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KrisS - Please Help

Posts: 130
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Kris, I posted for the first time about3 weeks ago when my dad was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with peritoneal seeding. You replied saying that you too had peritoneal seeding and had surgery for it. I was hoping that we could talk about the surgery and the follow-up care. I have been reading about cytoreductive surgery followed by itraperitoneal hyperthermia chemotherapy. I have also spoken with Dr.Sugarbaker's wife. My dad is still recuperating from the surgry that removed the tumor from his colon and I think it is going to be difficult to talk him into another surgery. I was hoping to get some additional information regarding length of hospital stay, time to recuperate, prognosis following treatment, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, Deneen.

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Deneen- I am certain that your dad is pretty tired as well as devastated by the news. It took me several weeks just to get back to thinking clearly about things after my diagnosis.

A few things-I have heard of several people who have called for loved ones about scheduling appointments to consider surgery. I believe that your Dad really needs to make the call. It is not a small surgery, and he really needs to be up for it.

Dr. Sugarbaker told me there is a 30% chance of major complications such as wound breakdown, blood clots in blood vessels, strokes, or infection. At the time I went in 20 mths ago, he said that of 150 patients, overall 5 yr survival was 25%, with somewhat better results if he could remove everything he could see. One has to remember that this is not quite like the statistics from chemotherapy where there are patients who may have a wide range of other medical problems. Dr. Sugarbaker's patients tend to be younger with no or few other medical problems, and are very motivated.

Dr. Sugarbaker would not reoperate on me for 4 mths after previous surgery so that things could heal. I went on chemotherapy with oxaliplatin/5-FU starting 6 wks after my first surgery to try to control things until then.

He also wants to make certain that people are in as good a physical condition as possible prior to his surgery. The first question he asked when I saw him after inquiring how I was feeling, was whether I was able to exercise. He feels that with a long anesthesia (8-12 hrs), the better cardiovascular condition you are in the better you recover. I joined a gym, walked 1-3 miles most days even during chemo as well as doing a bit of weight lifting. I think this helped a bunch.

Average hospitalization time he told me was 4 wks. I got out in 2 1/2 wks. I had no complications. Also, because I had had radiation therapy and decreased tumor burden after chemotherapy, and so got only one, not two doses of intraperitoneal chemotherapy. I am certain those things contributed to my rapid recovery.

They would not release me until I was eating a moderate amount on my own with no problems. My sister stayed with me for a week after I got home and then I did pretty much all of my care myself. I did take Percocet pretty regularlly for a good month.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions.

Best wishes,


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