I had HIPEC on 5/14/2015. I had minimal peritoneal disease and had a complete resection of my cancer. I had an aggressive procedure - in addition to the heated intra operative chemo, I received IV 5fu during surgery. Then, the 3 days immediately following surgery, I had intraperitoneal 5fu treatments. The surgeon left the inflow catheter in place following surgery, and the chemo was filled into the peritoneal cavity, and remained for 23 hours each day. The nurses repositioned me every 30 minutes for the first 6 hours to make sure the chemo was reaching all areas of my abdomen/pelvis. Recovery was hard. I barely was able to get out of bed for the first 4-5 days. Between the chemo in my belly, and 9 different tubes/drains/catheters flowing in and out of my body, movement itself was challenging. I was in the hospital for 9 days. I had a lot of fluid in my abdomen, and the drain output was too high for my surgeon to discharge me. I went home with one drain, which was removed at my 2 week follow-up visit. I also had a temporary ileostomy placed, due to cancer nodules on the outside of my rectum. I had a second LAR. The surgery itself was about 9 hours long. I had a lot of adhesions that my surgeon had to dissect, due to cancer growing in some of the scar tissue. I had my ileostomy reversed 9 weeks and 1 day after it was placed. I have no serious bowel problems at this time. For the first week or two after the reversal, it felt like I was crapping nails, but that has since resolved. HIPEC was no picnic, but i am feeling pretty decent now, 3 months after the fact.
A few days after I got out of the hospital, I came down with a UTI, a gift from the Foley catheter I had for 5 days. I ended up with sepsis and spent another 5 days in the hospital.
For me, hipec was not the silver bullet. I had very extensive liver mets at diagnosis. I had a successful liver resection 18 months ago, but just found out I had a liver recurrence last week. I also have a couple suspected abdominal wall mets. I knew this was always a possibility, but it's still devastating when it happens. The chances I will ever be off chemo for any length of time are slim to none. It's time for me to get back on some sort of systemic treatment. I will probably do that until I can't take it anymore. Hopefully, if I can remain stable, I will be in a position to attempt another surgery. How messed up is it that I think of surgery as a way to get a break from the chemo? Fact is, though, I am now too beat up from the surgeries to think of another one at this time. I just had a liver ablation that has hopefully taken care of my most recent recurrence. So, I should have only the 2 abdominal wall spots. My doctor is working on getting another pet scan approved, so we can get a better idea of what the abdominal wall things are. Not that I have any doubt.
All that said, I don't have any regrets about my treatment choices. I would rather try this stuff, and fall on my face, than wonder "What if I'd tried?" If the opportunity ever arises in the future, I will go for surgery again.
stg IV 4/2013 @34 - liver, ovary/peritoneum
Lots of chemo, surgery and good luck - still doing well 03/2016...