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hyderandbob
hyderandbob Member Posts: 9 Member
Hi. I just had my four year follow-up appointment and as far as cancer, everything looked good. I was diagnosed with state 3/c colo/rectal cancer in 2006. Had numerous surgeries, lots of complications, almost a year's worth of chemo and radiation then when it was all over and done and I was ready to begin a new era of my life, my husband of 30 years decided that it was all too much for him to handle and left me. I really didn't see that coming!!! That was way more difficult to handle than cancer. I hope I'm not sounding bitter, because that is a non-life affirming emotion and I do have a large number of things in my life to be thankful for. Bitterness does creep in, I just don't want to stay there. I am curious though to know if anybody else experienced the same relationship outcome? Is that a common reaction for the significant caregiver?
As a result of the divorce a lot of other changes ensued so my energies and attentions have really been all over the place and I have not been able to locate a survivor network. So this is all new to me. I'm seeing posts from people to whom this disease has been with for quite some time, so I'm assuming we all agree that it may leave us in a different place, it may leave us stronger people, it may leave us with new resolve, it may even leave us worse for wear...but it never really leaves.
In fact, after having had the scans, I am now up for hernia surgery next week. I've let it go way too long, my bad, so it's not going to be a quick little in-out thing, but it's getting to the place where it affects my quality of life therefore it's going to be good to get it done. Anybody care to comment on their own hernia experiences?

Comments

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122 Member
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    hyder -

    There are many others here that will comment on the "relationship"
    angle, but I'll leave the comments to those that have endured that
    pain. I've been a slave since 1963, and having cancer didn't change
    much of anything for better or worse; I don't know if I can describe
    that as "luck" or "fate", but it takes two to tango...

    I -will- comment on the hernia stuff, since I had that tackled last
    January 28th through February 23, and Feb 29th through March 9th

    Before this surgery, please do yourself a major favor and have them
    mark out the spot best for you, for both a Colostomy and Ileostomy.
    I said -both-, since strange things can happen where the need for one
    or the other may present itself during this major surgical procedure.

    Any abdominal surgery manages to produce adhesions and hernias.

    Most unfortunately, any surgery to "fix" an adhesion or hernia manages
    to produce more adhesions and hernias. That is a well accepted fact
    of abdominal surgery, and should have been explained to you on
    your first visit with the surgeon. If it hadn't been, perhaps you should
    seek another surgeon with a bit more experience regarding abdominal
    surgery and procedures. Most colorectal surgeons will advise against
    the surgical "repair" of adhesions/hernias, unless the problem is of
    great concern (as in "life threatening", or "quality of life diminishing").

    During the very invasive surgery, the surgeon could find other problems
    that could not be seen with any type of scan, and if that occurs, it may
    change the entire scope of the operation.

    I insisted that my Ileostomy stoma be left as-is/where-is and re-used
    if the removal of an obstruction necessitated the removal of any
    small intestine. I was assured repeatedly, that the stoma will be the same
    after surgery.

    To make a long story short (?), I now have two stomas. One is
    the old stoma, that expels so much intestinal fluid that I have to use
    a urostomy pouch for it. The other is a brand new stoma that is in
    the wrong place, not formed correctly, is on a hernia that obstructs
    the proper placement of an ostomy appliance, and appears to be
    prolapsed at one side, making it near impossible to fit an ostomy
    appliance to it. Oh.... and the surgeon says that there is too, too
    much adhesion and hernia damage from the first surgery (and now
    this surgery) to ever be abe to correct the situation. It will be for the
    balance of my life. The bright side, is that -that- might not be too long.

    So for me (and I'm certain, countless others), what was to be a
    two hour operation with a week recovery, ended with 4+ operations,
    each about three to four hours long, almost a month in ICU, and a
    re-visit for the complications. Oh, and I forgot to mention... I now
    have only 1/2 of my small intestines, giving me what is called a
    "short bowel syndrome".

    So my dear... Poop happens, sometimes to those that don't expect
    it, and sometimes to those that expected the "worst", but the concept
    of what is "worse" had eluded them.

    Check again with the surgeon and if possible, locate another colorectal
    surgeon that is not of the same group or organization and get another
    opinion regarding what you are about to do.

    I always give that advice regarding a "second opinion" to others,
    but I had neglected to do so for myself, this time. The surgeon was
    once the Chief of Staff of the local major hospital, taught Laparoscopic
    surgery, and was referred by my Gastro doc as being the best in
    the area for any abdominal surgery.

    Please, do yourself a favor and get other opinions?

    Be well; you have my very best wishes for good health!

    John
  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
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    Hi
    Welcome to our family here where you will find folks in all stages of the fight and some who have been NED for quite some time.

    I have no experience with the hernia situation, yet, and hoping to keep that one at bay as long as possible.

    As for relationships, while mine were not 'marriage committed' I did have one very meaningful relationship which seems to have gone by the wayside. After diagnosis, through surgery and even recovery time it seemed as strong as ever. But little by little there was a distancing and now it is more memory than event.

