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Need some suggestions

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1300
Joined: Nov 2009

Ok. Back in August, September and October I have had some bouts of back stomach pain (I believe it was 5 times). The first two times, I vomited afterwards and then felt better. The other three times I just had the pains. At first I thought I had food poisoning, but then it happened 4 more times. I thought too that it could be a bowel blockage, but I was still moving my bowels.

Of course, I called my gyn/onc office and spoke with the PA who did not seemed alarmed at all and indicated that it could be diet, etc etc etc. I had recently changed my diet (after the first episode) to include a lot of fruits vegetables, nuts, etc. But still it was worrisome. I was due for a PET Scan but insurance denied it. After several months of battling with the insurance company, I ended up getting a CT Scan in October (2 days after one of my bouts of pain). The CT scan came back good. I also had a check up in December which was good.

Yesterday, I had the pain for several hours and then eventually threw up. Can this be diverticulitis? I believe when I had a colonoscopy back in 2004 it indicated I did have mild diverticulitis. I was starting to eat nuts, lettuce, berries again.

Today, my stomach is sore from the cramping. Any suggestions? I still think a PET scan should be performed.

Kathy

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

It does sound like diverticulitis to me. Ask your doctor.

Nuts, seeds & even raw carrots can cause a lot of problems when you have diverticulitis. You might feel better after taking 1T slippery elm powder mixed with water (it doesn't taste too badly) 2-3x/day for a couple of weeks. Then go on the diverticulitis diet & see how you do.

This condition can be serious if your bowel perforates. Good luck.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1300
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks for the advice. I will have to check out the diet. It really never bothered me for a very long time, however, before I was first diagnosed, I was having bowel problems, then severe stomach pains, and kept going to the doctors for answers. (had colonoscopy, laparascopy, internal ultrasound but with all good results) My gyne indicated I needed a hysterectomy which I had and it wasn't until the uterus was removed that they found that I had cancer. So now with the recent pain this is somewhat concerning to me.

Anyway, I will check out the diet to see if that helps.

lkchapman's picture
lkchapman
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Kathy,
Have you had your gallbladder removed? If you haven't, gallstones could be the culprit. Chemotherapy is notorious for causing gallbladder troubles. 6 months after I finished chemo I began having stomach/back pain after eating. My gyn/onc sent me for an ultrasound and they found gallstones. I've had no issues since having my gallbladder removed.
Hope you find relief.
Laura

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1300
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Laura for your response. I still do have my gallbladder. My chemo ended in May of 2006. Could it take that long for it to take effect?

Kathy

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1540
Joined: Jan 2009

Mentioned "a few uncomplicated diverticula are present" , so I would think yout scan would have mentioned them, too. My scan also stated that " the gallbladder is unremarkable" . Did your scan mention either of these?

Sorry to hear you are having problems. Hope you discover the cause soon. Good luck. In peace and caring.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

My husband was diagnosed with a "mild" case of this via a colonoscopy. Thusfar, he doesn't have to really change his diet. A friend of mine has a more severe case, and if he doesn't eat the proper foods he's in the bathroom for hours on end with diarrhea and stomach pains.

Hoping you can get this resolved soon...

Thinking of you!
Jan

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1300
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Jan:

Thanks for your response.
It was through a colonoscopy back in 2004 that indicated some diverticuli. And then when I had my barium enema it also indicated some. After responding to Ro's post, I am now thinking that it might be related to the hernia repair since the CT scan indicates "there are postsurgical changes of ventral hernia raphe". What are your thoughts on this?

Kath

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

You've had quite a few surgeries and as we all know scar tissues can affect things moving around properly. I have no clue about hernia surgery, outside of this having been my husband's surgery last October....hum?

Sounds like you're perplexed which way to go and what doc???? Isn't that what we all seem to fear, having to add yet another doc to our list.

You've been given some great information, but when it comes down to it, some sorta scan should tell you more. And...what doc???

At least you've been given some great insight...best to you and keep us posted.

Hugs,
Jan

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1300
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Ro:

My recent CT Scan says liver, gallbaldder, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands, kidneys are normal. Bowel is normal in caliber; there is no obstruction or wall thickening. There are postsurgical changes of ventral hernia raphe. - bladder is unremarkable

When they fixed my large ventrl hernia they did put in a mesh. I wonder if there is something going on there?

There are no mention of any diverticula at all in this scan.

Thanks for your response.

Kathy

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

episodes. This does not sound like diverticulitis. It sounds like an intermittent partial small bowel obstruction. These can happen at any time, long after any abdomonial surgery, even surgery done for benign disease. With partial obstruction, it is not unusual that you continue to have bowel movements. It is very revealing to have an expert at abdominal problems examine you, but this exam needs done while you are having an episode, as you likely have a totally unrevealing exam during times you are not symptomatic.

It is reasonable to get a PET scan, but reading your bio, I suspect that will also be negative. I'm sure that would go a long way to reassure you.

Best regards.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1300
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks for your response. The only bad thing about having my physician exam me during one of these episodes is that he is 3 hours away! I am concerned that it could be a partial bowel obstruction. Sometimes I can almost feel it start at the left side (near stomach) and then move down and then across to right around the mid belly.

Also, my radiation/oncologist would not give me pelvis radiation because of the risk of scarring for me. With the severe endometriosis that I had (I also had 3 c-sections plus three additional adominal surgeries) and 3 brachytherapies anything is possible. My doctor did indicate that it is time for me to have a colonoscopy so I guess given this recent episode of mine, it would probably be the next best thing for me.

After the very first episode, I decided to try to lose weight (August) and since that time I have lost 25 pounds. When I first had chemo, I gained 30 pounds and had a very hard time losing any of it. (Of course, I really wasn't eating the right stuff!)

Thanks to you and all for letting me vent. I hope everyone is having a great day today.

Kathy

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