MikeManess wrote:I guess I will have to suffer diarrhea daily for the next few weeks - which I understand will continue for quite some time after surgery. I've searched quite a bit and I can find lots of stories and posts about chemo and it's effects, but very little about the surgery and recovery from surgery. So I'm going to try to post my impressions of that part of the treatment for those that are diagnosed later. I've been told to expect to be in the hospital for 5-7 days after surgery. So we'll see how that goes and if I leave early, later, etc.
I'm newly out of surgery, so I'll lend that info in case it's helpful to you or anyone else (finally I can be helpful instead of the one sucking up everyone else's helpfulness!)
I had surgery on 3/31 (Thursday) to remove 1 large mass in sigmoid near descending. Surgery was lap vs. open. I had 3 very small incisions bottom, right side and top of abdomen, and 1 2-3 inch incision left side of my navel to remove the mass through. They used surgical glue to close, so no staples or stitches, which I really thought was great. Directly out of surgery I had a little nausea, and that was about the most painful thing for me. Maybe a 6 on the 1-10 scale. Luckily it didn't last. Had a little sore throat from the breathing tube, but they let me have ice chips which helped immensely.
I was what my surgeon called "motivated" and knew that the gas from the air you get filled with is the cause of most of the pain, so I was up and walking that evening. Just a very short walk around 1/4 of the ward, but I was up. Pain was maybe a 3 or 4 on the 1-10 scale. I described it as feeling like having pulled muscles in the gut. Dr. said this was actually a pretty accurate description of how things were inside.
Next day (Friday), I got up and walked more. I think 3 times (am, noon, late afternoon). Was on a morphine pump, and used it maybe every 15 minutes or so for most of the day. Lots of sleeping and resting. Liquid diet. The 1 lap incision top of abdomen was really close to my diaphram, so I had some pressure there that made me feel like I needed to take really deep breaths all the time. Had some small smears of poo, which I totally claimed was my first poop. Put on my "I POOPED TODAY" T-Shirt.
Saturday I got to take a shower. No direct water jet on the incisions, but they could get indirect wet, so I washed my hair and did a washcloth everywhere else. Felt GREAT. Walked a little more, had my first real poo, which was diarrhea and came out with lots of gas. Got to eat some pudding, which was HEAVEN. More walking, more poo. Only used morphine pump about once an hour. Pain level was about a 2 on 1-10 scale. Doc said I could go on solid foods, and probably go home next day. Started with pancakes and pudding, to keep things mild.
Sunday (4/3) I was eating more normally, had more gas, and didn't use the morphine pump at all. They disconnected the IV / Pump. Did more walking. Got released to go home at around Noon.
So here I am a week out from that. I was sent home with pain meds (percoset), but have only taken maybe 4 total. Mostly I just continue with Tylenol when I need it. I just drove for the first time yesterday, and that went pretty well. Through the week I did mall walking to keep up the movement. Am back to a fully normal diet at this point, and nothing has really bothered me. Poops were still soft first day or two home, but as of today they are almost normal consistency, although still thin and snake-like in appearance. I have had some bruising show up, some low that were probably from something they used on me during surgery to hold things up for them. Other slight bruising on the front right of tummy, but nothing too major. I'm going to try to go back to work mid-week this week, starting with a half day.
I realize this may not be the timeline everyone experiences. Hopefully it's helpful to someone.