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vhtqm1's picture
Posts: 107
Joined: Feb 2010

Discussion hello everyone;

this is my first discussion and i'm very interested to read your replies.

i've had on and off what appears to be intestinal blockages. i had my resection 1 year and 3 months ago.

my usual and or regular bathroom habbits **from what i can remember because doing chemotherapy has really changed and distrupted all of this** is to go twice a day. i'll be doing fine then one day i can't go and there's been a couple of occassions this would last up to three days until i take a laxitive (milk of magnesia). i guess i should be thankful the laxitive work but should i have to take laxitives this far from my resection surgery?

now, i have gone through 3 rounds of extensive chemo in the past 3+ years. initial round of oxaliplatin and flouriracil, surgery, then oxaliplatin and flouriracil again and now taking cetuximab and irinotecan. the reason i write this history is, can these rounds of chemo be setting me back on getting normal and cause these episodes of constapation?

it's very unconfortable and even painful when these events happen. the past month though the problem has become more prevelent. the last constapation episode happened about 3 or so weeks ago. it was so bad that when i tried having a bowell movent that it caused also an anal fissure **which thank God has healed**and it was then that i started taking (peril collace laxitive 2 twice a day morning and night and also stool softenors colace 2 at noon) anyway when i was on that regimen which was mainly for helping me heal from the anal fissure i again last Friday night had abdominal pain again and on this day didn't have a bowell movent until i took some **milk of magnesia** which worked early AM Saturday. once things were moving again i was only taking the stool softenors because it appeared this was all behind me until last night *abdominal pain again* and so i took (milk of magnesia again) and subsequently things got moving again.

sorry to write so much but i wanted /needed to make sure this question was somewhat detailed with some history and of course these uncomfortable events.

please let me know your thoughts and even recommendations. i thank you all in advance.


Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Welcome to the family, I know some about blockages, as I've been in the hospital back and forth like all of last year with them! I had gotten an emergency temporary colostomy last March of 09, and ever since them of course, your digestive system had to get used to this way of eating and going to the bathroom.

Partial and full blockages were soooo painful, felt like it worse then childbirth! I was throwing up, couldn't move, pain in lower back that spread everywhere after awhile, I didn't realize there were certain things to watch what you eat and how you eat as well, no one ever told me not to eat this or that...After all these blockages, I had to pretty much find out what I was able to do to prevent them.

I ended up in the hospital once for 3 weeks, as they waited for me to pass bowels. The doctors would rather not do surgery on you, and wait as long as they can to see if it passes, before they do open you up, because each time you have surgery, it's just causing more scar tissue, which can also lead to blockages.

I was on Dulcolax, and Senna-lax, but sometimes they don't even help. One doctor told me to be careful at how much of portions I should eat, chew really good, so things digest better, there are things like skittles, which I used to love, that I cant eat much of, because they're so gummy, they stuff me up, so that's something that may have caused one of my blockages, I did go eat ALOT of skittles one day lol...

But, I haven't had a blockage, knock on wood for a few months now, some people can't eat popcorn or corn, there are just certain things that are bad for digesting. I can't take that Milk of Magnesia stuff..ugh...I will take Miralax and put a capful of it in some juice, you can't taste it, and it really works well with being "regular" about once a day, I still take the Dulcolax and Senne Lax twice a day, and so far, so good! Too many laxatives isn't a good thing, my onc would rather me take the stool softeners. Eat fruits and veggies, things with lots of fiber!

Hope this helps, and ask away anything you need too!

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

When I was on Chemo I had the same problem, when I would feel it coming on I would take at Dulcolax and use a child's suppository. Insert it, lay down and about 10 minutes you should go. Worked for me. Good Luck, I know how painful they can be. Stay off the bananas during this time, try and push other fruits and veggies.

papajedi's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

Chemo can wreck your digestive tract....use this to help, it tastes awful but works really well and doesn't harm you like laxatives.

jillpls's picture
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2008

I too have had very bad cramps and blockage that ended me up in the hopsital. Plus I too got a fistula and it's a problem. I then switched to medical marajuana with a vaporizor. so I wouldn't have to take so much anti nausea meds. It worked for me. My colon woke up about 2 days after the drip instead of the normal 5 days. I bought the magnesium as well but couldn't swallow it down. The MM seamed to help as well as the senna I take for stool softener.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008


I am fortunate that I have not had to do chemo, but ever since my surgery I've had "issues." I have IBS with constipation, and it's just gotten worse and caused lots of troubles. The 2 things that help me the most are Miralax, which I take twice a day, and a probiotic. You can get really expensive ones, but I use Digestive Advantage, and it does seem to help.


petppetp's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2008

hi ed,

since you had surgery on your colon it will affect your bowel movements...etc.
what my uncles doc has told me:
milk of magnesia is pretty powerful, so it shouldnt be used on a regular basis.
senokot is a pretty mild (and natural) laxative.
colace is also pretty mild, its more of a stool softener. it helps keep the pipes 'flowing'.
lactolase is a prescption laxative (its a sugar of sort) which is pretty effective too.
you can also try an enema.

use some caution, my uncle would take laxative, they wouldnt work, then he'd take more and more of them until he had really bad diarrhea. ttalk about going from one extreme to another!!! :) so dont take too much of them.

of course the regular nutrition stuff applies. eats lots of fiber, drink plenty of water, eat yogurt and move around alot.

all the best!

Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

I have been in a similiar situation. I noticed that all of the nutritional supplements that the doctors recommneded locked me up. All that ensure or stuff like that does is jam things up. This situation can be extremely painful to the point that it knocked me on the ground a few times. I really had to take a comprehensive look at my diet, medications and fluid intake and change things around. Much of what we go through as cancer patients slows down the intestines. Pain medications are a big time violater. You may want to consider a food diary so you can try to track down if it is indeed a diet problem.

5678dance's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: Mar 2010

From what I can tell from others, Miralax is the most gentle of the laxatives. My sister, who has MS, takes it every day. When I was having issues and asked my onc about Miralax, he said to go ahead, as he takes it every day himself. Also, I have a friend who is a pharmacist at Texas Children's Hospital, and they give it to the kids there as well. Give it a try.


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