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Awkward Question for Ostomates

pleach1's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2004

This is an awkward question but I will go ahead and ask. I was diagnosed with and got surgery for stage 3 colon cancer on the left side. I ended up with a colostomy which leaves me about 9" or so of colon aqnd my rectum. Thing is I still get the urge to go to the bathroom and when I do I pass a small amount of mucous. This happens about 3 or 4 times a day and is confusing and kind of nostalgic as well :). I have asked both my surgeon and and oncologist about this and they are not concerned and have no answer. BTW 5-fu is like eating pennies no nausea just a relly bad taste :(.

Later semi-colonites

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi there- The segment of colon that has been left still produces mucus and the lining cells like those of our skin die and flake off to be replaced by new lining cells, so passing a bit of whitish stool is normal.

The thing that seems a bit odd is the frequency. I only pass material every few weeks. It has been almost a year and a half since my ostomy, so maybe I am underestimating the frequency when it was first done.

Perhaps the 5-FU is contributing to this as well ?It can cause irritation of mucus membranes. Some people get mouth sores, I have mostly gotten nasal irritation but perhaps for you it is the colon? Or could you have some inflammation of that remaining part of the colon separate from surgery or chemo?

Good to hear that you are not having any major problems with the 5-FU. The taste thing is annoying. I didn't get an altered taste, it just pretty much went away. One day I ordered a tuna sandwich in a resturant and was sure that they gave me chicken. Then I bit into the dill pickle and found I could not taste that at all!

Take care and best wishes for good results with chemo.


nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

pleach: you might also go to the UOA & IOA sites for
additional infor on this subject.. Bud

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003


I'm so glad you asked that question. I had my surgery 14 months ago with stage 111 colon cancer and finished my chemo last July 03. Fortunately, no colostomy. Mine was the ascending colon. My doctor told me that I would probably be constipated, but quite the opposite. No one seems concerned. I still get lots of cramping and some bloating and gas. Occasionally (rarely, thank goodness) I have some incontinence, which I hate. Anyone out there have anything similar? I guess I just want to feel normal again. My doctors don't say anything about it. One doctor says that I must be "gulping" air that produces gas!! Huh? The chemo was the pits!

Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2004

Pleach1, I had the same thing. As a matter of fact my surgeon would ask me if I was passing muchus, everytime I would visit him. He said he would have been concerned if I wasn't passing it.So, I suppose it is normal.

pleach1's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2004

I asked my radiotherapy doctor and he said the same thing and that it is a good thing and I may get more during the radiation treatment. Oh well at least I am catching up on my reading.

BTW I am getting 5-FU at the same time as the radiation. Anyone else done this and if so what side effects did you get.


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