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Any ideas?

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

I posted earlier. I just was dx on 10-30 after surgery by my gynecological oncologist. After discovering it was metastic colon cancer, he referred me to another oncologist who will see me on Dec 3rd (wants me to be healed from surgery so we can start treatment right away). For the past week, I have been having very gassy, rumbling stomach and throwing up about 2-6 hours after I eat. Has anyone else had this after their surgery? Normal? I called my doctor's office when it first started and they did not seem alarmed. Since they had not seen me yet said to try Prilosec or Zantac for nausea, etc. I am going to try to call them again and see if they can help because I am having a hard time finding food to eat and want to build my strength for treatment. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, any suggestions for dealing with the anxiety of waiting before I see the oncologist? I am really stressed about what he is going to tell me and wonder if that has some effect on my upset stomach, too. Thanks for any advice/encouragement. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Becky

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Becky,
With your surgery, did they remove part of the colon? This could have partially obstructed the bowel....if this is it (I have had 7 obstructions since resection...affects 5% of all resection patients), you need to call your gyne/surgeon....if the bowel totally obstructs, you will be in extreme pain and it will come and go...along with gurgling in your belly...sort of like labor during childbirth. And vomit. I thought I had the flu...lol....

Only one of my 7 needed surgery to correct....the other 6, I ramped up my water AND walked ALOT. for the one that I was hospitalized for, that is all they did for my for the first 4 days....so I tried it on #2, and it has worked. With each cramp, I would bear down like I was pushing...and stand still.

Hugs, kathi

KierstenRx's picture
KierstenRx
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Becky,
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis and tough recovery from surgery. Just know that we are all here for you. I first wanted to address your gassy rumbling stomach. Are you keeping anything down?? Is there pain before you vomit? Does it feel like a spasm or does it radiate into your back?? I don't want scare you at all but I had similar symptoms when I had a bowel obstruction. I was in severe pain and would vomit anytime I would eat. I eventually couldn't keep down fluids. I would explore this further. I was sent home from the ER told it was a possible urinary tract infection. If you continue to have problems or they get worse I would make sure your doctor takes you seriously. You have to be your own advocate. That being said you very well may just be having some side effects from healing. You also may be having a nervous stomach. Other possible options to try for the gassy nausea feeling would be Maalox or Phazyme/GasX. If the nausea continues maybe you could get a prescription for either zofran or promethazine. Hopefully others on this board can offer more advice on you stomach issues than I.

Anxiety stinks. I never had anxiety until I was diagnosed. You are in a tough position having to wait to see the oncologist. When my anxiety got really bad they put me on Lorazepam. This drug really helped me and it also helped control my nausea and vomiting during treatment. I only took it as needed. If you don't want to go the pharmaceutical route other options would include meditation and guided imagery. Dr Andrew Weil has a really good CD out that helps with relaxation and deep breathing techniques (I used this frequently and it did seem to help). I also would try to get a little bit of exercise everyday just walking up and down the driveway. Posting often with all my questions also helped a lot to relieve my anxiety. People on this board can tell you what to expect and are totally honest. I did not find this board until I was halfway done with chemo and radiation. I wish I would have found it when I was first diagnosed. One other thing I found that created more anxiety for myself was reading too many books and too much internet information on colon cancer. I had myself so freaked out by the time I went to my oncologist. Knowledge is power, but too much can add to the stress and anxiety. The hardest part for me was not having a plan in place. Once I met with the oncologist and knew what was going to be done it helped a lot.
I hope a little of this helps. I will keep you in my prayers. Feel free to email me with any questions. I would be happy to share my experience/tips with you.

Kiersten

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

Thanks for the ideas. I talked with my first onc's office yesterday and they called in a prescription for an anti-nausea med. I appreciate everyone's answers and encouragement. I'm looking forward to the holiday and hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'll keep you posted and I'm sure have lots more questions--you are all a blessing!

Becky

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

Waiting is one of the hardest parts of having this disease. Believe me we all HATE the waiting.

Anxiety can cause most of what you are experiencing. You already know you have metastatic colon cancer so you have already heard the worst part of your diagnosis. Since that part is over your appointment is the first step in determining the battle plan to fight the disease. Yes, you will hear a lot of information and it can be overwhelming. Don't put too much emphasis on the statistics. They are based on treatments from over 5 years ago and a lot has changed in those 5 years. Even metastatic colon cancer is treatable and many people can achieve remission from the disease.

For the nausea and vomiting try eating more frequent small meals rather than 3 larger meals. You might also want to drink something like Ensure to help get the nutrition you need. I would also avoid spicy and greasy food.

Good luck with your battle. There are lots of people here to help support you. Hang in there.

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Becky, Wish I had a magic answer for the anxiety. Try to keep as busy as you can. We all really do know how hard the "waiting game" is . Sometimes, it is the worst part. The anxiety can also play a huge role in your appetite issues, but be sure you continually let your doc know what problems your having. There are many meds that can help with nausea and if need be, the anxiety. Keep the faith . Take one day at a time and do your best to maintain a positive attitude. It really does help. God Bless

Diane

83popsong's picture
83popsong
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2006

Hi Becky - I just want to second some things that have already been said. I take Ativan (same as Lorazepam) to treat spot anxiety. I take 1/2 a mg once or twice a day and usually a whole mg at night. It really helps me by taking the edge off. I also am seeing a therapist and I find that very helpful. While I find information a powerful tool, I have also realized that there are times when additional information isn't helpful. If you are feeling axious or vulnerable, you may want to stay away from the boards or other cancer sites. It can be overwhelming. One post can make you feel good and another more anxious. One thing I keep telling myself (I'm stage 4, currently NED) is that this is a marathon not a sprint. It doesn't help when the ups and downs are big and close together. Either your oncologist, your surgeon or your GP should be able to prescribe the Ativan.

As far as the digestive issues... I agree that you need to be your own advocate. Continue to discuss with your surgeon and get a referral for a second opinion. I had a colectomy about 4 weeks ago and still have some of the symptoms that you describe. I have only had trouble with vomiting recently and believe in my case it was flu. What has helped me has been eating small amounts throughout the day rather than large meals, and only eating what appeals. It has been a lot of fruit, toast & 7-UP.

Just reread your post. Yes, I think your stress could defiantly impact how your stomach feels.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

--Eben

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