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Are these symptoms normal (I'm 6 mos. post-resection + FOLFOX)

MargaritaSalsa's picture
MargaritaSalsa
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2013

Okay so here's my issue and I'm confused on whether or not this is normal for my situation or something that should be looked into. My oncologist keeps saying it's pretty normal, but I just don't feel right, or really feel like she's listening, and contemplating a second opinion.

I'm a 26 year old female, healthy weight. I had a colon resection (plumbing was hooked up again, no bag needed) for Stage 3B colon cancer where they removed about 60% of my colon mid-January this year. I started FOLFOX about 6 weeks post-surgery I would guess. The first couple of months after, my stools were what I would call normal and healthy in size and consistency. Not too hard, not too soft. Not diarreah, not constipation. This was essentially a first for me as a long-time sufferer of IBS. But for the past, I would say two months, it's never been like that again since and the stools are usually thinner now or it's very soft. Diarreah-like, but most of the time without the urgency to go. It's just poorly formed.

I freaked out the other week when I saw red in the stool, thinking there was blood again like before my colonoscopy which found my tumor. But, no; upon further inspection, it was a red pepper from what I ate the night before (that was fast!!). For at least a month or maybe two now, i've been noticing a lot more undigested food in my stool. It's like when you eat corn, but it's with much more than corn. Peppers, carrots, and leafy greens seem to be the culprits most of the time.

I'm also getting a lot of episodes of acid reflux, which I didn't have prior to the surgery or chemo. I feel my pH balance is off in my body and really needs to be more alkaline. When my stools are very soft and piecy, it's also usually some yellowish liquid along with it, which I'm guess is bile or just something acidic in general. I feel I am not digesting food right AT ALL and it is probably contributing to my fatigue in the sense that I'm obviously not getting all of the nutrients out of what I'm eating. Sometimes it's just hard to go at all, it feels like there is stool just waiting to come out, but no amount of force makes it come out when it feels like it needs to. Eventually it does like the next day, but never well formed, and never as much as I feel I should be evacuating. It's incredibly frustrating.

So I am definitely worried. I'm going to pick up some Align probiotics today and see if that helps any. But I wanted to know if this is fairly normal (something to do with scar tissue and also chemo of course?) or should I seek a second opinion?? Any advice? Thanks if you read all this!

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

I got "reconnected" after having had a colostomy for seven months (operation date June 17th). I notice my stools are very thin, and I don't always feel like 'It has all come out" so to speak. I do know it will take at least another couple of months. I have been short of breath; my oncologist said my stomach muscles are very tight. My O2 level is 100%. But there is deep pain when I breath deep. Some constipation, doing Miralax daily. I may switch to senecot (tablets instead of powder...ech). My stools are lighter than they were, even  with the pouch. I think it takes a long time for the body to recoup from this.

Not much help, I know, but it might be helpful for you to know I'm experiencing some of the same symptoms.

Judy

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