Housework and exercise after colon resection - how soon?

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Housework and exercise after colon resection - how soon?

Postby onlyson » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:06 pm

My 85 year old mom has been too depressed to take a walk in the street since her laparoscopic resection surgery 7 weeks ago, so I guess I should be overjoyed when she told me she cleaned the kitchen a bit today. However, I was worried about her internal resected colon sutures. She's always been a stickler for cleanliness and didn't like how the kitchen floors looked! She moved a cloth around with her foot, and then bent over for about 5 minutes to clean some of the floor (and spent a few minutes on her hands and knees).

She didn't lift anything heavy, and I know that a good sneeze or taking care of one's bodily functions probably puts more pressure on the stomach and the intestines, but is there any problem with doing housework? Before this, her most strenuous activity since the surgery was cleaning up after the cat (I come over and empty the litterbox as that's still a bit too heavy for her). Am I being too cautious and am I worrying too much?
Two weeks after surgery, when her staples were removed, the nurse practitioner told her it was okay to bend, but she was very careful until today. She used to be very self-sufficient, but I've been doing all her shopping and small chores around her apartment.

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Postby weisssoccermom » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:38 am

I really wouldn't worry about your mother doing the little bit of housework that you have described. If the nurse told her 5 weeks ago that it was ok to bend, then she is probably just fine. USUALLY the majority of healing (like you are talking about-internal stitches) is done by week 6. If you are overly concerned, I would talk to the doctor, however I really doubt that your mother did anything by getting down on all fours (other than maybe hurt her knees in the process). I wouldn't let her lift heavy items, but moving around is probably not going to hurt her physically. In reality, the ability to take care of herself is probably good for your mothers mental state. I would be happy that she is starting to take an interest in things again-even a dirty floor!!

While I understand that you want your mom to take it easy, it sounds as though she is wanting to get on with her life a little. Yes, she just had cancer surgery and needs to take it easy and make sure she stays rested to help expedite her healing. You say that she used to be self-sufficient. Maybe she is just trying to bit by bit get back to that same place - to take her old life back. Let her do it slowly at first. Remember that your mom had cancer but don't let cancer have or define her!

Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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Postby Magnolia » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:03 am

A little light activity should be fine. I had the full "zipper" surgery and was walking outside a little bit as soon as I got home. That was a week post op. I was trying to walk half a mile by the end of the next week. But then I was 51. I tried washing the car at 5 weeks post op and that was too much. It hurt.
Dx Stage IIIC CC 3/10/06
Surgery 3/20/06
Folfox 4/06 - 10/06
Avastin 4/06 - 4/07
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

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Postby shmurciakova » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:44 pm

Seven weeks is plenty of time to heal from even an open procedure! I think you can lift items over 10 lbs. after 2-3 weeks. I was hiking 10 miles/day a month after my surgery. As I can recall, it was a long time ago, but I had my surgery on May 1 and I was working on Memorial Day weekend.
I also started chemo around that same time (a month after surgery).
So, YES you are being way too overprotective.
Let her do what she wants, she is fine at this point, and I am sure her doctors would say the same thing. She needs to go outside and take her walks, it will lift her spirits!
-Susan :wink:
diagnosed at 31 in 2002, Stage IV
Sigmoid colectomy - 6 mos 5-FU/Leukovorin
liver resection - 6 rounds XELIRI (xeloda/irinotecan)
lung wedge resection Oct. 2004 - no chemo

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Postby helen098 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:09 pm

I know your worried about your mom but if it makes her happy to clean the house (personally that is my next to last thing I like to do- laundry is the thing I hate most) let her I don’t think she will harm herself and it will probably help her to take control of her life and make things more “normal”
A funny story my mother had COPD and was hospitalized many times and put on a respirator well I don’t know how many times
I went to see her in ICU and there she was glasses over the tubes holding a mirror combing her hair. She hated if her hair wasn’t perfect. It made her feel normal so as long as she is not mopping the floor from her hospital bed I say let her be.
stage 3A surgery 6/6/6 finished chemo jan 07
11 5FU/12 Levcouorin/10oxaliplatim
port removed jun 07
anal fistula surgery oct 05 may 07 feb 08 sep 08 jun 09

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