Tomorrow is surgery day! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

CheeseQueen57
CheeseQueen57 Member Posts: 933

Hi Sisters!

Well, the day has finally come and I am scheduled for surgery at 8:00 tomorrow morning.  It will be the whole shebang, robotic total abdominal hysterectomy bilateral salpingo oophorectomy (TAH BSO).  What a mouthful!  I'm hoping for a flatter tummy!  So having a fun day today with the bowel prep, which actually is not as bad as colonoscopy prep so I'm okay. 

Would appreciate any and all advice regarding surgery recovery.  Did you have a sore throat from being intubated? How long before you were up and about?  How was the pain?  What did you use to control any pain?  How long before you had the pathology report?  If you needed any futher therapy, how long after surgery did you start?  How long before you could travel by car? by plane? Any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, in advance, for all your comfort and encouragement.  It has so helped through this painful process.

 

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Comments

  • EZLiving66
    EZLiving66 Member Posts: 1,476 Member
    I had such an easy surgery

    Best of luck on your surgery tomorrow!!  I think having it on St. Patrick's Day is a sign of good luck Laughing

    I had such an easy surgery using the DiVinci robot.  My surgeon didn't have me do any bowel prep - just nothing to eat after midnight.  I had a total hysterectomy but no lymph node sampling at around 1:00 p.m. and I literally danced out of the hospital the next morning around 10:00 a.m. after I urinated on my own.  They gave me Percoset but I didn't need it.  If I would have had to, I could have gone back to work in a few days.  I was prohibited from driving for two weeks and longer if I was taking the Percoset.

    I was supposed to meet with my surgeon a few weeks after my surgery for the biopsy report but I thought I had UTI the next week so made an appointment with the PA.  They called back and told me the doctor wanted to see me the next day so I went in to give a urine sample and he told me it was a lot more serious than they originally thought.  I had Stage II, Grade 3 UPSC and he wanted a CT scan to make sure it hadn't spread.  I prepped for the CT scan the next week and thankfully, it showed nothing.  He told me there was a 50/50 chance he had gotten it all when he did the hysterectomy but to be on the same side, he recommended six rounds of chemo.  I made it through three.  The first two were easy but the third one was awful.  I believe a fourth chemo would have killed me.  My liver reacted badly - my live enzymes were way off, I started to have terrible night terrors, my blood sugar skyrocketed even when I wasn't eating, my legs and ankles swells up, my blood pressure was in stroke range - all signs of liver failure.  I went to my GP the day before my fourth scheduled chemo and she said my body probably couldn't take another chemo.  My oncologist did not offer to reduce the dosage, change the chemo drug or go to a weekly dosage as other women's doctors on this board had.  He just stopped it.  I had seen him the week before when he removed my infected port and told him how sick I was (I was in a wheel chair because I could only walk a few steps on my own because I was so dizzy and my feet were numb) so it wasn't like he didn't know.  I also had no feeling in my fingers and the left side of my face, was nauseous and had uncontrollable diarrhea - just miserable.

    I had my first of many three-month followups last week.  I had some spotting and was concerned.  My PA did a vaginal exam and said everything looked great - no sign of cancer.  She though the spotting was from some little pieces of scar tissue that had broken as I became more physically active.  Today, 14 weeks after my last chemo, I feel pretty good.  It took six weeks at wound care to get my port site healed.  I still have the neuropathy in my fingers and feet and my feet feel like they're on fire at night but I start physical therapy next week.  My hair is starting to grow back except for a few bald patches (Taxotere can cause permanent hair loss) and my finger and toenails which had fallen off are starting to grow back.  I'm still having some stomach problems but it's getting better.  My eyes still water a lot but that's getting better too (another side effect of Taxotere).

    I was considered NED (no evidence of disease) when I had my hysterectomy so it will be six months on March 30th and I plan to celebrate.  I know UPSC is an aggressive cancer and I hope between the surgery, the chemo and my own immune system, it's gone for good.  But, I'm also a realist and would not be surprised if it rears its ugly head in the future.  When and if it does, I will deal with it but I doubt I would ever go the chemo route again.

