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After resection how long until return to work

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After resection how long until return to work

Postby Dweber » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:54 am

I am scheduled for my resection surgery for CRC on September 6th. I was wondering when you were ready to return to work after the surgery and how long you were hospitalized. I will probably have the temporary ileostomy too. I have a non-strenuous office-desk environment job. I'm thinking about 4-5 weeks off in total-- am I on track with that presumption? Thanks for the information as I nervously await this upcoming procedure.
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby BrownBagger » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:38 am

Hey, welcome to the Club.

Like you, I'm a desk jockey. I work 2 days a week from home and drive 60 miles one way 3 days a week to get to my office. I returned to work more or less full-time 3 weeks after my LAR, which put me in the hospital for 4 days and nights. Five weeks post-op, I felt good most of the time. Before that, my biggest complaint was fatigue. I got back on my bicycle at Week 6 and never looked back.

I made an effort to get into the best shape possible before going in for my surgery, and then I worked at staying active post-op. You're laid up for a few weeks regardless, but I think being in good physical condition helped me recover more quickly. The hardest part about returning to work, from my perspective, was the drive up to work and back. Bumpy roads and with that incision in your belly and the temp ileostomy, you feel every bump. Early on, by the time I got to work, I was tapped out from the pain. Good time to take a Percocet.

Good luck with your procedure. If the stress starts getting to you, ask your doctor for a script for Ativan or some other sedative. No point in sweating out something that's inevitable.
Eric, 56
Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
Recurrences: (3/lung)
Major Ops: 5
Chemo Rounds (career): 76
Bicycle miles post-dx 10,346
Motto: Live your life like it's going to be a long one, because it just might, and then you'll be glad you did.
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby Surroundedbylove » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:39 am

I had a low anterior resection for rectal cancer along with bilateral salpingo oopherectomy and a temporary ileostomy. It was five weeks to the day from surgery until I returned to work. Admittedly I had a rough time with the first chemo infusion after surgery (long story) and I ended up working just a little and then I had to take a full leave of absence in order to finish chemo. I also had a desk job - but not low stress.
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Rectal Cancer @ 43, '08
Clinical: T3,N2a,MX (IIIB)
6 wks XELOX & radiation
LAR, colonic j-pouch, & temp ileo '09
Surgical: ypT3,ypN0,ypMX (0 of 20 nodes)
FOLFOX; XELOX
Ileo Takedown '09
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby janklo » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:03 am

My daughter had total colectomy, was in the hospital 8 days. She returned to work after 3 weeks and she was pretty run down before hand from not feeling well for a couple months and not knowing what was wrong. She has a desk job and a 45 min commute.

She just recently had abdominal surgery to remove an abdominal tumor and it turned into a small bowel resection, but she is in much better shape this time as she exercises 6-7 days a week and has been eating better. This time she was in the hospital 5 days and returned to work after 1 week.

So if you are in pretty good shape other than that pesky little colon issue, hopefully you will not need that much time to recover!
Mom to 28 yo daughter
colectomy 2/22/10, stage 3C, signet cell
7/2011 peritoneal mets
HIPEC September 2012, difficult recovery
Hospice 10/31/2012, Died 11/16/2012
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby Luna » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:24 pm

I had a LAR/TME Jul 5 and still off work, nowhere near ready to go back. That being said, I was very ill in Jan., and had chronic fatigue issues going into the surgery.
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby SkiFletch » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:01 pm

I went back to work 4 weeks post-op although I don't have a desk job. Mileage can vary here, some folks are closer to 3, others closer to 5 but that's the general time frame barring serious complications.
11/13/09 5cm Stage IV 9/25 lymph nodes w/2cm peritoneal met at 29 YoA
12/15/09 LA right hemi-colectomy
6/16/10 Folfox FINISHED
8/10/10 Prophylactic HIPEC
10/9/10 got Married :D

"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life."
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby Craig J » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:25 pm

I am still at home recovering from a left hemicolectomy (Sigmoid, 15" taken) which was done on 7/6/11.....about 5 weeks ago. My sugeron added 2 additional weeks off from work on top of what I thought would be 4 weeks off, so 6 weeks total. My surgery was on a Wed. and I was discharged on Monday. They like to see you walking alot in the recovery hallways. I was sent home with a prescription for Percocet pills but they quickly made me nauseous, twisted my stomach up and made me throw up (not fun with internal abdominal staples and stitches). So watch the Percocet if they give you that at home. I actually took myself off all pain pills at about day 8. I found that my incision has bothered me more since getting home than the actual internal resection.

Getting out of bed felt like a job in itself. I had alot of fatigue for about 2 weeks after surgery and they said the anesthesia lingers in your body for months, depending uupon how long your surgery takes (mine was 5 1/2 hours). All I can say is just be patient with yourself, you know your body best and take one day at a time. Buy simple things to eat ahead of time as you won't feel like cooking. Progress is being made you just don't realize it. I wish you the best....you'll do fine I'm sure.
Diag. stage II colon cancer at 37 yo,
Left hemi-colectomy on 7/6/11
T3/N0 of 50/M0, moderately differentiated, large tumor
MSS, no loss of expression, Lynch testing - (inconclusive).
Completed 8 rounds of Xeloda 9/1/11 - 3/25/12!
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby William JS » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:34 pm

With a very physically tough job (lifting, bending, kneeling, stepping up, etc.) on the night shift at a very busy grocery store in SF, i was able to return to work 5 weeks after the initial lap/da Vinci surgery with a temporary ileostomy, and then, several months later, about 5 weeks after the ileostomy takedown/reversal. Being in reasonable physical shape does pay off; having said that, the contact between the skin around the ileostomy and the bowel liquids that managed to get onto that skin were the cause of some genuinely painful moments.
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby LG1975 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:07 pm

My hubby had the ascending and transverse colon removed. His surgeon said he would not be released to work for 6 weeks, period. Hubby has done fairly well though. He had the surgery on Friday and was released from hospital on Wednesday.

