Topic: Preparing for Surgery

Hi All:

After second, third, and fourth opinions, I believe we are proceeding with radical resection, despite very difficult location of tumor and super-duper high rate of recurrence.  Expect to have chemo post-op, so it's going to be a memorable fall and winter, I guess.

I have about three weeks to pull my life together -- that shouldn't be a problem!

Anyway -- I know there is an incredible depth of wisdom and experience on this board.

For those who have gone through resection: what did you do to prepare? What did you wish you had done, but didn't? How did you prepare mentally? Have any of your found means of combatting that terrible and long period of fatigue?

Strength to us all.
Irene

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Good luck to you, Irene and I hope it all works out perfectly. In retrospect, we did not prepare for the possibility that my sister would be opened up and then told that the resection was after all, impossible. With all the detailed imaging and testing, still (if you read the postings on this and other boards) there is a signifigant # of aborted surgeries. We were totally unprepared for anything other than a perfect outcome. I wish wish wish that for you! But mentally make (brackets) of (what if) Best wishes, Belle.

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irene,

I woke up mouthing the word resection, resection, and the nurse knew what I meant and hated to tell me "they couldn't do it."  I'd try for it all over again if I could.  I'm glad you have the opportunity.  It could reoccur, but IT MIGHT NOT TOO!!!!!!!   Let's keep that last thought on the spring board. 

I'd prepare by getting some exercise (walking) and tons of deep breathing several times a day.  I'd also be working on that nutrition with supplements and maybe some smoothies that promote immunity or some shakes like Ensure.  My liver surgeon said he wanted me to GAIN weight. (Har!  I've never heard that one before.)  I think most of our friends on this site know more about nutrition than I do, but that's how I would start.  And I'd listen to alot of Alison Kraus CD's. 

When is the big day?  And may I add and certainly not making light of this situation,  "You go, girl." 

I like your closing....strength to us all  ....

My prayers for all of you,
Sophie

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irene,

After witnessing what my mother went through, I recommend trying to do some weight bearing exercise if you are able, especially for the leg muscles. I also think that hospitals should do more physical therapy with people when they are still in bed, provide some resistance exercises they can do even if they are not ready to walk. Once the leg muscles go, it is really hard to regain that lost ground.

Patty

Re: Preparing for Surgery

My surgery was unsuccessful, too.

I'd try to get as healthyas possible by eating lots of fruits and veggies, and getting some excercise.  When I was in the hospital, the hardest thing was being unable to walk for a few days.  Oh, and the morphine that they gave me for pain caused hallucinations.  I thought that the wall was alive and crawling.  Eww.  And I didn't see double, I saw triple.  So when I closed my eyes, I hallucinated, and when I opened my eyes, I saw triple.  That wasn't a very good feeling. 

On the other hand, I was out of the hospital in a week, and back at work in three weeks.  So the recovery time was pretty quick for me, because I was relatively healthy to begin with.

Good luck on the surgery!  I hope they get every last bit of the tumor.

I'll be praying for you.

Re: Preparing for Surgery

All the best in the world to you, Irene. My husbands CC is not in the liver so cannot help you there but I found that for both of us a positive attitude is the best medicine. I always hope for the best along with my reality check of expecting the worst. These are all terrible things to say to someone on their stage "debut" but I also think we all really want to know what to expect. You are in our prayers for a fabulous outcome and a speedy recovery!!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irenea,

Gain some weight, take extra vitamins, make sure to exercise and have as few people as possible at the hospital.  Chucks after resection had an awful hard time.  Infection after infection.  Many people wanted to see him and I can't say it was because of them but if I could do it over.  I wouldn't allow so many people in and out of the room.  People carry infection and with a compromised immune system........... no brainer right. 

Best of luck
Christina

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irene... Wish you totally the best !  I did nothing really special other than call and talk with all my relatives and friends and absorbed all their good wishes.  It really helped prepare me mentally for the challenge.  I did get the electronic yahtzee game and and a deck of cards.  Passes time away before you know it.  I made sure I had extra pillows and just general stuff at home for when I got out of the Hospital.  Make sure there is a fresh set of batteries in the remote control. Plan ahead for an alternate place to get comfortable, because most of the time I preferred the recliner over the bed. I did take the initiative to redo my will, which alot of peole foget about. Make sure the air conditioner is serviced ,I can't stand being to hot in the house.  I wish I had gone to a medical supply store and got a few of those heat up in the microwave non-rinse required shampoo caps. Man! those are nice and warm and relaxing.  Stock up on all the things you know you don't won't to run out of, before someone can bring to you. I won't elaborate on that one ha!  You'll do just fine Irene just keep on smiling and take all the big hugs and kisses you want now, as you'll be a little sore for a few weeks.  Other wise I watched the tube and ate like a piggy, all my favorite (healthy?) snacks.
God Bless ,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irene,
when I was in the hospital, I used my iPod quite a bit.  It was nice to listen to when I couldn't sleep, or open my eyes (seeing triple).  If you have a CD player or iPod, bring it.

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irene,
I wish you all the best and will pray for you. My husband had 50% of his liver removed on 7/8. His surgeon told him to get in good shape beforehand which he did. He got lots of rest and ate well. After surgery, he felt pretty good in the hospital, but the fatigue really set in when he got home. He had about 4 units of blood during and after surgery. We just got back from a week at the outer banks of NC. He sat on the beach and slept well. I am just starting to see an increase in strength, and he is definitely feeling better. It totally wiped him out tho, as the surgeon predicted. Go in with a positive attitude and put it in God's hands. That is all you can do. God bless.

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irene,

I had about two weeks to get ready for my resection in January, 2007.  Here are some of the things I did before surgery:

1.   I pay the bills, so I made sure they were all as current as I could make them.  I also wrote down every bill and payment we made each month (and the due dates) so my husband could find the info easily if needed. 
2.   I also updated my will, and my husband and I talked about how I wanted to handle things if something happened that would make it impossible for me to make my own decisions.
3.   I got as much sleep as I could.
4.   I did fun things that I knew I would not be able to do again soon.
5.   I wrote down all the phone numbers of family and friends, and made sure they were in my cell phone.
6.   I ate anything that sounded good at the time, which wasn't really a whole lot.

You know, it's funny, but I NEVER considered what would happen if they couldn't do the surgery.  Nor did I worry excessively over actually having the surgery. I knew I didn't have a choice, so might as well go forward as prepared as I could be, and leave it in God's hands, aided by my outstanding surgeon.

Good luck. Think good thoughts. I will be thinking about you. Please let us know how you are doing as soon as you comfortably can.

You are in my thoughts,
Sue

Today is a new day. Congratulations, you are already a survivor!

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Irene, best luck to you, wish you would have a succesful operation. There are few things I need to share with you as my Mum also had a resection on 23 Jul.
After operaton, she was quite well. After 1 week, nausea and vomiting a lot + bleeding inside. The bleeding stoped after 1 week. However, yesterday CT scan and X-ray showed a partial obstruction at the duodenum (Dr said this is quite common with patients after pancreas operation, however not in this kind of operation). We have to feed her through a tube directly to the intestine to make it work better.
Ofcourse, this is due to each patient's conditions. However, it maybe due to the capability of the surgeon (who knows??).

And, after 1-2 days from the surgery, following the Dr's opinion, you have to try your best to sit up and try to walk around a bit, it's better for your digestion system.

Lisa, what do you mean "an unsuccesful surgery"?? It means they could not remove all the tumor during the surgery/ or they did do it very well however the tumor came back afterward???

Re: Preparing for Surgery

Hai Minh,
I had exploratory surgery in March.  They were unable to get the tumor out because it is wrapped around the IVC and high up in the liver.

It seems that a successful resection is very much a factor of the size and location of the tumor.

Re: Preparing for Surgery

I've had surgery twice (the first a successful resection, the second unsuccessful on the recurrence) and what helped me a lot was getting myself as strong as possible beforehand, by eating a lot and exercising right up till the night before my surgeries. Then afterwards, get up out of bed and move around as early as you can (even though it feels WEIRD inside-- not painful but spooky, because things have been rearranged.) The more you get your blood circulating, the faster you heal.

I'm writing this from a hotel room in Rochester, MN, where I have my appointment at the Mayo Clinic tomorrow.

The best of luck to you!

Kristin

Peace, hope, and healing to all!