Addressing and avoiding post op issues

Hi all

In my early days post op just before and during treatment I lived on my couch. It was closest to the bathroom, kitchen, door, and phone charger and I liked being alone at night so I wouldn't bother anyone when I couldn't sleep. I spent a lot of time on Google but, for me, it was a useful tool. I found this blog and an old girlfriend from high school who was a nurse and cancer survivor who would message me all night if I needed it.

I researched and had enough knowledge to have Input in the choice of chemo drugs. In this country, the US, oncologists get paid by big Pharma to choose extra drugs like Taxol that take a long time and are expensive to administer and, in my case was not even effective.

I also found out about pelvic floor physical therapy. My surgeon, a man with no bedside manner, refused to give me a prescription but my GP, a woman who had never heard of it, thought it was a great idea. When all those organs are removed and muscles are cut you have nothing to hold up your bladder and incontinence is highly likely. Also the eight inch vertical scar in my belly could have caused scar tissue formation and adhesions. I am happy to say that the magic works. Not only do I have control of my pelvic floor but massage, which I was also taught, got rid of scar tissue and pain I had developed as a result of the interior scarring. Now we are rebuilding my abdominal muscles and at 66 years of age I am starting to look buff.

I encourage you to push for this option or at least look to Google for Kegel exercises and scar massage.

Best

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  • Hi

    I've always done pelvic floor exercises since the birth of my two children but never knew they were called Kegel exercises, you learn something new everyday!. I think it's a bit late for me (9 years post op and no issues anyway) to think about the scar massage and I think my days of being buff are long gone..... definitely think the pelvic floor exercises are a must ! Hope you are doing ok. Kathy xxx

  • Hello! I'm so happy to read your post! When I was 2 months post surgery I begged my Onc to give me some exercizes to help strengthen my abdominal muscles as well as minimize the potential for future scar tissue build up. He said it wasn't necessary, nor effective.

    I didn't think about going to my GP, but I will make that call today. To get into a Physical Therapist I have to have a referral. He might just do that for me.

    Thank you!

  • Yes we need a referral here as well

  • I wasn't given ANY info on pelvic floor exercises, how to reduce scarring or adhesions either before or after surgery. I wasn't aware of the possible impact to bladder either - I'll definitely look into this so thank you

    Take care

    Clare xx

  • I found a free app (by Olson) which is a kegel Pelvic floor trainer... It's on my iPad and it reminds you to do the exercises... I do now have a bit of a 'Pavlov's dogs' reaction when the beep goes off and certain muscles tighten!!

    I was given some exercises post-op, they initially focussed on walking- little and often and I do think this is important- to be upright and ideally outside. Not neccesarily what I fancied doing but I could clearly see my steady recovery and improvements.

    After chemo, I met with a Pilates instructor who spent quite a lot of time finding some gentle simple exercises that I could do at home to start strengthening my core... Sx

  • Such a useful email thank you for sharing x

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