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Thread: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

  1. #1
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    Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    As I had stated in an earlier thread I was diagnosed back in September with cancer. I know I am opening myself up to some cruel jokes but to be specific I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. I went thru chemo and radiation between Oct and November.The last week or so of radiation was not a lot of fun but overall I held up pretty well and didnt miss a lot of work. I had my first follow-up with my cancer doc(AKA Dr.Fingers) post chemo/radiation earlier this week. She told me the tumor had been "greatly reduced". She said she couldnt tell me more specifically until I have surgery(either late in Jan or early February). I am having surgery to remove whats left of the tumor and/or to make sure it hasn't spread elsewhere. The bottom line is due to the unkind location of the tumor my doc is telling me she may have to give me an ileostomy or colostomy.She is telling me if so I should only have it for maybe 6 months then I could have a reversal surgery and hopefully by the end of the year I might be back in one piece. The thought of having a colostomy depresses me to no end and it will take me forever to get used to having one even if it is temporary. Does anyone have family/friends going thru this with any helpful words? Thanks in advance, BR....
    Last edited by BUTLER REDSFAN; 01-02-2011 at 11:46 AM.

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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    I doubt seriously if anyone will joke about this. I wish you the best. No one would want to go through any of it. My wife's brother in law (married to my wife's sister) had to go chemo, radiation (done by my brother who's a radiation doc in Dayton) and surgery.

    None of it was pretty, but now a couple years down the road, he's back to 100%. That's the goal, and I wish you the best.

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    Member Reds4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    A friend of mine had almost this exact issue, and she had to be on one for about 5 months after her surgery while she healed up. It was removed, and she's fine now.

    If you have to get one, it's not the end of the world. Just remember it's not permenant, and will be gone as soon as you've healed up.

    Good luck.
    Pessimists are well informed optimists

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    Member hebroncougar's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    No jokes here......cancer is obviously serious business. Best of luck, and thoughts and prayers.

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    I recently found I have severe sleep apnea and will have to likely have a cpap machine hooked up to me when I sleep for the rest of my life. At first it was kinda depressing to think I will always have to have a mask over my face for the rest of my lifewhen I sleep but to be honest I got used to it and don't think wearing it is that big of a deal anymore. I think the same could be said about your colostomy bag. Yes it probally sucks to think you will need one for the rest of your life but over time you will get used to it. I mean for me as bad as the cpap seemed for me and as bad as the colostomy seems for you you gotta admit it beats the alternative.

    Good luck and hang in there
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Member Reds4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    I recently found I have severe sleep apnea and will have to likely have a cpap machine hooked up to me when I sleep for the rest of my life. At first it was kinda depressing to think I will always have to have a mask over my face for the rest of my lifewhen I sleep but to be honest I got used to it and don't think wearing it is that big of a deal anymore. I think the same could be said about your colostomy bag. Yes it probally sucks to think you will need one for the rest of your life but over time you will get used to it. I mean for me as bad as the cpap seemed for me and as bad as the colostomy seems for you you gotta admit it beats the alternative.

    Good luck and hang in there
    He won't need it for the rest of his life. He'll only need to use it until he heals from the surgery, then it can be removed.
    Pessimists are well informed optimists

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post
    He won't need it for the rest of his life. He'll only need to use it until he heals from the surgery, then it can be removed.
    Then thats even better
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    As a doc, I see this stuff all the time. I agree, it's no fun, but you gotta look at it from the standpoint that it's temporary and you're doing it to potentially cure yourself of a terrible disease. Your doc is right, it's a temporary thing. They can't hook you right up at the time of surgery b/c the tissue isn't healthy from the radiation treatment. That 6 month window is to give your body time to heal and your blood/immune system time to recover from radiation, chemo, and surgery. You would be SHOCKED at how many people you encounter on any given day, week, month with ostomies. No one will ever know. It's an inconvience but I think you'll find it tolerable and I am sure you'll find it favorable compared to doing nothing.

