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Old 01-23-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 377
gocatsgo HB User
Re: Rectal Cancer & TME

Hi there,

I am 34 and had rectal cancer and a tme last november - your father's situation sounds identical to mine! I had chemo/radiation, then the surgery. My surgery was also done laproscopically (Lahey Clinic - I see you are in the Boston Area). I had an ileus post surgery (bowels not waking up) which lasted a month. I was eventually sent home w/TPN (IV nutrition) and the ileus resolved itself at home.

Unfortunately, your dad needs TIME. Believe me, I know how frustrating it is to wait it out, but as my surgeon always says, "If we wait, we win!" His bowels WILL wake up when they are ready. Until they are, have him keep NPO (nothing to eat or drink) and try walking, walking, walking, and a heating pad, and lay off of the narcotics if he can tolerate it.

My surgery was supposed to take 4 hours and it took 8 - though I had a hysterctomy and appendectomy at the same time.

The ileostomy will take some getting use to. Be sure he sees an ET nurse so he feels comfortabe caring for his stoma. This was very difficult for me to adjust to.

My cancer was also gone at the time of the surgery. I still had 8 months of chemo post-operatively, but that was aggressive treatment, due to my age and not knowing if the exact stage of cancer prior to treatment. Feel free to read through my posts to hear more of my story.

I am sure your dad is frustrated, but things WILL get better - I promise!

Take care,