Hi All, I am now at home recovering from surgery to remove a recurrence of cervical cancer. Before the surgery the Dr's were hopeful that it would be fairly simple surgery and that I may have part of my bladder removed, however it should repair well and go back to normal. So I went ahead and signed all the paperwork, including the waiver for bowel resection in the event my bowel was involved (which was highly unlikely). I woke to find that my life again has changed dramatically. I have less than 1/3 of my bladder left. The cancer was larger than expected and ran down one side of my bladder. Because of this, bowel ileum tissue was used to reconstruct a bladder for me. I am greatful that this was able to be done, however I was told I may never be able to go to the bathroom by myself again and that I would need to self catheterise, probably for the rest of my life. On day 9 of my hospital stay my urethral catheter was removed and we were about to start a clamp and release of my suprapubic catheter (going through stomach into bladder) to increase the size of my new bladder. I got as far as half an hour and had the strongest urge to pee! I surprised my nurses by going to the toilet all by myself. I was so proud and so excited about my recovery. I was hoping and wishing a praying that they were wrong and I'd be home soon and back to normal... but that was a little unrealistic. My surgery was just under 3 weeks ago and I am at home, however, I self catheterise and irrigate my bladder with saline every 6 hours to avoid infection. I can only hold my bladder for 2-3hours. I am sleep deprived, have no appetite, strange pains as my bladder/bowel contraption settles in. It's all a little overwhelming. I meet with the radiation oncologist this Thursday to find out about follow up treatment and also with my gynae oncologist to check my progress. I am trying to remain positive about it all. It is definately hard at this time. I feel pretty miserable physically so it's hard not to feel that way emotionally. Also, it's hard to imagine how I'm going to adapt my life to the new routines I have. It's also hard to gauge how long this recovery is going to take until I can get back to the real world. Being a social butterfly, earning my keep, sharing moments outside with my husband doing the things other couples take for granted. My situation is worse than I'd hoped for but so much better than it could have been. This is what I need to hold onto and hope that it gets me through to a time when I have more positivity to draw upon and life seems a little easier each day.
Super Contributor
I feel for you. It will take time to adjust .It is early days . I know there are others here who have a better idea of what having this cancer feels like . I don't . Mine is a head and neck cancer. Still, the emotional side is similar. I feel like I say to so many,try counselling ,but I'll say it to you too,if you find it all too much. I wish you well.
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Occasional Contributor
Hi, I think hope is the most important thing to cling onto, when life has changed so much and so suddenly. Your body has gone through enormous change, abruptly .... and your mind/emotions, now need to catch up. I know I signed my consent forms, thinking "what choice do I have", you put your future life in the hands of someone you've perhaps met for an hour or two at the most, trusting they will only be used if necessary. I don't think we are prepared enough for the potential consequences, and the "New Life" we are left with. Remember though, you are still here! It will take some time to come to terms with the New Regime, but at the end of the day, you are still here, still with your husband, family and friends. Write your questions down before you meet the radiation oncologist & gynae oncologist, make 2 copies and leave spaces so you can write answers down as they are given. It's difficult to take everything in at once. Take time to adjust, to the new you, time can heal so many things, ask about natural supplements that may help, such as cranberry tablets. Most of all be gentle with yourself. Tears may come at some stage, when you think you should be "adjusted"... but that is a natural grieving process and healing in itself. Be strong, focus on milestones, along the way to recovery!
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