Surgery is coming!!!!

KierstenRx Member Posts: 249
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi all,
Finally have my surgery scheduled for February 5th. Am nervous, but ready to get this show on the road. I am more than likely going to wake up with a permanent colostomy. I would appreciate any info on life after surgery. What to expect??? Any advice??? I am worried about the pain. My surgeon is ordering DepoDur, has anyone had any luck with it???? It's pretty new out and is supposed to provide 48 hours of pain relief. Any info would be greatly appreciated.....


  • lynn1222
    lynn1222 Member Posts: 105
    hello kiersten,
    i have not had any experience with this new pain med, however i used dulodid, now sure about the spelling there but it works great, it last only about 3 hours though, if this pain med truly last 48 hours then how great that will be for you as far as pain management goes. when i woke up i didnt have pain related to the colostomy, only when the stoma nurse changed the phlange, which is the part that sticks to your skin. the area is really tender at first but after a couple of months, the skin starts to toughen up and its not so tender. hopefully you wont have the colostomy but if you do it really is no big deal,you really do get use to it and it just becomes a part of life. try to walk as much as possible after surgery it will speed your recovery up. dont worry so much about the pain, it is tolerable. if you need anything please dont hesitate to post as that is what we are here for.take care and ill be praying for you.

  • 66Rose
    66Rose Member Posts: 58

    What are you having done?

    I had removal of the rectal tumor, rectal resection, radical hystorectomy, and a vagina fistula closed up.

    Pain management has been awful for me, since I had a rectal resection sitting can be an issue, even now after October 2nd surgery. I had radiation before hand, did you? Radiation slows the healing process 10 fold.

    I have never heard of the pain medication you will be taking? In the hospital the IV Dilaudid, loved it, works ASAP. At home I also had MS Cottin and Percocet. I personally think the Percocet gave better relief at home, I used the 7.5 strength. It has been nearly 4 months and I still need pain meds, this week has been bad......again due to the radiation.

    I received my ileostomy back in May during exploratory surgery, so I already had it during my BIG surgery and it is supposed to be Temp.

    I did not realize this and was surprised I was sent home with a pump on my left side, it was actually called a football and it pumped out the fulid from surgery. So on my left was this pump and the right was my ostomy, I had the pump for 3 weeks after surgery. Let me tell you sleeping was not comfortable and I spent many a nights in a recliner.

    My mother stayed each night with me in the hospital, she wanted to be there in case I needed anything, sometimes the nurses do not come right away, it was nice having her there. My husband was home with our son.

    Do walk as much as you can......but also rest as much as you can, especially when you get home. I took 8 weeks of at work, but I am still not back full time.

    God Bless,

  • Monicaemilia
    Monicaemilia Member Posts: 455
    Hi Kiersten: Will they be doing the surgery laparascopically? If so, I did not find it too bad at all. There were four little incisions, and no pain near the stoma at all. As far as pain meds are concerned, I hate morphine, and the only thing that worked for me was Oxicodone (I think that's the proper name - or aka percacets?). I would get at least four hours of relief. If it wasn't for a pesky infection I got along the way, I would have been up and around within two weeks. BTW - when I say up and around, I mean living as normal as possible. The colostomy will take some adjustment, but you WILL get used to it and it won't seem so bad as time goes by. I promise. My prayers will be with you. Monica
  • jana11
    jana11 Member Posts: 705
    Hi. I got a permanent colostomy with my surgery, and also had abdomial graft moved to reconstruct the front of my rectal wall. The abd pain was the worst... but I got through. Try not to worry about the pain. You will be in the hospital and they have drugs to help you. The ostomy takes adjustment, but it isn't soo bad - I consider it part of extending my life.

    I started yoga right before my surgery and tried to get back to it ASAP (very gradually though). I think it helped reduce my pain A LOT! And my surgeon agreed.

    To help with surgery/hospital time.
    Get yourself a big wedge pillow for when you return home to help support your belly.
    Get a removable shower head to help bath yourself at home. Most likely you may still have areas that aren't supposed to get wet.
    Bring comfortable slippers/shoes and robe to hospital and walk as much as you can, as soon as you can!
    Bring cards/pictures, etc to put up on the walls to make your room feel more comfortable. :)
    Try to have someone stay with you in the hospital at night, at least the first few nights. You may wake up with problems; having someone there is very good.
    Get some underwear that is a size too big. As soon as the foley comes out, you will want them.

    I had an epidural for pain control. It helped so much. Find out if you are getting one.

    Also, my anesthesiologist gave me a relaxing med to help me sleep the night before my surgery. I'm glad I had it. Talk to the docs.

    In summary, just have faith that the doctors will take good care of you and repeat that to yourself whenever you get scared.

    Good luck. jana
  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
    Maybe it won't hurt. I didn't have a colostomy, just an LAR for rectal cancer, but I never had any pain from it. My surgeon gave me a prescription for Percocet to take home, but I didn't need to fill it.

