Recently diagnosed, surgery on Monday

trainer
trainer Member Posts: 241
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I'm a new member of the club no one wants to be a member of, so, hello. In Sept., a routine colonoscopy turned out to be not so routine in that cancer was found in one of two polyps. I had no symptoms or pains. I'm a type II diabetic and some anemia was noted during one of my 6 month check ups. Thank God I found this discussion group, as I've lurked here, soaking up as much information as possible. You all are great and so supportive of each other. What a community. I love the term "semi-colons" to show membership among those who have had resections.

My surgeon ordered a CAT Scan to see if the cancer had spread any. The location was 80 cm up form the rectum. The CAT scan found nothing to report other than an inflammation near the ileum. So the surgeon, in caution, postponed the surgery and ordered an upper GI with barium. The radiologist couldn't find the site of the inflammation and called the one who did the CAT scan to check on the location. The surgeon didn't think it was anything and when the Upper GI couldn't find it, the surgery was scheduled for Monday, Oct. 20.

I'm sure you've all been where I am, nothing but questions and some fear of the unknown. So far, it would appear the cancer is still contained in the colon and caught early. The surgeon will remove about 18 inches to make certain he's gotten it all. I realize the stage can't be determined until the surgery. The surgery will be done by laparscopy unless there are issues. It will be robotic-assisted, the term used is the DaVinci system or method.

So, please keep me and the surgery team in your prayers and if anyone has any comments on the surgery method or advice on the surgery and recovery period, I'm all ears! Thanks. Mike

PS, what a life-changing development! Thanks for being here.
«13

Comments

  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917
    welcome
    Mike, welcome to the board, and I am praying that the surgery goes easy, peasy and that your recovery is quick and painless. I pray that they caught your cancer early and that God holds you in His arms and comforts you and your family members as you go forward on this journey.
    Mary
  • This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375
    Welcome to the Semi-Colons, Mike!
    Hey Mike... I had 18 inches of intestine taken out as well. Hahaha... silly me, I thought maybe with that much gone, my appetite would slow down but, silly me, that's your stomach that needs to be smaller... not less intestine!! Oh well... the quest for the ultimate easy diet plan is still my mission in life :)

    Now, that's interesting about it being done laparascopically. I will be really interested to hear all about your experience with this. I had the full abdominal surgery where the surgical cut was from pubic bone up just past the belly button (6 years earlier, I had had an abdominal hysterectomy where the surgical cut went from hip bone to hip bone)... so I did tell my surgeon (who I love... he's just so wonderful), "Well, I guess my bikini days are numbered now!" The joke being of course... I'm a full-figure gal and prior to any surgeries you'd never catch me in a bikini .

    Mind you, I do have experience with laparascopic surgery. When a PET scan showed my cancer had spread to my right adrenal gland (of all places!), I had my right adrenal gland removed laparascopically. There were 3 very tiny inscisions for the camara and tools, and one slightly larger inscision (about 4 inches) for the removal of the gland and tumour. The surgery went fine, but because of how tricky it was to get at the adrenal gland (one sits above each kidney), the surgery was done on the right side, hence had to go through a lot of muscle, with a lot of digging around... and the inside is pumped with a lot of gas so they can move organs and body parts around so they can get at the area they need to get at. So I guess the worst part of the surgery for me was the pain afterwards... but in hindsight, I think that pain was caused by the gas they injected and you just have to walk that off.

    So good luck, my friend, and do come back to let us know how it went!

    Huggggggggs,

    Cheryl
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952
    welcome
    Welcome to this group - so sorry you have cause to be here. It sounds like you are in good hands. Good luck with the upcoming surgery. Your recovery should be much smoother with laparoscopy than traditional surgery. I will pass on the advise I give to anyone facing surgery: (1) make sure you get good pain relief, when you need it. Not just so that you will be more comfortable, but I believe it helps with recovery. (2) as soon as you are able, get up and get walking. Walk regularly -- while you are in the hospital, and after you get out. Again, I believe this helps with recovery. You sound positive and ready -- best of luck to you and please sign in again as soon when you are able to let us know how you are doing.

