NHMike wrote:...Please feel free to ask me questions and offer advice as I'm sure that I still have a lot to learn and I'd rather learn stuff these days from others instead of learning the hard way.
I hope you are feeling better now and that you will be discharged from the hospital soon.
Meanwhile, in the 3 or 4 days that you have left in the hospital I would suggest that you ask questions of your surgeon as she comes by each day to check up on you. Try to find out the details of the surgery, as much as you can, while the surgery is still fresh in her mind. Next month or a year from now she may have forgotten the details and there may not be enough details recorded in your file about all of the things that happened during your surgery,
Basically, what you want to know is whether the surgery went according to plan or whether she had to revert to a "Plan B" somewhere along the way. For example, did the ureter stent procedure go as planned? Were there any problems with 'collateral damage' to any other structures such as the bladder wall,or the nerve sheaths serving the uro-genital area? What about the possible intrusion of the tumor into the muscle that she mentioned earlier? How long will you need to retain the temporary ileostomy? Did she have enough good tissue left in the rectal stump to make a good anastomosis? Was the junction made with staples, and if so, were there any problems with getting the stapler to work with radiation damage evident in the remnant tissue? Do you have any hemorrhoids remaining that will need later attention? How long did the surgery take? Did the surgery require blood transfusions? If so, how many units were needed? etc.
In my case, I asked lots and lots of questions and I got lots of answers that were not recorded anywhere else in my file. Basically, if you don't ask questions now you may never get the answers later on. Good luck, and hope to see you back on-line soon.