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Any Golfers?

Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

I just found out that I have colon cancer on Monday, 4/23. I'm talking to a surgeon/specialist tomorrow and my understanding is I will likely need resection surgery soon. I'm not sure about additional treatments at this point either (e.g. chemo).

My Golf league starts next Monday (4/30).

Should I drop out of the league? My assumptions are leading me towards dropping out of the league (I've played golf with my partner for over 15 years) but I wanted to check my assumptions with you all to see if they are valid before I make a final decision...

1. How long before I can safely play golf? Due to surgery... My assumption is that the surgery and recovery will likely mean no golf for at least 3 weeks (maybe up to 6 weeks)...

2. Another assumption is if I need chemo I'll probably not feel much like playing golf??? Is this a true assumption???

Thank you for your replies!

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

First of all.....welcome to this board....always think it is one lousey way to meet people but there you go. Please do not consider you question trivial....as far as i can see there is no trivial question....especially in the beginning like you are not with colon cancer. I would think if you have a resection that golf would not be on the list for at least three weeks.....I am not a golfer so i will others chime in as they will. I am just thinking the abdominal twisting plus the stamina required maybe would not be just the thing.

As to the chemo....that is not so easy. Everyone here has a personal reaction to their chemo. I have done lots and lots over the course of 8 years. Some days a walk is just what you need. I found the couch is always attractive but really it does not make you feel that much better. If you cleared your plate you might feel less pressure about letting your friend down and then if you have to do chemo....you can wait and see how you feel.

all the very best.....glad to have you here.....


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

I think 3 weeks out from surgery would be optimistic for 2 reasons.

When I had my surgery it was 6 weeks before release to drive a car.

There is also the need to not stress the abdominal area. Not only will there be internal stitches but also external staples, if you have traditional major cut surgery the abdominal muscles will need time to heal.

It sounds like you are an avid golfer and it would be hard to give it up this year. Is there some position you can hold that will let you be on the fringes as you feel up to it? Maybe collecting and verifying the scores at the 19th hole...lol.

Best bet is to ask your questions to your surgeon who I am sure will have his own 'rules' for recovery.

Just remember, the better you mind your manners after surgery the better your chances of not having any residual effects.

Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

When I first saw your post I wondered if you lived in my area as I heard an ad yesterday on the radio to register for a charity golf tournament for colon cancer sponsored by Anne Murray :) I don't golf. Everything depends on the extent of your surgery as to how much you will be able to do. I was cut from just below the rib cage all the way down. I had surgery end of December, in June I lifted a case of water bottles as it was softball season for my kids. Then in August I lifted a 50 lb. bag of carrots for my horses...I now have a hernia above my belly button up to between my ribs. As a mom you tend to go shopping and lug stuff I shouldn't have been picking up I suppose. If you're going to need chemo. everyone reacts to chemo. differently. I was on Folfiri, and I was able to work, shop, basically do what I would typically do, there was diarrhea controlled with meds. and fatigue certainly set in, fatigue seemed to happen on disconnect day from the 48 pump. I don't know if you even have discussed any chemo with doctors yet, but some regimines have you hooked up to a pump for 48 hours after you have bi-weekly infusions at the chemo. centre. If your golf dates happen to fall on days you're hooked to a pump I don't know how this would go, you'd probably get a port in your chest and the tube runs up to your chest and is hooked up with a needle for 48 hours, bottle sits in a fanny pack around your waist, during that time you're typically on steroids too, in my case I'd be a tad wired. So, basically there are so many factors that you'll have to find out first, the extent of the surgery you will need, and whether or not you'll require chemo. I'm assuming they have not staged you yet. Nice to meet you :)

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

Your post sounds like something I would have written before I had my resection in Oct., 2009. I was anxious to have the surgery and get it over with so I could resume my life as quickly as possible. I actually had the whole process neatly mapped out in my head into three divisions: Chemo & radiation/surgery/more chemo---voila--done!
It didn't quite work out like that.
You need to know upfront that the healing time from this major surgery is going to take time---more like three months than three weeks, and that's if everything goes smoothly. If you try to push it, you'll end up with unforeseen problems and delay your healing even further.
Here's a suggestion: Why not postpone joining the league this year, so that you can be hardy and well for next year's games? Perhaps there is still a way to be involved in the social events so that you don't feel too disappointed about missing out on all the camaraderie that come along with golf.
You're in for a bumpy ride...I agree with Maggie that it would be wise to take some of the pressure off yourself so you can concentrate on becoming healthy again.
Welcome to the Board~

Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

Thank you for the sound advice. I will plan to take the year off even though it make me sad to do... I think losing out on little things like Golf, and doing things (e.g. toting the water for the team) is going to be a struggle for me... But I know in my heart that I need to keep the bigger picture in mind and do everything I can to beat this illness so I can be there for my children (and grand children someday). I need to call my golf partner and let him know (after 15 years of playing together) that I can't do it this year. And I especially feel bad becuase this doesn't give him much time to find another partner.

Cancer Sucks!!!


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

You can ask but I'd really doubt you could. My doctor told me not for that season and my surgery was in March. You surely don't want to over do it. It's a major surgery and it wouldn't be good to be that active that quickly. Welcome to the board.


Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

My vote is play golf and get someone to be back up on days you can't play. Golf is treatment for the mind. My husband played last summer during chemo treatment. I am hoping and praying to get him back out there soon. I regret all those times I bitc-ed about all the golf he played. I think it was those 8 hour rounds of golf that got him in trouble. Lisa

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

And I'm the caregiver -). Whereas I don't have the struggles of treatment, supporting my wife has reprioritized things for me. I used to play league, and now I just play a few tournaments each year. Just no time.

Good luck.

Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Phil..I am sorry you are in the cancer world now..I am stage 4 with mets to lungs and liver..no surgery but on on 33rd round of chemo..started paying again because my doc wanted me to walk so why not walk on golf course..at first I could only make it 7 holes before my hips and back got too sore and tight..now I can play 9 easy and 18 if I ride..the most important thing I found is the mental benefits..you are in the moment and it gives your mind a break from the nightmare..my golfball doesn't know I have cancer and it is quite refreshing to not think of cancer if only for a while..I tried hitting balls with the pump on but not advised..I had to hit more club when I was weak but I have two holes in one since I was dx..my hcp is down to a 4 and I am so happy to have golf back in my life..you can chip and putt when you are weak to get ready when you are stronger..make adjustments and adapt just like you do in life..sometimes you are in the fairway and sometimes in the woods just like life..all you can do in both is find it and hit it again my friend..fight smart and fight hard and never ever stop playing the best game in the world..good luck in our battle Phil..fairways and greens..sean

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Today is the first day of my golf league. I am recovering from 2 major lung/liver nets surgeries.
I hope to get back out there when I can. I have chemo to follow so that may hold me back.
Find out your treatment plan and get back out there!
I am aiming for fall :-) You will be back out there soon!
Prayers for your quick recovery!

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Today is the first day of my golf league. I am recovering from 2 major lung/liver nets surgeries.
I hope to get back out there when I can. I have chemo to follow so that may hold me back.
Find out your treatment plan and get back out there!
I am aiming for fall :-) You will be back out there soon!
Prayers for your quick recovery!

Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

I would wait "till next year. If you get diarrhea from the chemo, it might be a problem when you are out on the fifth hole!!!
Sorry you are joining us,but wish you well. We can survive this you know.

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

I don't know how the sun/heat affects us if we are on chemo.
Going to ask my oncologist when I see her for Schedule.
I always has concern of using bathroom when on the course and modified my
diet on those days.
Hope all is well and keep us posted on your treatment.

biglaur's picture
Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2010

I was diagnosed Sept '06...stage four. After the initial FRIGHT I was bummed I wouldn't be able to play golf for awhile...hahahahaha...seems sooooooo long ago. After my resection, I got the go ahead to play in 6 weeks...but only chipping and putting. Uncomfortable, but I was doing it. Chemo started and I got out on the course as often as I could...sometimes I was so weak I could only play 9 and had to ride in a cart (I'm a walker) I went from a single digit handicap to pretty awful...but I always felt better doing something that was "normal". My friends were great...always willing to play with me even if it meant playing slooooowly. With the port installed my swing got weird...and after it was removed 4 years later it got weirder again...but...I'm still alive and I'm still golfing. In fact, I'm in North Carolina right now (from Southern California) having just played 4 rounds in 3 days at Pinehurst! So, pace yourself...getting better is the main concern. The course and your buddies will be there waiting.

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