Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02.05.2021, 21:58
Cherub's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Baselstadt
Posts: 780
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 923 Times in 407 Posts
Cherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond repute
Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

Early last week I was unfortunately given a cancer diagnosis after being a day surgery patient the week before. I'm going back into hospital for further surgery this week to have it removed - good news is they say it's very small and at a very early stage, a small collection of cells and it should not require anything beyond the op I'm having (keyhole hysterectomy). No further treatment would mean a 98% chance of it not coming back. I've been told I'll be an inpatient for between 2 - 5 days, it will just depend on how quickly I get over the op.

The surgeon has told me someone will visit me in hospital to speak about any psychological trauma I may be experiencing, but I don't really know what to expect from the visit.
When I had breast cancer back in Scotland 15 years ago I had family around me and access to the Maggie's Centre in the grounds of my local hospital, also access to another Maggie's in Edinburgh and a referral for counselling.

I'm disappointed this has happened as it was totally unexpected (surgeon apologised and said he was very surprised at the outcome). About to turn 60 in 12 days and by October I've had a full 15 years remission from my other do, the surgeon said as the 2 aren't linked I could safely forget about that one now. He also said the BC I had was very, very serious compared to this. Felt better after having another consultation with his as my OH came in with me, but I've been a bit flaky over the weekend as my previous experience years ago has made me a bit afraid of anything surgical (and first time I was misdiagnosed, told no cancer, then 3 weeks later it had escalated to being serious).

Has anyone else here faced cancer surgery whilst being far from family and friends? I hated having to tell my sister about this as she was working in the M East at the time of my diagnosis 15 years ago, and of course now it's me who's overseas
Reply With Quote
The following 15 users would like to thank Cherub for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 02.05.2021, 22:05
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 7,727
Groaned at 77 Times in 63 Posts
Thanked 11,443 Times in 4,646 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this news.

Since the surgeon said that someone will visit you in hospital, and if you feel the need to speak to someone, might you perhaps be able to find out who that would be, and contact them beforehand? The surgeon will know, and the hospital will know, what that service is.

There's also this (in English), of the Basel Cancer League:
https://basel.krebsliga.ch/beratung-...cancer-league/

Here's hoping your surgery goes well!
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank doropfiz for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 02.05.2021, 22:29
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Winterthur
Posts: 20
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
eglis has no particular reputation at present
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

Have sent you private message
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank eglis for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 02.05.2021, 23:17
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Near Geneva
Posts: 3,141
Groaned at 34 Times in 28 Posts
Thanked 4,046 Times in 1,792 Posts
Anjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

So, so sorry to hear this, hopefully the doctors are right and it's been caught early.

I has a keyhole hysterectomy in my mid-fifties and the main advice I can give is to accept all help offered; no stretching to reach things, no lifting stuff.... no being brave and insisting to everyone that you're totally fine.

It's mayor surgery, even if the scars are tiny, and you'll be wobbly for weeks.
I wasn't offered any help afterwards a brief chat with a very young psy beforehand was as far as it went..... and tbh I could've done with discussing things through afterwards with someone as I felt rather bereft. Stupid in many ways as I didn't actually 'need' my womb any more, but it was a part of me; although suddenly it was trying to kill me and the doctors wanted it gone.
So if there's a chance of talking to someone grab the offer with both hands.

Hugs, A
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Anjela for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 02.05.2021, 23:33
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 10,393
Groaned at 339 Times in 277 Posts
Thanked 15,158 Times in 7,781 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

So sorry to hear that. Hang in there, Cherub!
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 02.05.2021, 23:34
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Kt Zurich
Posts: 714
Groaned at 21 Times in 15 Posts
Thanked 2,479 Times in 873 Posts
ennui has a reputation beyond reputeennui has a reputation beyond reputeennui has a reputation beyond reputeennui has a reputation beyond reputeennui has a reputation beyond reputeennui has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, we were living in Bern. So yes, I was far from my family and most of my friends. I used a lot of online communication, Facebook, email, and phone calls. I kept a blog throughout treatment. I had a few visitors from the US. It wasn‘t always easy, it was exhausting. Hopefully psychological support will be available. I think they recognize the importance of this more than 15 or 10 years ago. My surgery was a lumpectomy....in the hospital one night, not a long recovery, so quite different.

