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issues after chemo, Lymphoma with mass around stomach

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2018

My husband was diagnosis with Diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma of germinal center type with a rather large malignant mass around the lower half of the stomach.  He did the R-chop series of chemo.  Finished chemo 5 weeks ago.  STILL not able to digest well.  He eats, drinks water, by end of week, pukes it up, I'd say he pukes up about 2 quarts of food and drink.  He can hear it sloshing around in gut for 2 days before he throws it all up.Only  has a bowel movement every 3 days, very hard little chunks. Has gone from 193# to 148#, weighed today, 144#...SOOOO, ANYONE EXPERIENCING THIS.  He will not go to ER just to go to be poked and tested..everything I have read says recovery is 6-12 months on the side effects.  If someone else experiencing this would you let me know. Thanks.

twowheels's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2017

I have compassion for both you & your husband but for brevity:

What was he (you) told after completion of R-chop?
Was treatment effective?
Contact his Onc/Hemotolgist ASAP and share this observation.

I'm making some assumptions about his not wanting to get poked and tested. (He figures after the harrowing experience w/R-Chop that everything just corrects itself eventually).

Below is a suggestion, but would ideally want more info. Q's
1. Age, BMI
2. Any prior issues with digestion (whether clinically diagnosed or not). EG: Diverticulosis, Crohns, IBS
3 Has diet changed?
4. (Dupe) What is/was the result of his treatment? (clarity: Is he considered to be in remission and/or is other medical intervention planned?)

As for suggestion, avoid solid food. (IE: puree'd oatmeal w/ginger)  Actually avoid everything other than prune juice and tea w/ginger.
I'm retiscent to suggest a more drastic (but quicker) manner of relief because you mention "large malignant mass around the lower half of his stomach".

I"m referring to "...the dreaded apparatus". (if you're a Seinfeld fan, take a peak)

It's important to get the most accurate assesssment. Be encouraging with your husband for that "poking" and prodding visit.


Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2018

Ray is 66. No issues with digestion, could scrape mold off food and eat.  The PET scan showed very little cancer left, did 2 more rounds of chemo. Next PET scan on April 19. We wanted another scope but docs did not feel necessary.  I still do. Is stomach lining regrowing, why wont it absorb food, nutrients and water.  He is still loosing weight. Has tried eating all kinds of food. Been on a liquid diet, bland diet. Now after chemo, he is eating fast food, ice cream, chinese,,,what ever could put weight on.  Still puking weekly and alot. We have in the past called Oncologist, test done nothing found, no answers and they put on new meds. Not a med person, side effects to meds as bad as what he is going thru!  Nothing changes for him. Soooo, he is trying to figure it out for himself. 


Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3698
Joined: May 2012


Your husband's problems are medically serious, whatever the cause.  His oncologist should be more investigative I think.  But, if you are calling his onc regularly, you have done most of what you can do presently, especially since you say the onc has had his stomach "tested."  Even a gastrologist at this point might be hesitant to get involved, since he would likely presume the issue to be chemo-Lymphoma in causality.  He has lost about 25% of his original body weight, which is not highly uncommon; oncologists must adjust most chemo dosing at 15% loss, which I myself had happen, so these percentages are not terrible (yet).

His oncologist will of necessity continue to monitor him, and you should ideally use those appointments as times to buttonhole him and demand answers.   Do ensure hydration, since serious dehydration is more dangerous even than lack of nutrition.

Chemo kills off the stomach lining, because stomach lining grows fast, like the hair; this is what causes nausea to be so common on most chemo drugs. But the lining does regrow (also like hair) following the end of treatments, which is probably what he is experiencing at present.  But I would continue to pester the oncologist regarding all of this,


twowheels's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2017

I did run into one brutal bout of constipation months after completing chemo. (likely unrelated though there could be something to chemo zapping/affecting intestinal flora/microbiome).
I recognize the "sloshing" around of the stomach contents that your husband describes. In my case, once I was constipated, NOTHING wanted to move at any point along my digestive tract. This caused a brutal migraine-like headache.
I PM"d you more details on how I found relief. check your private messages. Oh in addition to prevously mentioned prune juice, I suggest bone broth.

My caveat for your husband was the concern about perforating his bowel or tumor growth strangling his digestive tract; creating the blockage. (I still think it's worth a doc visit to request a non-invasive sonogram).

You have to DELICATELY suggest/remind your husband, that he just went thru hell. Why waste all that treatment and ignore something that can likely be easily treated.
All the best.

Evarista's picture
Posts: 320
Joined: May 2017

Please urge your husband to seek medical help.  First, as Twowheels points out: why go through hell just to die of malnutrition?  Second, an intestinal blockage can be a serious, life-threatening situation.  Yes, it could be constipation (which can become a medical emergency), but it could also be something else entirely. He may not want to be poked and proded, but a trained health care provider with a stethoscope may be all that is needed to assess bowel sounds, etc., and get him the right treatment.  Please do not leave this until becomes an emergency.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2018

Thank you all for your insight.  We discovered the pyloric spyincter was swollen shut.  They scoped, used a balloon to expand.  Found ulcerated non cancerous tissue.  Total liquid diet so as not to stess the digestive system.  The ulcer tissue must be healing and the swelling diminishing.  He hasnt puked in weeks and no longer gets constipated. Go for next scope end of month.  We are hopeful all will be healed.  Thank you all for your insigh and encouragement. I got the private message and appreciate you for it.  

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