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View Full Version : Update on my surgery - the Good News and the Bad



bcipam
09-13-2006, 02:40 PM
The Good News: I just met with the surgeon. I'M IN LOVE!! He's wonderful. He patiently explained everything to me and answered all my questions. We chatted for almost an hour. He's very personable (he was born just 3 dys before me - an Aquarian - no wonder he's cool!), fun and sassy. We got along great. And the biggest plus - he rides!!!! How cool is that? As a fellow cyclist he understand my need to get back to the bike as soon as possible.

The Bad News: Thankfully he was so patient. In my head this surgery was no big deal. I thought it was would be a simple "snip" and I would be out of there. Not so. The location of the tumor is a problem. It's very low in the colon very near the pubic bones so he needs to be very careful how he moves around in there. Because of the location, he needs to take out not only the mass and the surrounding colon but all the blood vessels, lymph nodes nearby plus my ovaries (which I don't use anymore anyway). For him this is all routine but he wanted me to understand its still a very serious operation with some risk. He doesn't think it will happen but there is a potential for a colostomy (please God no!). He will have to open me up so I'll have like a cesarian incision.

I was hoping to be home in a couple of days. He said hospital stay will most likely be 3 - 6 days. They can't let me go home until everything is functioning normally. After fasting 2 days before he operation and only being allowed broth and soft foods after, I should lose some weight. Guess I shouldn't complain.

Once I get home doctor wants me to take it easy. No lifting anything over 20 lbs. No physical activity although if I'm doing well, and have no problems, he will allow me to use an exercise bicycle after 4 weeks. No actual riding for at least 6 - 8 but considering it could have been worse. At least before the end of the year I'll be riding again.

Doctor won't know if I need chemo until after he removes and has the mass biopsied. I meet with an oncologist next week. Surgeon say the chemo won't be all that bad. It won't make me lose my hair or anything.

Anyway - I'm sortof up and down right now. Surgeon's office is right next to Mission Hospital (where I'll have the surgery) and the Mission Viejo Mall. Before going back to work I had to stop in the Mall. I bought myself a new blouse and dropped into See's Candies for a Bordeaux Bar. Mmmmmmmm yummy. Chocolate is my friend!

salsabike
09-13-2006, 03:27 PM
Pam, is there a surgery date yet? And, um...I bet some of us would happily send you chocolate, and books. Would you be willing, or rather we didn't? Either way's OK.

BleeckerSt_Girl
09-13-2006, 03:35 PM
Pam,
The best thing is that you seem to have a doctor you can trust- that makes all the difference! I just KNOW everything will be ok once you have this removed.
Good Healing Lucky Vibes headed your way!....

KnottedYet
09-13-2006, 03:39 PM
yeah, let us know if you would like goodies in the mail while you're in the hospital and while you're home afterwards!

Bikingmomof3
09-13-2006, 03:42 PM
Please let us know when the surgery date is and if you are comfortable with the idea, I would imagine several of us would enjoy pampering you after your surgery. :) You are in my continued prayers.

bcipam
09-13-2006, 03:42 PM
Surgeon's office is scheduling the surgery - most likely Sept 27, 28 or 29th. No chocolates please. Just your best wishes and prayers. I'm hoping to lose some wright out of this ordeal. I was teasing the doctor about doing alittle liposuction while he was mucking about or at least remove all the fat down there. Have books saved up and ready to go. Just looking forward to being home able to cruise TE all day!

Lise
09-13-2006, 03:59 PM
Best wishes. I know you have loving friends and family who will help you through this. I wish we could distill out the healing properties of chocolate, and just send that! :p

It *is* major surgery. One thing I suggest is looking into some pre-surgery CDs. Dr. Andrew Weil does a lot with music and healing. I know many CDs are out there to help people prepare for surgery and healing. Some of them are even for listening to during surgery. You are unconscious, but you still take in stimuli.

We'll be keeping you in our thoughts.

Lise

bcipam
09-13-2006, 04:31 PM
Lise:

I friend of mine has those CDs and is loaning them to me. I had no idea such a thing existed. Although ont he outside I appear calm, inside I'm mush and short nerve ends. Any little thing helps!!!!