Once I finished treatment, and we moved to Winterthur, I became active in Cancer support Basel. The group is not active at the moment, because of Corona and some losses. Hopefully, it will be again. The Basel krebsliga is actually quite good and has provided folks with a lot of support.

I hope your recovery will go well.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank ennui for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 02.05.2021, 23:34
Cherub's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Baselstadt
Posts: 780
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 923 Times in 407 Posts
Cherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

The surgeon did say it would be OK to postpone until after my birthday as it's a very slow growing type, but I decided to get it out of the way. The gynae lady I see for smears etc every year emailed me to say she'd had a letter so I'm seeing her the day before admission.

I had keyhole surgery to remove my gall bladder back in Scotland about 7 years ago, the surgeon has told me the ache I'll get to my mid section will feel the same (it felt like doing too many situps), obviously the other pain will be managed. He's assured me I won't leave until I'm fit enough.

Thankfully OH is working from home all the time at the moment. He had a private conversation with his boss last week and has been told he can go down to reduced hours for a bit.

Totally get the "bereft" bit - we chose not to have children, and I've been post meno since I was 46 but it's still part of my body.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Cherub for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 03.05.2021, 07:33
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 4,427
Groaned at 216 Times in 158 Posts
Thanked 6,084 Times in 2,833 Posts
bowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

English Speaking Cancer Association. https://www.cancersupport.ch/
is in Geneva.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank bowlie for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 03.05.2021, 10:47
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bern
Posts: 1,549
Groaned at 245 Times in 155 Posts
Thanked 3,081 Times in 1,098 Posts
Susie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

I'm so very sorry to hear this.

From what you have written, I believe we had the same type of cancer.. Mine was 5 years ago - my trusted gyn did the surgery and was absolutely kind and caring throughout. I chose to have it done in a private hospital since she did not work at the local hospital. Sure it cost me more, but it was the right decision.

I was very nervous since I had never had surgery before - because the hospital was not busy, my husband was able to stay with me. To my surprise, many of the nurses and attending doctors did not speak English and I was in no state to try my best Swiss German. Having someone there who can help translate is really helpful if you have a language barrier - my husband was there for that.

Sending you so many hugs and warm wishes. Feel free to PM me anytime, I am here for you.
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank Susie-Q for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 03.05.2021, 15:01
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 456
Groaned at 41 Times in 23 Posts
Thanked 551 Times in 165 Posts
makeabigwish has an excellent reputationmakeabigwish has an excellent reputationmakeabigwish has an excellent reputationmakeabigwish has an excellent reputation
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

I know a lot about having breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian cancers in the US, UK and CH.

I can tell you that you are in very good hands in CH. The UK national health is famous for being good at cancers compared to other western health systems. I think there can be even more of a "personal feel" to treatment here than in the UK.

The most important thing is to choose your surgeon wisely.

While it's not as much the custom here and more often doctors here can seem to get slightly offended, I am a huge advocate of checking out several surgeons, getting several second opinions and not just going solely blindly down the path of what your gp or gyn sends you without checking things out for yourself. Find a couple of surgeons, even if it means traveling to another canton, ask them the same questions, get that solid feeling like "yes, this is my person" and "I'm informed and have checked out my path well" in your gut.

Feeling great about your surgeon, along with feeling solid about you surgery choices, is 90% of the game.

One thing most people don't talk about with hysterectomies, is that studies have shown that with the process of emptying your bladder, followed by post surgery strong course of antibiotics, all wipes out your good gut flora and more than 60% of women end up with a mild, undiagnosed irritable bowel syndrome for 4-6 months after surgery. So it's a great idea to stock up on stuff to go easy on and build up a good gut afterwards .... lots of good bacteria, pro-biotics, good yogurt-like products, fermented products, take care of your digestion. Doctors don't discuss this much and this byproduct falls further down on the list of worries and gets brushed aside, but you might notice your digestion needs a little care and help afterwards and then will normalize. Generally take it easy, be good to yourself and don't overdo walking, lifting, etc for a while after surgery and you will be fine.

Be extra good to yourself and you will come out of this experience an even stronger person.

MakeABigWish



Correction above: I said you "empty your bladder". I should have said you take a special solution to completely empty out your entire digestive tract the night before surgery (not just your bladder).

You will then be under anesthesia during surgery and then afterwards antibiotics and a pain killer, probably with a variant of morphine, which often brings constipation. The nurses will probably have you do some gentle walking nearby with some type of walker to kickstart and get your digestive tract moving again. All of this is part of the deal and will come naturally and it is a good idea to help your digestion out where you can along the way.

Last edited by makeabigwish; 03.05.2021 at 16:51. Reason: corrected "will empty your bladder", replace with "will empty your entire digestive tract".
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank makeabigwish for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 03.05.2021, 15:46
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bern
Posts: 1,549
Groaned at 245 Times in 155 Posts
Thanked 3,081 Times in 1,098 Posts
Susie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

Quote:
View Post
One thing most people don't talk about with hysterectomies, is that studies have shown that with the process of emptying your bladder, followed by post surgery strong course of antibiotics, all wipes out your good gut flora and more than 60% of women end up with a mild, undiagnosed irritable bowel syndrome for 4-6 months after surgery. So it's a great idea to stock up on stuff to go easy on and build up a good gut afterwards .... lots of good bacteria, pro-biotics, good yogurt-like products, fermented products, take care of your digestion. Doctors don't discuss this much and this byproduct falls further down on the list of worries and gets brushed aside, but you might notice your digestion needs a little care and help afterwards and then will normalize.

Yes! This is the probiotic I take and it has been life changing :

https://ch.iherb.com/pr/Culturelle-P...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Susie-Q for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 03.05.2021, 17:19
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

I haven't experienced any of this, Cherub, so I can't answer any questions.

I just wanted to embrace you tightly and wish you all the very best and a speedy recovery after the successful surgery.

And if you need any distraction, I am always up and good for a chat!

Aues Guete!

EE
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 03.05.2021, 18:45
Cherub's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Baselstadt
Posts: 780
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 923 Times in 407 Posts
Cherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

I take on board the gut thing - I'm very careful as I sometimes have a mild case of what's referred to as bile acid malabsorption - a legacy of having my gallbladder removed a few years back. You also don't want to see the enema in a bottle I've been supplied with to use 2 hours before my admission time

The gynaecological oncologist treating me has previously done 2 day surgeries on me before. He's very approachable and I would say I have a good rapport with him.

The past 3 weeks have been one thing after another - firstly OH suffered anaphylactic shock, was taken to A and E in an ambulance and kept there for 10 hours. He has allergy tests next week. Prior to going in for my recent day procedure I was warned by the surgeon to get my blood pressure checked out and the anaesthesia department referred me for 24 hour BP testing and an ECG. ECG was ok, except for a small thing they found which goes back to having had both radiotherapy and Herceptin years ago, they said I need an ECG every 3-5 years for this and put me on BP meds (I've since lost over half a stone as they are part diuretic).

All in all a bit of a rollercoaster, but as my late dad would say we all get dealt a hand and we have to play with it.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Cherub for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 03.05.2021, 20:08
Klostersgirl's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Stäfa and Klosters
Posts: 539
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 966 Times in 306 Posts
Klostersgirl has a reputation beyond reputeKlostersgirl has a reputation beyond reputeKlostersgirl has a reputation beyond reputeKlostersgirl has a reputation beyond reputeKlostersgirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

Quote:
View Post
The surgeon did say it would be OK to postpone until after my birthday as it's a very slow growing type, but I decided to get it out of the way. The gynae lady I see for smears etc every year emailed me to say she'd had a letter so I'm seeing her the day before admission.

