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Even the best laid plans go awry....

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Oh well....

Even the best laid plans go awry....

What was going to be a two hour operation (with a one week
recovery period) to remove/repair a partial intestinal obstruction,
turned out to be a total mess. I went in for surgery on January 28th,
and tonight (February 28th) I am home, typing.

I had been released last week on the 23rd, after insisting that if
they refused to release me, I would sign myself out. There's an old adage,
that if you stay in the hospital long enough, they will figure out how
to kill you; they came damned close!

Three major operations, each taking an average of four hours, were
spread across three weeks, and my "recovery" is still in progress;
it ain't over yet.

There were numerous adhesions and hernias, not just one or two.
Unexpected major infections after each operation complicated
each procedure. The procedures to remove the heavily infected
and abyssed areas, left me in a really weakened state. I've become
deydrated, in spite of the TPN and saline drip.

I had bad reactions to whatever they used for anesthesia,
and remained lashed to the table (bed) with an NG tube, TPN,
and an assorted amount of Sci-Fi looking devices. There was
absolutely no way for me to converse, and nothing anyone
was saying made any sense to me. It was a surreal experience,
at the least!

I've lost about 13 feet of the total 25' of small intestine, and my
original Ileostomy stoma is no longer usable. The old stoma
will remain sitting there doing nothing, while my new Ileostomy
stoma takes it's place.

The new stoma is not anything like the old one; this new one is
recessed, elongated, and a major challenge to maintain. It's also
disappointingly well above my belt line, and will make wearing my
usual clothes a real challenge. I'm being told that no revision to it
will be possible for quite some time (if ever).

I'm 5'4", and went from being overweight at around 175 lbs, to
a nice slim 125 lbs. Losing 50 lbs in four weeks would have been
more to my liking, had I planned it to be that way....!

I should have the "op reports", etc, sometime over the next few
weeks, and from that I might know better about everything that
actually transpired.

I guess cancer doesn't stop taking from us. Long after we think that
we can put it all behind us and relax, some filthy nuance, like
an adhesion, or hernia, or some sort of intestinal infection, will
awaken us in the middle of the night.

For me, it was almost five years after surgery, but the surgeons
told me about patients with ten (and more) years post-op, just now
feeling the ramifications of past intestinal surgery.

Regardless of our type of cancer, our stage of cancer, or the methods
we've chosen to do battle against it, we're all in this together.

Thanks to all that sent "PM"s, and to all those that have expressed
their concern regarding my health and absence! I really appreciate it.
I'm sorry to not have written sooner, but I have been so damned
weak, that just sitting up took more energy than I had.

As I read through all the "PM"s tonight, I realized that it would be
better to write and post this, than to attempt to answer each of the personal
notes. But I will follow up as soon as I'm able! Right now, I'm running
on Loratabs just to have the energy to be able to get this typed out.

My best wishes for better health to each and every one out here!

Thank you all so much for caring!


Love2Cats's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Dec 2010

I hear you about the "cancer diet". When I had my resection done, I lost 25lbs in 10 days. I wish you a speedy recovery!


Crow71's picture
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks for posting John. We've be worrying about you and missing you. I hate it that you've had such a tough time. You're new stoma sounds like a challenge. I'm sure you will be able to figure it out. Is this one going to be permanent?

Really glad to hear from you.

Better health to you as well.


herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Do you know how crazy with worry I was getting?
I'm so glad to see you posted. Now I'm going to go read it.
Was so worried.
Winter Marie

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I hope your recovery goes very well. You rest up a lot, I'm glad you got home even with all the problems. So sorry for your pain. Take care.
Winter Marie

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I hope things are getting better and I am sorry that you are having a rough time. I am 8 years from diagnosis and have had many small bowel obstructions. I had one in Jan. but got better with bowel rest and did not need surgery.

I hope you get stronger every day. Being so sick is awful.


maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

that is an amazing story.....even more amazing that we go through these things and out the other end to tell the story.

I so hope you will feel better at home and begin a gentle speedy recovery


tina dasilva's picture
tina dasilva
Posts: 644
Joined: Sep 2010

Omg you poor thing what a time you had .well rest lots and get well soon hugs Tina

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3356
Joined: Jan 2010

So very glad that you were able to finally get home.

Hoping that you will now be able to get some rest and recover quickly from all this.

Thank you so much for letting us know how you are.

Take care and we look forward to your posts when you are able.

Marie who loves kitties

soccermom13's picture
Posts: 226
Joined: Feb 2010

Now is the time for rest and to regain your strength.

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Well we still need Kerry recovered to have the 4 musketeers here !....Kerry ,Buzz, Phil and you,hahaha!
Hope Kerry is doing well too, despite no news since few days ago!
Hugs your holiness!

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi John,

Good to hear from you finally, but man, I'm so sorry for what you've been through!
I don't even know what to say after all you've been through, but I'm glad that you've come through it and are now coherent and home.
Please keep us updated when you're able & know that many people here care about you.

