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20 years later colon problems
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survivor20yrsplus posted:
It has been over 20 years since I survivor stage 3 col-rectal cancer with 6 months chemo and 28 radiations. Now my digestive systems decides on occasion it is not going to work. I end up with an impaction and throwing up for hours. I ended up in the hospital once, but now I watch and if it seems not to be digesting, I fast until it clears - but sometimes I am not watching and eat when I should not. Has anyone else experienced this?
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yellray1998 responded:
I am only five years out from my surgery for rectal cancer. I wear the bag now forever. I was back in recently for a small bowel obstruction....surgery. I have pain/discomfort all the time. I walk a lot because it helps move the bowels. No throwing up or anything yet. After reading your story I just wanted to share; just in case my digestive track takes a dive. Is it supposed to hurt all the time?
 
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survivor20yrsplus replied to yellray1998's response:
I did not end up with a bag which I used to say is lucky. Without the full rectum capacity and the muscle weakening I have problems with "accidents" from loose bowels enough to wonder how lucky I really am. It has been so long, but I do remember pain. The doctor said it was the intestines realigning back into place. I have a couple of bad crimps where the colon did a sharp turn. They talked me into the camera pill once because of some bleeding they could not find the source of. The camera could not make the turn and I ended up with emergency surgery. Again, there was pain for a while during the resettling of the intestines. When I have some gas I will get pain if I am constipated at all. With that said, "hurt all the time" - no, but frequently and varying levels - yes. You might want to talk more to your doctor.
All the negative talk is not to scare you. I have survived for over 20 years when many did not. I am blessed and happy to be here. As you age (I am 56) things do get worse. Since you already have the bag, you won't share my problems of accidents and wild runs to the bathroom only to be too late.
 
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vickeyl2525 responded:
Congratulations on your 20 years. Mine has been over 7 years and I still work everyday trying to figure out how to get my colon to work correctly. Of course its not going to be the same because of losing my " holding pocket " as my doctor explained. I take a lot of Dulcolax which gives you gas, but the surgery left me with constant bloating and gas. The only time I feel really good "Digestively" is when I've had a good cleansing of the colon. My so called surgeon said to just let your colon start working on it's own. Let's see how he would like to go 14 days without a bowel movement. I never let it go like that anymore. I'm trying to figure out what foods are the most gassiest. So far all of them. They say to eat fiber, but that blows me up like a balloon and makes me miserable. I believe it should be the rule of thumb to tell your patients ahead of time of what you are going to have to live with, even though, yes, I still had to have the surgery at 48 years old. I did end up in the emergency room once because of the impacted bowels. I was just trying to listen to my surgeon. I won't do that again. Laxatives are too harsh, but dulcolax is not and so far my colonoscopies have not showed up with any damage. They said my polyps were the slow growing type and probably had been there for years growing. Good Luck.


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