    Tara
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241
    msccolon said:

    welcome
    Mike, welcome to the board, and I am praying that the surgery goes easy, peasy and that your recovery is quick and painless. I pray that they caught your cancer early and that God holds you in His arms and comforts you and your family members as you go forward on this journey.
    Mary

    Thanks
    Thanks for your message. Easy, peasy sounds good to me!
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241
    unknown said:

    This comment has been removed by the Moderator

    Thanks
    Wow, you guys are quick to reply. Thanks for your advice. Tomorrow I start the prep process. I plan on walking as much as I can as soon as I can.
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241

    Welcome to the Semi-Colons, Mike!
    Hey Mike... I had 18 inches of intestine taken out as well. Hahaha... silly me, I thought maybe with that much gone, my appetite would slow down but, silly me, that's your stomach that needs to be smaller... not less intestine!! Oh well... the quest for the ultimate easy diet plan is still my mission in life :)

    Now, that's interesting about it being done laparascopically. I will be really interested to hear all about your experience with this. I had the full abdominal surgery where the surgical cut was from pubic bone up just past the belly button (6 years earlier, I had had an abdominal hysterectomy where the surgical cut went from hip bone to hip bone)... so I did tell my surgeon (who I love... he's just so wonderful), "Well, I guess my bikini days are numbered now!" The joke being of course... I'm a full-figure gal and prior to any surgeries you'd never catch me in a bikini .

    Mind you, I do have experience with laparascopic surgery. When a PET scan showed my cancer had spread to my right adrenal gland (of all places!), I had my right adrenal gland removed laparascopically. There were 3 very tiny inscisions for the camara and tools, and one slightly larger inscision (about 4 inches) for the removal of the gland and tumour. The surgery went fine, but because of how tricky it was to get at the adrenal gland (one sits above each kidney), the surgery was done on the right side, hence had to go through a lot of muscle, with a lot of digging around... and the inside is pumped with a lot of gas so they can move organs and body parts around so they can get at the area they need to get at. So I guess the worst part of the surgery for me was the pain afterwards... but in hindsight, I think that pain was caused by the gas they injected and you just have to walk that off.

    So good luck, my friend, and do come back to let us know how it went!

    Huggggggggs,

    Cheryl

    Your reply
    I wouldn't worry about the bikini, just don't wear one! Sorry for all you've had to go through. This will be my first surgery of any kind. I've had a broken arm (fell out of a tree playing Tarzan when I was 6), broken toe from football, tipped a tractor over on me and had a lacerated liver and a broken finger courtesy of some Iranian sailors. Can't tell you about that one. But the bone setting was rather primitive, comprising a towel wrapped around my upper arm and a device resembling one of those Chinese finger puzzles placed over the tip of my finger, and then two burley guys pulling on both ends. I know know what a wishbone feels like on Thanksgiving. So, at least this time, I'll be out.

    I read on one of your other emails that you are Canadian. We love going to Vancouver for a getaway weekend. We live in Arizona. A couple of years ago, we took the Rocky Mountaineer form Vancouver to Banff and then a car to Calgary. Great trip. Two years ago, I have two free first class tickets on NW airline, so we flew to Toronto for a winter festival. Great time and very cold. But we enjoyed it.

    So, tomorrow starts the prepping procedures and then it's off to the hospital Monday morning. The worst part of all this other than the cold water in the face shock of being told I have cancer, has been the waiting.

    Thanks again. I'll check in with the board again once I feel a little better next week and if they'll let me have my computer in the room.
  • kmygil
    kmygil Member Posts: 876
    Welcome, Mike
    Hi Mike, and welcome to the semi-colons. We are all sorry for the reason you are here, but this is the place to be if you want encouragement, advice, tips and positive energy! I hope your surgery goes well and I will pray for you and your medical team. I've heard of the Da Vinci method and I've heard good things about it. For one, you will probably be up & moving very quickly. Even if you don't really feel like it, DO walk as soon as possible. It is also one of the few times in life when passing gas is cause for celebration and bragging! So enjoy farting! Please keep us updated as you walk this road. You have a lot of company!

    God bless,
    Kirsten
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241
    taraHK said:

    welcome
    Welcome to this group - so sorry you have cause to be here. It sounds like you are in good hands. Good luck with the upcoming surgery. Your recovery should be much smoother with laparoscopy than traditional surgery. I will pass on the advise I give to anyone facing surgery: (1) make sure you get good pain relief, when you need it. Not just so that you will be more comfortable, but I believe it helps with recovery. (2) as soon as you are able, get up and get walking. Walk regularly -- while you are in the hospital, and after you get out. Again, I believe this helps with recovery. You sound positive and ready -- best of luck to you and please sign in again as soon when you are able to let us know how you are doing.

    Tara

    Walking advice
    Walking seems to be a common piece of advice, so since my last name is Walker, it's a natural for me. One question, however, I have been using a treadmill, but it seems that it's rather a jarring experience and I don't think my healing old bod will welcome any hard impact. Plus, I am anticipating a slower pace in the beginning and the treadmill doesn't go all that slowly. Any experience with it or know anyone who tried it?

    I read somewhere also there is some kind of an annual gathering or something called a colonopalooza or whatever. Where can I find info on that gathering, if you know?

