Recovering from surgery

I've just been diagnosed with OvCa and am having surgery (the works) later this week. I'm trying to be positive - seeing this as the beginning of my journey to rid me of the alien within. I live alone and whilst I've got good friends and family I'm fiercely independent . I realise I must (and will) gratefully accept the help and support offered by others, but how long do you think I will need someone staying over with me when I come out of hospital? How long before I can expect to drive? How long before I can walk the dog? Advice please from those who have been where I have still to go. Bonnie

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  • Hello Bonnie.

    I wish you all the best with your operation. I had someone with me and everyone is different but when I left the hospital I was fine to do small tasks I just wasn't supposed to lift heavy objects or do anything that would cause severe movement. It's hard to know really until you are home but I would say not as long a you think. As for driving its supposed to be a few weeks (4/6 I think but I could be wrong).

    I would say if your dog isn't a 'puller' then you could go for a gentle walk with him/her fairly quickly.

    You will find loads of support on this site. The ladies are wonderful from all walks of life and are all ages.

    I wil be thinking of you this week. xxx

    Trish

  • So sorry Bonnie to read you have to face this surgery & journey, but this site & its members will give you support & advice, but your GP/Surgeon will give you the best advice. As I live on my own, I went to my sisters for a while after the surgery, and didn't drive for the 6 weeks afterwards. But got over it, and was fit & healthy when I began chemotherapy....... so best wishes for your surgery and recovery afterwards.

    Daisies

  • So sorry you're joining our club... there are bonuses in the wisdom, wit and experience of the people you will meet here.

    You don't say HOW they hope to do the surgery (there may always be a change of plan mid-way).

    If you have laparoscopic, you may be surprised at how quickly you recover (I was). Open surgery will take longer. In both cases the advice about not lifting and so on would be the same.... You'd be driving quicker with key-hole too.

    I'd do a bit of forward planning and possibly make some adjustments in anticipation (eg get heavy pans and plates at surface level if you have to stretch or bend to get them). I bought a microwave after open surgery but found within a day or two I could manage fine as long as a helper had got what I would need out. I know I'm an oddity as everyone else seems to have one, but for me, it's been the biggest waste of money! So don't get too carried away in your planning!

    After my key-hole I think I was driving within a couple of weeks. I was certainly fine to be on my own within a week. Can't help with dog.

    We all respond differently so it's hard to know how it will be for you.....

    Ideally, have some firm arrangements in place and some others on standby which you can pick up if you need them but drop if not....

    Hoping all goes well. xx

  • Hi Bonnie

    Sorry you are faced with this surgery but take it from a wimp it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be! With regards to driving, they advise minimum 6 weeks. With regards to walking the dogs, Id say it's probably a couple of months tbh before I felt well enough for long walks (I had a radical hysterectomy - they take a few extra bits). With regard to being on your own, I think that depends on how you are in yourself, you're certainly not 'allowed' to lift anything, even a kettle but I would that rather than take it to the sink to fill I'd fill it a cup at a time. Id say you need help for the first couple of weeks to be honest and I did a lot for myself (even though I wasn't supposed to) because I'm not one for sitting around! I just tried to be as sensible as possible. One thing I would say though is that the housework will still be there when you are better! You'll be surprised at how quickly you recover, again as long as you are sensible and don't try to rush things - be kind to yourself.

    I wish you well xx

    Kathy xx

  • Not sure how long they will say you need help as I don't live alone so it did not come up. I had Debulking surgery, the works on 5/8/14. I was in hospital for 5 days but out of bed day after op and walking around unaided by the day after that. Regards walking the dog I think that's OK but may depend on how big your dog is if can pull on a lead? Its 4 weeks before you can drive. They do say to take it easy re no housework or lifting but I was able to potter as soon as I was home. Make cups of tea/coffee (use a mug to fill kettle and do not fill kettle), could make my own meals (and my husbands, snacks or a sandwich no problem and used frozen veg including mashed potato when cooking a main meal. Have cleaners as prefer not to waste my energy on housework but I think you can do a bit of light housework very soon after.

    Regards pain I took paracetamol at night for a few days to ensure minimum discomfort getting to sleep for a few days but did not have any pain post surgery and scar was very neat so did not cause me any discomfort. At the hospital the staff ensure they manage any pain it was amazing I could not believe it as was dreading the surgery but it was OK. Good luckx

  • Thanks for your helpful reply. Good to hear from others who have recently been there.

    Bonnie 321

  • Just wanted to say very best of luck with your surgery x

  • Hi Bonnie and welcome to our club. Sorry you've had to join us though. You have been given great advice already. I wasn't allowed to drive for 6 weeks last year. No lifting anything heavy, including the kettle. I did do some ironing after a couple of weeks but I did have to sit down to do it. If you don't have a walk in shower at home you might need a bit of help to climb out over the bath at first but its surprising how quickly you adapt in your own home. I took little walks along my street everyday for the first week and then started to go further the second week. Unless your dog doesn't pull I would get someone to walk it for you, certainly if its a pup or very active dog that needs a long walk. Perhaps some ready meals for that first week at home, bought in or preprepared by yourself and frozen. Don't forget you are having major surgery and your body needs to.e to recover. You should also plan to have a little nap each day. Thinking of you. Good luck. Ann xo

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