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I'm Having Surgery This Week

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I will be having surgery to remove my tumor and have an ileostomy on Thursday, March 26th. Doctor said I should be there about 9:00 and he will probably start sometime around noon. Surgery will last about 4-6 hours (wow that seems so long) and I will be there approximately 4-6 days. He said that the best determining factor in going home is first "your attitude" and secondly, "the support of family and friends."

Last Friday when I had my scope done I had already went through the insurance process, had my EKG and my blood drawn so it just seems that on Thursday I have to meet with the ostomy nurse and just get ready for surgery.

I am so nervous. I've never had this major of surgery before. I talked with one of the assistants on Friday and he said you just count back from 10 and you are asleep and next thing you know you are waking up. He said its a lot harder on the people waiting than on myself. Guess that's true to some point - do they get to share the pain :) LOL

I asked the doctor when he thinks that I might be able to start golfing again. His response, not until the fall. Well maybe I could practice putting.

I do just want to get this over with. The anticipation of waiting for the surgery is probably worse than the actual surgery and then I know I will be on my way to a full recovery. I will have four months of chemo after this.

Please keep me in your prayers that the doctor and all involved take the utmost care of me. I know they will because they will have God leading the team.

Hugs! Kim

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

Kim,

Here you go - the next step! Let me try to address some of your fears:

"Surgery will last about 4-6 hours (wow that seems so long)" At least you know ahead. They told me 2 1/2 hours - it ended up taking over 5 hours. My husband was extremely anxious by that time! But me, I was in happy land!

"he said you just count back from 10 and you are asleep and next thing you know you are waking up." Actually, I never made it to the first number! They pushed me through the doors, smiled at me, and I was GONE. That's the way to do it!

"I asked the doctor when he thinks that I might be able to start golfing again. His response, not until the fall. Well maybe I could practice putting." I am now nearly seven weeks out from surgery. I am finally able to walk about a mile. Yesterday I picked up my 11 month old grandson and didn't feel any twinges! Give yourself time, the golf will still be there LOL!

"I do just want to get this over with. The anticipation of waiting for the surgery is probably worse than the actual surgery and then I know I will be on my way to a full recovery. I will have four months of chemo after this." Yes, the anticipation was horrible! Not to say that recovery will be a breeze - it won't. But you CAN do this! Look how strong you have been so far. You are on the exact plan I am - I start my 4 months of chemo tomorrow.

"Please keep me in your prayers" You got it! Prayers, hugs, good thoughts...all of it.

You go girl! Vicki

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

You will be in my prayers, I wonder if I'm even having surgery after my chemo, I don't even know what my plan is lol..but I think you'll do just fine, you're a strong woman, and in surgery, it's true, you go in, and you wake up, you won't even feel a thing..till you wake up maybe, and those good drugs are wearing off! everyone here is always in my prayers :)

Huggsss!
~Donna

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Kim,

I'm praying for you, girl. You're going to be GREAT.

*hugs*
Gail

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Its just the next step in the journey and it makes you closer to getting the beast out..Actually surgery was the easiest part for me...Recoup time wasn't to bad and I had a great caregiver (wife) that helps a ton .....getting use to the colostomy wasn't hard either. I haven't seen an illeostomy so im not familiar with them but the ostomy nurse will be a Godsend for you...
Its like VickiCO says the anesthesiologist will make it all go away and you will wake up what seems to be in an instant and it will all be done. You'll be sore but you will have great meds and don't be afraid to use them...walk as much as possible, it really helps you get better faster and out faster...my ostomy scared me the first time it started working...it fluttered and I thought a bee had taken up residence in my stomach. It didn't hurt at all but scared the "crap" out of me.....LOL.....should take about 2 days for that to happen.....
There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of or anxious about. God has the wheel so let Him have it and let what happens happen ....You will be surrounded by His comforting arms and in all of our prayers.....You can't beat that......God Bless you sweetie.....You'll be just fine........

Glv49
Posts: 206
Joined: May 2005

Good luck to you, I will be keeping you in my prayers. My husband is also have surgery on Friday this week, for liver resection. I know both of you will come thru this just fine.

Gail

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Kim,

I will have you and your entire surgical team in my prayers. As a veteran of many surgeries, I understand your fears. Decide ahead of time to have fun when you wake up. Weird, I know but you'll have good drugs! LOL That decision and getting out of bed to walk are the best ways to get home quickly. I will be waiting for your update.