HTH :)
Me - Lisa: 35
Hubby: 41 ~ Stage 3B Colon Cancer
~ 7/1/11 - colonoscopy revealed large tumor
~ 7/15/11 - Sx to resect colon
~ 8/15/11 - Began FOLFOX
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby betsydoglover » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:46 pm

I had a sigmoid resection, done via laparoscope. I had surgery Tuesday AM and went home Saturday afternoon.

Initially I was cleared to return to work in 3 weeks. Ar 2.5 weeks I saw my surgeon and since I was still tired, he cleared me for another week. Went back at 4 weeks. There were 2 or 3 days when I checked out early because I was tired, but for the most part I was fine for work at 4 weeks.

Good luck.
Betsy
diag. Stage IV, 5/05, liver met
lap sigmoid colectomy, 6/05
6 cycles Xeloda/oxaliplatin/Avastin (NED after 2)
11/08 9x13mm right lower lobe lung nodule; removed via VATS 4/09
6 cycles Xeloda + Avastin,
NED (PET every 3 mo)
Avastin only 10/09-5/11
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby disco nap » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:40 pm

I had a right hemicolectomy (full incision, not laproscopic) and was back to work after 5 weeks. I may have been able to go back after 4 weeks but the extra week off really made a difference. I have a desk job and had no complications after surgery.
DX July 2 '10 CC Stage IIIC, 11/18 nodes+
Right Hemi July 6 '10
Folfox: Aug 17'10 - Feb 17'11
Mar 13 '12: Lynch Syndrome MLH1
"Declared well" and been well ever since.
Update: CT scan April 2014: clean. MRI July 2014: Clean.
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby Future_Med » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:58 pm

I really do think it depends on the individual. I was in the best shape of my life, had run my first 1/2 marathon in September and then had surgery on Christmas Eve. I had a total colectomy, was in hospital for 10 days. Home for 3 then back in for a few with an abscess and infection in my incision. Was expected to be able to go back to work about about 8 weeks post op. Ended up going back at about 4 and a half months post op. In terms of physically healing, I probably could have gone back a little sooner even though I have a non desk job, but was still zapped of energy and had to get control of the bowel issues (didn't have a temp ileostomy) because I couldn't be running to the bathroom every half hour. That being said being in the best shape I could have been was definitely a good thing and helped with my recovery.

Aideen
Diagnosed colon cancer Stage 1 November 30, 2010 Age: 27
Collectomy December 24th, 2010
Genetic Testing back December 19th 2011. Familial Adenomatous Polyposis confirmed
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby jens22 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:44 pm

I could have been back after 5 weeks...but I had 3 kids to take care of too...That limited my rest time. I also needed the chemo consult and that was a superise to me so I took a little more time off. See if you can start back slowly...maybe 3 days the first week...or start on a THursday.
Colonoscopy 3/10 for ? hemmorrhoid.
Diag Colon Cancer 3 days later
Colon Ressection 3/30/10
Stage 3B 5/14 Nodes positive.
Power Port and 7 months of Chemo
Port removed 11/11
6 Neg CAT SCANS!!! Hurray!! 11/11/13
Diag age 47 , now 50 Mom of 3 boys.
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby String » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:45 pm

Well I am the odd person out here.

I left work in October and returned in August

As my job was protected by law( Ontario ) I took what I needed to get well again,

I would do the same again,
Stage IV colon with mets to liver October 07
Stage II kidney cancer
NED 4/24/2014
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Re: After resection how long until return to work

Postby tammylayne » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:12 pm

I am similar to String. I had surgery the first of December. I could have gone back to work by the beginning of March, but had just started chemo, and my disabilty worker encouraged me to get a few rounds under my belt before I made the decision to return. Went back 3 days a week the beginning of June, will be fulltime starting August 22nd.

When I had my first resection, 4 years ago I returned at 7 weeks. It was a straight resection of the large colon with no ostomy. This time it was an open surgery - 16 inch incision that became infected. I had 12 inches of both large and small intestine removed, both ovaries, 1/2 my rectum, a hernia repair and an ileostomy. My surgeon wanted me to start off with an 8 week return date to be reviewed closer to that time. I would have had a hard time going back full time if I had no choice. Luckily for me, I have both short and long term disability, and a company that is 110% behind me recovering completely, on my own terms.

I think you have to listen to your body, and take it as it comes. Hopefully your employment position allows for that. Yes, some people are back to work in 3 weeks...others 6 and still others are struggling at 12. You will have to do what is right for you...good luck!!

Sending you lots of positive energies...

Tammylayne
51 F
'06 Stage 1 CC,
'10 Stage 3 Rectal

"You never know how strong you are until you have to become your own hero."
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