Side effect year or two from surgery

kaliakobo Member Posts: 6 Member
edited May 2023 in Colorectal Cancer #1

Colorectal survival including surgery and chemo. What kind of day to day things should I expect with my body and mind? Cause I think every time I sneeze, I’m dying.


  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,381 Member
    edited April 2023 #2

    That's kind of a tough and general question. One explanatory saying that has circulated on this board is, "once you have had cancer, everything is cancer." I think it is a recognition of the fear of recurrence. I think we all make peace with it in our own ways, but time helps. Another saying is "the new normal." There are changes that occur after cancer, surgery and chemo; and some of them can be permanent. I think most of us work to adjust to the changes and seek to move forward with the new normal. For me, acknowledgment of my mortality, meditation and striving to live in the moment have helped.

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,280 Member

    A traumatized psyche is cancer's first gift, and the first and longest battle to be waged, if you've lived a fairly peaceful life up to this point. Unless you come with a lot of prior mental discipline, each day can have, ''Oh, yeah" moments of the cold, clarity of your new, fragile existence. Early on in my journey, I recall stopping work in the back yard, because I couldn't stand the sad coo, of a nearby mourning dove, it felt 'aimed' at me. I wondered if the ache in my side was new/growing cancer in my liver [I did have two separate resections for it], until I realized finally, that I tend to lean that way, when reading, and I was reading a lot then. That sort of sensitivity went on until I studied some on meditation, mindfulness, and stoicism. Pick a discipline and read on it, it's a needed defense to counter hard news, hard times, and all the little, quirky fears that may manifest themselves...........................Dave

  • BoulderSteve
    BoulderSteve Member Posts: 16 Member

    I think there should be a copy-paste option for "It depends... everyone's situation is different".

    In my case, I'm two years post treatment that included chemo, radiation and surgery. I have what I expect are typical physical side effects: irritable bowels and lingering neuropathy.

    What I can't seem to get any help with are the ongoing mental side effects. I have noticed an inability to concentrate for any period of time. In the past, I could watch tv/movie or read a book with no problems. During treatment, I had the expected chemo brain fog. Now that I'm two years post treatment, I am finding that I can't watch anything on tv for more than five minutes without playing a game of solitaire on my phone. I can't read more than two or three pages in a book before I have to take a break. Covid's "work-from-home" had been helpful for me because none of my coworkers can see me taking way too many breaks from work every hour. My local cancer support group doesn't seem to have any consensus on whether or not this is normal.

    Other than that, it is probably expected that the anxiety ramps up every time I have the follow-up appointments to see if the cancer is back. So far so good in my case!

    Good luck!