Lise
09-13-2006, 04:53 PM
I am so glad to hear it! I believe it makes a lot of difference. :D

redhot3368
09-13-2006, 08:09 PM
Hi Pam!
Wishing you the best of luck with your surgery! Please let us know how it went and how are you doing!
Soo glad you have a good doctor that you like and trust...so important.

Take Care!
Karen

tprevost
09-13-2006, 08:27 PM
Pam,

my thoughts and prayers go out to you every day. I am glad you found such a great surgeon and that he has expained everything so thoroughly. Please let us know for sure what the surgery date is.

Trac'

margo49
09-13-2006, 08:28 PM
Best of luck from me too
I drew a terrible oncologist first off - probably a genius top of his class of course but as a person unbelievable. My next pick was a brilliant woman and a perfect hospital setting (brand new department by the sea).
Made a ton of difference.

mtbdarby
09-14-2006, 07:12 AM
Pam,
Best of luck to you. Sounds like a good fit with the surgeon which is awesome! You're in my prayers as well. I think TE is good post surgery food for the soul! God Bless.

Tater
09-14-2006, 07:45 AM
Just sending my thoughts and well wishes for an uncomplicated procedure and a speedy recovery! Take care!

kaybee
09-14-2006, 08:02 AM
Sending healing wishs and prayers your way.

KB

Aggie_Ama
09-14-2006, 08:19 AM
The Good News: .

Doctor won't know if I need chemo until after he removes and has the mass biopsied. I meet with an oncologist next week. Surgeon say the chemo won't be all that bad. It won't make me lose my hair or anything.



Pam- I will be thinking and praying for you.

My father has just finished his last round of chemo for his colon cancer. He did not lose any hair. I will be 100% honest he did have some unpleasant side effects: stomach cramps, some diahrrea and cold sensitivity for 3-5 days. When you think about what most people associate with chemo, none of this is bad. He drove me to my MS150 3 hours away the day after a treatment and even rode his Harley during treatment! He had a port put in his chest to deliver the medicine for 3 days. Of course you may not even need chemo and that would be great.

DebW
09-14-2006, 08:53 AM
Pam, wishing you the most umcomplicated surgery possible, calm nerves, and speedy healing.

Pedal Wench
09-14-2006, 09:06 AM
Having a positive feeling about your surgeon is a great benefit. Good luck and best wishes.

SJCzar
09-14-2006, 10:16 AM
Good luck and hopes for a speedy recovery.

I'm really glad that you found a doctor that you can have confidence in and just as importantly can feel completely comfortable around.

My mother had the good fortune of having an oncologist that she really adored. He treated all his patients like long time friends and was always there for them and their families. I'm sure that the respect and good feelings she had about him had a lot to do with her being able to get through two battles with lymphoma. He was there again for her in her last days, even though it was not cancer-related, just to make sure she got the best care. He also wanted to reassure us that, because of his years of friendship with her, he was sure that the decisions we were making was what she would have wanted.

The whole experience taught me that the level of compassion and geniune concern for their patients a doctor has is no less important then what glowing certificates are hanging on their walls.

bcipam
09-14-2006, 11:31 AM
I have to say in this day and age of horrid nightmare stories about the medical system, I have been pleasantly surprised at how caring and concerned all my doctors have been. I have the upmost respect for the gastroen'logist and surgeon and actually can't wait to meet the oncologist. OK I mean I rather not be meeting an oncologist but so far I have met some interesting, caring people and I can imagine taken away from this some life-long relations. Lord knows I will be meeting with these 3 people from time and again for follow-up visits and testing. I guess I will have to have yearly colonoscopies for some time. The surgeon will have to monitor my post surgical care. And I guess depending on my treatment, I'll be paying regular visits to the oncologist.

You have to know, I dislike going to the doctor. I avoid it as much as possible but when forced, it's generally thrown in my face, not just one doctor but 3! Oh Joy!

Another update - spoke with my sister this morning and her work is going to let her travel to CA and work from here, at my house. So she'd be here with me through the whole ordeal. That's very comforting.