    Love,

     

    Eldri

  • CheeseQueen57
    CheeseQueen57 Member Posts: 933

    I had such an easy surgery

    Best of luck on your surgery tomorrow!!  I think having it on St. Patrick's Day is a sign of good luck Laughing

    I had such an easy surgery using the DiVinci robot.  My surgeon didn't have me do any bowel prep - just nothing to eat after midnight.  I had a total hysterectomy but no lymph node sampling at around 1:00 p.m. and I literally danced out of the hospital the next morning around 10:00 a.m. after I urinated on my own.  They gave me Percoset but I didn't need it.  If I would have had to, I could have gone back to work in a few days.  I was prohibited from driving for two weeks and longer if I was taking the Percoset.

    I was supposed to meet with my surgeon a few weeks after my surgery for the biopsy report but I thought I had UTI the next week so made an appointment with the PA.  They called back and told me the doctor wanted to see me the next day so I went in to give a urine sample and he told me it was a lot more serious than they originally thought.  I had Stage II, Grade 3 UPSC and he wanted a CT scan to make sure it hadn't spread.  I prepped for the CT scan the next week and thankfully, it showed nothing.  He told me there was a 50/50 chance he had gotten it all when he did the hysterectomy but to be on the same side, he recommended six rounds of chemo.  I made it through three.  The first two were easy but the third one was awful.  I believe a fourth chemo would have killed me.  My liver reacted badly - my live enzymes were way off, I started to have terrible night terrors, my blood sugar skyrocketed even when I wasn't eating, my legs and ankles swells up, my blood pressure was in stroke range - all signs of liver failure.  I went to my GP the day before my fourth scheduled chemo and she said my body probably couldn't take another chemo.  My oncologist did not offer to reduce the dosage, change the chemo drug or go to a weekly dosage as other women's doctors on this board had.  He just stopped it.  I had seen him the week before when he removed my infected port and told him how sick I was (I was in a wheel chair because I could only walk a few steps on my own because I was so dizzy and my feet were numb) so it wasn't like he didn't know.  I also had no feeling in my fingers and the left side of my face, was nauseous and had uncontrollable diarrhea - just miserable.

    I had my first of many three-month followups last week.  I had some spotting and was concerned.  My PA did a vaginal exam and said everything looked great - no sign of cancer.  She though the spotting was from some little pieces of scar tissue that had broken as I became more physically active.  Today, 14 weeks after my last chemo, I feel pretty good.  It took six weeks at wound care to get my port site healed.  I still have the neuropathy in my fingers and feet and my feet feel like they're on fire at night but I start physical therapy next week.  My hair is starting to grow back except for a few bald patches (Taxotere can cause permanent hair loss) and my finger and toenails which had fallen off are starting to grow back.  I'm still having some stomach problems but it's getting better.  My eyes still water a lot but that's getting better too (another side effect of Taxotere).

    I was considered NED (no evidence of disease) when I had my hysterectomy so it will be six months on March 30th and I plan to celebrate.  I know UPSC is an aggressive cancer and I hope between the surgery, the chemo and my own immune system, it's gone for good.  But, I'm also a realist and would not be surprised if it rears its ugly head in the future.  When and if it does, I will deal with it but I doubt I would ever go the chemo route again.

    Love,

     

    Eldri

    Thanks for support

    Thanks for the feedback Eldri.  Hang in there....Sorry your doctor was such a schmuck! 

  • ncg007
    ncg007 Member Posts: 136 Member
    Surgery

    I had the same surgery as you, but as you know everyones experience will be different.  Being laparoscopic recovery was pretty quick, pain was minimal and I only took pain pills (Norco) for the first few days then switched to Motrin.  I highly suggest a compression belt, this helped tremendously with the swelling and gave support.  Hospital sent me home with it, so ask if they don't.  Probably was a week or two before the real soreness subsided.  I was moving around and driving after a few days and felt fully recovered after four weeks. The biggest discomfort was trying to lay in bed the first few days, so i did find it more comfortable in the lazy boy chair.  I had no throat pain. I had my pathology report review at my two week surgery follow up with Gyn/Onc (stage IIIC1/Grade 3).  Dr. had me recover a full six weeks before starting treatment, which day one consisted of both chemo and radiation.  My advice is to relax and don't push yourself, try not to be too anxious on when you receive results. I know it's hard as your life/plans are on hold while waiting.  Praying for a successful surgery, recovery and good results.