  • bjohnson
    bjohnson Member Posts: 13
    I too am facing surgery soon, not yet scheduled, but I have learned so much from the folks on this site. They have expressed compassion and given a lot of very good advice about something that I was dreading and had such a fear of. The unknown. Sorry I don't have any advice for you since I am also asking questions of what to expect.
    Good luck and may God bless and keep you,
  • nudgie
    nudgie Member Posts: 1,478
    I had colon cancer surgery in July 06 with a temp colostomy. I was in ICU for 4 days and then in a regular room for 1 day. For pain meds the hosiptal gave me Diluadid by IV. When I got home, I stayed downstairs on my courch for 2 wks and only took two pain pills while home. I basically healed in about 4-6 weeks due to the fact I was phyically fit before surgery. But I agree, begin walking, youga, etc as soon as possible to help the healing process along.
  • lfondots63
    lfondots63 Member Posts: 818

    HUGS first. The scary part is not knowing. I was given morphine in a drip and that helped the first and second day. (only had colon resection) After that I only took tylenol because pain meds "clog up" the pipes and I wanted OUT of the hospital as soon as I could. Walk around a lot if you can, that will get everything "moving" again after surgery. Get a few good books to read while in the hospital. I thought the worst thing at the hospital was being bored. Only thing to look forward to was meals (LOL- and that was liquids for a few days). I was in for 5 days but not sure how long if you do have the colostomy. Like Jana said, think of the colostomy as extending your life. Will be sending good vibes to you on the 5th.

    Lisa F.
  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248
    Hi Kiersten -

    I can't help with the colostomy, but I can tell you that for pain mgmt in the hospital, I had an epidural placed with a patient assisted pump. The drug was Fentanyl and it worked well (without any mental fogging since it was epidural). The only problem I had was the 45-60 minutes it took the hospital staff to replace the pump when it ran out. (The second day I complained to anesthesia and they were not happy and that night the poor nurse was sprinting to get my refill - moral, be your own advocate!)

    The drug they are suggesting for you is an extended form of morphine. I bet it will be effective, but it may also affect you mentally. Some people do fine on morphine and others have hallucinations or are really nasty (my husband is one of the latter!) You might want to ask your surgeon about ordering an epidural.

    I was discharged from the hospital on the 4th post-surgery day. I had Vicodin which I used for about a week to 10 days - tolerated it well and was fine pain-wise after about 10 days.

    Best of luck with your surgery,
  • AveriRN
    AveriRN Member Posts: 61
    Hi Kiersten

    First off my thoughts are with u as u go into this surgery. I don't have any advice about the colostomy as I have not had one, but wishing I did now due to the "toilet prisoner" syndrome my surgery left me being. However, I did like others, have what they call a "walking" epidural for post op pain control. It was great. I was able to get up first post op morn and walk several laps around the floor w/o an ounce of pain. I kept it for 4 days and being able to get up and not feel any pain associated with the surgery was great, allowed me to walk many times a day. I hope everything goes well with ur surgery, take care and may God continue to Bless U.

  • ninthave
    ninthave Member Posts: 12
    I had resection surgery, full abdominal incision. They gave me an epideral for pain which worked well, you might ask about that.
  • Ginny5
    Ginny5 Member Posts: 10
    The NOT knowing is the worst isn't it - and I'm not even the one who was going to go through surgery. My husband had surgery Dec 7/06 for colorectal cancer. He had morphine for pain (he said today the pain varied) but as an observer I have to say he did not seem in pain. The morphine administered on a pump was a very low dose and I think he was off it by day 3. He had a perscription for demoral when he came home (7 days later) but did not fill it. Has a temporary illiostomy. Please do not be as silly as this but to give you an idea of where he was
    at 9 days after surgery, we had a flood in our basement while I was out and he moved the entire contents of our storage room. I of course was livid, I couldn't even speak. Walking will be slow but now almost 8 weeks after surgery my husband is living normally.
  • Mickeyw
    Mickeyw Member Posts: 28
    Hi all, I have just signed in with this group tonight. I am a stage II patient with zero Nodes affected. I had surgery December 20th, 2006. 8 inches of intestines removed. The tumor was about an inch and a half wide and was in the ceccum which is the area where the large and small intestine meet, Went home abut 1 PM Christmas afternoon. I have an appointment with the oncologist this Monday afternoon to get reuslts of blood work and CAT and PET scans. I had morphine available in the hospital. Punch a button, get it when you need it as long as you don't overdo it. Get up and start walking as soon as you can. The secret is to begin passing gas. My insides began to wake up in about three days. At that time, I felt a hunger like I've never felt in my life, very painful, and had a very bad night that night from the pressure, the gas moving around and the hunger pains. I had the tumor removal laproscopacally, so the two incesions were very small. I was back to work half days three weeks after ( I am a computer systems mananger) , and full days the fourth week. Mileage will vary for everyone, but this was my experiance. This waiting to find out what is in store in the future, is worse for me than the entire surgial experience.
  • KierstenRx
    KierstenRx Member Posts: 249
    I want to thank you all who shared their experiences with surgery. You are all making a scary time for me a bit better. It's good for me to realize how many have made it through. I appreciate all your well wishes and prayers.