Keep strong & here are wishes for you to get stronger and stronger again-

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Rest and get better! Sleep and let your body heal!!

Chat with you soon! Raquel

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

We have all missed you a lot + wondered how you were doing. What a relief to see this post! I am sorry you have been through so much. I hope you receover quickly.

plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Oh my goodness...that is soo much for anyone to go through and I'm sorry it happened to you. Now that you're home I hope the real recovery can begin and you can feel some wellness. It's good to see your name on here again.

Take good care, Gail

tesslee's picture
Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2010

what a relief to see you posting, and an ordeal you've been thru. heal, get better, stronger, physically, and emotionally. take extra good care. Tess

i don't post often but i do keep tabs of everyone.

Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2009

Glad to hear you are out of the hospital. Now you would heal faster and make a quicker recovery. I know from your fist cancer surgery you had said you had some complications with healing and I thought that was what was happening at this time, but did not think you would have had to go through so many surgeries in such a short space of time. So now keep hydrated, nourish yourself and get back your strength.
Fight the good fight. Keep strong.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

.... but then again "our experiences" have a way of changing us all, don't they?

What a major cluster you've had to endure - they really rang you up. At least you can publish your 50-lb diet loss plan:)

But seriously, glad you are home and here's to continued recovery.


Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

to finally hear from you. I am so sorry that what should have been one surgery ended up being a fiasco! You were missed. Welcome back and here's to a better recovery now that your home. HUGS

kant_spell's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010


Almost 4 weeks in the hospital probably felt like a year. The longest I've ever been in for is a week and that was close to unbearable.
I'm sorry it went so poorly but I'm glad you're out.

What are op reports? I take it we can request a written report that documents what happens in the OR?


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"What are op reports?"

An explanation better than what I can type, can be found here:
Types of Hospital Medical Reports

(even a "google" will do it better than I can)

Most hospitals will tell you that they charge per copy for the reports, but
I have yet to be charged for any amount of copies I've ever requested.

I have copies of each and every CT scan and Xray, and the narrative
from each radiologist and physician involved.

The -full- (complete) reports will include reports from the nurses
involved, along with any other narrative that has anything at all to
do with your hospital stay.

I found that having the reports at home, makes it easier to refer
to the dates, times, etc, when needed. My memory isn't what
it used to be, and most of my "notes" don't seem to make much
sense a day after I write the note....

Anyway, that's the scoop!

Good health to you!

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I hope you have felt the warm blanket of caring that has been wrapped around you. You wouldn't believe often your name has been mentioned (all good!) in the last weeks.

LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Hey John, so good to see your post, and that you're back at home and away from the hospital. I hope that you are feeling better and stronger soon. Take care, Cyn

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

Wow - you've been through the mill the last month. I'm glad to hear you are home now, and on your way to recovery.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I wish it was better all around news but Holy $hit! (can I say "Holy" here?) I was wondering where you were Bud. I know too well the NG tube, should be called the NFG tube.
Screw water-boarding, bring on the NG tubes!!!

Take it slow but I'm VERY happy to hear you are home at least.
I hope for a speedy recovery for you.

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Dang...bout time!!! I....WE...have been sooooooo worried about you. Dude...you have been thru the wringer!!! Sorry to hear you had such a hard time but I am sure glad you are recovering. Please take care of yourself and get well soon.....


Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

You have been missed. Thanks for checking in. Crap that is quite an ordeal you have been through. I hope and pray your recovery moves on with no more complications. I am so sorry you went through all those struggles. You are incredibly strong.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Oh, my goodness! John, you have had such a bad time of it! I just pray you will be much, much better soon. That cancer "diet" is rough, isn't it?

Glad to have you back, and I hope you'll be much stronger soon.


Anonymous user (not verified)

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Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2010


Great to hear from you. I am sure you will recover much more comfortably at home. Get lots of rest.

Take care,


JoyceSteele's picture
Posts: 146
Joined: Nov 2010

John, so glad you are home, feel terrible about all you have gone through. Just happy you made it. Take care and rest. Warm regards, Joyce

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

Our thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery!

Best Always, mike

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

take your time recovering.


Posts: 295
Joined: Apr 2010

What a nightmare, expecting to go in for a fairly simple operation and end up in the hospital for about a month. I just now found this discussion, I didn't know what happened to you. I am glad you are at home. I care about you and miss you. I hope you are resting and doing what you need to do to let your body heal.

kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

What hell you've been through. You're so right that it never seems to end. I haven't been out of recovery as long as you, but after nearly four years out of the original surgery, i still have complications from it all. I often joke when someone asks me what i want for my birthday, or if there's something they can do for me, i reply with, "I'd really like a new body, please." If only such a thing were possible! It's really only half a joke. lol!

I hope everything is going better for you now, and that you've been able to adapt to your new stoma.

Much love,

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