    Nancy

  • CheeseQueen57
    CheeseQueen57 Member Posts: 933
    ncg007 said:

    Surgery

    I had the same surgery as you, but as you know everyones experience will be different.  Being laparoscopic recovery was pretty quick, pain was minimal and I only took pain pills (Norco) for the first few days then switched to Motrin.  I highly suggest a compression belt, this helped tremendously with the swelling and gave support.  Hospital sent me home with it, so ask if they don't.  Probably was a week or two before the real soreness subsided.  I was moving around and driving after a few days and felt fully recovered after four weeks. The biggest discomfort was trying to lay in bed the first few days, so i did find it more comfortable in the lazy boy chair.  I had no throat pain. I had my pathology report review at my two week surgery follow up with Gyn/Onc (stage IIIC1/Grade 3).  Dr. had me recover a full six weeks before starting treatment, which day one consisted of both chemo and radiation.  My advice is to relax and don't push yourself, try not to be too anxious on when you receive results. I know it's hard as your life/plans are on hold while waiting.  Praying for a successful surgery, recovery and good results.

    Nancy

    Thanks

    Thanks Nancy!  I'll definitely ask about the compression belt.  I had a c-section so I'm anticipating this will be a piece of cake compared to that Laughing.  Thanks for the timeline on the biopsy results.  I was figuring it would be about 2 weeks.  What I'm really wanting to do is take off to Florida while I wait. 

  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903
    Surgery Experience

    I did not have a sore throat at all.  My catheter was removed as soon as I was taken to my room after recovery and I had no problems peeing.  I did take some pain pills that night in the hospital, but once I got home, I took half pills of hydrocodone but only at night for a couple of days.  More important for me were the stool softeners.  The worst pain for me was the gas from the laparoscopic surgery.  That was far more uncomfortable than the pain from the surgery itself.

    My surgery was the first one in the morning and the nurses had me up and walking later that day.  Though I was scheduled to come home the day after surgery, I had a mild bout of nausea late that morning and they decided to keep me one more night.  I rode home in my BF's '65 Volkswagen holding a pillow between me abdomen and the safety belt.  It wasn't the most comfortable ride in the world, but it was doable. I also had an abdominal binder, I'm guessing similar to the compression belt, that really did help with support.  I walked every day at least once a day outside of my house, going a little farther down the block every day, holding my pillow against my stomach.  

    The pathology was back in about a week, but my post-surgery appointment with my doctor was 3 weeks after surgery.  Frankly, I concentrated on just recovering from the surgery and was in no hurry to find out about what would come next.  In my case, chemo began 6 weeks after surgery.

    One side note:  my abdomen was extremely sensitive to touch after surgery, enough so that I wore dresses for weeks afterwards.  I could not stand any pants touching the area at all, including underwear, and it wasn't just where the incisions were.  I went "commando" a lot.  This may not happen for you, but if it does, you'll know it is not uncommon.

    Good luck tomorrow.  My hysterectomy was my first surgery ever, and I was extremely nervous, but it turned out not to be too bad at all.

    Chris

     

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,811 Member
    Editgrl said:

    Surgery Experience

    I did not have a sore throat at all.  My catheter was removed as soon as I was taken to my room after recovery and I had no problems peeing.  I did take some pain pills that night in the hospital, but once I got home, I took half pills of hydrocodone but only at night for a couple of days.  More important for me were the stool softeners.  The worst pain for me was the gas from the laparoscopic surgery.  That was far more uncomfortable than the pain from the surgery itself.

    My surgery was the first one in the morning and the nurses had me up and walking later that day.  Though I was scheduled to come home the day after surgery, I had a mild bout of nausea late that morning and they decided to keep me one more night.  I rode home in my BF's '65 Volkswagen holding a pillow between me abdomen and the safety belt.  It wasn't the most comfortable ride in the world, but it was doable. I also had an abdominal binder, I'm guessing similar to the compression belt, that really did help with support.  I walked every day at least once a day outside of my house, going a little farther down the block every day, holding my pillow against my stomach.  

