surgery advice

ipetrou Member Posts: 33
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
my husband is 34 years old, diagnosed in early march with stage III rectal, closing in on the end of chemoradiaton, and scheduled for surgery (total mesorectal excision) on june 16 at UCSF. do any of you have advice re what to pack for him for the hospital (expected to be there one week), what he would need and/or make him feel better?, things to be sure to have ready for him at home when he comes back? he's expected to have a temporary colostomy for 8-12 weeks. i - and his friends - would like to start putting things together soon and i would really appreciate your advice. thank you.


  • Tessyann
    Tessyann Member Posts: 56
    Hi Ipet, I found for my husband mainly a bathrobe and slippers are the main needs..
    At home tho I would suggest renting a hospital bed if you have a 2 story place.. not that he cant climb the stair its just makes it nice to be around the family while recovering. this is what I am planning for my husband... and that is what we did the last time he had surgery. I know the last time my husband has surgery they had a ostomy nurse come to our house a few times a week maybe you can find out if they doctor will order one for you.. it just really help when I was first learning how to care for his colostomy.
    But most of all I like to wish your husband and you good luck and hope all goes "very" well for him.
  • KrisS
    KrisS Member Posts: 229
    I was glad I brought a few magazines, light reading books and a portable CD player with me, since I am not much of a TV watcher.

    Best wishes for a smooth and sucessful surgery,

  • kangatoo
    kangatoo Member Posts: 2,105
    KrisS said:

    I was glad I brought a few magazines, light reading books and a portable CD player with me, since I am not much of a TV watcher.

    Best wishes for a smooth and sucessful surgery,


    Hi IPet--a little tip--I guess the water in hospitals is supposed to be very good but I had Jen bring in a good brand name bottled water--'cos when he gets off the IV he is going to have to drink heaps of it.
    Here's something woeth a thought---earplugs--here in Aussie if you can't get a private room and are in a ward with others you get all sorts of distractions and noise--especially from med. pumps beeping etc.I wore earplugs just to get sleep!There is nothing worse than coming out of surgery and not being able to sleep.
    Before I got home Jen had asked well meaning friends if they would phone first if they wanted to visit--just so I could get sleep and visits were planned.
    Jen put a "plasic moulded " chair in the shower alcove so I could sit down while showering as I found it tiring to stand for any length of time.
    I wore a light "caftan " style substitute for a dressing gown when home for quite some time as my wound prevented me wearing anything with elastic around the waist.
    A few little suggestions but were usefull to me.
    Wish your hubby all the best from oz and don't tire youself too much--he will be fine!
    our best , kanga n Jen
  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072
    I had the same surgery last June. Make sure he sees the ostomy nurse prior to surgery. She will mark where the stoma goes. I had an epidural for pain control, it was wonderful. I brought to the hospital some magazines to read, they were better than a book because I had a short attention span. I also brought my own soap and shampoo and some nice smelling body spray for the days when I couldn't shower. Also phone numbers and a pnone card came in handy. Have his friends scatter their visits, so there aren't 10 people there one day and none the next. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. Good luck.
  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072
    Also a small pillow came in handy to hold on my belly when I coughed. I used a beach pillow.
  • nanuk
    nanuk Member Posts: 1,358
    I don't know if it's possible at UCSF, but I had a laptop computer, and was able to plug it in to the bedside phone and keep in touch with everybody by e-mail. It also provided a CD player for music. Bud
  • Shelmar
    Shelmar Member Posts: 2
    WOW!! My wife had her operation on Nov 1, 2002 and had a temp colostomy...they said 8-12 weeks also..She then had a second round of chemo and the colostomy reversal didn't happen until Aug 26, 2003. So be it for estimates. My best advice, adding to the great advice you have already been given is to maintain your faith, courage and love each and every day. The rest will all come naturally.
  • StacyGleaso
    StacyGleaso Member Posts: 1,233 Member
    Hi there!

    I was 34 when I had my surgery. Colon with liver mets, stage 4. I had a temporary ileostomy. Surgery was Jan 22, 2002, reversal was Sept 13, 2002 (Friday the 13th of all days!). Everything went well. When he comes home, his diet will be very bland. No fruits and veggies. Potatoes are ok, but no skins. No seeds (like sesame seed on buns), no lettuce. Things will flow from the stoma and will need to be regulated with diet.

    Magazines in the hospital would be a great help. I was supposed to be in from 8 to 10 days, but got paroled after only 6! Personally, I think people heal better with the home court advantage!

    Best wishes and keep us posted!