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Should I be worried?

JoyceCanada's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: Mar 2006

This must be the most embarrasing question that I have asked, but I think this group can relate to my fears.

Since my sig resection in January, and subsequent chemo radiation I have been plagued with diarrhea and frequent bowel movement. I'm currently on a chemo "vacation" and now I'm constipated. Haven't had a BM for 2 days. Now I'm having anxiety attacks and worrying that I might have a blockage. I'm not in pain --- I'm really scared --- should I take a laxative?

chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005


You should definitely bring this up with your doctor, but I'm going to share my 2 cents in the meantime...

I don't think any of us are the same or even close to the same after going through surgery and/or chemo. I also had my sigmoid resected; 10/08/04. I really don't know if I lost all of my sigmoid or just part. That's something I never learned.

Anyway, I went through cycles of constipation and diarrhea during chemo.

After chemo ended my "cycles" continued for a while. Within a few months of finishing chemo I get very constipated if I don't eat enough fruit and veggies or if I don't eat a lot of fiber. I'm going on 14 months post-chemo and I still have to watch what I eat.

I'm usually good about either making my "shake" in the morning or about juicing and sometimes both. If I don't do at least one of them I get constipated.

I would say you have two options at this point. Take a mild laxative and see if that works. Or you can try to change it with food.

Here's my shake that I make in the morning (or for lunch if I decide to eat something else for breakfast). Keep in mind that this requires a high standard blender if you are to make it every day and add all the ingredients at once as I do lol.

1 Cup Water
1 Handful Almonds
2 Tbsp Flax Seed or Flax Seed Meal
2 Tbsp Oatmeal or Steel Cut Oats
1 Banana
1 Apple
1 Slice Melon (cantelope and honeydo work well)
1 Cup (approx) frozen berries (I usually use a frozen mixed fruit).

I also noticed that if I drink this for breakfast, I stay full longer and don't require so much food for the rest of the day. To make it smoother and easier to drink, just blend longer. You can also add ingredients as you go to make it easier on your blender. I'm too impatient most mornings to do this though.

I got this recipe from a very food conscious oncology nurse.

Hope this helps and I'm thinking of you,


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I wouldn't be too worried, Joyce. I was resected in May 05. Removed rectum and sig colon. I once went 3 days without a movement, so I paniced and took a laxative...well, to quote my gastric surgeon.."At least we found out that a laxative REALLY is effective for you".
I have had 3 bowel obstructions...believe me, you would know...sort of like labor...except the vomiting makes the pain go away for awhile...Actually, I used my Lamaze training thru the one that was mild...cleared it myself...I was soooo proud! (Took my beau to the toilet to show him...sort of like the pride of a young child...I went poo-poo, daddy..hehehe).
I find 100% fruit juice, expecially if it contains grape juice, works great. Also, I keep drinking lots of water all the time...
Hugs, Kathi

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

BUT I agree with Patricia, let your doc know any way...MINE said "Please call ME to tell me you went poo-poo next time"...hehehehehe

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

I often go through constipation/diarrhea cycles, even while on chemo. Fiber with lots of water is a great idea. I try to avoid stool softeners, but that's because my cycles are very close together and if I take them my diarrhea is significantly worse following the stool softeners. Grape juice is a good idea. I'd talk to my doc before taking a laxative.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4903
Joined: May 2005

I would also let your Doctor know. I had a blockage once (from scar tissue after my liver resection). If you had a blockage, you'd know it. Believe me.
Isn't it a drag with one extreme or the other?

JoyceCanada's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: Mar 2006

Oh boy! I will never, never, take a laxative again. I've now gone to the other extreme, can't leave the house to-day living in the bathroom :-)
I'm going to watch my diet more carefully in the future.........lesson learned the hard way!!

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Sorry to burst your bubble, my dear, but...remember....the PREP for our semi-colons' friend the colonoscopy includes.....wait for it.....LAXATIVES!!!!!
Hugs, you and your poor bottom, Kathi

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Joyce,

If nothing works a good natural laxative is senakot. It is herbal Sena. No cramping. I take it because I swing both ways with my bowels. I never have a even medium. Either diarehea or constipation. Eating all the good foods the others say will keep you moving too. Make sure you are drinking lots of water too. That keeps you flushed out. Good luck and tell us how it goes. I understand the worries because I have them too when don't go for two days. HUGS.


kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Joyce. I think anything that concerns you should at least be discussed with your doc. just to be reassured if anything. I also had a blockage and you would definately know it if you had one. Kathi...is that really like labor feels like?.....lol! Arrrggh!

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