    The pathology was back in about a week, but my post-surgery appointment with my doctor was 3 weeks after surgery.  Frankly, I concentrated on just recovering from the surgery and was in no hurry to find out about what would come next.  In my case, chemo began 6 weeks after surgery.

    One side note:  my abdomen was extremely sensitive to touch after surgery, enough so that I wore dresses for weeks afterwards.  I could not stand any pants touching the area at all, including underwear, and it wasn't just where the incisions were.  I went "commando" a lot.  This may not happen for you, but if it does, you'll know it is not uncommon.

    Good luck tomorrow.  My hysterectomy was my first surgery ever, and I was extremely nervous, but it turned out not to be too bad at all.

    Chris

     

    About the same...

    My experience was very similar to Chris'....

    There is a thread where we discussed our post surgery experiences but I can't remember what it was called. Chris, do you remember? I think it would be helpful for her if we can find it. Even though my surgery was only 8 months ago, it seems like a lifetime! So many other things since then.

    I think walking is key to getting better quickly. And, drinking water or other fluids...

    My doctor was really strict about not lifting or exercising for 6 weeks.  That included no house cleaning! Sounds great right? Nope, drove me nuts! lol

    Anyway, I hope all goes well for you. It will be over before you know it.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

  • CheeseQueen57
    CheeseQueen57 Member Posts: 933

    About the same...

    My experience was very similar to Chris'....

    There is a thread where we discussed our post surgery experiences but I can't remember what it was called. Chris, do you remember? I think it would be helpful for her if we can find it. Even though my surgery was only 8 months ago, it seems like a lifetime! So many other things since then.

    I think walking is key to getting better quickly. And, drinking water or other fluids...

    My doctor was really strict about not lifting or exercising for 6 weeks.  That included no house cleaning! Sounds great right? Nope, drove me nuts! lol

    Anyway, I hope all goes well for you. It will be over before you know it.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

    Very helpful responses!

    Thanks all.  I'll be sure to take a pillow and ask for compression belt.  I already have the Miralax in my cupboard.  No problem with the house keeping.....I hate that anyway!!!!!

  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903

    Very helpful responses!

    Thanks all.  I'll be sure to take a pillow and ask for compression belt.  I already have the Miralax in my cupboard.  No problem with the house keeping.....I hate that anyway!!!!!

    This thread?

    Here is one thread that TeddyandBearsMom started after her surgery.  You might find some helpful info there as well.

    http://csn.cancer.org/node/295717

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,811 Member
    Editgrl said:

    This thread?

    Here is one thread that TeddyandBearsMom started after her surgery.  You might find some helpful info there as well.

    http://csn.cancer.org/node/295717

    Yep! That's it Chris!

    I didn't remember being the one to start it though.

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996
    Surgery

    I had my surgery in Oct. 2012 .  I had a radical hysterictomy, cut from around my belly botton all the way down.  My surgeon wanted to be able to feel everything and would not do the robotic surgery.  I did have he bowel prep stuff which I  though was total digusting.  They had me sip Coke with the clear liquid and that did cut the taste somewhat.  My surgery was about 3 hours from where we live so we went over the afternoon before and did the bowel prep there.

    surgery went well.  I was there longer than planned because my bowels would not wake up and they would not let me leave until I could pass gas and have a bowel movement.  I ended up with somehing called an illius(sp).  I started throwing up and ended up with a tube down my nose.  Otherwise I healed very quickly and they had me up walking the same night as the surgery.  At 7 days I was able to make the 3 hour trip home with no problems.  They did advice not driving for a few more days.  I started chemo at 4 weeks and was backing teaching school at 5 weeks.  I did no have any sore throat from the tube at all.  They will usually give you shots to take home to prevent blood clots.  They are given in your stomach.  They do sting a little, but are not bad. Usually there are 10 of them.  I wasn't supposed to pick up anything weighing more than a jug of milk for 6 weeks.  

    My hospital mattress was very thin and my back ended up hurting until I put a sherpalike throw down.m and I wish I had brought my own pillow, because it also lacked comfort.