Bikingmomof3
09-14-2006, 01:06 PM
Another update - spoke with my sister this morning and her work is going to let her travel to CA and work from here, at my house. So she'd be here with me through the whole ordeal. That's very comforting.

Wonderful news!

tprevost
09-14-2006, 01:30 PM
Another update - spoke with my sister this morning and her work is going to let her travel to CA and work from here, at my house. So she'd be here with me through the whole ordeal. That's very comforting.


That is FABULOUS news Pam! I'm so glad you will have someone there w/you 24/7 for a while!

Trac'

Selkie
09-14-2006, 01:35 PM
Pam -- Best wishes! I'll be thinking of you.

Brandy
09-14-2006, 01:56 PM
You're in my thoughts Pam.

spokewench
09-14-2006, 02:29 PM
I'm sure all will be well with you. Just hang in there with all the ups and downs and keep that positive attitude, you will be fine!

The Doc sounds great. It's always good to have a doc you can talk to!

latelatebloomer
09-14-2006, 02:46 PM
In the belief that a rich fantasy life is at least as good as chocolate, did you know that Sandy Duncan married her brain surgeon? I never forgot a line in an interview I read ages ago - Into my hospital room walked the most beautiful man I had ever seen in my life, and there I sat, as bald as a melon."
(head shaved before tumor surgery...)

And of course, you will be continuously in my prayers.

esther231
09-14-2006, 04:54 PM
Hope it goes well and the healing goes fast.

You'll be in my prayers.

btchance
09-14-2006, 06:02 PM
Pam, while I have not had any surgery like this myself, I know people both personally and professionally that have. The main advice I can give you is to listen to your doctors, and to your body. It really will take that long for you to recover, and you will be sore, but you are doing what you need to do.

Also, I am glad that you have found doctors that you can trust, that understand where you are coming from, and that you can relate to. That will also help smooth everything along. Best of luck to you, and please keep us updated on how you're doing. And let your sister baby you as much as she wants ;)

laughlaugh18
09-14-2006, 06:14 PM
Sandy Duncan married her brain surgeon

Sandy Duncan and her brain surgeon came to my high school shortly after her surgery. Don't remember why, but I do remember he was absolutely gorgeous to my teenage eyes. :D

Pam, glad to hear you're getting all your answers and moving forward. That's great that your sis is coming.

Sending you good thoughts down the 405.

chickwhorips
09-14-2006, 06:30 PM
good luck pam. happy thoughts and quick healing coming your way. keep us updated.

glad your sister can come out and be with you. if you need anything, let us know.

wavedancer
09-14-2006, 06:48 PM
Pam, I am just catching up on some TE threads and I want to wish you safe passage on your healing journey. It sounds like you will have excellent care both during and after your surgery. Peggy Huttleston's book is an excellent resource to help prepare for surgery. Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster (http://www.amazon.com/Prepare-Surgery-Faster-Peggy-Huddleston/dp/0964575744)

We will all be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers and seeing you ride effortlessly through all your procedures and recovery.

Many blessings,

Linda

Xrayted
09-14-2006, 06:48 PM
Best wishes Pam! I know everything will turn out great. Good thoughts and great surgeons are an unbeatable combination. Wonderful sister! :) Nothing like having family there when you need them. <<<Hug>>> Just in case you need an extra.

Cindy

Tiffanie
09-15-2006, 11:16 PM
Thinking of you Pam. Hope all goes smoothly and recovery is lickety-split. Good news about your sister. :)

Dogmama
09-16-2006, 06:41 AM
Sending prayers and energy to you, Pam. Please be sure to let us know the date of your surgery. I fervently believe in the power of positive energy. If we send it on the date of your surgery, I know it will help.

Regarding chemo, my DH did not lose hair, but it was not pleasant. I think a lot depends on the type of chemo they need to give. DH was given a pretty good dose of chemo. Please keep in mind that there are lots of meds out there to help with nausea & diarrhea. Ask your oncologist. Don't be a hero. Dehydration can happen quickly and it will land you back in the hospital.

