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Bowel cancer treatment

wikey

colorectal cancer operation timescale

hello
i have colon cancer, located about 100mm from rectum. i started chemo and radio therapy on 13th December and completed this 24th february.

i am seeing the oncologist on 22nd of february and have dates for follow up mri and ct scans in mid march,

then no doubt there will some delay before seeing surgeon and a further wait before the operation assuming this is the route they decide on.

so an operation end of march or near then . this seems a long time from finishing the chemo and radio therapy treatment.
what are the normal timescales for the scans and operation after the completion of chemo and radio therapy ?? thanks for any replies , mikey

wikey
lilianwiles: Hello Mikey,
It is also worth mentioning that there are now some surgeons who have been trained in a technique where they can use endoscopy and very specialist surgery to remove very low rectal tumours without the need to resort to a permanent stoma formation, using something called the APPEAR technique. While not everyone is suitable for this kind of surgery, it may well be worth exploring the possibility while you are recovering from your radiotherapy and waiting to see how much the tumour shrinks down.

There is more information about it here, which may be helpful
www.bowelcancerresearch.org/...nging_lives/article.php?article=7


With best wishes, Lilian

hello Lilian, is this technique in use in the uk or is it still under development?
cheers
mikey


[right]> > moderated to make the quote and comment seperate. suze may 2012<<[/right]

alisonhelen

Hi Mikey,

So glad you've had such an excellent response to your radiotherapy. Thanks for posting about it as it is so encouraging for those about to embark on such a daunting journey!

Have you asked your surgeon about the APPEAR tecnique? When you next see him, why not show him the article from cancer research that Lilian gave you the link for? Good luck anyway with your op, I hope too that you don't end up with a permanant stoma, but they are NOT the end of the world! Fingers crossed for no chemo too!

Best wishes, Alison

wikey

well i did mention the appear technique to him, he had not heard of it, i mentioned professor williams, he said what norman williams, president of the college of surgeons, and i said yes i think so , and he made a comment that was a little odd, so i wont mention any more names or specifics, but i might show him the article next time.

but he aid that because mine was on the zygmoid junction it should be reversible, so he did not seem concerned about the reversal but obviously was cautious in what he said as we all know things can always be more difficult than hoped .

i have read up on the appear technique but i see that the person mentioned was in the early program for it but couldn't really find out if it was becoming mainstream yet

cheers
mikey

alisonhelen

Mikey,

I notice from the article that there are 4 hospitals in the UK collaberating in the trial. Why not contact the one nearest to you to find out about it? They may be looking for trialists or may suggest a surgeon with experience nearer you. Worth thinking about anyway!

Alison

wikey

Waiting for a call back from macmillan to discuss if I can get dla

alisonhelen

Good luck with that! So am I !!

Keep us updated, hope you're well ATM!

Alison

wikey

Well here is an update. I went into hospital last Wednesday morning. Had operation Thursday afternoon. Anterior resection and loop illieostomy. Out of it Friday was in step down ward between ice and normal ward. Rallied a bit Saturday. Much better Sunday. Decided I must go home Monday. Left hospital at 4 pm. Monday! They were amazed. So two days at home now and coping. Surgeon said op went to plan so reversal should be on the cards. Doing this on iPhone so a few typos perhaps

alisonhelen

Excellent news Mikey! Well done! That takes the enhanced recovery programme to a new level!

What op did you end up having in the end?

No typo's so brain and fingers obviously weren't affected by op or anaesthesia!

Alison

wikey

Anterior resection and loop illieostomy, so opened up down the front, bad areas dealt with, also stoma and bag now for a period of time sown up again with a drain and , not the appear technique but the more traditional way

Hazel

Wow Mikey that's some recovery, i left after two weeks and was still strugglingg a bit then, great news hope the healing continues to go well.

wikey

hello folks. not sure if i should start a a new thread, but my query is about pain

i have improved immensely but when i try and get out of bed or a soft chair or settee , where i cant fully support myself with both arms, i am getting a strong pain under my skin in the wound area. it last a few minutes.

