Re: Introduction

For Mark the post-op was a little longer than most partially because it took him three days to just be able to reposition himself in bed. His shoulders are full of arthritis and his surgery aggravated them. Once he got moving though things went well. According to him the pain wasn't too bad. He quit using the pain button on day 4 and they switched him to oral. I think by 4 weeks post-op he was only using pain pills at night just as he was before surgery. There does not seem to be any permanent nerve damage although he has a couple of areas that appear to be numb on his belly but it's not bothersome.
He does have some issues with constipation (aggravation of prior problem) however we really haven't had things "normal" since surgery. Since then he's either been on chemo or antibiotics or both. And that makes the constipation worse for him. He's on a pretty significant dose of meds to help with the constipation but as he says it's a small price to pay for what went on.
I did ask him if he would do it all over again knowing what he knows now and said Yes without hesitation.
As a nurse I don't see any problems with this surgery that I wouldn't see with any abdominal surgeries. He had some delayed wound healing in a couple of spots but that too is normal.

Hope this helps.

Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.

Re: Introduction


I just wanted to say hello and I understand the feelings you are going through right now.  I'm a cc patient myself and recently diagnosed.  After surgery at Mayo to remove a little over half of my left liver node, I'm still waiting on two of the laproscopic incisions to heal so that I can start chemo.  I chose to do chemo even with a "huge" 2.2 cm clean margin, no evidence of mets, 6 out of 6 clean hilar lymph nodes and no nural or venous invasion found at pathology.  (This cancer can spread not only through lymph nodes but also along nerve pathways and blood pathways).  Why, when there's no evidence at this time, that chemo does anything to keep the cancer from returning after curative intent surgery?  My Mayo oncologist said very simply, without me asking, that if it were he in my place, he'd do the chemo and if it was his mother or sister, he'd be urging them to do it also.  He has no skin in the game.....that is....he is not going to be the oncologist administering the chemo (home oncologist will do that), so this was his honest opinion.  That, along with the 50% odds he gave us for the CC to come back, the decision was made.  It wasn't an easy decision...but now that I've made it, I want to get on with it.  I don't want this stuff to come back and then say, "Why didn't I do chemo?"   I've seen odds of this coming back ranging from 50% to 75% (the latter being the statistic shown more for intrahepatic, which is the kind I have), but my oncologist said 50%, so since I like the better number I'm going with it.  smile

As to the statistics concerning surgery.  I am a diabetic and obese (I hate that word), so along with the usual numbers about morbidity, etc, the weight and diabetes were factored in also.  Still, I was told that the percentages for complications for each of the issues concerning surgery and recovery were about 3-5% at worst, nothing like the numbers you were told.  But, every surgery is different.  Mine was pretty straight forward.   Still, I would echo the advice of others on this discussion board.....get a 2nd and 3rd, or even more opinions. 

As to chemo before having surgery.  My surgeon mentioned that they were starting to look at doing chemo before surgery more often, but she didn't feel that I needed to do that and she was prepared to go ahead the next day with surgery if I was.  If I WAS?.....oh goodness, I told her that was why I was THERE.  If my tumor had been still larger, (it was 5.3 cm or so), then maybe she would have said chemo first, because I've read a lot of posts here about people doing chemo to try to shrink the tumor or tumor load before surgery, in some cases, to even make the surgery possible. 

Coming to the CC Foundation was the best thing I could have done for myself.  At first, I just gleaned the data/facts, .....the stories often made me cry...the statistics made me cry.....when someone said something nice it made me cry.  Okay....yes, I do wear my heart on my sleeve and have been known to cry even at commercials.  But, when I finally posted my own story and had some responses, I was made welcome and realized that there were people who "get it" and when they tell you that what you're feeling is something most everyone here has felt at one time or another, it gives you something to cling to.  Hang in there.....and keep pushing until you get some answers that make sense. 

Julie T.

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences.    As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.

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Yes Iowa girl the best decision you did make was finding this website. I was like you and I'am not going to say I have been cancer free...I was diagnosed in Oct 09 with intrahepatic cc...met a wonderful man on this website who's mother had the same type of CC and he very unselfiously recommended a Dr to me who was able to operate on me...God willing I'am fast forwarding 4 and a half years and yes i have had 3 surgeries but I'm here loving my family and life ...You need to do what is right for you and you will know what it in yourself you know what is best for you!