So glad you will have support!! I honestly don't know how people go through it alone. I hope you won't hesitate to ask for what you need. Foot rubs are wonderful!

Regarding colostomy, IF (big IF) they need to do it, it is often temporary. They can go back in later & fix it. I'm sure your surgeon told you that. Confidence in your doctors is so important! I'm thrilled that you like yours.

Healing prayers to you.

bcipam
09-25-2006, 02:26 PM
So an update... Surgery is Thursday (9/28). I go in tomorrow for pre-admission and pre-op tests. I also have to start fasting (me... the girl thatnever misses a meal!). Wednesday is the final prep (clean out time) and surgery is scheduled for early Thursday morning. My hospital stay is scheduled for 4 days. I'm hoping to be home Sunday evening.

I can't say I'm not scared, I am. Have no idea what to expect and what condition I'll wake up in. Other folks I've talked to have colostomies, or catheters and gastric tubes inserted. I guess all is a possibility with me but I pray and hope not. I also pray and hope there is nothing but the mass and I won't need chemo.

Have really been feeling poorly this last week so the disease is starting to catch up with me. I did a road ride yesterday - just 22 miles and was exhausted after. Oh well, God's way of telling me to slow down and smell the roses I guess. Today is my last day at work for 4 weeks. That's going to be weird. I've never even taken a 2 week vacation from work. But then again, it's just a job and it will all be waiting for me when I return. Oh joy!!!!

Bikingmomof3
09-25-2006, 02:33 PM
I shall be keeping you in my prayers. ((((((hugs)))))))

Lise
09-25-2006, 04:53 PM
Me, too. Do you have any friends or family who could come here and post to let us know how you made it through the surgery? It may be a few days before you're able to be on the computer. Best wishes. L.

latelatebloomer
09-25-2006, 07:02 PM
Pam, you are truly being held in a world-wide web of healing prayers! Visualize your greatest Healer in surgery with you, guiding every step.

(ok, and I just cannot believe that you rode 22 miles on top of all this...you're Armstrong material, in my book!)

Trekhawk
09-25-2006, 07:25 PM
We will all be thinking of you Pam and sending wishes for a speedy recovery.

Dogmama
09-25-2006, 07:39 PM
I'll send healing energy on Thursday. If there is anyway you can get somebody to log on & just let us know -- I know we'll all be waiting.

Sometimes it isn't good to listen to other people's horror stories. You're in great shape (22 miles!!!) and you'll recover quickly.

Know that you're in God's care and She/He loves you.

aka_kim
09-25-2006, 10:20 PM
Best wishes, Pam.

Bicyclette
09-25-2006, 11:28 PM
I will be sending prayers your way and hoping for all the best for you.

Thistle
09-26-2006, 01:21 AM
hoping everything goes the best it possibly can for you. hoping for plenty of cycling on TV during your recovery :)

chickwhorips
09-26-2006, 09:38 AM
happy thoughts for you!

Denise223
09-26-2006, 09:56 AM
Dear (((((((Pam)))))))

You are in my thoughts and prayers -- If you need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to write to me.

God Bless You always!

Peace & Love,

Denise

mtkitchn
09-26-2006, 10:02 AM
Add my healing thoughts and prayers to the circle of love heading your way!!!

spokewench
09-26-2006, 12:03 PM
All the best positive, healing, soothing thoughts are being sent your way. Your little miracle will happen and all will be well!

spoke

wavedancer
09-27-2006, 07:15 PM
A Prayer for Protection for you tomorrow, Pam:

"The Light of God surrounds you
The Love of God enfolds you
The Power of God protects you
The Presence of God watches over you
Wherever you are God is, and all is well"

Rest easily tonight and know that we are all sending you our healing prayers and wishes.

