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And So It Begins

jemy91
Posts: 29
Joined: Mar 2007

Hello everyone. Although I have not posted, I have followed this board daily. All I can say is wow I feel very informed. Thank you.
Thursday my Father will undergo his colon resection. We are praying that the surgeon will be able to do the surgery using the laproscopic method as my Father will have a much shorter recovery time. We are also hoping that the cancer has not spread while we waited for the surgery to take place (found out Mar 27). This battle feels like it has been going on for so long but yet it is only beginning. Please say a little prayer for him. He is scared to death. Any advice on things that you did to help with healing or comfort measures would be greatly appreciated. Also curious about your hospital stay we were told if laproscopic surgery 5 days if not 7. How does that compare with your experience. Also will we know anything after the surgery or is it all a wait again for path report?
Thanks as always for any help you can provide.
Paula

catherine58's picture
catherine58
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2007

Hello Paula, although I'm sorry you have to be here.

I had a colon resection in February and I can honestly say I felt very little pain indeed. I was attached to an epidural for four days which blocked all feeling in my lower torso (although I could still move around) and when they disconnected it the oral painkillers took over very effectively. I think I stopped taking them about three weeks after surgery (can't remember exactly).

I didn't feel at all nauseous for the first 48 hours after surgery, although my first drink made me violently sick (it was probably too soon). However, a single dose of Granisteron (I think it's called Kytril in the US) took care of this and I never felt sick again. I was on a drip until I could drink properly (again about four days after surgery) so never felt dehydrated.

I had open surgery and was in hospital for eight days. By the time I came home I was climbing four flights of stairs without any problems.

I was told that the margins were clear immediately after surgery, but I didn't get the path report until after I got home (alas, three lymph nodes were affected). However, I live in the UK and probably things work more quickly in the US.

Hope all goes well. Will be thinking of you on Thursday.

Best wishes, Catherine

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

Hi Paula -

I'll be thinking of your father. My resection was done laparoscopically - done on a Tuesday morning - went home Saturday afternoon. I wasn't allowed any solid food until Saturday breakfast with the deal being that if tolerated two meals I could go home (you better believe I tolerated that second meal!)

Pain wasn't too bad - had an epidural pump the first two days - that really helped to mostly control pain. You should ask your father's surgeon about that since the anethesiologist may not place one if the surgeon doesn't request it. After the epidural was removed I was on some kind of IV NSAID and then came home with Vicodin which I recall taking for about 2 weeks.

None of this was fun, but it was possible to make it through and not as bad as I had feared it would be. I was originally going to go back to work in 3 weeks, but ended up getting another week off as I found that I was still wanting a short afternoon nap after 3 weeks. The extra week made all the difference.

I hope this helps and I wish your father well.

Betsy

P.S. Buy plenty of dressing material, pads, tape etc. since if the hospital sends him home with any, it will probably be only enough to last a day or two. (At least in my case, in addition to the three tiny lap incisions, I had a larger one about 2 inches through which they removed the colon and that one took a while to heal completely.)

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I had open surgery for rectal cancer in Dec. of 2005. They told me 5-10 days in the hospital, and it turned out to be 10. Little pain, much boredom. I wouldn't be afraid of open surgery, unless your father is infirm or perhaps very old (I was 64) -- give the surgeon room to work and look around in there, I say. What's an extra few days in the hospital?

I didn't have any issues with pain or healing after I got home.

Greg

sladich's picture
sladich
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Mine was done laproscopically. My surgery was on Thursday and I went home on Monday. The worst pain was the gas. I had horrible gas pains!!!!

KFalvey
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi Paula,
I had laproscopic surgery on Friday and went home Sunday afternoon. The best advice I can give is to get up and walk as soon as they allow and walk as much as you can. It gets everything going again much sooner. Make sure he has a free wheeling IV dollie so he's not straining to push it around. Also, ask about chewing gum, it's suppose to get your digestive juices working again. I was able to shower as soon as I got home, and was feeling quite good 7 days after surgery. I also wore a back support belt for a couple weeks after I got home that helped hold your guts in place while walking. As for the pathology report, I had several things biopsied that looked suspicious while on the table(liver and a spot on the uterus); they were okay. You will get the official report on everything else in about a week. Then they will be able to Stage your Dad.
He will be in my prayers and I sure hope it all goes well for him.
Kandy

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi Paula. Prayers for your Dad. My husband had the laproscopic surgery. It went quite smooth and he healed quickly. The waiting actually was worse for him then the surgery itself. Good luck and keep us posted . God Bless (p.s.. the gum chewing does help, but you need to check with surgeon first . It stimulates the digestive tract and supposedly gets it moving faster)

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