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Questions for pre-op on 15th???? Questions for pre-op on 15th????

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Unread 04-30-2003, 10:34 AM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

I know each case is different...I have a pelvic mass on left side located below left ovary. Looks "particularly nasty."? I'll be having a total hysterectomy while they get this "thing" out. CA-125 test was normal. Now...what are some good questions I can list to ask my doctor on the 15th? I'll fax them to her prior to my pre-op counseling meeting on 15th. I live alone and a longer hospital stay, if covered by my insurance, would probably be to my advantage. I'll ask her who is doing surgery, if an oncologist will be on hand, and I'll ask her why I didn't have a CT scan, only an ultrasound. Now, any other suggestions would be most welcomed!!! Thank you in advance, ladies! (I'm on my lunch break at work and will be checking back in this evening when I get home.)
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Unread 04-30-2003, 02:32 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

Hi Annie....

Lets see now....

First I had an abdominal and pelvic cat scan which confirmed that I did have a suspicious mass on my ovary. MY oncologist gynocologist said that he would not know if it was cancerous or not until he got in there. He said that there are times when he thinks things are cancerous when they turn out not to be and vice versa. But no matter what, the mass did have to come out and a total hysterectomy was the course of action.

Before the actual surgery I had to have a colonscopy to make sure that all was clear on that end.

I also had to have an echo sonogram and a stress test to make sure that I was healthy enough for surgery (I guess).

I certainly hope that the doctor doing your surgery is an oncologist gynocologist. Whenever there is even the slightest thought that cancer may be present, They are the experts to call. They know exactly what to look for and how to remove it.

My mass did turn out to be cancerous but I am now one year past surgery and doing great!!

Hope this helps ever a little.

Unread 04-30-2003, 05:44 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

Thanks, Rosalie! One thing your post makes me feel uneasy about is that I cancelled a consultation with the folks who do the colostomy. That was supposed to have been today, followed sometime after with the colostomy. I feel discomfort in my bowel area in addition to the pain on the left side. I probably should have tried to get that done first. Now I will be having to do it sometime after, not to mention the breast that is to be checked again for a problem there. I wish they could have done everything they need to do while I'm out this time, but it sure didn't work out that way. Thanks for sharing, and I will be asking about the scans and the oncologist.
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Unread 04-30-2003, 08:29 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

Dear Annie,

No questions to suggest, but I do have a few thoughts that might be helpful. :-)

One thing that might be helpful is to have two types of "bowel cleanse" laxatives available for your "day before surgery" prep. I drank the bottle of Phospho Soda (spelling?) as scheduled, but threw it up about 10 minutes later. I thus became frantic, as I didn't have anything else in the house and I knew I had to clean my bowel out on a particular schedule, since it was the day before surgery.

After a half-hour of calling, I finally got a pharmacist on the line who said, "Oh, yeah. A lot of people throw that up." Which of course no one had told me. There was another bowel cleanse product that was available at a drug store, but I forget the name. It comes in a green bottle. A friend got it for me, and I was so grateful that she was there to help me. It would have been much easier if I had already had that back-up product on hand. I don't know why they didn't tell me that a lot of people throw up the Phospho Soda.

I also live alone, but decided to recuperate at my parents' home. I guess a lot of people do this alone, but I found it really helpful to have someone around to help me, especially right after I got out of the hospital. If you have a friend who can come help out -- or even check on you a few times a day -- or you can order in your food, that might make things easier. You won't be able to drive for a while, so try to stock up on food before you go to the hospital.

For the hospital stay, be sure you bring a small tummy pillow. You will need it when you get up to walk around. You can get one from HS, or just buy something small from Target or a drugstore. I also found "short attention span" magazines, like People and Us, to be helpful diversions. I brought some nice-smelling lotion (tangerine), which helped, since it was a few days before I felt like taking a sponge bath. I brought a headband to keep my hair out of my face, and also brought glasses rather than contacts.

Finally, I brought a little silk-covered lavender pillow that a friend sent me, which helped when the elderly woman who shared my room had her diaper changed. You don't think about that before visiting the hospital, and that's not why I brought that little lavender thing, but it really helped. My roommate was so kind and apologetic, but the smells can really get to you.

I did not have to have a colon check prior to surgery, but I did have to have a chest X-ray and an EKG, which I think is pretty standard. I also had discomfort in my bowel, but I think the pressure from the tumor was causing that. It went away after the surgery.

One other thought, which I may have already shared with you (or with someone else). Buy some large men's cotton boxer shorts, as they don't bind and are easy on the staples. :-)

I wish you a lot of luck with your surgery, and truly hope it is not cancer. :-) s!
Unread 04-30-2003, 09:12 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

SirenSong, that is priceless advice that has the voice of experience written all over it. I thank you! I do have a place lined up to stay for couple of days and then have someone who will be checking on me when I come home, and someone to mow the yard, and someone to watch my precious pups for a few days. I ordered my Hister Sisters Tummy Pillow and the book, "Through the Land of Hyster, The Hyster Sisters' Guide" and both items arrived a couple of days ago. I'll get the cleanse back-up product. I'm very sensitive to these cleanse products and usually turn almost inside out after using the recommended product and dosage. Oh...and I bought the Mens' large boxer shorts that you told me about at the Dollar Store on the way home from work today. I also picked up an inflatable donut pillow and some small sized shampoo, etc., and a bag of ginger snapps. The pups and I just shared a few of the ginger snapps and now it's into bed we go. Sleep tight, SirenSong, and Be Healed!
Unread 05-01-2003, 01:34 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

Me again...

The fleet phosphate soda, I thought, was a standard procedure for cleaning out before the surgery. I also had to take special meds before the surgery. (all this was told to me, from my oncologist gyno. the surgeon, before the actual surgery)

Siren... How long were you in the hospital for???? You seem to have taken lots of stuff with you.

I had my surgery late Thursday, and was home on Sunday morning. No time for anything but walking around from day one!!

Also, I did not have any problems at all with bloating, stomach pain, or anything. My doc put a large velcro corsett on me right after surgery and my stomach was flat as a board. Was able to wear regular clothes right away.

I guess every doctor and state does things differently.

Unread 05-01-2003, 01:46 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

Rosalie --

I went in on the 6th and came home on the 12th; they kept me one extra day. They didn't want me to get up and walk until Day 3, which was fine with me. I only took a small tote bag. Glasses, lotion, lavender pillow, tummy pillow and some magazines. The boxers were for home use. :-)

Annie --

That other cleanse product is something like sodium citrate, or maganesium citrate, or something like that. Small green bottle, and the stuff looks like 7UP. It does the same thing as the Fleet phospho sode. You should try the Fleet phosphate first. But if you can't keep it down, it's nice to have a backup and not have to have a friend run to the drugstore . . . since some of the Fleet will have gotten into your system, meaning you need to be near a bathroom. I never throw up anything, so it was odd that I had such a strong reaction. :-)
Unread 05-01-2003, 02:58 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

now i understand Siren.....You were in the hospital for a long time. I was only in for 2 and that does make a difference.

Did your doctors give you that velcro corsett??? That really was a wonderful thing although it did get annoying as the days went on.

Unread 05-01-2003, 03:49 PM
Questions for pre-op on 15th????

They did! They didn't put it on immediately after surgery. It came about two days after, and I wore it on and off for about a week after I got home. My stomach is definitely not flat (and never has been), but it is still a little swollen in an uneven way on either side of the scar. The doctor says it will even out, and that it's totally normal.

I'm actually now wondering when I might be able to do some exercise other than walking, e.g., lift weights or do situps. I've lost about 20 pounds since all this started, so my tummy is a little in need of some exercise. :-)

Two days? That is just ridiculous. They should've kept you longer. I think they kept me the exact right amount of time. :-)
Unread 05-02-2003, 09:48 AM
One More Suggestion

I recommend EARPLUGS. I put that in all caps because you'll find hospitals are very noisy--especially if your room is near the nursing station. Get a couple pair (I like the foam ones you can squish to fit your own ear) to have handy. Also if you are in for any length of time you can shower. I was amazed how fast they got me in the shower (and I was pretty shaky too). The hospital issued stuff is pretty crummy--so if you can, little bottles (plastic) of nice shower gel (I love Bath and Body Works) and good shampoo (drug stores or Walmart, etc. have trial size areas) are luxuries. I was in for 9 days total. Let me give you my standard warning--the "food" they give you will likely be awful! Don't have anyone smuggle in food if you're still on clear liquids but when you can eat, you'll probably want to ask someone coming to visit to bring some real food. You may not eat a lot, but if it's recognizable and tastes good, it'll be a real treat. My hospital is a "no choice" hospital--you get what they serve but they do ask and I did say I can't stand fish and don't eat non-Kosher food. They got that right but my first real meal after 90% salt cow-hoof broth, green rubber--I mean jello--and frozen (I kid you not) juice was a stack of pancakes, whole wheat cereal, and something else. I hadn't to be blunt passed gas yet and I knew I'd be violently ill if I ate that. Don't be afraid to ask for lighter transitional things--like toast. Oh--and take socks with you because hospitals are cold and I learned from my first experience there (I hadn't been in hospital for 20 years) when I went in via ER and didn't have socks on, your feet will freeze and you'll be cold all over.

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