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What to do on the down days?

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

I hate to be a whiner, but I am sick of feeling yucky! And I haven't even begun chemo (if I decide to do that)!

I've had fevers the last two nights, complete with fantastic night sweats, and no fever by morning. I'm wondering: urinary tract infection?

I also had a little leaking of blood and clear fluid from my incision site though that stopped. It was teensy.

The lumps at the top and bottom of my incision continue to worry me, though... the top one is small, but the bottom one continues to get larger despite some painful bowel movements... so I am mystified.

Called the surgeon this morning to report in what was happening. It's six hours later and no call back yet. Sigh.

I see the surgeon tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully I'll get some answers then. Until them I just cope with depression (which I am already being treated for anyway) and try to stay positive.

My husband and kids do what they can but they don't really understand everything I'm going through and I don't really want to tell them and bring them down. So I come here. Hope I don't bring you all down, I just needed to vent.

I wish I was a crying kind of person.... but tears don't come easy to me (hence the depression, I guess).

OK. Enough.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


I am sorry you feel depressed. It is OK to whine. You are allowed to have feelings. I think that you are right about tears, if you could cry that could help. I also think that you should share your problems with your husband. He should be there for you and support and help you.

I am glad that you see your surgeon tomorrow - these troubles that you are describing should be addressed. And if they still did not call you back - you can them again and complain.

Try to see if you can do something that you like to do, like watching a movie, reading a book, etc. You can e-mail me if you want to talk or a shoulder to cry on.

Best wishes, Eleonora

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Thanks, Eleonora,

Well I cried like a baby when I found out my son's first orthodontic appointment was this afternoon and I couldn't find the car keys!!! I thought the appointment was on Thursday, my husband's day off. But my son found the keys to our non-A/C klunker and we traveled the 30 minutes to the appointment with the 90-degree heat whipping us in the face. It felt good. I love summer. But I was tired when I got home.

I did call my doctor again after I posted here and the nurse in her office said "she just found out" (uh-huh) that since my appointment was tomorrow they'd just see me then. Of course, my fever is back again tonight. Yes, I am going to get some answers tomorrow.

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Whinning is healthy - you gotta let your feelings out. Feel free to whine any day here. My motto has been "Live to complain another day!"

I was in the same boat you were just after surgery. Yeah, having stuff ooze out of the incision is demoralizing, but it will pass - no pun intended. I had one lump under the incision which took months to be absorbed, but it eventually did. I had some separation of wound, but that closed up nicely too. You're doing the right thing by contacting the surgeon, but also please have faith in your body's amazing ability to heal itself. If you're not convinced, go and buy the Andrew Weil book "Spontaneous Healing". I read it after surgery and it was the most uplifting book I've read.

What else can you do on down days? Go to a organic foods market and do a light grazing of thier samples :) That always cheered me up. Of course at the end you gotta buy something, some nice antioxidant berries perhaps. And a big bundle of sunflowers always cheered me. Retail therapy - it works! Or a nice walk?

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

I love your motto JADot. Can I adopt it? It's fiesty, like me (and, apparently, like you)!

I'll be bummed if it takes months for that bump to go away... really makes it hard to fit comfortably into anything other than one pair of shorts (and I can't wear those to the workplace!). This big lump is about 2 inches long. Big sucker. Butt Ugly too!

I will try to pick up the book... I truly believe the body knows what it is doing. Walking is on my to-do list as soon as we figure out this fever thing.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Feel free to whine here. That is what we are here for. I have rarely ever felt down in my life until the cancer came. It still comes at times, especially during chemo, but is much less. Some of what you are experiencing with the fatigue and feeling down can and is often associated with the anesthesia. It can take three months or so for that to go away. The drainage from the rectal wound was most discouraging for me and took the longest to clear. It came back a little after the first chemo treatment. I just wore a pad but felt embarrassed about it.
You are absolutely right in having the surgeon look at your surgical wounds.
Good Luck, we will pray for a smoother recovery.


vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

BTW, I forgot to mention that I had quite alot of night sweats the first week or so at home and that was from the anesthetic, no real rise in my temp.

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

I hear what your saying about the anesthesia, Dick. My gosh! I didn't know it could take months to clear my system. I'll have to keep that in mind. I've stayed clear of the Vicoden for the last four days or so just to avoid the problems that it can cause...

The thought of my depression getting worse during a chemo gig really scares me, too. I just don't know how low I could sink before I end up in a padded room somewhere! I'll let you know what the surgeon says tomorrow....

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Oh, and I've had night sweats after surgery before, too... just never had a fever accompany them. They did take my ovaries, too, so that could also account for the lovely night sweats, but the fever is abnormal. It starts around 6 p.m. and I sweat like crazy and wake up about 4 a.m. and "poof" I am back to 98.6. Go figure, eh?

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

I have 2 ways of dealing with those days when I'm so sick of being sick(3 years of chemo).

One is to just go with it and allow myself to be down. Acknowledge that I have a lot to deal with and good reason for being down. You have to be careful with this one though. I try to be sure I only let it go for a day or 2...

Then it's time to buck up. It's really easy to get caught up in all that is going wrong...believe me, we all here know that!
I pull out all those sappy sayings. I read Loretta Laroche, I get up and move, either go out in my garden or do a little yoga. If diarrhea permits, I allow myself a ride in my car.
One of the best things is to sit down and write a list of all the things I am grateful for. Some days the list starts out pretty lame. I'm thankful for the roof over my head. But once I get going I find plenty to add to it...my wonderful husband and daughter, my dog-Lucky, the weather, the birds at my feeder (of course that's only in jan and feb. otherwise I'm feeding the neighborhood bear), the beautiful plot of land that my house is on, my mom and sisters, my friends at work. Boy, the list sure does get long! Give it a try!

But remember, you've gone through a lot. Come here, as you've done. I have actually written a similar post as yours in the past, so I know where you are coming from.
Good luck with the surgeon's appt tomorrow.
Regarding your fevers...any other UTI symptoms. Frequent voiding, urgency, burning? If so, ask the surgeon to do a urine culture.

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

I am counting my blessings, Mary, trying to stay positive. For a person with a regular familial history of depression I can't afford to go two days in the dumps. Getting out today, hard as it was, helped. I do read alot but my surgery happened so fast I didn't have time to get to the bookstore. I plan to do so in the next day or so.

You have a neighborhood bear? Where do you live? Alaska?!! I mean, we have bears here in Michigan, too, but I need to drive a couple hours north to run into one (which I don't want to do, thank you very much!)

As for UTI symptoms, none other than the fever and now my back hurts when the fever starts. But i've been there twice before and on one of those occassions I found out that even though I had no symptoms but the fever at night, I had a full-blown kidney infection. I will insist on a urine test. I just don't get fevers for no reason. Especially ones that come and go like clock work. Too wierd!

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Welcome to menopause!!!!!!!!!!! And it ain't easy but there are natural things you can do about it. There are also man made drugs with side effects too but that will have to be your decision. Other then the incision ooze, your other symptoms sound like what "instant menopause" does to a woman's body before it is supposed to happen.

Lisa P.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


Usually fever means the infection. So, do insist on urine test and other check-up for infection. And please do let us know tomorrow what happens at the doctor. I learnt many years ago that one needs to fight with them to get what is necessary. So, don't be afraid and fight with them until you get what you need.

God Bless.

afraidinindy's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Cancer is so terrible and then to have to fight the depression makes it even worse. Hang in there. I'll be praying for you - as a sufferer of depression, I know the depths it can drag you down to. Since my husband has been diagnosed with cancer, my depression has hit me big time. They put me on Lexapro but I think all it's doing for me is making me fat!

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I think we all have down days, especially when we feel as badly as you do. I also understand why you are not sharing with your husband and not crying. I'm glad you are sharing here. Here, you don't have to worry about someone not understanding. My doctors put me on a hormone replacement. You might talk to them about that. Let us know what your doc. says. jams

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I agree with Lisa P. Welcome to instant menopause! I had a total hyster during my bowel resection...felt like LIVING in the freezer at night...also had my own private jacuzzi in my bed on many nights...I never really realized how much estrogen can do for a body. Today I started my Tamoxifen for the breast cancer...sigh, one side effect is...you guessed it...hot flashes...I thought those were far, far behind me....
Estrogen is also used to 'even out' the highs and lows...once again, you had your major source of it removed with your ovaries...
BUT, that does NOT mean you just have to 'grin and bear it'!!!!!
Go and push, push, push for some relief...change in mood drugs can make a BIG difference...

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Your doctor is a dork...you should get a response from his/her nurse, assistant, or someone in less than 6 hrs..if you are covered, go to an ER and tell them you are in distress and give them your Doctor's name. It really pisses me off to call my Dr. and get some answering service, that takes a message, and tells you to call 911..the entire system sucks. Sorry, but "care" is something from the past; the patient has become a number/name on a plastic card that insures nothing more than someone will get paid.
don't downplay your depression-see your primary Dr. and get help-chemically or otherwise. Don't ignore your feelings-your mind-body is speaking to you.. Nanuk

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

I'm with you, Nanuk. Six hours was ridiculous and today the surgeon's physician assistant said she would call me from now on about anything. True to her word, I was barely back at the house when she called me -- herself -- tell me I did have a urinary tract infection and she was calling in a prescription for me. Now, that's more like it!

See my other thread on my surgeon visit. Oh the horrors of modern medicine... it's all there.

I am already the Prozac queen, have been on it for years. I wouldn't hesitate in the least to up the dosage if I seem to be getting in a hole too deep to wade out of. Thanks for your support.... and all of you! You're the greatest!

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