    Best of luck with all this. BTW, did you have a PET scan? If your disease was limited to the rectal area only, the numbers are well in your favor.
    "Trying is the first step towards failure." Homer Simpson

    "I wasn't looking too good but I was feeling real well." Keith Richards

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    I think after the dust settles you'll be relieved it's only temporary. Look at the glass as half full. Be thankful you're going to make it and I know you will!

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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    Quote Originally Posted by PedroBourbon View Post
    As a doc, I see this stuff all the time. I agree, it's no fun, but you gotta look at it from the standpoint that it's temporary and you're doing it to potentially cure yourself of a terrible disease. Your doc is right, it's a temporary thing. They can't hook you right up at the time of surgery b/c the tissue isn't healthy from the radiation treatment. That 6 month window is to give your body time to heal and your blood/immune system time to recover from radiation, chemo, and surgery. You would be SHOCKED at how many people you encounter on any given day, week, month with ostomies. No one will ever know. It's an inconvience but I think you'll find it tolerable and I am sure you'll find it favorable compared to doing nothing.

    Best of luck with all this. BTW, did you have a PET scan? If your disease was limited to the rectal area only, the numbers are well in your favor.
    I'm not sure specifically what a petscan is but i did have a catscan done of entire stomach/pelvic area and they said it was localized to the one area...at no point have any of the docs told me this was terminal or anything like that...and not that I'm complaining but I have felt fine this entire time...if I didnt know there was a tumor in there I wouldnt know there were any issues at all....thanks for all the support, BR

  12. #11
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    A PETSCAN looks for rapidly dividing cells; in other words it is designed to show cancer activity in other parts of your body. It'd be a real good sign if it showed nothing 'cause that'd likely mean that it hasn't spread

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    Member foxfire123's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    I wish you all the best Butler, sending all kinds of good vibes and healing thoughts your way!

  14. #13
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    Its good to hear from you. I had been wondering how you were doing. It sounds as though things are going well as to be expected.
    I had a colostomy when I was a baby. This was back in 1963. I was born with Hirschsprungs disease and part of the procedure to get me well was a colostomy. The colostomy was reversed when I was about two. Back then this was an experiment to see if would work or not. It did, as I am still here nearly 48 years later. It did leave a big scar across the middle of my stomach. But I know they do those things much better now and probably leave hardly any evidence that you have had one. Actually if I didn't have that scar I would have not even have known I had anything wrong with me. I don't remember a thing about any of the surgeries I had. When my mother or someone else talks about me during this time period its like they are talking about a different person.
    BTW the surgeries to do the colostomy and reverse it were all done at Cincinnati's Childrens Hospital.
    I hope all continues to go well for you and keep us informed as you can. We are all friends here who want to see the best for you.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    Well....

    I had my surgery 1/17 and spent a week in the hospital...They removed the tumor and I did have to have an ileostomy performed..I am to go thru a secondary round of chemo(4 months worth starting in March)..They removed the tumor but discovered that it had apparently spread to a lymph node that they also removed...I am kind of confused really as they are telling me this next round of chemo should take care of the lymph node issue but havent actually diagnosed me with lymphoma?!? I am depressed about all this of course but at no point so far has any1 told me I am terminal or anything like that and they are telling me I should be able to have a reversal surgery(to go normally again) in July or Aug.....to be blunt the ileostomy bags are a hygenic nightmare for me as my stoma is inverted...I wouldnt wish any of this on my worst enemy...Having lots of downtime as I cant drive or lift anything so been goin thru a huge stack of old comic books from the 70s/80s that my brother gave to me and my wife bought me a recliner while I was in the hospital...that recliner has been a Godsend....and for what its worth--I signed up at work a few years back a cancer supplemental plan thru Allstate--If you are ever offered this take it--this policy is a financial livesaver--knowing I will likely have so much down time throughout the next several months makes me look forward to Reds baseball and I hope they can continue on what they started last season....

  16. #15
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Cancer surgery--possible colostomy?

    Prayers to you, Butler Redsfan.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden


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