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worried sick

Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2005

hello everyone, wishing all the wonderful people on this board a happy healthy new year.
A quick recap, Mike was dx. Sept. 05 with stage 2, had chemo/rad for 5 weeks, removal of tumor, temp. illiostomy, then 4 cycles of chemo. He has been ned since May 06. For the past 2 weeks his bowel habits have changed dramatically. When he has a bowel movement they are very "string" like...like beans, and he is having lots of gas. We are terrified that the cancer may be back. Our thinking is something is blocking the path causing these bowel movements. Could it possibly be scar tissue? We have an appt. with the dr. tomorrow, but any insight would once again be so helpful.
Thank you all.

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003


Of course it could be ANYTHING. You are doing the right thing to have it checked out professionally, rather than armchair quarterback his health. Remember, detection is key. You cannot treat what you do not find. My doc said expect bowel changes for up to 3 years after the surgery. So, if I were a betting person, I'd say he's still ok, just adjusting to changes since the surgery.

Please keep us posted, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

DON'T WORRY! While you probably should get things checked out..just in case, I can assure you, as an owner of a rebuilt rectum that endured chemoradiation...what you are describing is entirely within the normal boundaries of my experience. Spicy foods, a small bug that other people would not even notice....etc..can make my system go awry for days and even weeks. Has you husband changed eating habits a bit or has he had some other symptoms of a flu, bug etc? My issues usually resolve on their own in time. Your husband's system has been through a lot. 8 years later mine is still recovering!

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

While I would certainly get it checked out, step back, breathe and think about a few things. When was the last time he had a scan? If there were a large blockage of his bowel it would have shown up on the scan. Also, what is his CEA, if it is normal, I doubt there is a large tumor blocking his colon...Has he had a colonoscopy since his initial diagnosis? I hope some of these thoughts are comforting. Like Stacy said, it could be anything so you don't want to just ignore it, but I would be surprised if something would get bad enough to make his poop like string beans in a relatively short amount of time. Did he have normal sized poops prior to two weeks ago or did they just graduallly get smaller and smaller? BTW, we all have lots of gas, DAILY!
If I eat, I get gas, alas!!
-Susan H.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

could be constipation if stool is solid..try massaging stomach area..sometimes the colon can take an unpredicted twist, and there could be a fecal blockage..

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