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Bowel obstruction

Carpit
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2017

Hello Ladies:

Has anyone had or know of someone with bowel obstruction due too tumor pressing on small bowel. Any options lefT. Currently receiving nutrients intraveneosly. If able to eat after a few days surgery and/ or chemo might be an option

Your feedback is greatly appreciated 

 

 

 

 

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

I had a complete Bowel obstruction a year and a half ago.  A tumor intwined itself between my intestines.  I has an open bowel resection.  They too out the tumor and 42 cms of intestine and put me back together.  I work fine.  I know how miserable this can be , I hope you find relief quickly

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

henhill's picture
henhill
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2016

I have been suffering frm partial obstructions off and on since radiation.  I am also having problems eating.  I have no answers here, still trying to get to the bottom of it myself.  I hope you reach a conclusion soon.

Carpit
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2017

Thanks ladies for your prompt responses. The information that I receive from this network is what keeps be going and why I'm able to stay positive. I can't believe I still wakeup thinking this is all a dream but it is so real. I will be seekink a second opinion tomorrow regarding an open bowel resection. 

Much Love and Happiness to you

Carpit
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2017

Lou Ann, were you able to eat solid food with the bowel obstruction. And if you don't mind me asking, what medical facility performed your bowel resection? 

 

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

Once they decided that a bowel obstruction was the problem I had a tube inserted and was allowed only ice chips. IV line through my port for saline solution and meds.  After surgery I had to have a bowel movement before they took out the tube. Liquid diet for a very short time, then, Soft and regular. That did not take long. Still have to take stool softeners.  I had surgery at the Billings Clinic at Billings, MT, by my gyno/oncologist- pelvic surgeon 

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

lewc51
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2017

Was diagnosed with uterine cancer in Nov, 2007,  Total hysterectomy then five weeks external radiation and three weeks internal radiation.  Within six months metastatic (2008) to para aortic lymph node.  Another five weeks external radiation them clinical trial chemo every three weeks for 6 months.  Stomach issues ever since.  Just hospilalized for three days due to small bowel obstruction.  Surgeon says due to scarring and adhesions from hysterectomy and radiation.  Sees no sign of returning cancer.  While in hospital had ultrasound and cat scan with contrast.  Now on a low fiber diet.  Go to oncologist in two weeks.  Anyone have any input. Afraid to eat.   Thanks.

MoeKay
Posts: 255
Joined: Feb 2004

I've probably had between 15-20 small bowel obstructions since my treatment for endometrial cancer in 1999.  What I've learned over the past eighteen years is that, at least in my situation, the problem does not have anything to do with what I eat.  This is consistent with what my gyn-onc told me.  He said, "you could eat the same thing ten times in a row, but on the 11th time, you may develop a small bowel obstruction."  He explained that the bowels are always shifting around, and if they happen to move in a certain way in an area where there are adhesions, this movement might result in an obstruction. 

It doesn't sound as though you had to have surgery for your SBO, which is fantastic.  What I do now, is if I feel the slightest twinge in my abdominal region, indicating that something might be amiss, I immediately stop eating and drinking so as not to add any pressure to whatever is already in my intestinal tract.  If the pain does not begin to go away within a day or so, I know I will need to go to the ER for hydration and testing.  I used to get CT scans if I went to the ER, but lately I've been turning them down because I don't want excessive radiation, unless absolutely necessary.  So far, I also have been able to turn down the NG tube, and just wait to see if the obstruction would clear on it's own, which they all have in the past.  Also, in my case, they have been able to see the obstructions on plain x-rays.  Of course, in the event things did not improve, I would need to have a CT, possibly an NG tube and/or surgery.  Usually, my obstructions begin to resolve within a day or two, and then I slowly add first liquids and then soft solids back into my diet.  After a few days, I resume a normal diet and it's like nothing ever happened, except for external soreness in my abdominal area for a few more days.  I have heard that doing yoga, especially poses that involve stretching the mid-section of the body, can be helpful with SBOs (not when you're experiencing an attack, but just in general). 

Good luck and good health to you.  I know how painful these lousy SBOs can be, lewc51. 

henhill's picture
henhill
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2016

My story is exactly the same.... even the mets to the para-aortic lymph nodes.  My doc has just decided to put me on Avastin in hope of a remission.   I am also afraid to eat, and have been losing weight lately due to these bowel obstructions.  I agree with the person who says it doesn't matter what you eat, but maybe backing off and then reintroducing food very slowly.  

I asked my doc today if there is anything that can be done and he says that although it is a common outcome, the remedy is a "new" discipline.  He has been encouraging a gastro doc that I see to explore these consequences of treatment, in the hope that new ideas will be brought forward.  I wonder if anyone here has seen any "experts" on this problem, as my experience is that there is a lot of doctors shooting blanks. 

Here is a pretty good article I found:   pelvic radiation disease

http://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(12)00900-7/pdf

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1980
Joined: Nov 2009

Just been thru many doctors.   Last three months I have been experiencing pain.  Now its to the point where I take motrin/tylenol daily.   With me, this is how I first found my cancer.  I am afraid to eat because I don't want the process for elimination to begin.   The doctors all indicate stool softeners, but I tell them it doesn't matter what type of stools I have because whether gas, soft, or whatever the same thing happens.    I recently found out that I have another "new" small soft tissue mass in my left pelvic area.   I have a large continuing one also which is attached to my rectum and a borderline right illiac node.   Yesterday, the pain was almost unbearable.   I also have pancreatitis so how am I to differentiate between the two?    They recently removed my gallbladder also.

I am now getting right flank pain.  My left kidney is atrophied mildly.

I just had a second opinion and he looked at all of my charts.   He indicates that the brachytherapy caused inflammation.  This is not normal inflammation where you take an antiinflammatory meds, but this inflammation is scarring caused by the radiation.   He indicates that it is in clusters.   He was referring me to a pain clinic, but I don't want to go that route yet.   I might try accupunture.

I know you ladies understand what others (doctors/family) cant.   I feel like my insides are spasing and the pain just increases.    I have gained weight over the last year without changing my diet, it is only most recently (probably because I can't eat) that I am starting to lose weight.   If I don't eat, then I feel nauseous.   

I was also disappointed with my gyne/onc a few weeks ago.  I went for an office visit.  He only read my CT scan.  I told him all the pain and trouble I was having and that was it.   He never did an internal on me when it has been over 2 years since he has done one.   They had cancelled 3 other appointments for me.  They are 3 hours away so it was hard rescheduling.   That is why I got a second opinion.

Sorry I seem to be rambling but this pain is unusual as it keeps getting worse.

My best to all of you.   I hope you are all having a good weekend.

Kathy

oldbeauty
Posts: 229
Joined: May 2012

So sorry to hear this.  When I read these stories, I wonder whether an option is to bypass the bowel with a colostomy.  But that's just idle curiosity.  I just want to comment about the pain.  While it's great to try acupuncture, I might think twice about the referral to the pain clinic.  Before my recurrence in 2012 was diagnosed, I had 2 sudden onsets of excruciating pain in 2010, both controlled only with morphine. I think the cancer was discoverable then but I did not pursue it as we were in the process of a move overseas.  It took forever in the ER to get to the point where they'd give me morphine. By then I literally was delerious with pain.  But I had no diagnosis then and no obvious reason for the onset of the pain so I guess they were taking care to be sure I wasn't some drug seeking whacko.  Then, in 2012, when I had the diagnosis of the recurrence via fine-needle CT guided biopsy of a right side para-aortic node, the doctor triggered pain, which then reared its ugly head again a few days later and my oncologist sent me to the ER to be met by his fellow for personal pain management.  The doctor who reported on the biopsy process mentioned the pain in my report and noted that the tumor impinged on my psoas muscle complex and he must have  irritated the nerve.  So, I mention this because of your complaint of right flank pain and the involvement of the right iliac node. Perhaps your growing soft tissue mass is hitting a nerve complex.  If you are three hours away from primary help, I worry you are setting yourself up for a possible unhappy experience if the pain becomes unbearable.  Perhaps attendance at the pain clinic now will put you ahead of the curve relative to getting relief but also ensuring that your current pain is on record of being diagnosed and being treated so you get better/quicker emergency treatment if you need it.  Please take care of yourself.  Best wishes, oldbeauty

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1980
Joined: Nov 2009

My problem is this is how I caught my first diagnosis with cancer.  I was having tremendous pain and I kept being told I had anxiety or that it was just endometriosis.   It wasn't until they performed my hysterectomy that they found cancer.   This pain is very similar and I measure it on how much motrin/tylenol I am taking.  At first it was only a couple times a week.  Now it is daily.  Yesterday was the worse.  It felt almost like labor pains.   I am not sitting on this lightly and will pursue as needed.   I am not giving up on the pain clinic, only taking a seat back.  I just don't want them giving me injections and/or meds and covering up the real issue here.   

