Here on day two, I am doing well. I was awake until 4 am, and was woken up by a doctors team at 6 am. Trine was there as well, she was tired, but got a few naps later in the day.
Doctor Rebecca Kim was among the doctors (She was the resident surgeon doing my operation). I got most of the details of the rectal cancer surgery, and was reassured that it went really well. No word on how many lymph nodes were taken, since they actually just take a piece of the fat surrounding the place of the cancer. She also noted that they thought they saw the place of the rectal tattoo and the place where the tumor had been. I was under the impression that you could no longer see it, but at minimum there was some scar tissue left, if not any tumor.
We agreed on good progress, and I was told that we could disconnect my IV, since I did not use the PCA Pump (pain medication controlled by a small push button). I was upgraded from Post Surgery Menu 1 To Post Surgery Menu 2, which is basically free choice of food that is not too fatty, and not too fiber rich. They also talked about removing the catheter, so I could start controlling urine on my own, but unfortunately they did not give that order today.
Goal for the day was to get my digestion moving, and “test” my newly created system for passing stool. By 5 pm I had had no luck, no bowel movement, not even a little wind. Since my stomach was bloated after I had eaten quite a lot throughout the day, I was recommended by the nurses, to scale back a little, so that my body could get a chance to work. This basically means that I had soup for dinner, and then greek yoghurt and ice cream and coffee for desert.
Good friends stopped by in the afternoon, and we had fun testing the hospital bed’s many buttons, and the pulse meters etc.
Mark Welton, my surgeon in charge of the operation came by at 5 pm after a long day of surgery. We had a great talk about the operation (Laparoscopic low anterior resection), and he told me about how the rectum was now connected to the colon, after removing approximately 30 cm’s of the colon, and the piece of the rectum, where the tumor had been. The reason for removing so much of the colon, is that the blood supply for that section of it will be cut when they remove the fat with the lymph nodes, so it would literally die, if not removed. He also explained to me that they stapled together the two parts using titanium staples (very tiny ones).
I mentioned to Mark that I had seen that they had done genetic testing on my original cancer tissue, and he agreed to review it and let me know about the result. (this is mostly to know how to treat with chemo and in case of recurrence. Also this will tell if I potentially have passed on gene mutations to my kids that will make them more likely to get cancer in the future). Mark agreed to let me have the catheter removed tomorrow morning, and said that the most important criteria for hospital discharge, is to be able to urinate on my own, and eat well. He was not adamit about that I had to be able to pass gas and have bowel movements. He said that if there are leaks in the resection, it will most likely show in the first 5 to 7 days, and definitely in the first three weeks.
Trine went home at around 5 or 6 pm. In the evening, she is busy meeting old friends, and that suits me fine. It must be pretty boring for her to sit here with me all day.
The evening was quite uneventful, I did a walk again (I am known by the nurses as the walker). I watched a little TV, and went to sleep at 9 pm.