Experiences with Surgery

Reasons for cancer surgery include cancer prevention when there is a high risk of cancer, to determine a cancer diagnosis, to determine the stage of cancer, as primary cancer treatment, to remove or repair a part of the body that has cancer, to check lymph nodes for cancer, to perform debulking to remove as much of the cancer as possible, or to relieve cancer symptoms and improve quality of life. There are many types of cancer surgery; chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or hormone therapy is often done after surgery. No matter what the specific goals of cancer surgery, cancer patients are ultimately losing part or parts of their body. This may feel unnatural, but you must learn to cope with the surgery experience.

Many people with cancer have difficulty hearing the words “You have cancer.”, and find it even more difficult to say the words, “Let’s do it”. It is hard to make treatment decisions; you may feel like you are losing control. A lot of WhatNexter’s ask “What are the emotions that come from having surgery?” or “How will I resume normal activity after surgery?”. Many people say that it is difficult to adjust to a new lifestyle after cancer surgery, and that you must accept yourself despite your loss. Just as it is okay to grieve after a cancer diagnosis, it is okay to mourn your loss whether it is prostate cancer surgery, breast cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, colorectal cancer surgery, or other types of cancer surgery. However, then you must accept the new life you are given because of that loss. There are some outstanding stories shared by WhatNexter’s, read these stories, ask questions, and share your personal journey below.

    • Megan75
    • Experience with Medulloblastoma
    9 months ago
    Megan75's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    We are lucky in so many ways but this has been the most difficult thing we have ever been through. It was out of the blue. Life will...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • SCB
    • Experience with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
    9 months ago
    SCB's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    microsurgery to try and alleviate lymphedema in left arm, surgeon was not able to find viable lymph nodes in my arm to connect so op...

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  1. 9 months ago
    andreadiana's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    DaVinci hysterectomy, very minimal pain. Recovery in less than 2 weeks.

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  2. 9 months ago
    tonyafterrchop's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Left upper abdominal mass Laparoscopic Splenectomy with Distal Pancrectectomy and Partial Gasrectomy., Thoracentesis

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • alicejo
    • Experience with Bone Cancer
    10 months ago
    alicejo's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Lots of side effects with the colon surgery and need to eat small meals often because my stomach can't handle food like before and m...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  3. 10 months ago
    ShirleyLilly's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Still have 2 open spots on my incision after 6 weeks and a heat rash on top of my stomach and itches intensively.

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  4. 10 months ago
    couchtater1230's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a 13 hour surgery that involved a partial glossectomy, tongue reconstruction from arm flap, insertion of PEG tube and a Trach...

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
    • Jay
    • Experience with Bladder Cancer
    10 months ago
    Jay's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    After about two years of doing BCG treatments, I developed another tumor at the base of my ureter (the ureter is the tube that moves...

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • JennyWren
    • Experience with High-Grade Astrocyto...
    10 months ago
    JennyWren's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Ten days after my husbands craniotomy he suffered a brain bleed / stroke in which neurosurgeon suggested to just let him go due to t...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
    • dmarussell
    • Experience with Invasive Lobular Ca...
    10 months ago
    dmarussell's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I have not been able to return to my typical workout yet, no chest exercise.

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • mmang
    • Experience with Multiple Myeloma
    10 months ago
    mmang's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Very painful surgery. Had to go to rehab facility for 3 weeks. The pain was unbearable at times, but doable with pain meds.

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • SoniaM
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine) C...
    11 months ago
    SoniaM's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    The emotional impact of the diagnosis followed a week and half later was overwhelming more so than the surgery itself

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
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