CSN Login
Members Online: 5

Trying to get my digestion back on track. Any ideas?

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

 

Hey Team,

 

I had a really bad bout with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea last week.  Anything I tried to eat or drink came back within 15 minutes.  I could not take my nausea meds, and my blood pressure med came back up, as well.  I couldn’t even hold down plain water. So I went to emergency and they kept me overnight, got the nausea and vomiting under control, and the trips to the restroom wore off.  Before that episode though, I noticed I didn’t feel like I was digesting anything.  I felt hungry, yet full—as though whatever I ate sat on my stomach and didn't pass through.  They did not suspect any blockage. 

Now that I am home, I'm over the nausea (I have Zofran that dissolves under the tongue), but  still have that same full stomach  feeling.  Is there any way to get my stomach back on track?  I have been eating a couple of servings of kimchi or sauerkraut every day for the past 3 days to aid digestion, and sipping a little probiotic drink, but my stomach won’t budge. 

Any ideas? I am in my "off" week so I have not had the Gemcitibine treatment or the Sutent since the day before the episode. 

 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2013

First of all, I am so sorry for ALL you are going through.

Not sure what they told you when they discharged from hospital, but did you see a Gastroentrologist?

I would suggest you consult with one. They could do a EDG I think its called when they take a look into your

stomach via throat with a scope. You are out and its painless.

Let us know how you are doing, hope you feel better real soon.

Warmly, Jan

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi Jan,

They didn't tell me anything regarding the cause when I left the hospital.  I think they assumed I was reacting to the chemo and just had to get the vomiting and diarrhea under control.  I will see the oncologist tomorrow and be more adamant about getting tothe root of the cause. 

a_oaklee
Posts: 177
Joined: Nov 2013

Hi Phoenix.  Sorry to hear about these new problems.  Did they give you a diagnosis when you stayed overnight in the hospital?  Did they do an abdominal xray?  Do you have a fever?  Do you hear any bowel sounds?  I have no idea what the side-effects are for the medicine you are taking, but I do think you should call your oncologist.  The only suggestion that I can make is for you to handle your diet the same way they do post-op.  Start with clear liquids, advance to full liquids and then soft diet and ultimately regular diet.  Eat small amounts.  I don't know what your discharge diagnosis was or how they want you to follow-up, but I definitely would see a doctor about this.

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi a_oaklee,

They did not give me a diagnosis.  I got an abdominal x-ray and heard nothing about it.  I do, however, have tumors in my abdominal wall and I wonder if that contributes tot he full feeling I get.  No fever, plenty of bowel sounds.  I have been eating solid but I am going back to square one with liquids including juicing and soft foods.

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 664
Joined: Mar 2012

Sorry to hear about that awful situation, glad it is gone. I know that ginger is good for that. You can either buy the ginger tea bags or you can buy fresh ginger and boil small pieces and drink it.  You might not like the taste, but it helps alot.  I hope you feel better!

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

I love ginger, so I have been making tea from fresh ginger-- no sugar-- the taste doesn't bother me at all!

Srashedb
Posts: 241
Joined: Dec 2013

a few days after my husband's spinal surgery, he ended up in the emergency room and then 16 days in the hospital.

his symptoms were severe abdominal pain and when he tried to eat or drink anything, he felt "topped off" (his words).

initially, they ran scans and could find nothing; about 6 days in, he began vomiting and after some more tests, a blockage was noted but still unclear as to the cause. They gave him an NG tube to drain him (a sewage line, described by his college roommate) and I must say, very descriptive.

they tried a few times to remove them, pumped him with enemas and tried liquids; not successful since the vomiting started and enemas did not work. Back to the NG tube (out of everything he underwent, this was his worst experience). More scans and even some discussion of surgical intervention and an emergency nephrectomy so he would not be too set back. By now, he had lost 30 pounds from his high-end 160 and was looking like a holocaust survivor.

