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Surgery on August 1

afraidinindy's picture
afraidinindy
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

My husband is scheduled for a colon resection with ileostomy on August 1. That will be the end of the 6-week period post chemo/radiation period. The doc seems concerned whether they will be successful in getting all the cancer but said he will do his best for him. They are going to increase his morphine this evening and try to keep him as comfortable as possible until surgery. I'm so frightened, I just pray I can find the strength to get through this. I'm physically and emotionally drained. I'm sure many of you understand exactly what I mean. Any suggestions as to what to expect and maybe how to maintain through this period will be greatly appreciated.

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi "Indy" -

I wish your husband the best. Wish I had suggestions for his pain control, but since I had none prior to my colon surgery, I really cannot comment. The surgery is no fun, but really not that bad either. Make sure he gets proper pain medication - my surgeon asked for an epidural to be placed so that it could be used for post op pain control for a couple of days - not perfect, but it helped big time! So, make sure you are on top of the pain meds after surgery. And, be vigilant in the hospital - I ran into problems with them removing the Fentanyl (narcotic) from the epidural pump and then taking an hour to replace it (by which point I was in significant pain.) A complaint to Anesthesia worked like a charm.

I hope your husband can manage until 8/1 and I will be thinking of you then.

Take care,
Betsy

afraidinindy's picture
afraidinindy
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Thank you so very much. Hope you are doing better. Did you have any liver mets? I pray not and that you will have a full recovery.

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Indy -

I did have some metastatic disease to the liver. Making me Stage IV. After my second chemo treatment there was "virtual complete resolution of suggested liver metastases". After my 6th chemo treatment, and 4 times since I have had negative PET and CT's. Also two negative liver MRI's along the way.

Thanks for asking. But there is hope.

Take care,
Betsy

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Hey, Indy... I'm putting your husband on my prayer list for comfort until Aug. 1 and a smooth surgery .... and also some peace for you!

afraidinindy's picture
afraidinindy
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Thank you very much - we need all the prayers we can get. I'm praying for a miracle and I know that God is able - I'm just quite weak in my faith at this time. Are you a caregiver? If not, I not you are doing well as the patient.

mindy10
Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, I wish I could give you some advice that could make you feel better but the bottom line is it is very hard to watch a loved one suffer. It is very draining emotionally and physically. All you can do is try to have some alone time and get out with a friend so you can have a break and as they say out of sight out of mind. My dad just passed on with colon cancer and the last two months of his life was very painful to watch. I helped my mom once a week to care for him and the only thing that made me feel a little better physically and emotionally was to get away from it for a few days. I wished someone would wave a magic wand and make me feel better but it didnt happen. It was the hardest thing I had to do was to take care of my dad and watch him suffer mentally and physically. All I can say is make him as comfortable as possible with pain meds and maybe some tranquilizers if he is very anxious about it. Mindy

dash4
Posts: 304
Joined: Dec 2005

Hi,
My husband had a colon resection and a liver resection and ablation all during the same surgery. It was in 12/04. He was on oxycontin for the pain control. Remember to watch out for the constipation that comes with the pain pills....they forgot about that with my husband and I was just learning about his meds so it took us a bit to get it under control. But the surgery did go well and he continued with chemo soon after. Take life a day at a time-ask lots of questions and keep a running diary of the treatments and surgery and how the pain is --it will come in handy when you you need to regroup at some point and look at the whole picture. After a while it is easy to confuse and forget which symptoms were when. You are in my prayers.
Dash

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Did the doctor say what is causing the pain? It is usually a question of what is causing it such as blockage from the tumor or some dysfunction due to the radiation. I assume he has something like a port. If the pills aren't working perhaps they could use a pump for pain. I hope he gets some relief as that will also help you. It is more difficult, I think, to watch a loved one in distress than to have the distress ourself.

We will pray for his and your relief. Dick

afraidinindy's picture
afraidinindy
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

They have him on a morphine pump - increased the dosage, thought he was getting too much because of his mental confusion so cut it back. Now the pain is worse so I think they are going to increase it again. They can't seem to find a way to ease the pain. The doc said it's because of the location in the rectal/sigmoid area and it constantly causes pressure. Thus, he spends MUCH of his day in the bathroom in pain because of the pressure. Will be so glad when surgery is over and praying for a good report and prognosis.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Wow! What a great idea Dick has! If hubby has a port, you have to get sort of edgy and insistent with the docs to use it for anything but chemo...the oncs have them sooo nervous about using it....BUT I was fed thru mine, worked like a CHARM!
As far as your being drained...I KNOW you have an inner strength just waiting to kick in...just look beyond August 1...start talking between the two of you what you want to do after this is over...focus on that...it REALLY helps!
Big, warm, fuzzy hugs....and you both are on my list for Aug 1 for extra super prayers.
(Don't be so hard on yourself....these are the times that try any person's faith...hang on, and realize that it is in the plan....we don't know why, just accept).
Hugs, Kathi

afraidinindy's picture
afraidinindy
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Thanks, Kathi for the words of encouragement. You know, he has had a good day today, communicating and kidding - somewhat like his old self. You'll never know how excited that makes me. He has always been such a close friend to me, we talked about anything and everything and what a sense of humor he has. It breaks my heart when I see him like he's been the past few months. I thank the Lord for this great day we've had. What a good thought - to talk about what we want to do after surgery. I think I've been living in so much fear that it's hard for me to think of having a future. The docs haven't been all that optimistic so it just tends to drag me down further. I guess that's better than building me up too much. Who knows?
Again, thanks and I certainly will appreciate your prayers on surgery day.
Lois

pink05
Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Hi,

You and your husband are in my prayers. I know how scary this all is, but I think once he gets through the surgery, your fears should begin to subside. It's difficult to be strong during times like this, but sounds like you are getting through it. I think somehow, God has a way of getting us through these rough situations.

God bless you and your husband,

-Lee-

pepperdog's picture
pepperdog
Posts: 96
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Indy. My heart is aching for the worry and fear you are going through now. Like you, I am a caretaker for my husband. His treatment history sounds identical to your husband's. He had his surgery (resection & ileostomy) on 4/19/06 and has since started post-op chemo as a preventive measure to minimize chance of recurrence. I have walked with fear and worry every day since his dx on 12/30/05. As a wife, I've known terror and heartbreak, but we've made it through all the crap and are doing better. My husband still has hills and valleys and we don't expect the chemo to end until late this year, but we are enduring.

I guess I'm just trying to say, you'll make it through. Find strength in each other. Do whatever it takes to make your husband more comfortable. We had trouble getting on top of the pain issue just after surgery, but with a morphine pump and dosages of Adivan (sp?) postoperatively he was able to get relief and sleep at night.

It's so important that you rest when possible and take a break when you need one. You are your husband's strongest advocate. Don't forget to care for yourself. My prayers are with you as you walk this path...others have trod the same path before you.

We are with you.
Terry

afraidinindy's picture
afraidinindy
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Thanks for your encouragement. Glad you've made it through the surgery and hope things continue to get better for you. Did your husband have radiation and chemo before surgery? Does he have liver mets to deal with? The liver surgery frightens me even more as the docs say that is even harder than the colon. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we will do the same for you.
Lois

pepperdog's picture
pepperdog
Posts: 96
Joined: Jun 2006

Indy, we are not dealing with mets to the liver. Our dx was 12-30-05, stage III rectal ca. After CT, Pet, consultations, we started 25 rads and took 6 wks. oral Xelota. Waited 6 weeks, had surgery. Rectum was resected, margins were clear, no evidence of ca in any tissue removed. 10 nodes tested clear. Waited 6 weeks, started Folfox, 12 treatments total. We have 9 more to go.

Like you, I was (still am)terrified of mets to liver/lungs. However, I've read much on this site from survivors who have beaten mets to the liver. There are so many treatment options now than a few years ago. I am sure you will hear from others who have dealt with mets to this area. I am praying for you both.
Terry

finner
Posts: 232
Joined: Jan 2005

Best wishes to both of you. I did not have the horrible wait for surgery, as I had to have an emergency resection. Howver, I do know about waiting for results. Best wishes to you husband and you take care of yourself.

Margo

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