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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

Hi maria

Husband had same op. Only thing I can do is describe events up to and afterwards.

He had 2 days of pre-op cleansing. This was done over a weekend in hospital and that gave them the chance to get all paperwork done and all the various professionals to pay him a visit. He was fortunate to get a side room to himself which is rarely possible in the UK national health service and great for bowel cleansing as it means you dont have to sprint across the ward in the hope of finding an unoccupied lavatory. The anaesthtist, the stoma nurse, etc came and gave their little chats. He had to shave his stomach and chest area (the pubic region they did in theatre) and then the surgeon drew a couple of "X marks the spot" crosses as to where they would put a temp colostomy if it was required ( it wasnt - UK stats are that only 20% of patients require one). He was warned that he may spend the first night in either the Int care unit (ICU) or high dependancy unit (HDU).

im sorry but I cant remember how long the surgery took. Seemed like forever. I stayed at home and waited for surgeon to call me. He said all was fine except he had to scrape the tumor away from bladder, that he didnt have a bag, and that he was in his normal room - no need for ICU or HDU. He did however confirm that he had seen visual evidence that it had spread to his liver. I went to see him that evening ..... he was still groggy and connected to loads of tubes and monitors. He had a morphine pump thing which he could press himself. He was allowed 100ml of water every hour and they had put a catheter in to measure output and also because of lack of mobility. His scar/wound starts about 150mm above the navel, goes around it, then down to as far as you can, pubically speaking. He had staples. He also had a drain tube coming out of his wound and he had various IV drips for saline and antibiotics.

Next morning the nurse helped him with a bed bath and then he sat out of bed for an hour, walked with nurse to door and back. Continued with liquid only. Whilst in bed he did various prescribed exercises on the hour (rotating ankles, flexing back, pillow coughing). He increased his walking every day and the amount of time out of bed. I think he started solids on day 3 when they were sure his bowels were working by producing gas. He stopped the morphine on day 2 or 3 and just stuck to tramadol and paracetamol.

They would normally have sent him home by day 5 or 6 but because of the bladder thing they wanted him to keep cath in for a week and monitor him. In the end he stopped nearly 2 weeks (i think) because he would not stop draining (this was also an issue after his liver resection).

He was really pleased to get those staples out cos he couldnt seem to stretch or stand straight. His diet was pretty much normal but it was best for him to have several small meals throughout the day rather than a large dish at end of day.

Even though he did not have a bag, he was a borderline case and this does bring some problems such as sudden urgency, loose/explosive BMs, and certain foods/drinks will trigger a BM. He does have the occassional underpant disaster but is fairly philosophical about it. He always carries immodium with him in case he needs it.

I hope the above helps maria....... maybe a little uncomfortable reading but I think i have told it as it is but even though its only just over 2 years ago i do have trouble recalling all the events in the right order.

good luck for august

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