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Is it always something?

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

My husband missed chemo last week because of an infection in his incision. I was angry with him because I thought he caused it.

He has had a bump on the incision since surgery, and it always bothered him because it hits right where his pants sit. He thought it might be an ingrown hair and picked at it, and by the time we got to chemo last Monday, he was in alot of pain, and the area was red and swollen. Onc took one look, called the surgeon and said he couldn't have chemo. The surgeon's fellow on call came and cut it open to drain, and I have had to pack it morning and night for the last week (very painful for him). They put him on antibiotics and we returned this Monday. They gave him chemo, minus the avastin, and said all looked good, and the oncologist told me that she actually didn't think he caused it - "...probably something there and he aggravated it...".

Well, today, after showering, he said he saw what he thought was a piece of lint, and when he touched it, it was kind of sharp, and he couldn't brush it away. Turns out it is actually a stitch -- inside the new incision the surgeon's fellow just made last week.

Now he has to see the surgeon Tuesday morning. I'm worried they'll have to cut him again and then he'll miss chemo again, or not get the avastin which I am told helps the other drugs to work. I'm just worried period - what is it? I don't understand what is going on. He had staples on his incision - not stitches. I guess this is some kind of internal stitch, but I am concerned that it didn't dissolve - are they supposed too?

It seems like 1 step forward and 3 steps back. He is supposed to complete 12 rounds of chemo. I'm so frustrated tonight. While he wasn't getting chemo the tumors on his liver grew, so I am worried. He is also planning to return to work soon, so I'm concerned about that too, and whether he will even be able to now.

Sorry to have rambled - just needed to vent. Learning you can't plan/count on anything when dealing with this. I hate this so much. I hate watching this happening to him. I hate the look of fear in my daughters' eyes when he is not feeling well. I hate the looks on people's faces when they ask how he is, knowing that he is Stage IV. I'd give up everything I have, do anything I had to, for him to be healthy again.

Praying hard for everyone tonight - CANCER SUCKS!!!!

Donna

snommintj's picture
snommintj
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

Infections suck way worse than cancer. They can and will kill you in just a few hours. I thought I took my last breath more than once when my infection was raging through my body. Don't worry about the Avastin. It doesn't help he other chemo drugs. It actually works via a completely separate mechanism and doesn't in any way hinder or help 5-fu. Yes, it would be nice to take it but let his wound heal first. Avastin keeps blood vessels from forming and that's not such a good thing when you're trying to heal. Good luck, I hope things start looking up soon.

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

every single time they have cut me open I have ended up with an infection. 3 times. Personally I think it is just because of the area they are working in, colon= not exactly clean. One time they had to lance it and bleed it out, another time I caught it before lancing time and the last time, a couple of weeks ago, they had to insert a needle to drain it. And it sucked big time. The good news, once they lance it and get on antibiotics, this usually takes care of it.

I had both internal stitches that would work their way to the surface like your husbands did and glue. No staples. They are suppose to dissolve, but don't always. You should be able to go in and have a nurse clip the one that is popping through and take it out.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6650
Joined: Feb 2009

Awwww so sorry about his infection. I know I had one too when I was healing from surgery and although mine was not nearly as bad as your husband's, I'm sure he is in a lot of pain and wants it just to go away. So sorry to hear of his delay in treatment. I can see from your posts that you are a very loving and giving care taker. I admire you so much for that. Hope he is doing well very soon.

Kim

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Donna:

Sorry you and your husband are facing so many obstacles at this point. I wish it was otherwise for you and understand the anxiety you feel.

I do hope that your husband's infection issues resolve quickly.

You can both get through this. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Hatshepsut

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Donna,

I'm really sorry he's having all this trouble. Hope they can get it taken care of right away!

*hugs*
Gail

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Your husband is so lucky to have you taking care of him. Your support and love will mean so much to him at this difficult time. Bless you for being so supportive.

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Lizzydavis:

That is a great photo. (I like the other photo you used of your pup as well.)

I can't adequately express how much help our little Silky has been in my husband's fight. She is his (and my) best friend and does double duty as a therapist at times. Your little dog looks like she loves you unconditionally and with great enthusiasm.

Give her a hug.

Hatshepsut

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Yes, my poodle puppy cheers me up everyday. She is so excited to see me and she loves to follow me around. She just turned 1 year old last month. I have never had a poodle before but I am glad I found her. She is a wonderful treasure! Thanks for your note!

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond, and for sharing your info with me. I was very frustrated last night because he seemed so down in the dumps, but at least the infection is cleared. Hopefully they'll just snip the stitch like Pattee said and that will be it.

Thanks everyone for your lovely words and thanks Pattee and John for the info.

Be well,
Donna

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Donna

I'm late here as well...I hope everything gets resolved and will be ok. I can hear the anxiety in your voice and know you are/were frustrated.

It sounds like very good advice from everyone here, so I'm just say Get Well and pleae let us know.

Always thinking about you
-Craig

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

Pattee,
I'm chiming in about infections when having surgery on the colon. Although I can't spreak from experience on that (I've only had liver surgery), my colorectal specialist told me that infections following surgery on the colon/rectal area occur up to 80% more often than after surgeries anywhere else in the body. I was told this a couple of weeks ago on my annual visit to the colorectal specialist (who would have done my surgery if I had needed it). She told me during my rectal exam that she "feels something small" where my original rectal tumor was. Nothing showed up on my scans there, so it's very small and could even be benign or scar tissue, but she wants me to have a colonoscopy soon to better check it out. I haven't had a colonoscopy in two years cause my onc wouldn't let me do it while on chemo. Now the colorectal specialist says it's important and I'll need to go off the Avastin for a few weeks to do it- not sure if I'll need to stop the other chemos as well, or not, temporarily (I just started them up again- am afraid to stop until I know they've been working on the tumors in the lungs). Anyhow, I asked if she did find something would she want to do a resection. She said, "no, not neccessarily, my thinking has changed in the past year- two years ago I probably would have just done so routinely. Now we look at more individual circumstances- you're in no distress and the cancer has already spread, so a rectal resection wouldn't keep things from spreading anyway. We know that there's such a risk of infection anytime you open up the colon, that I'd only do it if it were really neccessary. Most likely we'd just watch it." Interesting, I thought.

Donna,
I'm sorry you and your husband are having to go through all this, and that your poor husband has had such pain and such infection. May I pray for his infection to go away and for healing? I'd like to.

You take care, my dear, and never apologize for venting- I think most of us have done it. It's probably better to do it here, than to call up a friend or relative and do it.

Blessings to you and your husband,
Lisa

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you both for your posts, and thanks to everyone for letting me vent. With all you have on your plates .... the generousity here still staggers me.

Lisa - I welcome all the prayers I can get always, and I pray for you and everyone else here too!

Be well friends,
Donna

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

My same post just posted a second time- I must have hit click twice accidentally- not sure how to remove the post, so I just deleted it.
Lisa

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