Linda

KnottedYet
09-27-2006, 08:43 PM
Sending you good thoughts, and virtual hugs: ((((hug))))

annie
09-27-2006, 08:56 PM
Not too long to wait now......... sometimes that is the hardest part, the waiting and not knowing....... Hoping you are able to sleep well tonight and be prepared for tomorrow. Thoughts of strength and energy and healing will be on your way tomorrow and the days to follow, Pam. We'll be waiting to hear your report.

annie

Dogmama
09-28-2006, 05:00 AM
I do Reiki and will be sending healing energy today. May you be blessed and serene as you go through this phase of your life. Your TE sisters will be waiting for you.

tprevost
09-28-2006, 03:30 PM
Hi Ladies,

In attempting to send Pam flowers I did find out that she's gotten through surgery and will be put into a room later today. The good news is that she is not going into an ICU room so she must be handling everything well. I will probably find out more tomorrow but please keep sending good thoughs and prayers her way!!!

Tracy

Blueberry
09-28-2006, 04:15 PM
Tracy-

Thanks for the update! I'll keep my fingers crossed:)

Carrie Anne

Bikingmomof3
09-28-2006, 04:58 PM
Thank you Tracy for updating us. Please let us know more when you do. Pam is in my continued prayers.

Brandy
09-28-2006, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the update Tracy. Pam has been on my mind today.

bcipam
10-04-2006, 05:22 PM
Just a quick note right now since I get tired very easily... Got home late Monday from the hospital. So glad to be in my own bed. 5 days in a hospital was enough for me and I credit all your healing prayers in getting me home as soon as possible.

When I feel alittle better will fully update my experience. Best news... the cancer was fully contained in the colon and there is no need for chemo. After my incision heals I should be good to go.

To each of you that sent me special wishes I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Just know everything was appreciated.

Thank you all!

Pam

Blueberry
10-04-2006, 05:27 PM
Pam-

This is WONDERFUL news!!!!! Be kind to yourself, and I'm sure you'll be feeling better in no time!

Carrie Anne

Lise
10-04-2006, 05:34 PM
What great news, Pam! Rest up, heal up, and keep us posted when you can. Gentle hugs. Lise

Xrayted
10-04-2006, 06:08 PM
Wonderful news!! So glad you're home. Take care of yourself and get plenty of rest and come talk to us when you're up to it.

Cindy

redhot3368
10-04-2006, 06:10 PM
AWESOME!!!
SOOOO GLAD TO HEAR IT PAM!!!!
Feel better soon!
Keep us informed....

Karen :)

Bikingmomof3
10-04-2006, 06:16 PM
Fantastic news Pam!! I am so glad things are going well. Take care of yourself, rest up, we will be here waiting for you when you are stronger. My continued prayers for a rapid healing. ((((((Pam))))))))

chickwhorips
10-04-2006, 06:28 PM
great news! glad your home. get some rest and quick healing thoughts to you.

salsabike
10-04-2006, 06:38 PM
HI PAM!!!!!! What great news! Thanks for letting us know so fast. Wow, yay, that is fabulous.

annie
10-04-2006, 06:49 PM
((PAM)) Great news! Keep up that "Pam" attitude while your body heals....... you are definitely getting strong, upbeat healing thoughts sent your way!

annie

laughlaugh18
10-04-2006, 07:22 PM
I think we need to update the name of the thread to - "the good news and the good news"! Great to know you're home and in full recovery mode.

Speedy and easy recovery,

Cathy

Tiffanie
10-04-2006, 07:39 PM
What great news Pam!! Quick healing and recovery thoughts being sent your way...

Dogmama
10-04-2006, 07:45 PM
YAHOO!!! <JUMPING UP & DOWN & CLAPPING WILDLY>

I'm SO GLAD everything is good!!! That is FABULOUS NEWS!!!!

No chemo! Excellent!!!

Brandy
10-04-2006, 08:10 PM
Great news Pam!!

Trek420
10-04-2006, 08:14 PM
Yeah Pam :D
Yeah cool cycling surgeon :D
Yeah TE gals T&Ps and chocolate :D

KnottedYet
10-04-2006, 08:36 PM
Oh, Pam, what great news!

Thinking good thoughts for you! :D

Popoki_Nui
10-04-2006, 08:39 PM
So glad the news is good, Pam, and you're on the mend!!!!

