow their instructions. Including not eating or drinking when told, getting up and walking when asked, breathing with the incentive spirometer, taking it slow. 

You can and will do it! I will be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. And hoping for a successful procedure and smoothe recovery!

And praying they get all the cancer and you have full remission.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

The anxiety you feel is normal. I know you're by yourself and I hope your cousin can help you out again this time with your cats. I know I would be worrying about mine too. My vet also service boarding for pets when owners are away. Ask your vet to see if they have that service available. 

Mickeyclaude's picture
Mickeyclaude
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2017

yes, the  nsomnia experience seems to be part and parcel of this disease for me as well. You are  obviously a thoughtful sensitive person and it naturally follows that the wheels will turn in your mind. If my mind is racing I try to gently steer them to mindful meditations and allow myself to picture positive outcomes. jpurnaling helps too, I read those Chicken Soup for the Soul books because the stories are short and inspiring...we may even be on here for live chat! 

 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 821
Joined: Dec 2017

Thanks all for the info and good thoughts.Helps to know what I am in for. 

Bad news: Obviously my markers increased between my surgery and 5 weeks later when I started chemo.

Good news: My markers from Day 1 bloodwork before started first chemo to Day 2 bloodwork before started second chemo both decreased. One of them even decreased by 1/3. So the first round worked! I am hoping this means the next 3 rounds decrease it enough so that they are smaller than they were before my surgery so they can be removed.

Am I misunderstanding? I am (hopefully) guessing that decreased markers means the tumors might be decreasing in size also.

My doctor and nurses were happy to see that my weight has remained the same. 

 

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 659
Joined: May 2013

is good news!! Very happy for you!!

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 821
Joined: Dec 2017

Thanks! I hope it also means I can sleep better tonight. I have been so worried it wouldn't work. I mean, I hope it also indicates the tumors are shrinking too.

carrieh's picture
carrieh
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2012

You're so normal! It's a worrisome thing. I've had 15 surgeries and every single one made me worry. My liver is about the only organ I have that hasn't been operated on, but yep...totally normal. :)

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6531
Joined: Feb 2009

Oh my goodness - that is my middle name.  For every blood test, doctor's appoitment, surgery, CT scan, radiation, infusion, etc my anxiety level would go up to extreme.  It's a normal process for a lot of people going through what you are.  You're not alone and that's why being on this board helped me so much.  They are a life saver in many, many ways.  Good news on the marker levels going down - that's usually a great sign that it's working.  Come on the boards whenever you feel you need the support - we are here for you always.

Kim

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 821
Joined: Dec 2017

Y'all have helped me immensely. I have an awesome support system, but they can't answer the questions I have. 

carrieh's picture
carrieh
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2012

When you say markers...are you talking about CEA or...? Sorry, some people mean different things. I'm also sleepy ). Any decrease could single shrinkage, I'm thinking? Can take time but I'd say there's reason to celebrate a bit...if I'm understanding you correctly.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 821
Joined: Dec 2017

My doctor and practical nurse told me the two markers that indicate my cancer in the liver hve decreased. I don't know which ones. They might have said, but it didn't stick in my head. That happens to me a lot lately. We were just so happy that the chemo is working! I have an office visit before chemo each time where I say any symptoms I had, he checks my belly and breathing.and I ask them any questions that I might have. This time my question was why am I so hungry that I gained two punds and the other was what is the timeline leading up to whether I can have surgery after my 4th infusion on Jan 2nd. 

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 659
Joined: May 2013

they give you at infusion time to help the nausea, I know my husband is starving those days. Right now gaining is better than losing!

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

Maybe you can see what they are in your hospital portal.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6531
Joined: Feb 2009

You should have a notebook with you and another pair of ears when you go to appointments if possible.  If it wasn't for my husband and my notebook, sometimes there would be no way I'd have remembered anything that was said.  My notes coming in to the doctor were in front of me and then when my doctor answered I'd write them down right away.  Try next time to take a notebook and/or another person.  Sorry that we didn't answer your question enough.  Guess we might have missed what you were asking.

Kim

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