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One month Post Treatment And Pain Is Back

pamela_preib's picture
pamela_preib
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2012

I'm a little discouraged.  I was doing pretty well, and I'm scheduled to start work again tomorrow.  I'm starting with short four hour shifts but they are from 9 to 1:00 and I work the front desk at a library.  I'm not sure how this is going to work out.  I am still making about four trips to the bathroom in the mornings and a few thru out the rest of the day.  Today was very painful again and I've starting to have shooting pains in the anal area.  Anyone have similar side effects?  I'm also wondering what kind of diets you are following. My appetite is still not great and I haven't gained back any of the weight I lost during treatment. I'm not very careful about what I eat and I'm rally lost as to what does and doesn't work.  I'll get all excited about food and cooking and then it's in front of me and I can only get a little down before my appetite just goes away.  Very strange because I am a food girl. 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I had shooting pains on and off for about a year. When I went back to work, I had to leave the house at 7 am to be there for 8:30 am. What I had to do was get up everyday at 4 am, so I could use the bathroom many times and empty my system out. Then, for the rest of the day, I would have only liquids. I worked 8:30 am to 5:30 pm with an hour and half commute. Not easy, but doable. I was exhausted at the end of the day.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3203
Joined: Jan 2010

I had similar problems once I completed treatment--lots of bathroom trips with urgency and pain.  The frequency of BM's lasted much longer than I would have liked, but the pain subsided within a month or so.  I had to cut way back on fresh fruits and veggies, as they just made me go, go, go.  Due to my recent intestinal blockage, I have had to cut out these foods and am finding that I only have a BM every couple of days.  You might google "low fiber" or "low residue" diet for foods that will help slow things down.  It is not the same as having constipation, which for me means not going, then having a hard and painful BM.  Instead, a low fiber diet, when followed correctly, will result in less frequent BM's that are soft and not uncomfortable.  Are you taking a probiotic or eating Greek yogurt?  Both will help put the good kind of bacteria in your digestive tract.  You state that you are not very careful about what you eat, so my concern is that you are eating foods that are contributing to your issues.  A diet change will probably not have to become a permanent thing, but right now, your intestinal tract is still healing and very sensitive to some foods.  I think the above-mentioned diet may help you in the short term.  Also, my radiation oncologist suggested that I take one Imodium per day routinely to slow things down.  He assured me that it would not be harmful.  I did that until my guts finally settled down and it seemed to help.

What Marynb has suggested works too.  It's sort of like "training" our bowels to empty out in the morning before we begin our day.  Good advice!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Regarding diet. Your diet post treatment has to be watched closely. You will want to stick with a low fiber diet. Make sure you are getting lots of protein and are well hydrated. I beleive that after cancer treatment you need to reexamine your diet to make sure you are boosting your immune system and restoring your body bqck to health. After much research, I now believe that a low fat, plant based diet is the best we can do to prevent cancer. This is only effective if the plants we consume are grown organically, without pesticides. Also, know if your water supply is safe. As it turns out, the water supply where I live is contaminated with chemicals that are known carcinogens.

pamela_preib's picture
pamela_preib
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2012

That is very good advice on everyone's part.  I thought I'd try and get up early and get moving.  Lately my bowel movements are starting about 4:30am and I go back to bed in between.  If I actually get out of bed at 7:00am I'm pretty confident I'd be cleaned out by 9:00.  And the nice thing is it's only a four hour shift so I can bring a couple of crackers to tide myself over until I can get home again. I haven't been careful about fiber.  I started adding things in because I have just missed them so much.  In fact I had lentil and spinach soup for lunch and butternut squash for dinner.  Probably not a smart move.  Meat just does not appeal to me right now so yogurt would be beneficial in more than one way.  I will back off of the veggies.  I was a bloated gassy mess this afternoon.  I long for the days I had a cast iron stomach.    I will look up the low residue diet.  I've never heard of that.  Thanks for the advice.  I will get on it.  I have started replacing some of my staples with organic brands.  I also started drinking almond milk in place of regular.  Small changes but anything is an improvement.  My stomach area aches so much I start freaking myself out thinking there's something else going on when in fact I know I have lots of healing to do.  My follow up is the end of March.  Looking forward to getting that behind me. 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3203
Joined: Jan 2010

I hope you find the low residue diet helpful for your issues.  It certainly has slowed down my bowels.  The idea is to rest the bowels, which for you being not that far out of treatment, will probably be good.  However, I think you should try to eat one or two half-cup servings of thoroughly cooked veggies per day to see if the combination of cutting back on veggies and eating the other recommended foods will be enough of an adjustment to see you through.  Then as you notice more improvement, you can gradually increase the amount of veggies and fruits.  Some research into this diet will give you a good idea of what and what not to eat.  Veggies are gas producers, so that's probably the reason for your excess gas.  The information I've read says a definite NO to any types of beans, such as lentils, and also spinach, so your meal of lentil/spinach soup was probably a bad choice.  Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage) are off limits unless thoroughly cooked and eating only the tender parts in small amounts.  Eat absolutely nothing raw.  I had some very nice apples that I turned into applesauce yesterday, as they will be much easier to digest that way.  Pasta, white potatoes (no skin) and white rice are allowed.  Any foods that are considered whole grain should be avoided.  Beef, chicken, turkey, fish and eggs are allowed, but it's best to choose things that are not tough or full of grizzle.   

I have a feeling that your stomach pain is just your gut in turmoil from the treatment and the types of foods you are eating.  I hope that adjusting your diet will make a huge difference as it has for me.  Let me know how it goes.  I wish you the very best!

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