Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Liver and bowel op and two weeks expected stay in hospital

Hi there my lovely partner is due his liver and bowel combined operation in mid May - something I never thought possible but hoped for all the same! It will mean a two week stay in Hammersmith hospital. I have just started a new job we have two little girls and I’m just wondering with limited leave when do you think is the best time for me to take off? I know this is totally dependent on what I want but from any of your experience what will life be like for him at home after 2 weeks? Should I take the day of the op (likely to be a very long one I guess!! So scared about it myself but so pleased it’s become possible) will he be sleeping mostly the day(s) straight after or need more company and reassurance... is it only visiting time partners are allowed? :x: :x: :x:


Hi I haven't had this op but I have had 3 so far. 1 on the bowel lasted 8 hours. One on bowel and pelvis again 8 hours one on lung lasted about 4 hours. On second n third op I told hubbie to not come til next day but both times woke up asking for him and he ended up jumping in taxi to come n see me as he doesn't drive. Not sure how far away u are from hospital but my advise if ur close is to work n then see him in evening and maybe take the day after off work too. With my pelvic op I was told 2 week stay in hospital but was released after 7 days so I hope he has a speedy recovery and gets home sooner for you x. My hospital was very relaxed in visiting hours x when he comes home hell be tired a lot and any pain should be controlled by pain medication. He probably will not beable to do a lot for a couple of weeks it varies after my massive pelvic opp I was back at work 4 weeks after. After my lung op I'm still not able to work after 7 weeks. But either way he will get there. Wishing you n your hubby all the best :x::x::x:


Thank you so much @cara wishing you all the very very best :x::x::x::x:


@jandals just a quick line to say all the very best to your hubby for his op. I had my liver resection at Hammersmith and they are a fantastic team there. I know from both by ops that I was glad to have a family member there after waking from the op itself :x:


@nat that’s so reassuring to hear thank you! Been very impressed with the team there so far! :x:

Bear G

Hi @jandals
It’s fab you husband is able to have this op and, as others have said, he’s going into a great centre who will give him great care.

I haven’t had this particular op but did have a 14 day stay a couple of years ago after being hit by a car. It involved 2 ops and careful follow up which is why they kept me in. I completely understand that it’ll be difficult for you to get time off from work and the kids to be there as much as you’d like but I have a suggestion that may help.
My friends organised a visitor rota which became known as my ‘dance card’, I had 2-3 lots of visitors a day but only for 30-60 minutes so it didn’t get too tiring. That way people were able to come and visit during breaks from work etc. This meant I had lots of visitors to break the day up which helped to keep things less boring. It also meant my friends were able to feel involved too.
The dance card carried on for some time after I went h9me too as it took a long time to build myself back up.

I’d also suggest getting lots of films and tv shows downloaded onto his iPad along with a decent set of headphones and a long charging cable.

Finally, for his sanity, an eye mask and ear plugs to help hi, sleep.

Hope this helps and that all goes well.

Big hugs

Polly 1

We are all different and also depends how easy it would be for you to visit.

My husband had a liver resection and was in hospital for 5 days. He had his op on the Monday and was is HDU until Tuesday. I went to see him once on the Wednesday (short visiting time only) and he came out (using hospital transport) on the Friday.

He was far happier to keep in touch with me while in hospital by text/email/phone calls and think I was safe at home rather than have me travelling so far to see him on my own.

I was also told by the pre-op nurse I should only visit him in HDU if I really needed to as it wasn't really a place for visitors. I was able to speak to his dedicated HDU nurse to check all was OK before C was able to use his phone himself later.

Once he was home he really needed me then - to do things for him, drive him to GP for extra pain killers, help him on and off the loo/out of bed etc so if you only have a few days available we would say you definately need the time off once he is home. Before then he will have a team looking after him - once home it's just you.