    Hope you have an easy day and a quick recovery.  Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

  • Gardena
    Gardena Member Posts: 102
    Surgery

    My radical hysterectomy was done using the DiVinci machine; five small incisions were made. My lady parts and removed nodes were bagged before being brought out thru my vagina. I didn't have any pain upon waking up but was surprised to have a catheter and some crazy mesh underpants on holding a pad in place. I spent the night in the hospital b c my surgery was done in the afternoon. The next morning it was all about getting the catheter out, getting me up and walking and urinating. Was told not to lift anything over 10 lbs, vacuum or drive for six weeks. I took aspirin and had oxycodone if pain got bad but it never did.  I purchased a compression belt before surgery but didn't use it - it felt like it was squishing my insides instead of supporting the new "arrangement" in there. I started chemo 3 weeks after surgery - carbo/taxol every 3 weeks. My port was placed the same day as receiving my first chemo infusion.  I think my hysterectomy has been the easiest part of my cancer experience,  certainly the least painful. 

    Wishing you a smooth surgery and quick healing~  

  • Sandy3185
    Sandy3185 Member Posts: 228
    Hysterectomy

    I wish that I had had the DaVinci surgery!  As my D&C revealed UPSC in both my uterus and cervix, my doctor recommended doing an open abdominal radical hysterectomy so that he could really look around for any spread of the cancer and I ended up staying in the hospital for 5 or 6 days. I don't remember having a sore throat when I woke up, but I did have quite a bit of abdominal pain for the first few days. They took the catheter out after 24 hours and I did have some trouble urinating. In fact, for months afterward I had trouble urinating and often felt like I wasn't emptying my bladder completely. My surgery lasted about 7 hours and they didn't take me to my room until that evening so they didn't make me get up until the next morning. It's been over 2 years since my surgery, 12/5/13, so some memories are a little sketchy. I did have a morphine drip for the first day after surgery and then they switched me to oxycodone. They had run out of abdominal binders(!), so I never used one. The nurses were great but made sure I was out of bed and either sitting in a chair or walking the halls for a big part of the day. My husband and my daughter took turns staying with me. I was in quite a bit of discomfort for the first few days, but moving around and getting out of bed helped a lot. I also used a pillow under my seat belt on the way home- it really helps!

    I think the biggest problem I had with the surgery was not pain but, rather, nausea and extreme fatigue. This was the first time I had ever had surgery and I hope it will be the last! It took me several weeks to recover from surgery and even longer to lose the nausea. I started chemo about 6 weeks after surgery.

    I don't think I saw the pathology report until I went for my follow up visit about three weeks later and was relieved to hear that the cancer had not spread anywhere else nor was there any in all the lymph nodes that were removed(28) nor in the abdominal wash. I was able to take short trips by car( we had a 1+ hour drive home from the hospital) and I think I was given the OK to drive at my 3 week follow up visit. As I was feeling like cr*p, I had no desire to go anywhere in any case!

    But I did recover, had chemo and internal radiation and am now celebrating 2 years NED! You are having robotic surgery so I am sure your experience will not be like mine. I think the waiting before surgery and the not knowing we're worse than anything that came after. Tomorrow will be the first day on your road to recovery. You can do this! With love and caring, Sandy

     

  • Soup52
    Soup52 Member Posts: 908 Member
    I have the robotic surgery

    I have the robotic surgery also. The surgery is much easier than a c section and similar to the kidney removal I had 8 years previous. My catheter wasnt removed until the following day. They did release me from the hospital the following day after giving me 2 units of blood as I was severely annemic. I had no throat pain and really the worst part on being home was getting up and down from bed as no hospital bed! Really for me I felt 100% better after surgery and almost like my old self. Maybe I had been feeling so bad because of the anemia, but also my eating had been poor before surgery. I didn't have any bowel prep either just nothing to eat or drink night before. I really wasn't scheduled to meet with the dr for reports until 4 weeks later, but I must have complained enough thT they ended up scheduling me two weeks later and he gave me a copy of my report.

