Husband has rectal Canncer surgery 24 oct no one has told us what to expect!

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erin218
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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/21/2011 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
we are a month away from a surgery that I don't know how to plan for it t. we don't know anything how the surgery will work what they will do (other than remove his rectum) we don't know how long the hospital stay will be or anything! my husband is very young for having this 39. and a non smoker and non drinker very unexpected got to stage 3 before they found it already went through 6 wks of chemo and radiation we know only that there will be surg and 4 more months of chemo after....we feel pretty lost and scared in this unknown part of our life, if you could tell usd sany of what to expect in the next whiole to come would be appricated

suebear
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 9/21/2011 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Is he having jpouch surgery or a permanent ostomy? I think there are a couple of choices but it's hard to tell you what to expect if you're not quite sure which surgery he is having. This surgery, depending upon what option he has selected, could be done in 2 or 3 steps depending upon his health. I could provide you with more help if you could let us know what option he picked.

Sue

flchurchlady
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 9/21/2011 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Erin,
I'm so sorry your husband was diagnosed with cancer, but am relieved that it was found before it spread and that it's operable. I had my rectum and colon removed 5 years ago due to a bad case of Crohn's Disease and have a permanent ileostomy. The surgery was not as bad as I was expecting. Usually, as with any surgery, he can expect to be in the hospital for about a week and have 6 or more weeks of healing before he gets all of his energy back.

During and after surgery, they will give him excellent pain medicine through an IV, which will keep him comfortable. He will wake up with an ostomy, which will be temporary if he's planning to have a j-pouch formed at a later date. The hospital will most likely have an Ostomy Nurse, who will teach him everything he needs to know. We're here to help, too! :-)

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask.

Take care,
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

2b ColonFree
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 9/21/2011 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
welcome Erin,

sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis. with rectal cancer they remove the rectum, but the colon stays. did the drs mention how close the tumor is to the anus, meaning how much from the anus up will they be able to save? generally, the more they can save from anus up, the better chances they can create a pouch or some kind of a replacement for the rectum, so there won't be a need for a permanent colostomy, but only a temp one. (with rectal cancer i'm not sure they create a j pouch, but maybe some kind of other pouch/something to replace the rectum made from the end of the remaining colon and attatch it to the anus).

as far as i know, not all surgeons are qualified to create this rectum replacement/pouch if they can't save at least 5-6 cm from anus up. if it's less then 5-6, most of them do a permanent colostomy. a friend of mine from my previous work who's mother had rectal cancer, the drs weren't able to leave more than 2 cm of rectum. she first went to one of the most known drs in israel (i'm from israel), who is considered to be one of the best, and he told her theres no other option than a permanent colostomy, cuz it's less than 5 cm. but she then went for a second opinion with another known dr and he was able to create a pouch. it's been 2 years from her surgery, and as far as i know she's doing great. she did have a temp colostomy for about 3 months, but that's it. she's doing fine now.

so did his drs offer a chance of creating a pouch to replace the rectum, or just a perm colostomy? if they're doing a perm colostomy, then it's one surgery. if they are planning to create a pouch, then it's a 2 step surgery. the second one is usually done 3-4 months after the first one.

about healing and recovering, hopefully if all goes well, it should be about a week at the hospital and about a 6 weeks recovering. either way he'll have a colostomy after this surgery. possible complication with intestinal surgeries, esp stoma surgeries is an ileus, in which the whole digestive system is in shock and stop working. not pleasent least to say, but nothing to worry about, it solves on it's own after few days. an ng tube will be needed to drain stomach bile till his system wakes up. but not everybody gets an ileus, and hopefully, he won't either.

most important thing is to keep a low residue diet at the first couple months at least after surgery. the intestines are very sensitive after surgeries and fiberous foods can be to harsh for them and sometimes can be even dangerous and cause an obstruction. no fresh fruits or vegies, no whole grain stuff, no nuts grains or seeds, no beans.

i had the exact opposite surgery - removing all of my colon except for the rectum, so it's not the same that i can share. but i wish him best of luck! and if you need any advice with stoma care, we're all here for you!
Hodaya
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

erin218
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/21/2011 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks for your replyies the dr did say it would be perment because the tumer is just inside the anus, they could even feel it with a finger. The first dr diagnosed it as hemmeroids then 6 months later my husband went back to the dr because it wasn't getting better so they ordered a colonoscopy, so no they can't save any. I saw on the internet somthing about irrigation we are hoping to be able to do that since it is so low down.

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 9/21/2011 12:41 PM (GMT -6)   
i see. i wonder what's irrigation is? first time i hear of this term. can you explain what this mean? i'll also try to google it.
Hodaya
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 9/21/2011 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Erin,
Having an ostomy is honestly not a bad thing like some people might think. I was really scared to get one, but it saved my life, like it will for your husband. I really appreciate having it and can see the benefits of having one. For instance, I never have to urge to go to the bathroom (#2) again... and it's great! That was never a pleasant experience for me, and I don't miss it one bit.

I only have to change my wafer once a week, and it takes all of 3 minutes, which is no big deal. There's no odor (I use Hollister M9 drops in the pouch) and the pouch is completely hidden under my clothes, so nobody can tell that I have one.

I live in Florida and go to the beach and water parks all the time, we even have a pool, and my ostomy wafer has never leaked, fallen off, or put a crimp in my day. I also exercise and work full time without any problems.

The wafer I use is incredible, it's the Coloplast Assura Extended Wear Wafer (item #2833) with matching cloth covered pouch (item #13986). You can call your insurance company and ask them which ostomy supply companies they have contracts with for the lowest prices. When I had Aetna, I could get all of my supplies from Sterling Medical for free. Now, I'm with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and there's a small co-pay.

You can also contact all of the ostomy manufacturers via their websites, and they will mail you free samples. Coloplast.com, Convatec.com, and Hollister.com are the three largest ostomy supply companies.

Irrigating means he can give his colostomy an enema, and then just put a stoma cap over it, versus wearing a pouch. Coloplast offers mini pouches that fit the wafer I use, too.

I know this is a big thing for you both of you to deal with, but thank God, you've got each other, and he's going to be cancer-free and able to live a long a healthy life!

Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 9/22/2011 3:56 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks Cece for clarifying what irrigation is. and i so agree with every word you wrote. living with a stoma is not as bad as i thought it would be. i'm so happy to have it and never regret having the surgery. and you can do anything you want with a stoma. now i can do much more than i could before i had it. it gave me my life back.
Hodaya
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 9/24/2011 6:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hodaya, I'm so happy that your stoma has given you your life back, too! God is so good! :-)
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 9/24/2011 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
he certainly is! and i prayed a big additional special prayer about school :)
Hodaya
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy
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