    Life is what it is. Some of us seem to be better about handling the difficulties of it than others. I for one am grateful for what I have had in the past, glad to be around today and look forward to whatever the future can bring my way in happiness.

    If you are looking for friendships who can deal with all this, you have found the right place. No one here will shrink back when you talk about cancer, how you feel or what it means in your life.

    Keep us posted on the hernia surgery.

    Marie who loves kitties
  • hyderandbob
    hyderandbob Member Posts: 9 Member
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    Hi
    Welcome to our family here where you will find folks in all stages of the fight and some who have been NED for quite some time.

    I have no experience with the hernia situation, yet, and hoping to keep that one at bay as long as possible.

    As for relationships, while mine were not 'marriage committed' I did have one very meaningful relationship which seems to have gone by the wayside. After diagnosis, through surgery and even recovery time it seemed as strong as ever. But little by little there was a distancing and now it is more memory than event.

    Life is what it is. Some of us seem to be better about handling the difficulties of it than others. I for one am grateful for what I have had in the past, glad to be around today and look forward to whatever the future can bring my way in happiness.

    If you are looking for friendships who can deal with all this, you have found the right place. No one here will shrink back when you talk about cancer, how you feel or what it means in your life.

    Keep us posted on the hernia surgery.

    Marie who loves kitties

    Thanks. I do have other
    Thanks. I do have other support people in my life, and your comments were uplifting, and I am working at the same kind of happiness that you alluded to in your post. I appreciate the response.
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
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    Hi
    Hi. Welcome to the board! I do hope you will find this site as helpful and comforting as I have.

    I've been married for 35 years, and we are still together after he had a sudden cardiac arrest, and I had colon cancer. We're happy being parents and grandparents. I will say, though, that cancer changed me, and thus changed some of the dynamics of the relationship. I think it takes both halves of the couple being totally committed to weathering any storm. Unfortunately for you, and for others that I know, that has not held true. I am so sorry.

    Praying that the operation goes well, and that life in general will be looking up for you soon.

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • hyderandbob
    hyderandbob Member Posts: 9 Member
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    tootsie1 said:

    Hi
    Hi. Welcome to the board! I do hope you will find this site as helpful and comforting as I have.

    I've been married for 35 years, and we are still together after he had a sudden cardiac arrest, and I had colon cancer. We're happy being parents and grandparents. I will say, though, that cancer changed me, and thus changed some of the dynamics of the relationship. I think it takes both halves of the couple being totally committed to weathering any storm. Unfortunately for you, and for others that I know, that has not held true. I am so sorry.

    Praying that the operation goes well, and that life in general will be looking up for you soon.

    *hugs*
    Gail

    Thanks tootsie1
    I'm not going to let this get me down, but I do have to work at not letting it get me down. It just sometimes helps to know that I am not the only .5% of people out there whose relationship fell apart in the face of adversity. (if those are the statistics though I should be buying lottery tickets) I draw strength from knowing others have crossed this bridge and came over it all in one piece. I'm doing so much better with it all the time and am pursuing other interests. It's taken me a while to get here. And am really excited about it, but then I get hit with the hernia surgery and it is going to set me back some. It's not run of the mill because I let it go too long. My biggest fear is that they will get in there and it will result in having to have an ostomy. That's my biggest fear. Pray that will not be the case. I appreciate your positive input. Sounds like you have a wonderful family. I too have a grandson who is the light of my life, and another one that is soon to make his debut.
    Hugs back to you
    HyderandBob
  • hyderandbob
    hyderandbob Member Posts: 9 Member
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    tootsie1 said:

    Hi
    Hi. Welcome to the board! I do hope you will find this site as helpful and comforting as I have.

    I've been married for 35 years, and we are still together after he had a sudden cardiac arrest, and I had colon cancer. We're happy being parents and grandparents. I will say, though, that cancer changed me, and thus changed some of the dynamics of the relationship. I think it takes both halves of the couple being totally committed to weathering any storm. Unfortunately for you, and for others that I know, that has not held true. I am so sorry.

    Praying that the operation goes well, and that life in general will be looking up for you soon.

    *hugs*
    Gail

    Thanks tootsie1
    I'm not going to let this get me down, but I do have to work at not letting it get me down. It just sometimes helps to know that I am not the only .5% of people out there whose relationship fell apart in the face of adversity. (if those are the statistics though I should be buying lottery tickets) I draw strength from knowing others have crossed this bridge and came over it all in one piece. I'm doing so much better with it all the time and am pursuing other interests. It's taken me a while to get here. And am really excited about it, but then I get hit with the hernia surgery and it is going to set me back some. It's not run of the mill because I let it go too long. My biggest fear is that they will get in there and it will result in having to have an ostomy. That's my biggest fear. Pray that will not be the case. I appreciate your positive input. Sounds like you have a wonderful family. I too have a grandson who is the light of my life, and another one that is soon to make his debut.
    Hugs back to you
    HyderandBob