Kimby

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Kim,

I will be thinking of you on Thursday. My biggest healing wishes and prayers are being sent your way. Let us hear from you when you are able.

Hugs,

Kay

PamPam2's picture
PamPam2
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Kim. Hoping your surgery goes the best way possible. It is best the doctor gets in there and removes all traces they can find. My cancer and ostomy surgery was my first major surgery too, it all seems like a blur now. It is best if you have someone who can stay in your room with you the first couple days after I have found, until you are adjusted to what is going on, the pain medications will get you through it. I started taking care of my ostomy myself right from the start, I was just determined I could, so I did. A little teddy bear someone brought me was just right for clipping my call button and IV pain button to, and extra pillows helped. I wish you a speedy recovery and as little pain as possible.
Pam

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 542
Joined: Aug 2006

Hey good luck! I go in on the 30th for lung met surgery...my 4th major in 3 years. I agree anticipation is terrible. I know that once I can get up and moving the time seems to go faster and I get out sooner. You are in my prayers and so are the Dr's.
Chip

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Chip,

I have a question for you about your lung mets surgery. When I had my last scan in Nov, all the "stuff" in my lungs was under a centimeter. Good, but bad in a way, because I was told I wasn't a candidate for any ablation, radiation, etc. because the lungs mets were too small. When I asked about lung surgery, my oncologist blew that off like we don't even need to think about that. I have my CT scan this Tuesday, so I don't know yet what that will show.
I'm just wondering if you had any radiation or RFA or any other procedures on your lungs other than your surgeries. I don't know why my Dr. blows off the idea of surgery. I may contact a lung specialist on my own, which I've never done yet. I actually did that on my own for dealing with my liver- my oncologist said "if we do anything at all, it could be cyberknife or other radiation". I contacted a liver specialist and ended up having a liver resection. We'll see how my scan goes, then I may contact a lung specialist on my own if there's still stuff there.
Any info on your lung surgeries might be helpful to me.
Thanks-
Lisa

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Lisa... I'll be interested in hearing Chip's response too because I think the three of us are in a similar situation.

I had 7 mets on my lungs. No such luck as having them all in the same area... they are spread out all over both lungs. As of January, the largest was 19mm which is 1.9cm. That one I had ablated and the procedure went very smoothly. The second largest was 7mm which is not quite a cm. He was going to ablate both of them but decided that it would be too risky to do both at the same time since one was on one lung and the other was on the other lung. Should both lungs collapse or partially collapse during the procedure, I would be in a bit of trouble ;)

That means I'm left with 6 mets... one at 7mm and the rest under 5mm. Surgery is not an option at this point since the 6 are spread out on both lungs. Ablation will be an option if only 1 or 2 of them grow... but if they all grow, or they grow and other new ones show up, then ablation will not be an option... I would then have to go on chemo to try and shrink them.

I think the feeling with the doctors is that once you have multiple mets, then it's only a matter of time and more will grow. So cutting out a few here and there is doing nothing other than damaging your lungs and bringing down the quality of your life... with other mets showing up. But I wonder how true that really is? I guess I will find out on Friday when I have the CAT scan... the purpose is for a followup of the ablation, but it should also show if the existing mets have grown or if there are new ones.

Nerve-wracking, no?

Huggggggs,

Cheryl

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 542
Joined: Aug 2006

That is my surgeons issue as well. They will operate if you have no evidence of the initial disease somewhere else, are healthy and they can operate based on location. He told me that if there were multiple mets then based on location, RFA was an option but surgery was probably not possible unless chemo shrunk the mets. Good luck on the CT scan. I agree that some Dr's look at multiple mets as a reason to not operate but some seem to be more aggressive than others. I wish I could help more. God bless
Chip

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 542
Joined: Aug 2006

I go to Stanford and they take a team approach so the onc, liver surgeon and thoracic surgeon are all in the same place. I have not had any ablations. The surgeon doesn't like to do them unless there is little other options or you have smaller lung volume left. What I did after the 1st lung mets showed up in my CT scan in 11/07 was immediately make an appointment with the Thoracic surgeon. This was not based on my oncs original recommendation. He said they are small, lets wait 3 months and see if they grow. After my history, I wanted a 2nd opinion. So what happened is the surgeon looked at the scan and then met with Dr Fisher (onc). They decisded that surgery was a good choice.

The first left thoracotomy was not that bad to come back from. The liver was much worse for me. 4 days in the hospital, lots of walking when you could, in 1 week I was back at work. personally, I love the surgeons as I hate the idea of something visible in me (1cm)that they can get out.I did have to go after the surgeon and schedule things proactively and I encourage anyone to do so. Feel free to contact me at my email cfenenga@msn.com and if you want I can give you info about calling you or you can call me and I can give you more details about the surgery. I do feel like the oncs do some "vodoo" and don't always approach surgery because it does take energy from you nad you cannot do chemo until you have recovered.

Best

Chip

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I wish you all the best of luck in your upcoming surgery as well. I'm not sure if I will be on the internet before the 30th (although my hospital is suppose to provide internet) so in case I don't get on before good luck to you too.

Kim

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Chip... just wanted to let you know that you are definitely in my thoughts and I am sending positive, healing thoughts down to you! You are right... the anxiety of waiting to know if there's something that can be done about the mets... and then when the option is surgery, the anxiety of waiting for that day of surgery to come... it's a wonder we aren't all basket cases constantly!

But we will definitely be waiting for the day when you feel up to sitting at the computer and writing us a note to say you are home, recovering and getting antsy to just get outside! Then we will know you are on your way to recovery and all is good in your world :)

Huggggggs,

Cheryl

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

Kim,

You're in my prayers. My resection was on Dec. 12 and I feel great now. Anticipation is so much worse! Good luck and keep us posted.

Rebecca

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

I just had my surgery March 10 so I know how you feel. I was scared but it goes so fast. The worst part is waiting before you go in. Do you have to do a bowel prep? I had a stomach bug the weekend before so the prep really was not fun. Once they got me ready I just remember praying with our pastor, hugging my mom and dad and my husband and then being wheeled down the hall into the room. Then I just wanted to go to sleep....so I did. Then before I knew it I was waking up in recovery. I was in the hospital for 8 days. I had a colostomy so that is taking awhile to get used to but I have a wonderful home nurse that is coming to help me, so make sure you get plenty of support. I know this seems so overwhelming but you really will do fine. Just think - that cancer will be out of your body!! I am 2 weeks out after having surgery and I am finally getting some strength back so be patient with yourself. However, I got a bed sore that hurts. :-) Take this time to take of yourself and be selfish for your needs.
Keep us posted!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you so much for the responses and prayers that are being said for me as I take yet one more step in the journey of recovery. You all are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I do need your prayers and continued support. I thank God that I was brought to this board and the caring people that are a part of it to help me get through this time and the journey that is facing me with the "mop up" chemo after.

God Bless you!

Kim

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

as soon as you can - WALK!! Walking will make you feel better faster and prevent those nasty gas bubbles!

aluckylady's picture
aluckylady
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2009

Kim & Chip,
I will be praying for you both along with your surgical team.
Like Buzzard said...God has the wheel.
Stay strong, you have been an inspiration for me. Look forward to hearing from you, once its all over!
BE WELL...GOD BLESS

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Kim,
I'll keep you in my prayers. I'll be praying for you and your surgical team too. (Chip you too). I know that walking helped Dick get going. Hugs to you.
Kathleen

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I will not forget to pray for you and qwe on Thursday.

Praying and expecting healing and God's blessings on you both,
Diane

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Kim -

Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers this week.

(Sponge)Bob & USAKat(ie)

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I just wrote to you "both" (undergoing surgery the same day!) above --

Will be thinking of you -- best wishes

I certainly respect the view of your doctor about not playing golf until the fall -- but I love proving my docs a little bit wrong and I bet you will too!!

The anticipation is BY FAR the hardest. Once you cross the threshhold into the hospital, you are in their loving hands -- they will take wonderful care of you (and the drugs help ha ha).

Love,
Tara

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

How are you doing? How are things in HK? Hope you're doing well.

- SB

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Thinking of you with many prayers for tomorrow. You are in God's hands.

Hugs,

Kimby

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks for all the prayers. I'll let you know I'm fine when I get a chance. Hugs! Kim

SandyL
Posts: 220
Joined: Feb 2009

One thing that husbands drs and nurses said was to push the button for the pain meds if you need it. If you don't use the pain meds it makes your body work harder thru the pain and it can't do the healing that is required. It's there for your comfort. I will also be remembering you and your caregivers in my prayers. Good luck and God bless....

mom_2_3
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

Prayers and hugs to you Kim!!! The love and support of the people on this board and of God surround you while you are in surgery and during recovery. Heck, that support surrounds you ALL THE TIME!

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