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Picture of Topic Friends and family


Topic Friends and family

For anyone supporting someone else with cancer

  • 156 conversations

Feeling overwhelmed

Started by Anonymous on 27 August 2017 at 00:39

My dad has recently found out he has bowl cancer and is waiting to have his operation which will result in a colostomy bag. He has never been in hospital for surgery and is naturally scared stiff. He's had lots of information said to him and given to read, which is in itself overwhelming. If he has questions we've tried to help find out the answers but some questions we cant help him with. He wont accept that there isnt a set length of time before he can sit down (he will be sewn up) because everyone is different and heals differently, this is one area he seems to be worrying about more than anything. He's also worrying about how he will eat because he has been told he can lay down or stand up. Just feeling helpless at the minute :(

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  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    29 August 2017 at 11:18
    Edited on: 29 August 2017 at 12:15


    Your dad has had a great deal to contend with recently - with the cancer diagnosis and then surgery.

    It's understandable that he's got himself quite worked up about his forthcoming operation. If he's never been in hospital for surgery before then it can feel like a huge step.

    The information he's been given may feel overwhelming, and ironically, too much information can be as bewildering as too little sometimes.

    Generally with bowel surgery, where a stoma (needing a colostomy bag) is formed, there would be a gradual introduction of fluids, then food post operatively. He'll have an intravenous 'drip' (infusion) giving him fluids, whilst he's not he doesnt have to worry about food intake.

    I haven't heard of needing to stand/lay down, without sitting, post operatively, even when the surgery involves sewing up the anus (bottom). It will be sore though, so perhaps the hospital are just warning him it'll be uncomfortable to sit for a few days.

    I wonder if you could call his specialist nurse or the consultant's secretary to explain your dad's concerns - and clarfy what the post op details are, in case he's misunderstood anything. You could also phone the Colostomy Association helpline - 0800 328 4257  (maybe on a 'Hands free' call so your dad can listen in - and ask the questions and concerns he has.

    Hopefully that will help things feel a little clearer. He'll also be having a pre -op assessment, (checking his general health for anaeasthetic etc), and they'll be able to answer his concerns...

    If anyone reading this has been through something similar, do add a comment and encouragement.

    Warm wishes


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