    And in honor of my new Semi-colon membership, once I get healed up, I'm going to get a tattoo of a semi-colon near one of the scars. I made it through nearly 30 years in the Navy without one, but this seems a little more significant. My wife has already ordered a golf shirt with an embroidered semi-colon on it. Some will understand, but others will get curious and ask and that's when I can lay it on them about the importance of getting a screening colonoscopy.

    Thanks for your kind words.
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241
    kmygil said:

    Welcome, Mike
    Hi Mike, and welcome to the semi-colons. We are all sorry for the reason you are here, but this is the place to be if you want encouragement, advice, tips and positive energy! I hope your surgery goes well and I will pray for you and your medical team. I've heard of the Da Vinci method and I've heard good things about it. For one, you will probably be up & moving very quickly. Even if you don't really feel like it, DO walk as soon as possible. It is also one of the few times in life when passing gas is cause for celebration and bragging! So enjoy farting! Please keep us updated as you walk this road. You have a lot of company!

    God bless,
    Kirsten

    Passing the gas
    Loved your comments. Seeing that I am a typical guy, farting comes naturally. My Grandson and his pals have discovered the joy of flatulence. I got the biggest chuckle while in recovery room of the colonoscopy test. We all were ensconced in those privacy, but not really private curtained off areas. There were about six of us in there, all male. We were laughing so hard, it sounded like echoes in a cave. I think I won the unofficial contest, as one of the med techs poked her head in my space and with a big smile said, "Mr. Walker, you ROCK!"

    And of course, the fart jokes started up. I don't think the staff knew what to make of all of us in there. I'm thinking of asking my sister in law to make up a nice little needlepoint sign and give it to the clinic to put up. It would read: Make Us Proud, Fart Out Loud! Humor is healing all by itself, don't you think?

    My favorite movie line? I am Farticus!"

    So, keep in mind that farting has always been a cause for celebration and bragging whenever a bunch of guys get together.

    I like your style of encouragement, keep it coming!
  • Madre
    Madre Member Posts: 123
    trainer said:

    Passing the gas
    Loved your comments. Seeing that I am a typical guy, farting comes naturally. My Grandson and his pals have discovered the joy of flatulence. I got the biggest chuckle while in recovery room of the colonoscopy test. We all were ensconced in those privacy, but not really private curtained off areas. There were about six of us in there, all male. We were laughing so hard, it sounded like echoes in a cave. I think I won the unofficial contest, as one of the med techs poked her head in my space and with a big smile said, "Mr. Walker, you ROCK!"

    And of course, the fart jokes started up. I don't think the staff knew what to make of all of us in there. I'm thinking of asking my sister in law to make up a nice little needlepoint sign and give it to the clinic to put up. It would read: Make Us Proud, Fart Out Loud! Humor is healing all by itself, don't you think?

    My favorite movie line? I am Farticus!"

    So, keep in mind that farting has always been a cause for celebration and bragging whenever a bunch of guys get together.

    I like your style of encouragement, keep it coming!

    I had recsection done by
    I had recsection done by laporoscopy. The worst part was all the gas they pump in you. I had a hard time getting rid of it, it moved up into my shoulders (painfull at times). I had surgery Thursday night and they had me up and walking (8 steps) Friday afternoon. I had a moraphine pump which was heaven, if nothing else it relaxed me so that lower body function worked better. If you get exhausted (from pain or lack of sleep) you won't heal well, so take advantage of being in the hospital where people take care of you 24/7. Good luck to you and prayers coming your way. Welcome to the board.
  • hopefulone
    hopefulone Member Posts: 1,043
    Good luck
    Mike, Wishing you good luck on Monday for successful surgery and great results. Keep us posted. God BLess
    Diane
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241
    Madre said:

    I had recsection done by
    I had recsection done by laporoscopy. The worst part was all the gas they pump in you. I had a hard time getting rid of it, it moved up into my shoulders (painfull at times). I had surgery Thursday night and they had me up and walking (8 steps) Friday afternoon. I had a moraphine pump which was heaven, if nothing else it relaxed me so that lower body function worked better. If you get exhausted (from pain or lack of sleep) you won't heal well, so take advantage of being in the hospital where people take care of you 24/7. Good luck to you and prayers coming your way. Welcome to the board.

    Thanks!
    Interesting comment on the gas dissipation. My wife had one of those hystericalectomies a few years ago and she warned me about the pain from the migration of the gas as it moves around inside. In fact, she said that was the worst part of the operation, according to her. I'm not going to be shy at all about asking for and using painkiller. She said it seemed to migrate to her shoulder area. Guess I'll be finding out about 24 hours from now. Thanks for your prayers. Prayer works, as we all know. I'm weary of being in a holding pattern and anxious to move ahead with this process.

