ovarian cancer

Questions for your surgeon 

On 9th May 2016 I had a major operation. It lasted over 11 hours, during which they removed my spleen, appendix, omentum, womb, Fallopian tube, cervix, ovarian, part of my bowel, part of my liver, part of my diaphragm and part of my pancreas.

Prior to the operation I had a long list of questions which I compiled with the help of loved ones. I was fortunate t meet my surgeon and have the opportunity to discuss these questions at length before signing a consent form allowing her to conduct the surgery.

I’ve shared these here in the hope that they may be of use and/or gudence to anyone else undergoing ‘debunking ‘ surgery for cancer.

General

  • Can you confirm I am stage four?
  • Am I able to view my scan images?

Specific

  • What is the operation being recommended?
  • Will you remove my omentum?
  • Will you remove part or all of my Peritoneum?
  • Will you remove any lymph nodes? How many?
  • Will you take tissue samples?
  • Do you believe you will manage to debulk? (ie remove all viable cancer)
  • Will you remove part of my bowel?
  • Will you remove part of my bladder?
  • At the time of my diagnosis I was informed I may be inoperable due to cancerous fluid in my lung, a this no longer a concern?
  • Can you provide an overview of the operation?
  • How long can I expect to be in hospital?
  • What would intensive care look like for me?
  • What pain management would be planned?
  • What is my recovery time once home?
  • Will I need additional support once home?
  • What do you expect to achieve from surgery?
  • How will surgery affect my prognosis?
  • How will surgery affect my quality of life?
  • How long will it take me to get back to normal after my surgery?
  • When can I take up my usual activities again?
  • Would you have surgery?
  • If I have surgery to remove part of my bowel would I require an Ileostomy or colostomy bag? How will this affect my quality of life?
  • Food is very important to me. Would a stoma bag affect what I ate? Would the colostomy be reversible at a later date?
  • I know I require a complete surgical hysterectomy. Will I have more menopausal symptoms after my surgery?What is your view on my taking HRT?
  • How can I deal with menopausal symptoms if I don’t take HRT?
  • What are the risks involved in my surgery?
  • What are the implications if I decide not to have surgery?
  • Have you completed an operation this extensive previously?
  • Who will be involved in the operation? (ie what does the team consist of)
  • Would you have the operation?

Please feel free to comment with additional questions you may have asked.

Love and light, Fi xxx

Uncategorized

Meeting my Anesthetist (video)

I’ve spent the day in hospital today waiting for my surgery tomorrow. It’s been a pretty uneventful day as my blood tests this morning showed that my platelets and white bloods cells are at the right levels for surgery meaning I didn’t need a transfusion – hurray!

I got to meet my anesthetist this evening and he was very reassuring. He talked me through all the various forms of pain relief and monitoring he we will be using on me and I  now actually feel very relaxed about my big op tomorrow!


Aside from that I’ve spent the evening having some quiet time to myself relaxing and keeping calm with some adult colouring which, in my opinion, is a wonderful tool to keep my mind off the next few days.


I’m feeling the calmest I’ve felt since I heard what my operation would involve and this is down to the medical team at the hospital I’m in and the lovely messages I’ve received from my friends and family ( I love you all!). It’s also, without doubt, due to the messages I’ve received from women around the world who have had the same or a similar operation to what I have planned. These messages have come from women whom I’ve never met, each discussing their treatment, operation and recovery in a way that has comforted and reassured me that I am not alone. I am so grateful to each and every one of you for being part of my journey.

Thank you!

I also made a new friend ‘Steven’ this afternoon who has ensured I’ve kept smiling…after causing me to nearly fall out of bed when he flew at my window!


With love and light, Fi xx