Fistula after surgery, helpful advice needed.

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theresa8
theresa8 Member Posts: 61
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Haven't been on the board for a few weeks since my husband really needed to be cared for. It's been six weeks since his surgery and he's still in bad shape. He's very weak and has lost a lot of weight. A lot of his problems are due to the pain from a fistula. He just finished 23 days of antibiotics but he can still feel the pain. Doctor said it would probably heal in the long run. I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced this problem following rectal surgery ? As his surgeon recommended chemoradiation prior to surgery he said he was expecting this kind of problem. We're very happy that all the cancer is out but we,re getting discouraged by his physical condition. He needs to start 4 round of chemo as soon as he gets better but we don't see this day coming soon. His illeostomy is also causing a few problems: the appliance won't stick to his hairy stomach, a small hole formed at the base of his stoma, he just went through a blockage followed by a 48 hour diarhea. Does anyone have helpful advice for us. I'm keeping up with all this since I do get out of the house everyday but he's the one having a real hard time right now, and as he was telling me today, "I'll never be myself again". He was a stage 2a and tested negative on all nodes.
Everyone around us is very helpful, caring and praying but we need some improvement in his condition so that he can start his chemo. I try not to ask myself on how that will go, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. My main worry is about the fistula and the worsening of the pain.

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  • Hatshepsut
    Hatshepsut Member Posts: 336 Member
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    Been there...
    Theresa:

    My husband is a stage IV colon cancer patient. He had his fourth surgery since 2006 on November 23, 2009, followed by the development of a fistula (and then a sepsis infection related to the PICC line and TPN nutrition). (My husband does not have an illeostomy and he did not have pre-surgery radiation.)

    Like your husband, my husband had a very hard time healing his fistula. The fistula became obvious in the first days of December and finally closed completely in early February--about nine weeks later. He was hospitalized several times with the fistula and used a wound vac and a hospital vac to help heal the problem. During that time, he was on complete bowel rest and received all his nutrition via a PICC line (TPN). Unfortunately, his surgery did not totally remove his cancer and he has now started Xeloda chemotherapy.

    I can totally understand your husband's frustration. We felt that way,too. But, my husband is finally getting stronger and healthier. I certainly hope that your husband's healing speeds up soon. And, I hope my husband's experience offers you and your husband some encouragement.

    Hatshepsut
  • theresa8
    theresa8 Member Posts: 61
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    Been there...
    Theresa:

    My husband is a stage IV colon cancer patient. He had his fourth surgery since 2006 on November 23, 2009, followed by the development of a fistula (and then a sepsis infection related to the PICC line and TPN nutrition). (My husband does not have an illeostomy and he did not have pre-surgery radiation.)

    Like your husband, my husband had a very hard time healing his fistula. The fistula became obvious in the first days of December and finally closed completely in early February--about nine weeks later. He was hospitalized several times with the fistula and used a wound vac and a hospital vac to help heal the problem. During that time, he was on complete bowel rest and received all his nutrition via a PICC line (TPN). Unfortunately, his surgery did not totally remove his cancer and he has now started Xeloda chemotherapy.

    I can totally understand your husband's frustration. We felt that way,too. But, my husband is finally getting stronger and healthier. I certainly hope that your husband's healing speeds up soon. And, I hope my husband's experience offers you and your husband some encouragement.

    Hatshepsut

    Glad to hear your husband is
    Glad to hear your husband is getting better. Our doctor told us about that same intervention but only if it becomes necessary. We're hoping for the best.
    Thanks for sharing this info, I'm trying to research all posible outcomes.
    Theresa