I am now seeing a doctor closer to home.   I will let you know.

Kathy

henhill's picture
henhill
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2016

I hear you, no realistic answers and I am "doctored out".  I can't stand the thought of another pill or the call for more stool softening!   I haven't any answers, either, but I do offer solidarity with you on this.  Cry

 

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1980
Joined: Nov 2009

I feel better that I'm not alone but also feel bad that others have it too. It is sure no day at the beach!   I still can't believe that my gyne/onc hasn't done a pelvic exam for 2 years!  Especially when I said I was having problems.   That's why I said its time for a new one.

Hugs!

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Boy indeed it's time for a new doctor ! You've been through a lot and certainly know your own body by this point. I'm always amazed at how little true "attention" we get from our doctors. Best wishes and please keep us posted. 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

I am SO SORRY to hear this!  I am so mad that the Dr.s make us think we are crazy and don't listen when we need them to!!  I can only echo what Oldbeauty and derMaus have said- be your own advocates and don't give up on yourselves- keep telling anyone and everyone that on such and such a date you reported this same pain to so and so and that nothing was done and it's gotten worse.  Pain is the bodies indication that something is wrong and we certainly do need to listen.  Prayers for you all and (((HUGS)))

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1618
Joined: Jun 2015

Kathy, I hope they figure out what is causing you so much pain. That has to be frightening not knowing what and when the next thing will hit. Time for a new doctor for sure. Fresh eyes might be just what you need to get results!

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1980
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks for the well wishes and suggestions.   I am keeping on top of it.   I just tried some accupuncture.   First treatment seems to have gone well.   Although I still have pain, its not as radiating as it was before.   I am still taking motrin/tylenol.   This happened to me before I was first diagnosed.   I kept telling them something was wrong and I had a lot of pain.   I will keep pushing until I get answers.   As Nellasing indicated, pain means something is wrong.  

So I got a new medical oncologist.   But now what do I do about a gyne/onc?   My current gyne/onc hasn't done a pelvic exam for 2 years even given the fact that I indicated I was in pain.  I questioned him and the response was "there is a very low yield for the exam as it has been so long since your initial diagnosis".  That is unbelievable.   So I guess I need to find a new gyne/onc too in the meantime, right?   

Thanks!

Kathy

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

I would start looking for a new one.

Hugs and prayers,Lou -Ann

oldbeauty
Posts: 229
Joined: May 2012

I don't know if this could happen at your cancer care location, but I know that one place I considered for a second opinion, Fox Chase in Philadelphia, has re-organized itself over the last several years such that they have a gynecological oncology practice that consists of surgeons and medical oncologists.  The surgeons still follow patients' post-surgical chemo/radiation but the latter are gyne oncologists that once practiced surgery but no longer do, focussing instead on non-surgical treatments for gynecological cancers.  I don't necessarily think one group is more chemo savvy than the other, but if you are no longer a candidate for gynecological surgery, I think it's great that there is a cadre of physicians who've decided to specialize in chemo and other non-surgical treatments.  Presumably, they (as would, I would think, any medical oncologist) conduct pelvic exams as part of their practice.  Hope the acupuncture works for your pain.  I started acupuncture for my neuropathy this week.  No miracle cure yet but I am hopeful.  Best wishes.  Oldbeauty

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1618
Joined: Jun 2015

Kathy, maybe a regular gyn would be a better fit for you? I'm suggesting this only because I know my gyn/onc will release me at the 5 year mark (if I am lucky enough to stay in remission) back to my previous gyn. And, who knows? They may be more interested in finding out why you are in pain. For me, I go to a nurse practioner for my general care and I love her. I will most likely use her for my exams post the 5 years.

Regardless, I think you should get someone new because you should be getting annual exams.

Let us know how things go.

Love and Hugs,

cindi

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