CSN Login
Members Online: 1

You are here

waiting for surgery.

mommyof2kds's picture
mommyof2kds
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi everyone. I just finished my round of chemo and radiation for stage 3 rectal cancer. I am 36 yrs old. I have my surgery scheduled for the beginning of june. Just wondering what to expect from the surgery and recovery. wishing the best to all. Thanks for any info you have to offer.. Take Care.

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

I was two years older than you are now when i had my colon resection. It was a very interesting experience. I remember telling the aenesthesiologist that i was tolerant to verced, then he gave me a shot of it to "prep" me for the aenesthesia, then they wheeled me into the OR (i remember noticing those three huge lights up above that you always see on TV), and next thing i know, they're wheeling me into my room, and i felt stiff all over. The first thing i did was touch my tummy. I felt the tight bandage they had around me, and i was thankful for that thing. I was very groggy and in and out of consciousness, but i remember seeing my family members walking around the room getting situated. I saw the outline of a huge pink elephant above my Mother's head, and several other strange things over the next day or so. They took the nasal tube out of my nose the day after surgery. All the other tubes stayed in for the duration of my stay which was eight days. You'll have a drainage tube on one side of your abdomen with orangish pink stuff draining out, you'll have a catheter in your bladder, and if you're like me, you'll have an ostomy on the other side of your abdomen. The ostomy was gross. I had an ileostomy, and wasn't allowed any food, so the bag filled up with a dark green muck all the time. The nurses emptied this for me for the first four or five days, then expected me to do it. That took some getting used to.

They will try to get you up out of bed to walk around day two or three. This was worst for me because i had a broken back at the time and didn't know it. My incision site wasn't too bad at the hospital because of the tight wrap. At home it was always very sore. My incision went from the bottom of my sternum bone to the top of the pubic line. They go around your belly button rather than through it, so that was a relief. Your incision probably won't be as long. I had my gallbladder removed while they were in there. Make sure you pack plenty of warm socks, and i always bring my own blanket and pillow. Hospitals are very cold, especially when you're the patient. You won't need but one pair of underwear for when you check out.

I also wasn't able to shower for the first six days, or eat for the first seven. I was there for eight days, your stay may not be that long. Let me know if there's anything else you need to know. I remember a lot about it. Are you getting an ostomy?

Many hugs,
Krista

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

I, too, was DX'd stage 3 rectal,with the tumor very low (within 4cm of the anus). I expected an ostomy but it didn't happen. The radiation/chemo had a complete response and the tumor was gone at time of surgery. there was just enough rectum to re-hook everything.

My surgery (Feb 4) lasted 5 1/2 hours, and by the time I was in my room I was pretty awake. Lots of pain meds kept me happy. They also installed a pain pump in my abdomen and that helped a lot. I was told I would be there 7 days. The second day they had me up and walking. I protested at first, but honestly, it helped a lot. I walked as much as I could every day. I couldn't shower according to the nurses, but on day 3 the doctor said bunk...his patients can shower after 24 hours if they are up to it. I slept a lot, but after I finally told them no more diladud (nightmares, depression set in) I felt pretty good. I went home on day 4.

Eating - I had a clear liquid diet for two days, then semi-solids like pudding, soup, etc. Day 3 I ate crackers and tea and a couple of bites of chicken. When we got home the evening of day 4 I had cantaloupe and that helped a lot. I had bowel issues for 8 days until the surgeon finally ok'd meds to unblock me, and boy did they work. I went back and forth between constipation and diarrhea for quite a while...I still am not regular 3 months later.

Everyone's experience is unique. Just don't expect too much from yourself, and rest when you need it. And walk, walk, walk after the surgery!

Vicki

mommyof2kds's picture
mommyof2kds
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks for the info. I still have to meet with the surgeon later in may. The surgeon is not 100% sure if I will need a colostomy, but there is a good chance I maynot need one. The tumor is 5 cm in from the anus, and we are hoping that the chemo/rad shrunk it alot. It is great to hear other people's experience, I never even thought about having a drain or a NG tube. Feel free to share anything else you guys think of. God bless.

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Yeah, if you think of it at the time, make sure you're fresh on your pain meds before the doc yanks that puppy out. I swear i had sadistic doctors in the hospital! Hopefully i'll get luckier this time!

I don't want to scare you about the ostomy, but at first my docs and nurses said i probably wasn't going to need one, either. I found out i was not only getting an ostomy, but an ILEOSTOMY nine days before my surgery. It was very shocking and devastating news that i had no preparation for. I was angry to say the least, and i think it made it much harder to get used to once i had it. Some people really don't get one. I would read up on them, just to be prepared.

I will let you know how my reversal goes when i get back from it. This should be another very interesting experience!

Many hugs,
Krista

mommyof2kds's picture
mommyof2kds
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

I guess I need to prepare my self for anything. I knw that it will be my first question when I wake up. Thanks for all the info.

Subscribe to Comments for "waiting for surgery."