All the best to both of you :x::x:


Hi @jandals

Great news and not too long to wait now! My opinion (based on my own experience) is that the time of surgery and recovery in hospital is the important time to be available. I can't underestimate the real value of having my husband with me each day of my hospital recovery. I suppose it was maybe slightly different as I was at the other ind of the country! When I got home, I was able to manage pretty well on my own knowing my husband wasn't far away at work and having visitors pop in to see me.

Sending loads of good luck wishes and love to you both!



@Bear G @Polly 1 @Baxter2 thanks so much for your insights!! What an amazing team you are on here - formidable in knowledge and support and love - feeling very ‘held’ through this traumatic year and a bit by all of you :x::x::x:


That is good news @jandals 😊
I can’t offer any different advice, but just want to send my good wishes to you and your OH. :x::x::x:


My husband had a very long surgery to remove his tumour in the colon sigmoid section along with many nodes etc laparoscopically. His surgeon told me to come next day, but my husband asked his surgeon to call me as soon as he was in the recovery room. His surgeon has never done that before, but first time for everything eh! So I told the surgeon I would come to the ward to see him even though it was late. I was allowed in to see him. There was total relief on his face that he had come through the surgery in the first place. It was a relief for me to see him too.

In our case neither of us were working, and the hospital was only about 5 miles from home. I think it helped him to see me for the limited time and phone calls. Maybe visit during visiting time might help in your case without taking leave.

All the very best.

Polly 1

Probably very different for you anyway @jandals but my husband's hospital was about a couple of hours away (by train (1 change)/walking) from home (45miles+) and he said he preferred to think of me safe at home.
We did send a lot of texts/emails and he also sent a selfie so I could see how he was 🙂 My 'favourite' text was about 5am telling me he was feeling better and waiting for his toast and cup of tea .. a bit of a shock when it woke me up though
All the best :x::x:


@bettebette @polly@jj all good things to consider! Thanks so much for your comments and sharing your experiences :x::x::x:


First of all I hope the operation is a success.

I had a not dissimilar operation and was in for nearly two weeks. I started off in High Dependency which was planned and they were very relaxed about visiting. When I went into the wards they were a little stricter.

My wife took the day of the operation off as she could not face work. She then visited me every other day as it was a bit of a trek (o was in Leeds and I live in York and she does not drive). I was happy as I know they are a lot more relaxed about mobiles so I could always ring her.

She took her time off when I came out so she could look after me for a week. After 9 weeks she told me to get back to work as I was clearing the kitchen cupboards out!


Hey @jandals, my hubby took the day of my op off but didn't see me until the evening and i was so drugged up and sleepy i didn't say much just went back to sleep! He then had 2 weeks leve and after that friends and family helped out with the girls, my youngest was only 2 at the time and not at nursery but i coped just fine, although was super tired by 3pm for weeks!
Hope the op goes well fingers crossed for speedy recovery. 😘😘


I’ve just got home today from hospital after my surgery, right hemi coloctomy and perianal abscess repair surgery. I’ve been in 9 nights. So happy to be home. My husband took the day of my surgery off, although he could have gone to work as I was to be there at 7am they took me down at 8.30am. We weren’t reunited till 8pm that evening in recovery. My operation hadn’t taken that long, but there wasn’t a bed available for me. I was very happy to see him that day. At the hospital I was in visiting was 2-8 they were fairly lenient people came early and left late. Mornings were very busy, from 7am when the lights came on, doctors come round, medication time, wash yourself time. It was all very structured at my hospital but after that it was fine, you could do what you want. My husband started work early and came at 2 and stayed through which was nice, I don’t have children so that wasn’t a factor. I found getting my pain under control a struggle. My husband is now off till Monday at the earliest. He’s working from home. I have family very close by. You need to speak to the support network and forge a plan. After hospital is most important definitely. While in hospital I found visitors other than my husband laborious, having to answer the same questions over and over again, was hard work. In the end told them not to come last night. That may have just been the way I am though. I got invited to surgery school which was very informative. I wish your family all the luck in the world. :x::x: