• OK people, I'm scared, don't know what to do. I need surgery but because of covid nobody can come

    Asked by TOUGHERTHANIT on Thursday, July 2, 2020

    OK people, I'm scared, don't know what to do. I need surgery but because of covid nobody can come

    I will be alone going in, when I wake up, and even for 14 days in the hospital. I won't be able to see my kids, any family, or anyone period. I am about to cancel it. I don't know what to do.

    42 Answers from the Community

    42 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My first question is whether the surgeon or oncologist thinks postponing is a wise decision. Enduring 14 days of loneliness (and don't forget, you can still talk and facetime or zoom or whatever during that time if you feel like it) is better than having your cancer spread. On the other hand, the doctor may think that delaying for another month or so is okay until, perhaps, restrictions will be relaxed and you can have the surgery with at least some of your family nearby. Good luck. These are difficult times, for sure.

      (From what I understand, nurses and hospital personnel are really stepping up to the plate for everyone since they are so aware of how lonely it is for patients not to have their families and loved ones nearby.)

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      I agree with LWC, if it can reasonably be put off-maybe that would be more comfortable for you. These are definitely confusing times we are living in right now.

      If it can't be put off, Zoom/Facetime and phone conversations are definitely a viable alternative to combating the loneliness a little. Is there any possibility for them allowing one person to come and visit with you? It might be the only person you get, but it's better than nothing.

      This may seem a strange "up side," but when you are tired, groggy or ready to just chill out, sometimes it is easier to not have to tell people you need your rest. I am always one who feels compelled to be "with it" when I have visitors. I feel like I have to stay awake and be entertaining and sociable. People just wanted to congregate in my room and visit and felt compelled to keep me company. Sometimes I just wanted to be able to sleep or just rest and be quiet. People get so weird about the patient wanting to rest- like it either offends them or really worries them. I felt so compelled to be "on" all the time.

      I am sure I might feel differently if I knew I was facing weeks of being in the hospital without having any visitors, but maybe for the first few days it would be okay.

      I wish you the best of luck at figuring out what will work best for your situation.

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I understand your situation. I had an elective surgery scheduled when all of this started and right at that time my facility started that also. Nobody in the room but the patient. My wife could stay in the waiting room during surgery but after that had to leave. She couldn't even have her sister come with her to ride back home with her.

      As the ladies have said, if you can put your surgery off for a month or so it might not be an issue then, but if it's an important and urgent surgery you would be better off getting the surgery done. You don't need to hurt your health any more even if you have to push through it by yourself.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      It can't hurt to ask if surgery can be postponed. I'm so sorry you're facing this. Did your surgeon say you might be in the hospital for 14 days?

      about 1 month ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I'm sorry, but how serious is the surgery? and I'm thinking it is pretty serious for them to want to do it now with the COVID. After the surgery is over with, you'll feel better. Everyone worries about surgery. You can visit with your family on your cell phone or zoom. You probably will be sleeping a lot anyway. Another thing-- they usually tell you that you will be in longer, and they send you home early. They want you and your family ready for just in case, and just in case hardly ever happens. .

      I don't mean to sound hard, but military wives have been doing this forever. Going to a strange and new place and having a baby--they used to keep women in forever after having a kid--I always enjoyed that part.

      One of my neighbors had twins while her husband was at sea. He came home 2 weeks later, and dumped her and the twins- he went straight back to his ship and stayed there. Everyone got hold of him. and told him that twins showed he was a real he-man. He went back and got there while the neighbors and landlady were helping her to pack up. It worked out well for them. He was just scared and overwhelmed- Everybody gets scared This was back in 1961, so the twins were a real surprise.

      Please think about it-it might spread if you don't get it now.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      What kind of surgery is it? If it's something that will keep for a while, then see if you can put it off until visitors are allowed, even if it means only one person can come in. If it's urgent, then talk to a social worker and/or patient advocate. Perhaps they can either make a note for the nurses to comfort you in your family's absence, or they can put one designated visitor in PPE from head to toe before coming in to see you. I knew someone who actually got a visitor to come see them, gowned, masked, gloved, capped, little covers over the shoes, the whole 9 yards. Be sure to ask if you canhave your phone or a tablet with you; then you can contact lots of people when you feel up to it. I realize this is very scary, but asking a few questions might just make you feel a little better and ease up your decision process. HUGS and God bless.

      about 1 month ago
    • MyLungCancer's Avatar
      MyLungCancer

      Wow! I didn't realize that the one person rule extended to being in the hospital and no visitors meant family in the hospital rooms. I hope I don't come down with something that lands me in there. Right now I'm stable and treatments are running pretty good.

      about 1 month ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      Some hospitals are letting 1 person come with you now.
      Like everyone else I agree. If you need surgery now, do it. You might be able to request that a chaplain spend some time with you.
      Hard decisions to make, but you can get thru this!!

      about 1 month ago
    • TerriL's Avatar
      TerriL

      If you need to have the surgery now, have it. I agree with everyone else. You can have your phone or computer with you to talk with people. Don't postpone it because of fright, only if it can safely be put off. We may be in this COVID situation for more than another year. Can you safely wait that long?

      about 1 month ago
    • 2943's Avatar
      2943

      My husband had surgery during this. I dropped him at front door and a week later picked him up. Not sure what surgery would keep you there a 14 days. Also share with doctor how this has affected you. If it is cancer, do it, get it out. Statistics stand behind that. If it elective, than you might be able to wait. I have this surgery thing down now where I could handle it. We will be with you if you go forward! Hugs!

      about 1 month ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I have some surgeries (not cancer) that I have asked my Dr.s to postpone and they have been agreeable. My Dr. is not so agreeable about my desire to postpone scans.

      about 1 month ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      Ok, I'm a logical thinker (INTJ), so my answer is pretty much sans emotion (not sans feeling).

      You can do this.

      You need an operation that will enable you to be with your family for a much longer time than if you don't have the operation.

      Unless you're in a private room, others will be int he room with you (be sure to open the window or get an ultraviolet light to zap any COVID droplets and don't rely on hospital staff telling you it's okay - take control of it), so you can commiserate with them.

      Now let's say the average lifespan is 75 years. Multiply 75 years by 52 weeks and what do you get? That's right, 3,800 weeks. Divide 2 weeks (14 days) by 3,800 and what's the result? Yep ... .0005, or .05% of the lifespan. That's puny.

      Get a grip on the emotions and let your family have you for more time, or whine about 2 of 3,800 weeks.

      Also, if you get lonely, FaceTime or one of the other apps are available.

      about 1 month ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      2943---the patient's age and condition is what might cause a person to be told 14 days--problems like anemia, diabetes, asthma, COPD, and so on. The doctor and hospital are being careful, and trying to have the patient and family emotionally prepared for a longer stay.

      When my husband was 19, he had a Pilondial cyst system on his tailbone removed. He ended up staying at the Navy hospital for about 4 months, because it didn't want to heal up properly. It either granulated or had an overgrowth. It must have been something in the water or air, because they's do a chemical burn for the overgrowth, and I don't remember what they did for the granulation, He was in a ward with about 25 other sailors and Marines that had the same problem. The nice thing about it is that they put him on a tug boat, so he was home when I went into labor.

      His mother went hysterical that he had cancer or something--This is something that now is day surgery. Even simple things can go wrong without it being a big deal. .

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      TerriL, I thought of the same thing - we may be in the COVID situation for a long time. It may be better to have the surgery and get it over with. I know this is easier for me to say, TOUGHERTHANIT. But don't forget - YOU'RE TOUGHERTHANIT!! ;-) Sending you hugs and a lot of good vibes.

      about 1 month ago
    • judithj's Avatar
      judithj

      Agree with all above and add this - I recently spent 3 weeks in hospital - emergency surgery.
      No visitors, but lots of wonderful attention from staff, a surprisingly quiet environment and I was never really alone. Brought my cell phone with me, texted family and friends and had radio station on 24/7 (KDFC.com). If it is necessary, go with the flow, bring a favorite blanket, book, pictures and remember you are NOT alone - this covid virus has made for adjustments but lots of us have been there and we are rooting for you!

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      I agree with everyone about having the surgery and taking advantage of the quiet time to heal. IF that is the situation? Nowadays they do not keep you in the hospital one minute more than necessary and maybe tougherthanit needs some people/family to help her at home? I had my breast surgery as an out patient and I don't know how I would have managed at home without my husband. I know I am always asking for more details, I am not nosey, I just think we can give better advice if we have a clear picture of the need? emotional support during a scary medical procedure is a different need than physical help at home.

      about 1 month ago
    • Angelaine's Avatar
      Angelaine

      Hi. This is a time where concessions are made for alot of people to stay healthy. You are scheduled for a serious surgery. Remember, there are ways for you to talk with family, friends. You are the one who must be ok with how surgery goes. Prayers for wisdom, peace and answers.

      about 1 month ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I had surgery on June 25th. I have no family and no close. Having surgery during a pandemic was not my 1st choice. But I was tested twice and I'm sure that all of the staff was tested as well Or at least had their temperature taken and went over the list of symptoms. So far so good. Only problem was they found recurrence of the cancer. But the surgery itself went well. And like others have said I would have been able to have someone come in sit with me in the waiting Room prior to surgery sit in the waiting Room and wait for me while I was in surgery and then stay in my Room until the end of regular visiting hours and then I wouldn't be able to see them again until I left the hospital. My friend offered the stay. But I wouldn't let him. He's diabetic, has asthma, and lives with his 90 year old mother. I was not going to kill mom.

      about 1 month ago
    • 2943's Avatar
      2943

      BuckeyeShelby, hope there is a positive journey coming!

      about 1 month ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      My son is going on the VA psych ward Tuesday. All of this has been really hard on him. He's been trying so hard to be brave. When his team calls, and he's at the post office or something, I've been telling them he is having a hard time dealing, and sometimes he shakes and shakes. H tries not to complain, and talking to him on the phone is different than sitting in an office and watching each other.

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      After reading more of the answers, I have to say I agree with the others who say proceed with the surgery especially if it relates to your cancer. That is not something that can wait.
      I am still so thankful I decided to proceed with surgery in late February. I was considering putting things off, but I got it just before the world stopped.

      Meyati, you are so right- military wives have been doing the independent, by ourselves thing forever. We make friends who can support us and be with us when the lonely times come, but basically we learn to be highly autonomous. I didn't realize you were a military wife too. Thank you for your time and sacrifice my friend.

      Anyhow, @TOUGHERTHANIT, you ARE Tougher Than It. Do your thing and get that surgery if it is important that it is done sooner rather than later. Facetime, Zoom and otherwise is a nice choice we have now. It's not the same as a human, but it's better than nothing I suppose.

      about 1 month ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      Get the surgery over with. The time frame they have given you sounds like forever, but remember this is a temporary situation. You will be home and recovering and not worried about it afterwards. Waiting could cause a permanent absence.

      about 1 month ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I think that waiting for surgery and scans are 2 of the worst things in the world--it sucks.

      about 1 month ago
    • TOUGHERTHANIT's Avatar
      TOUGHERTHANIT

      Thank you all for your responses, it's overwhelming and I thank you. I have told the doctor I will have the surgery and I am waiting for the scheduler to call with a date. Since I drug my feet on this it's going to be another 2 weeks or so. They are giving me worst case estimates for time for surgery, time in the hospital and time to heal.

      about 1 month ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Thanks for getting back to us with this good news. You'll probably will be out in 5 days or less. If it takes longer, you can write me and tell me wrong I was. I do hope that you give us daily-even twice a day- reports on what's going on. You know how much we are nosy rosies.

      about 1 month ago
    • 2943's Avatar
      2943

      What is surgery you are facing?
      You have lots of fellow warriors in this with you .

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      TOUGHERTHANIT, I’m no expert but I think you’re doing the right thing. We’ll be looking forward to lots of updates from the hospital and beyond.

      about 1 month ago
    • KB2013's Avatar
      KB2013

      Cellphone or tablet, laptop=communication with everyone including WhatNext forum. Whenever I’ve been in a hospital, I keep the tv on 24/7 unless I know I’m dozing off then I turn it off.

      29 days ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      TV on 24/7. They kept coming in and turning the TV off. I immediately woke up and I was rude to them. I told them they didn't live in a house and neighborhood with teenagers. Then they wanted me to watch what they thought was good--like Ellen, soap operas...no, no, no. I finally got them trained.

      Then I missed my hounds, and the minute anybody stepped in my room, I was watching them, because I sleep with my hounds. They'd start walking to the TV, and the minute they touched it, I said, DON'T.

      29 days ago
    • TOUGHERTHANIT's Avatar
      TOUGHERTHANIT

      2943, double mastectomy. If I heal relatively quickly from that they will take me back to do another procedure to correct an abdominal issue. I have issues with not healing and infections, so they are worried that I won't heal up fast enough.

      29 days ago
    • 2943's Avatar
      2943

      You got this! Not sure why they talk about 14 days even with healing issues. I had a kidney removed due to cancer..out n 3 days.. and 9 days later mastectomy.. our next day. Have house organized for no lifting, zip/ button front tops, small ‘seatbelt’ pillow, pillows for bed. Ask doctor office what they want you to have.
      Many of us have walked this journey and are here for you!

      29 days ago
    • Ashera's Avatar
      Ashera

      As bad as this will sound, I'm actually ...glad...hospitals are using an abundance of caution in not allowing any but the pt inside their doors. You may be sure of your family...but if others you do not know were allowed in...you would have no control. My friend just had a kidney removed. At first, she was told she could have one family member come with her - to wait, to see her afterwards and to sit in the waiting area. Then, she was told no one. She was dropped at the door - covered in PPE's and wheeled away. 3 days later, she was wheeled to the door once again, in PPE's and rolled out to her waiting family member's car. As safe as possible coming - staying -and going. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! And you will be safe! Please keep in touch with all of us...we never sleep!

      29 days ago
    • Ashera's Avatar
      Ashera

      PS - you will not be entering where covid pts are. you will not be in an area inside where covid is. The hospital will keep you very safe!

      29 days ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Haha, Ashera, I am laughing at "...we never sleep!" It's true, isn't it? Sometimes I wake up and can't ge back to sleep so I just meander to my computer and check out what people are talking about on this site, and leave a comment, or not...But, I think it's safe to say between us we've got the night *covered!*

      29 days ago
    • Ashera's Avatar
      Ashera

      MarcieB! Absolutely! I've been here often on 'those' nights. Not all the time, but when I'm feeling like I'm the only one in the world feeling the way I'm feeling! 24 hr service here....!

      29 days ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Count me in to help cover the night watch!

      And I'd just like to say something... I really appreciate how someone in this community can say "OK people, I'm scared..." and all of the responses are supportive. Some responses come from more of a "logic" side, some come from more of a "feeling" side, but all are supportive. No one says "You're being silly" or "Don't be a baby" or "Why are you worrying about that stuff" or anything else invalidating or demeaning. I really appreciate that. (I guess you can tell what kind of responses I get from some family/friends!)

      29 days ago
    • 2943's Avatar
      2943

      We all need a pat on the back or even a kick to the hind side during this. I was helped by knowing other 60 plusers made it thru and are doing well. It gave me patience lessons, appreciation lessons. I had not been to a doctor for 35 years and then had the rug pulled out from under me. 3 primary unrelated cancers, more scans, bloodwork, surgeries, chemo, radiation, immunotherapy. I have met incredible people who share this path and have encouraged me to be a better person. I am in the place I am (good place) due to the support here and other patient venues. Hugs!

      28 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Late responding here, but I can still add my cents. I sleep days more than nights, so I can be on the night watch, too.

      I’m glad you’re going ahead with your surgery. I hope you won’t be in the hospital as long as 14 days; on the other hand, it’s good to know that they won’t be releasing you until they are sure you are ready to be released.

      And, as everyone said, there’re cell phones, with Zoom, emailing, texts, and good old phone calls.

      28 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      All of us have a bit of fear, even me. With 32 years of experience in dealing with cancer issues, treatments of almost every type, side effects of almost every kind, you'd think that I know what to expect and have it covered. I should bounce right through this. Well, I have fear too. Fear that even though everything can be going along just fine today, but in a month take a turn for the worse and I'm gone. I've seen it happen. I've had family that this happened to. I'm afraid that if the treatments that I am on don't work that I'm at the end of the road, unless something pops up, I'm afraid that one of these days I'm going to weave left when I should have bobbed right, and the cancer reaper is going to smack me right in the mouth.

      But even with these fears, I keep them stuffed down deep, packed in a box inside me that I hope I don't have to open up and embrace. For now, I have confidence, optimism, and a positive outlook that if others can take this treatment that I am on and come out good, then I can too!

      Thank you all for helping @TOUGHERTHANIT get through this little roadblock in her journey. This is exactly why WhatNext was developed. So people who 'GET IT', who are going through it or have been through it can help others that are currently going through it.

      28 days ago
    • TOUGHERTHANIT's Avatar
      TOUGHERTHANIT

      Thanks again to you all. I am calming down a bit over all of this and I'm sure everything will be fine. It's just a shock to have everything thrown at you like it's coming out of a tennis ball launcher. I am hoping for a quicker in and out of the hospital than the dreaded worst-case scenario.

      26 days ago
    • 2943's Avatar
      2943

      Girl...with the team that has responded to this and others behind you..powerful feelings going your way. If you want to talk, I will send phone #. Hugs!!!

      26 days ago

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