finally, bowel sounds were heard and slowly things got back to some norm but he was facing 5 cyber surgery treatments and a radical nephrectomy; the latter freaked us out since it could happen again.

much as heavy narcotics are needed post-op, no patient should be released post surgery until the bowel is functioning. I pushed this during the nephrectomy stay and there was no problem except for coming home with a catheter which was a piece of cake and was removec one week later.

my long-winded point is this: feeling topped off and vomiting are not necessarily cancer but should be treated very seriously since they could lead to bowel perforation, a nightmare we dodged.

hope this gives you some thoughts and avenues to explore; since July, he went to the ER three separate times. twonwere quick and the long stay resolved on its own. UCSF is really on top of things; our local hospital relegated him to the hospice with mega drugs which probably made the blockage worse.

once at UCSF, the slow recovery began.

just our experience; take what you need and leave the rest...

Sarah

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

"Topped off" perfectly describes the feeling I have.  It is 9:30 a.m. and have not eaten anything since dinner yesterday (drinking water and juice), yet I feel--- topped off.  I will be seeing the oncologist tomorrow and discussing it further.  I have a great gastroenterologist, so I think I will make an appointment to see him

I had this same problem last year and got the NG tube  (rubber hose up the nose), and I won't describe what came out but it was not pretty.  I expected the same this time, but they did not give it to me.  The last time, I was VERY bloated and had unbearable gas pain.  This time I had very little bloating and a little fleeting gas pain... but the vomiting and diarrhea was relentless. The whites of my eyes were blood red from broken vessels. 

Believe it or not, through this episode I gained 3 pounds.  I think it is a result of the fluids they gave me though.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 438
Joined: Feb 2009

Your oncologist should be on your list to call; and if not, then your primary care.  

From experience, 3 weeks after my first surgery, I developed pancreatitis.  How, when one is living on broth, semi-mushed food, and yogurt; but I did.  Not a fun experience sitting on the john with diarrhea and leaning over the tub trying to barf. Finally a trip to ER, an X-ray to ensure no blocked bowel from the surgery, and an RX for nausea, but me back to recovering from the surgery and on more broth and juice.

The nausea and vomitting can be dehydrating, so be careful.

Make that puppy jump up and wag it's tail.

Donna

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

Donna, we DO seem to share alot here!

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

I went to the onc today and after reviewing my blood tests taken in emergency, there was nothing to show it was related to the chemo or any organ malfunction.  He believes I may have eaten something bad, and it's highly possible because I have no sense of taste right now.  It could have been food poisoning.  I did tell my husband I didn't feel well earlier that morning, but I have no idea what I ate. 

 

I drank 1/2 glass of prune juice yesterday evening, and ate some prunes, and by morning I was in the restroom.  Feeling much better now and the full feeling has subsided some.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 2066
Joined: Oct 2011

how to address this. I am a pig and can eat your slippers if you cover them in tomato sauce. It is hard to control my appetite but I have kind of learned to.  But...on Il-2, I went foodless for each week. And more. Absolutely not a chance in the world of putting down food. Could not be done. So I understand not being able to eat. As much as I knew that I had to eat, I could not. And I did this 4 times! I'd lose weight each time. Up to 30+ #. After that, I believed that I would always stay thin and sickly. I didn't mind fitting into 34" jeans and kept that in mind,.. After a little time, my appetite started to return. And here I am. (tighter 34's)

So, I am thinking that since there is close supervision, just go with it. I think I know how hard this is. My advice is that since cancer sucks, accept the challenge. This is not easy. Believe you will get to the end of this crappy part of fighting. Hanging in is tough. We are the first ones here to talk about this stuff. There is no manual. And it is ALWAYS worth it. Do whatever your docs recommend, and commit to it. It will happen. I know it.

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks Fox! 

As luck would have it, the gemstar has caused neutropenia. Now I have to eat liike a horse! And i can't have raw fruits and raw veggies..... Great news for a vegetarian. But that's okay, i'm working on it!

 

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network