First anniversary of surgery

Hi there,

It's 12 months today since I had my pelvic exenteration surgery. I suppose I should be in a celebratory mood as I was told that the cancer was successfully removed at the time, but I can't summon up that feeling at all. Instead, I am re-living the whole experience. Last night I felt as frightened as I did 12 months ago, the night before I went in to have the surgery. Those feelings were as real last night as they were at the time. Today I am remembering in vivid detail every second of the hours before I went under anaesthetic and when I came around after it. It was the most terrifying time of my life and it still feels as frightening now.

The surgery was major (nine hours in theatre) and has left me with significant body changes, including, but far from just, an ileostomy, which is not working too well just now. I don't think I've come to terms with any of this yet. In fact, I don't think I've even accepted that I had cancer in the first place. I wasn't unwell and had no symptoms. The diagnosis was fortuitous and came as an enormous shock. I know I am very fortunate (a) to have had the cancer picked up when it was, (b) that I was able to have the surgery by a fantastic team right in the middle of Covid and (c) that I am told I am now cancer-free. I remind myself of all of these on a regular basis, but it all seems so unreal, like it wasn't really me that it was happening to and yet I have all the scars and fall-out to show for it.

I recognise that the surgery was a trauma and that's what I am trying to deal with as much as the physical aspects. I'm just interested to know how other people experienced recovery emotionally from major surgery.

Oh, and just to add to my anxiety, I have a 12 month scan in 10 days time! Intellectually, I think it will be fine, given the assurances I had from the surgeon last year, but emotionally it scares the pants off me!

It's so great to have this space to share this. I know someone in this community will 'get it'.

Thanks for reading.

Osboz

  • Hi

    It certainly sounds like you went through a lot when you had your surgery so it's no wonder you're feeling as you do.

    I haven't had the same type of surgery as you nut just thought I'd pop on to suggest that you also post this in the bowel cancer group as that's a far more active group than this one and I think you're more likely to connect with others there.

    Take care

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  • Thanks latchbrook, I appreciate your reply. I will do as you suggest but I'm also interested in hearing from anyone who has had major surgery and their experience of their psychological/emotional recovery Slight smile

  • Hi

    If you're hoping to hear from others who have had major surgery it might be an idea to change your subject heading to attract their attention. Maybe to something like 'What has your emotional/psychological recovery from major surgery been like'.

    I hope you get people responding

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    Community Champion Badge

    What is a Community Champion?

     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"