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Should I sleep in the bathroom?

johnom's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2004

Hello everyone. This is an incredibly inspiring site for me. I was dx'd in Feb. with what turned out to be Stage II about l0 cm in from the opening. I had few probs. with chemo before surgery, but a rough time with radiation, with severe rectal bleeding, etc. Surgery went well 8 weeks ago, now I start chemo scheduled for 3, yes 3 months, of one week on, 3 weeks off. I am having occasional afternoons when I will have as many as 30 bm's. I literally can't move away from the toilet for 2-3 hours. This is followed by 2 or 3 days of almost nothing (it's probably empty), then a build up to the volcano erupting. I was taking Miralax, but have stopped. The doc says this will work out in time, give it a chance, etc. Like everyone else, I am raw and was suffering until I got some Desitin.
I am trying to keep a log of what I eat and when this happens. Has anyone else gone through this, and what did you do to get it stopped?
Thanks to everyone for the mutual support you give.

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I can relate to your question. I have stage 3 rectal cancer and tolerated pre op chemo and rad., but only had 4 out of 12 post op chemo treatments and had diarrhea so bad I ended up in the hospital for a week and on TPN (IV fluids at home for 3 weeks) Both the onc. and surgeon decided the chemo was doing more harm than good and my chemo was stopped. I wish I could have received all the chemo, but it made me too sick. Have they tried giving you tincture of opium? That might help with the diarrhea.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya John from OZ(Australia) and welcome mate.I was dx,d july 03 with stage 2 and had surgery to remove 1/3 colon.Then chemo--5 days straight/3 weeks off(5fu/leucovorin) for 6 months.I did no pre-op chemo/rads. tho.The part removed in surgery was from the rectum to the transverse colon.
My symptoms were severe rectal bleeding and bad cramps(caused by a partially blocked colon.)
My bm,s were similar to yours and I was assured it was a normal reaction for the bowel to take quite some time to get back to normal--yes--IT WILL! I did suffer some stomach cramps also but was told that after surgery the bowel can go into a phse called "spastic colon"--in effect parts of it literally go to sleep and do not move waste properly--this settles in time.Diarrhea is certainly a common problem as your bowel returns to normal and of course you should relate these problems to your onc./nurses--dehydration can be a really bad result and needs to be supervised John.There is no point in me offerring advice on any meds. as here in oz they go under different brand names.
However, I found that being extremely carefull with what I eat and monitoring any effects from certain foods helped.You must drink heaps of water!!!!
I also found that meals should be taken in small amounts over many sessions---3 "normal" meals a day just did not help me--in fact it made things a whole lot worse.Your diarrhea will sure make the backside burn!!!!!!As well as meds. you can access over there you may like to try warm baths to help with the burning --over here there were medicinal bath preps. I could buy over the counter at pharmacies--check them out at your local.
I really hope you are able to find something to settle your bowels--but believe me--after such a major surgery it will take time to settle--but it will.I suspect that you will continue to have some bm problems while on your next round of chemo, so keep a check on your fluid intake.While on chemo I found dry crackers a benifit to eat.I also drank "flat" ginger beer(I think you call it root beer)Stay away from anything that is dairy orientated--ie; milk, cheese etc.
Fatty foods ie; red meat are out
Keep us informed of your progress John and let us know if you have any further worries.There is a great bunch of people here all waiting to lend support.
Our very best to you ---kanga n Jen

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