it could be just the muscles straining against the stitches and that is sort of what the doctor and nurse have said , but i am concerned that given i am 8 days since the op now the stitches will be dissolving soon and i am worried that the muscles may not have healed enough to resist tearing without the stitches given that i am still getting pain. i find it a bit confusing with the physios saying i gotta move and take the pain relief and do stuff, but on the other hand i have to avoid strain and presumably pain and make sure i don't rip anything or get a hernia.

any thoughts?
cheers
mikey

louisah

Hi wikey,
I'm glad to hear that the op went well and that you are back home now, it sounds like you had an amazing recovery post surgery.
In terms of the pain you are experiencing, it seems to be related to times when you are putting strain on your stomach muscles, rather than constant, increasing pain which may be a sign of something more serious. You do not mention any problems with opening your bowels or being unable to eat/vomiting. If this were the case, I would recommend you contact the hospital.
In terms of the wound you have, you have had a big operation, there is internal and external healing going on, and it will take some time for the muscles to knit back together fully and strengthen again. Not so long ago you would still have been in hospital at 8 days post op, so do take it easy on yourself. Yes it is important to mobilise, but in a gradual fashion, slowly increasing the amount of walking and time spent on your feet.
It sounds like you need to spend a bit more time getting out of bed and chair, in order to protect your stomach muscles and be more comfortable. When getting out of bed, it is a good idea to bend your knees up a little and roll over to be at the edge of the bed. Then put your legs down and use your arms to take some of the strain from your tummy. When sitting, it can be useful not to be in too low a chair, so that it is not so hard to get back out! The physio or nurses in the hospital probably helped you mobilise in this way and you should try to continue this for the moment. Most literature recommends not straining or lifting heavy objects for about 6 weeks.
Here is a Returning home fact sheet which you might find useful: www.beatingbowelcancer.org/...images/ReturningHomeV3.0Final.pdf
Hope this helps, look forward to hearing how you are going,
Louisa

wikey

hi Louisah and everyone

well things have changed slightly since my last post on this yesterday or the day before. i got the doctor to me yesterday. i have a small infection on my main wound. he has put me on augmentin anti biotic and i have taken 4 so far.

that has backed off the pain and a bit of the redness and hardness in the red areas. so hopefully a few more days and that will be ok. it was pain from this infection area that was getting to me, as i can now move much more freely. i have had my 50 staples taken out this morning so that is actually easing the discomfort also. but i am being very careful about movement, not stretching or folding my abdomen too much as i don't want the wound to split open , even a tiny bit.
so all ok providing the infection goes away again.

will keep you posted on any more news, and i am enjoying the cycling thread that Suze has started, even if i am not cycling!

best wishes every one

mikey

wikey

Another update. The augmentin is not working very well so I am having double dose for 24 hours. it's four am now.
Doctor calling in at 8 am. If no progress he will send me back to hospital for iv antibiotics etc. Oh well we shall see.
Cheers.
Mikey

alisonhelen

Oh Mikey, you must be so fed up. I do wish you well and hope by now that the Augmentin is working. It must be horrible thinking you might have to go back into hospital after your earlier progress.

Do take care and we are here for you whatever time of day or night!

Very best wishes,

Alison

wikey

Well my doctor came just after 8 am and checked the wound and felt it had calmed a little. So we are marking boundary of redness with blue Peter felt tip pen and covering and carrying on with augmentin having had a couple of double doses overnight. Hope it works! My wife who is a qualified nurse amongst other things has done the dressing. So I feel about the Same now as I did Friday. Thanks for replies and support
Best wishes
Mikey

alisonhelen

Glad you haven't had to go to hospital Mikey and hope the wound is still calming down! Now why aren't you using sticky backed plastic as well as that Blue Peter pen? It won't work without!

Lucky you to have a nurse around, must give you peace of mind!

Have a better evening and night!

Alison

wikey

thanks Alison,
its now 8 pm tuesday and it has backed off a bit so going in the right direction i think.

suze

great idea to colour in your infection!

alisonhelen

Great, glad to hear it Mikey! Lets hope we both get some sleep tonight! (I was up with a steroid 'high' last night!)

Alison