    Everyone has been very helpful with their input. It means so much to me and my family.
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241

    Good luck
    Mike, Wishing you good luck on Monday for successful surgery and great results. Keep us posted. God BLess
    Diane

    Thanks
    Thanks. I'm hoping the hospital will allow laptops in the room, so once I get back to some level of alertness and feel like it, I can give reports from the front line, so to speak. I already have an email list of friends and family and I named it "The Semi-colon fan club.
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917
    trainer said:

    Walking advice
    Walking seems to be a common piece of advice, so since my last name is Walker, it's a natural for me. One question, however, I have been using a treadmill, but it seems that it's rather a jarring experience and I don't think my healing old bod will welcome any hard impact. Plus, I am anticipating a slower pace in the beginning and the treadmill doesn't go all that slowly. Any experience with it or know anyone who tried it?

    I read somewhere also there is some kind of an annual gathering or something called a colonopalooza or whatever. Where can I find info on that gathering, if you know?

    And in honor of my new Semi-colon membership, once I get healed up, I'm going to get a tattoo of a semi-colon near one of the scars. I made it through nearly 30 years in the Navy without one, but this seems a little more significant. My wife has already ordered a golf shirt with an embroidered semi-colon on it. Some will understand, but others will get curious and ask and that's when I can lay it on them about the importance of getting a screening colonoscopy.

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Tattoo
    Mike, I got the colon star ribbon put on my right shoulder, with a butterfly for rebirth. A dear friend put the ribbon on her left shoulder (so we could stand shoulder to shoulder in this fight!), with the chinese characters for friend. My daughters both got the ribbon with some "fireworks" around it and my sisters got it with the chinese characters for little sister inside. Now I have 3 brothers to talk into getting the tattoo, and when she gets a wee bit older, a brand spanking new grand daughter! Good luck with yours and especially with your surgery tomorrow. I will be praying for you and your family.
    mary
  • Kanort
    Kanort Member Posts: 1,272
    Thinking of You!
    Hi Mike,

    I know you are probably a little apprehensive tonight, but just think...in less than 24 hours you will have the surgery behind you and can move forward toward complete healing. Your sense of humor will serve you well in the days ahead. I'm glad you found the club that no one wishes to join....WELCOME!!!

    I'm sending you my biggest healing hugs!

    Kay
  • Julie 44
    Julie 44 Member Posts: 476
    I am a newbie too
    Hey Mike'
    I am new at this too. I had surgery on 9/18 to remove a large mass from my colon stage 3. Had many lymph nodes removed also. Going to start chemo next week. So I know exactly how you feel...
    The people here have helped me sooo much. Not only with advice but encouragement too..Do yourself a favor and keep reading and writing to people here. Try not to read to much anywhere else because it can really freak you out. Yes we are all different but the thing is here we all went through it one way or another anywhere else you are not sure about what the people write..
    Good luck and the main thing to remember is to stay POSITIVE because I know for a fact that if you are not upbeat you will have a much harder time with recovery. My surgon can't believe how quickly I healed and he said it was do to my POSITIVE outlook.
    Good luck and try not to let you head get the best of you..We are all pulling for you and remember you will get past this too....Hugs
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    Good luck
    Hi, Mike.

    Just want to wish you the best on your surgery. Hope you end up with Stage 1 and a quick recovery. We'll be anxious to hear the results.

    Gail
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    Good luck, Mike!
    Sorry this is so late...I was gone for awile.

    I'm sending my best hugs.

    Hugs, Kathi
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241
    Kanort said:

    Thinking of You!
    Hi Mike,

    I know you are probably a little apprehensive tonight, but just think...in less than 24 hours you will have the surgery behind you and can move forward toward complete healing. Your sense of humor will serve you well in the days ahead. I'm glad you found the club that no one wishes to join....WELCOME!!!

    I'm sending you my biggest healing hugs!

    Kay

    Thanks
    Kay, thanks. You're amazing. I've seen lots of your messages while I was lurking around the board. Well, right now, I'm as clean inside and out as I've ever been. In addition to the laxative preps and antibiotics they prescribed Hippiclens. Never heard of an antiseptic soap so strong it can ruin your eyes and cause you to go partially deaf if you get it in either eyes or ears. What are they thinking of anyway?

    Mary, my wife, has been knitting a nice wool throw to put over me in the hospital. I call it my "cancer cozy." She's amazing as she's only been knitting for a few weeks. She's also been knitting watch caps to send to servicepeople in Iraq and Afghanistan. This colon cancer has hit her hard and she's held up extremely well. Like me, she will be relieved to have the surgery over with and a course of action to follow.

    What's the name of your dog? Of all things, we lost our springer a few years ago to cancer. We had her for 14 years. She was a chocolate and white dog, which my daughter named "Her-She" to match her color and play off the Hershey chocolate name.

    Time to retire, in more ways than one!