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Surgery Anyone?

Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

I have stage 1 rectal canceer and was diagnosed 12/2003. I have just finished 6 weeks of chemo/radiation and tolerated that pretty well. I am supposed to have surgery in 6 weeks to take out the bad patch. I am not sure what to expect as far as recovery goes. I am 37 and in good health. (besides the cancer). I was told that I would have to have a colostomy for 3 months and then get it reversed. How was this type of surgery for those who have been through it?? Any insight would be appreciated.

Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

You're lucky that your cancer was Stage 1...you will be fine. I was 36 when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer. I also had the preoperative chemoradiation which worked extremely well. The surgery is no picnic..but you may not even need a temporary ileostomy depending upon the exact location of the tumor location. I was really sore for a week or so and it did take some time to redevelop a new bowel pattern. However, if you have a temporary ileostomy, that won't be a problem. I was up and walking for excercise within 2 weeks and started running within 6 weeks. It does take awhile to recover from the preoperative treatment, and I did have to have followup chemotherapy, which you might not even need. Anyway...the surgery is a pain, but doable. I'm here 5 years later to attest to that. Good luck!

pleach1's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2004

I had surgery on 12/23 an like you I needed a temporary colostomy. I am 46 and in good shape (well so my doctor says). The colostomy was a suprise to me I had stage III and 23 of 27 infected so they decided during surgery to do the colosotomy so I had no time to prepare for it. I took 6 weeks to recover after the surgery and it really was not as painful as I imagined it would be. I did have an epidural as well as a general anasthesia and I am glad I did as the delivered morphene through the epidural. The advantage of that is no pain with minimal side effects.

The colosotomy is not as bad as I thought it would be. Do some research on bags and if your health insurance covers it get disposable 2 piece pouches. I use Hollistor New Image and they rock.

The main downside of the colostomy is that you get less time to read the sports page :).

Good luck to you and remember to keep your sense of humor and that helps your recovery. I alwasy used to say that I would rather have another a**hole than go with my wife to a Shania Twain concert. I did not go the concert. Be careful what you wish for ;)


Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

thanks Paul. It seems like you have a good attitude about it. I definitely want to look into disposable bags. I will check on your model. It is crazy that we have to go thru these things. I always find humor in everthing and I think that it will pull me thru this. good luck!

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