Coping

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Hi. My husband had a radical cystectomy 5 weeks ago. So far, we've coped fine, but there's two things that are worrying. He lost quite a bit of weight after the operation and he's finding it hard to gain some back. He eats 3 meals per day and snacks between them. But the weight hardly goes on. I talked to his doctor and she told me that the calories are being used up by the healing process. Has anyone come up against weight loss? 

The second thing is trying to cope with his fear. He's on anti depressants since the operation, but he's impatient and wants to be able to do more than he can. When he pushes himself, it tires him out and, after he sleeps, he becomes withdrawn. I try to keep his spirits up, but sometimes I have to walk away. This leaves me feeling guilty. He's going through an awful time and I feel for him. Also, we haven't seen our daughter or grandson for 10 days because they've had covid. We're isolated and trying to get through this. Has anyone any ideas how we can cope better? Most days are okay, but there's always the day when we both need our own space. 

This disease has turned our lives upside down. I think we're getting there, but any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

  • Hi Lbell,These early weeks post cystectomy are hard physically and mentally.Weight loss is common.I was told to expect to lose a stone to a stone and a half at least.I lost a stone in 10 days and a bit more when I came home.Although it might not seem like it your husband is doing well regarding eating.The weight should come back on though hard to say when.Depression and frustration are common following this surgery.You want to get on but your body is not letting you.I found it easier to go with whatever my body was saying.It’s so important to rest or sleep when you need too.Build up walking distances gradually.It took 3 attempts to walk down to visit my late mother in a care home.Each time I got further without having to turn back home.As long as your husband is moving about a little each day.He is still very early in his recovery.I used to feel sick or get abdominal pain if I did too much so you do need to be careful.One thing that helped me when I felt a bit better was to find a hobby that wasn’t too taxing.I started drawing and painting again and genealogy and these did help mentally.It will get better.Love Jane x

  • Hi Lbell

    I can't add anything to winkers60's lovely response to your post, except for a 'practical' suggestion.

    I have read on this website somewhere, I think in the 'Ask an Expert' section, a build-up diet, specially for people who are losing weight. It was full of suggestions for boosting the nutritional content of your diet.

    If you send your post to the Ask an Expert box, you will probably be offered this build-up diet information. It is something I have been struggling with, unintentional weight loss, and it is worrying. I am sure though, as your husband's oncologist has said, that your husband's weight will improve as his body heals.

    Look after yourselves, take things easy and rest as much as you can.

    I hope all goes well for you both, going forward.

    Candysmum