Hi...I'm pretty sure that I've read on your posts that your HIPEC surgeon is also mine. If you want to PM me, I can answer any other questions that you might have.
As for the epidural, our doc said I wouldn't need it, but that morning the anesthesiologist suggested it. I was about to be wheeled in, was super scared, and thought if an epidural would help with pain management, then sign me up! I wasn't going to be a hero. But the needle in the back scared me...I've had 4 children without drugs because I was scared of the needle! But cancer scared me more. In my case with HIPEC, our doctor was right, I probably didn't need it. It wasn't kept in post-op, when I could've used it. And I had the unfortunate problem of getting an "epidural headache" which literally lasted for 6 weeks after surgery. Its something that can happen as an after effect of an epidural, because there might have been a leakage of fluid. It happens often in maternity wards, and the fix is easy. They draw blood from your arm and have to stick a needle in your back again, but it causes healing right away. The docs didn't make the connection between my awful headache and the epidural until it was too late and I was home. Brutal ride to NJ from Mt Sinai! The epidural headache is such that you have to lie flat in darkness to alleviate the pain even a bit. But my case was unique, lucky me! So take the epidural if they recommend it and use my story as a cautionary tale, and you'll know what to do if you come down with a head crushing headache that causes you more pain than the incision in your belly!
I had my ovaries removed a month prior to HIPEC. It was this recurrence in my ovaries that prompted me to pursue HIPEC. Losing your ovaries does affect you hormonally, so expect some changes after surgery. Night sweats, hot flashes, mood changes. Sometimes you really don't know whether it's the cancer or the menopause that's causing certain symptoms. But don't be afraid to ask your doc for relief of these symptoms. I finally asked for symptom management and was prescribed celexa, which helped with anxiety, night sweats, hot flashes, etc. I asked for lunesta for insomnia. And I was prescribed Vagifem, a suppository for vaginal dryness. I still cant believe what I have to order and pick up at the pharmacy every month!! I'm now a menopausal insomniac with anxiety issues who needs a lubricant!!
What the heck happened to me?? I used to be a sexy mom who was healthy and organized and happy. Now, I'm a cancer warrior, with all the baggage that goes with it.
You're in good hands at Mt Sinai, and I was out of the hospital in less than 5 days (it's weird because I actually can't remember all the details now..and it was such a big fat deal! I guess that's good). Recovery went well, but that may have been because I couldn't push myself too much because I had that damn headache and had to lie flat all the time. So be good to yourself. Good luck.