Much alofa,
Sherry and family.

margo49
10-04-2006, 08:42 PM
Great news!
(from someone who had the opposite scenario - the surgery revealed a worse situation than expected!)
Remember always - cancer is a disease, not a lifestyle.
I hope you will be good to go real soon

Pedal Wench
10-04-2006, 08:44 PM
Great news!

Trekhawk
10-04-2006, 09:29 PM
Fantastic News Pam - take it easy and get plenty of rest.:)

Quillfred
10-04-2006, 09:51 PM
Welcome Home!

Sending you healing and sweet cycling dreams....er, would that be air-cycling? A dream tour? Better save the fullie dreams for a bit later. ;)

I'm so glad the cancer was contained.

Quill

DirtDiva
10-05-2006, 02:46 AM
What a relief! I'm glad your cancer was caught early on and you won't be faced with a whole lot of further treatments (or worse) as soon as you've healed - you can look forward to getting back to normal at last (funny how normal seems so boring until it's taken away). There's a pretty strong family connection with bowel cancer, so please make sure your nearest and dearest get checked out ASAP so you never have to go through this with one of them too!

Take care, rest up and come back better than ever. :cool:

latelatebloomer
10-05-2006, 03:59 AM
Oh, yay. Yay, yay, yay. Pam, I am so happy for you!!! and I'm happy for myself, because it's so nice to get GOOD news in the morning. love, LLB

Duck on Wheels
10-05-2006, 04:09 AM
excellent news! The recovery rate from colon cancer is very good, I think over 80% in general, with most of those good results when the cancer has not yet spread. Sounds like you just need to recuperate, get back on your bike, and put this behind you (sorry about the unintentional pun there).

Aggie_Ama
10-05-2006, 05:45 AM
Best news... the cancer was fully contained in the colon and there is no need for chemo. After my incision heals I should be good to go.



What fabulous news!! Take it easy and give yourself time to heal. I am so glad they were able to get all the cancer without chemo. Great to hear good news from you. (((Hugs)))

DebW
10-05-2006, 06:29 AM
So happy to hear that the surgery went well and chemo will be avoided. Rest well. Healing thoughts coming your way.

maillotpois
10-05-2006, 09:09 AM
Great news, Pam! Take care of yourself. Rest up and heal.

Bicyclette
10-05-2006, 10:06 AM
What a relief for you! I'm so happy for you - tale it easy so you can heal quickly!

cosc
10-05-2006, 11:00 AM
I'm so glad the surgery is behind you and the news was good! I'm praying for a quick recovery and patience while your body heals.

RoadRaven
10-05-2006, 11:05 AM
Let me add my voice - wonderful news Pam

Love light and peace as you reclaim your fitness again

Heal well

DDH
10-05-2006, 12:05 PM
Great news. I am sure you will be back to your old self very soon, and back out riding your bike. I'm so happy for you.

spokewench
10-05-2006, 02:32 PM
That's the most wonderful news I've heard of in a long time! Now you just have to take your time, think positive thoughts during your recovery and live the rest of your life!

I just want to jump up and down and yell - YAHOO!

Jones
10-05-2006, 02:58 PM
Wow, that is great news. Take care of yourself, you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Jones

Nanci
10-05-2006, 05:46 PM
Great news! I've been thinking about you...

Nanci

emily_in_nc
10-05-2006, 07:57 PM
Wonderful, wonderful news! After having my husband's friend diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer because he waited too long to seek treatment (sadly, he knew something was wrong but was in between jobs, had no health insurance so waited until he got a new job with insurance to be tested), I was so hoping you would not face anything that grim.

Didn't you say that your sister was diagnosed as well? How is she? Does she have to have surgery as well?

Emily

wavedancer
10-06-2006, 05:57 PM
Hooray Pam!
I'm so glad that all went well for you and you are on your way to a full recovery. I continue to send healing thoughts your way.

Linda

luv'nAustin
10-06-2006, 09:11 PM
Pam, I'm doing the happy dance for you. Thanks for sharing the good news with us.

kelownagirl
10-06-2006, 11:26 PM
Great news, Pam. I've been following this thread and keeping you in my thoughts as well....

barb