I had keyhole surgery to remove my gall bladder back in Scotland about 7 years ago, the surgeon has told me the ache I'll get to my mid section will feel the same (it felt like doing too many situps), obviously the other pain will be managed. He's assured me I won't leave until I'm fit enough.

Thankfully OH is working from home all the time at the moment. He had a private conversation with his boss last week and has been told he can go down to reduced hours for a bit.

Totally get the "bereft" bit - we chose not to have children, and I've been post meno since I was 46 but it's still part of my body.
I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis and wish you all the very best. I don't personally have any experience of cancer, but had a laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomy the week before last (due to a perforated uterus). My fallopian tubes were also removed (as is the norm, I think) and I opted to have my ovaries removed as I am 61 and all medical advice suggested it was a sensible precaution.

I hope I can reassure you in that I really haven't found the recovery from the operation to be as bad as I exected. I stayed 2 nights in hospital. I had a bit of pain immediately after the operation, but certainly no more than I experienced following my gall bladder extraction. I was given an infusion of painkillers which was removed the next morning and I haven't had to take any painkillers since.

My operation was on a Tuesday and on the following Saturday and Sunday I was out enjoying a couple of glasses of wine down by the Lake with my family. I have felt a bit tired, and feel a bit of pulling as my wounds heal but nothing more than that. Although advised to do nothing for 2 weeks, I have been cooking for the family and doing the washing and ironing etc.

Although I don't mean to negate anyone's feelings, I personally haven't felt any sense of loss at all. I am of an age where I obviously can't have more children and I haven't dwelt on the matter at all. I have to say, I am rather practical and matter of fact. I could imagine things being very different from woman to woman.

My husband had kidney cancer a couple of years ago and his tumour was surgically removed and, so far, his scans have all been clear. I can imagine that a second diagnosis of cancer may well feel rather overwhelming and having had to be informed by my brother recently that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma, I can also understand how very difficult and heart wrenching it is to have to give upsetting news to your sister and other family members. Your husband sounds very supportive and I hope very much that everything goes well for you.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Klostersgirl for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 03.05.2021, 20:24
Cherub's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Baselstadt
Posts: 780
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 923 Times in 407 Posts
Cherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond reputeCherub has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

Thank you for that kind post, it's good to know you are recovering well. As I've been post meno since my late 40s now and know my ovaries etc are completely dead I obviously no longer need them for anything. I'm sure I'll feel better once I've admitted myself on Wednesday, it's the anticipation of what's to come at the moment more than anything else.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Cherub for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 03.05.2021, 20:30
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Zurich
Posts: 787
Groaned at 70 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 1,828 Times in 698 Posts
terrifisch has a reputation beyond reputeterrifisch has a reputation beyond reputeterrifisch has a reputation beyond reputeterrifisch has a reputation beyond reputeterrifisch has a reputation beyond reputeterrifisch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Cancer Surgery, What to Expect After?

Wishing you all the best Cheriub and will be thinking of you! If it is any consolation, I often think of my late Mom - when I have faced moments of doubt/uncertainty(notwithstanding childrens' issues - and there have been many) and her words of wisdom. "This too shall pass!" That said, I am sure many here on EF will keep you in our thoughts/prayers...

Hang in there!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank terrifisch for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sinuses surgery FESS - insurance probably not cover - travel for surgery abroad? Helele Family matters/health 29 24.06.2018 00:43
Breast cancer surgery process in Switzerland username27 Family matters/health 13 28.04.2017 18:53
Cat with advanced cancer - what to expect? maudthecat Pet corner 24 03.11.2011 16:51
What can I expect in CH zwq1984 Employment 11 07.07.2010 16:07
We seem to expect too much from CH Soixante_neuf Complaints corner 91 14.05.2010 17:28


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 22:06.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0