  • CheeseQueen57
    CheeseQueen57 Member Posts: 933
    I'm still kicking

    Well, got through the surgery. Wasn't as simple as anticipated. Surgeon ended up doing incision similar to c-section. Oh well. Longer recovery. No Florida for me. Have to stay in hospital extra day with catheter. Guess they roughed my bladder up pretty good due to previous section. But I'm not in a lot of pain, been up walking and eating. Doc says path report should be back in a week. Let the games begin.....

  • Kvdyson
    Kvdyson Member Posts: 789

    I'm still kicking

    Well, got through the surgery. Wasn't as simple as anticipated. Surgeon ended up doing incision similar to c-section. Oh well. Longer recovery. No Florida for me. Have to stay in hospital extra day with catheter. Guess they roughed my bladder up pretty good due to previous section. But I'm not in a lot of pain, been up walking and eating. Doc says path report should be back in a week. Let the games begin.....

    Glad to hear

    Cheese, glad to hear that you're doing well eventhough the surgery was tougher than anticipated. Walking helped me bounce back from my surgery fairly quickly so hopefully your experience will be similar. Sorry about your trip being postponed but it does give you something solid to work towards in the future! I hope you have a good weekend and get some rest.

  • I'm still kicking

    Well, got through the surgery. Wasn't as simple as anticipated. Surgeon ended up doing incision similar to c-section. Oh well. Longer recovery. No Florida for me. Have to stay in hospital extra day with catheter. Guess they roughed my bladder up pretty good due to previous section. But I'm not in a lot of pain, been up walking and eating. Doc says path report should be back in a week. Let the games begin.....

    So glad the surgery is over.

    Now, let the healing begin.  And let the path report be negative.  Hugs Nancy

  • ncg007
    ncg007 Member Posts: 136 Member

    I'm still kicking

    Well, got through the surgery. Wasn't as simple as anticipated. Surgeon ended up doing incision similar to c-section. Oh well. Longer recovery. No Florida for me. Have to stay in hospital extra day with catheter. Guess they roughed my bladder up pretty good due to previous section. But I'm not in a lot of pain, been up walking and eating. Doc says path report should be back in a week. Let the games begin.....

    Surgery

    CQ....happy to hear that even though surgery took a different route that you are feeling well.  I know it's disappointing to cancel another trip.  Now is the time to rest your body and mind.  I pray that you get good results and your game is a short one.

    Nancy

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996

    I'm still kicking

    Well, got through the surgery. Wasn't as simple as anticipated. Surgeon ended up doing incision similar to c-section. Oh well. Longer recovery. No Florida for me. Have to stay in hospital extra day with catheter. Guess they roughed my bladder up pretty good due to previous section. But I'm not in a lot of pain, been up walking and eating. Doc says path report should be back in a week. Let the games begin.....

    Even though you ended up

    Even though you ended up taking a different route, you still got there.  Let the healing begin So you can get on with the rest of this journey.  Hopefully Healing will be quick and recovery quicker.  Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

  • EZLiving66
    EZLiving66 Member Posts: 1,476 Member

    I'm still kicking

    Well, got through the surgery. Wasn't as simple as anticipated. Surgeon ended up doing incision similar to c-section. Oh well. Longer recovery. No Florida for me. Have to stay in hospital extra day with catheter. Guess they roughed my bladder up pretty good due to previous section. But I'm not in a lot of pain, been up walking and eating. Doc says path report should be back in a week. Let the games begin.....

    Cheesy, I am happy to hear

    Cheesy, I am happy to hear you made it through surgery even though they had to open you up.  Sometimes I think that's better than the DiVinci because the doctor can see everything better.  Hopefully the pathology report will be showing no spreading of the cancer!!  

    Love,

    Eldri

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,811 Member

    Cheesy, I am happy to hear

    Cheesy, I am happy to hear you made it through surgery even though they had to open you up.  Sometimes I think that's better than the DiVinci because the doctor can see everything better.  Hopefully the pathology report will be showing no spreading of the cancer!!  

    Love,

    Eldri

    Glad to hear you made it

    Glad to hear you made it safely through surgery! And thanks for letting us know so quickly!

    I hope recovery goes well for you. Walk, rest, eat, rest... rest... rest! Be kind to yourself.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi