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    BruceB asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Upcoming APR surgery: what should I do to get my house ready for my return home?

    5 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I had an colostomy for three months.

      I learned to travel with a spare set of clothes and supplies with me whenever I went out.

      I used Chuck pads to throw the used products on the floor when changing it. Then I would just wrap it up and throw it all away.

      I had to learn to sleep on my back. That was hard.

      And if you need help getting used to the products or having trouble with them staying on, don't hesitate to call the nurse. It took 4 visits to the nurse and two different products before we found one that would work for me.

      Good luck as you enter this chapter of your life. Hugs.

      9 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Everyone is different - I was a "belly" sleeper and kept on sleep on my side/belly and it didn't bother a thing.

      9 days ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar
      Skyemberr

      Those Chuck pads @Clinda mentioned are fantastic! If you can get them then absolutely do so. They are cheaper than old towels and do help to clean up the mess of all of the opened bandages and plastic, etc that you'll have from a bandage change.

      I'd forgotten about becoming a back sleeper until @JaneA mentioned that. I still sleep on my back a year after reversal. It an odd thing. Maybe you will want a back sleeper pillow if you are not used to it?

      It might get dicey the first few days at home as you get used to changing your Ostomy, but before you know it you will get very good at it!

      Good luck to you ! Please keep posting if you have more questions.

      8 days ago
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    Procedure or Surgery (Colostomy ): April 14 - Met with my surgeon on April 11. I'd had the follow-up scans we'd been waiting to do, and they looked good. Surgery is set for May 1st. .... .... (I'm trying these ellipses to separate paragraph since the site doesn't acknowledge repeated strokes of the "enter" key) The plan is to do an APR (abdomino-perineal resection - feel free to google it, although if you're on this site in the first place you probably don't need to), resulting in a permanent colostomy. He doesn't want to shut the door completely on a LAR (lower anterior resection - you can google that too) until he's actually gone in and physically seen what's going on in there. But he's not expecting to find anything dramatically different than what the scans indicate; so I'm looking at life with a bag. …. …. He plans to take care of the liver lesions laparoscopically, by ablation, in the same surgery. All this will take several hours; I will be asleep. …. …. "Clean-up chemo" is quite common after the [6-8 week] recovery period, but the oncologist, not the surgeon, is the one who makes that decision. (Knowing mine, she will go for it. She's kind of a warrior princess that way.) …. …. The expectation is that I will be in the hospital a week-plus; recovery time is 6-8 weeks, 8 weeks for heavy lifting (i.e. return to work). I suppose I will be able to go out and do things like walking or grocery shopping --- if someone else lifts my bags --- after a few weeks, if I'm careful. …. …. So of course the prospect is terrifying on one level (maybe more than one, haha), but it's nice to have a set date, and something like a plan. I won't say the end is in sight, but there's a faint glow over the horizon. …. …. More updates as things progress.

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    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I am coming up on my 4-year anniversary of APR surgery. I had a lung met instead of liver involvement so I had SBRT radiation before the APR surgery.

      I was very fortunate - no complications - started mop-up chemo six weeks later because I had six positive lymph nodes. The chemo wasn't really much more difficult with the bag.

      I have been NED ever since my APR surgery and have no regrets. Best wishes for complete success.

      11 days ago
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