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Beating Bowel Cancer Community

Life beyond bowel cancer

melwaite

Trouble with my bowels

Hi everyone, all new to this. Since having my reversel I have suffered with severe constipation . Has anyone else had this problem as I was told it would be the opposite. Any advice would be helpful.

Baxter2

Hi @melwaite and a very warm welcome to the forum! I'm glad you have found this wonderful forum and posted! I'm sure you will find loads of support, friendship and advice here from a fab bunch of people who completely 'get it!'

I've never had a stoma so can't advise on that but I HAVE had constipation! (My issue is challenge is managing diarrhoea since my surgery in March) When I did have constipation, I found Laxido was helpful (can get on prescription) and prune juice worked an absolute treat! I was going to try fresh figs too but the prune juice was so effective I was afraid of going the other way! You could also try homemade smoothies and experiment with different ingredients? Hope you get it sorted as it's no fun whatsoever! Sending a big welcome hug your way! K 💜💛💚💙❤️

Lizalou

Hi @melwaite

Hello and welcome...you seem to be getting on well so far.

Following my reversal, I too had constipation. Thinking about it logically, the ileostomy reduces the chance for fluid to be reabsorbed but the body adapts eventually. So when the bowel is longer again, the body has to take a while to adapt again (no medical proof, just makes sense to me!)

I suggest you phone your specialist nurse just to check. My surgeon recommended lactulose....check with your surgeon or specialist nurse.

But remember to drink lots .....again I think my thirsty signals were upset by the ileostomy.

And fruit and veg. Baxter mentions prune juice, well, I love prunes but definitely can't eat too many at once.

Best wishes

melwaite

Thank you so much for your advice lizalou and baxter2, it's so good to have found this site, I have felt so alone. To be honest I coped so much better through the cancer and chemo but now I have fallen apart. I feel like I'm locked in this bubble and can't get out. I'm convinced the cancer is still hiding in my body ready to strike. I keep myself as busy as I can. My wound from my reversal won't heal it's been open for three months now so I'm waiting for a scan. Sorry to drone on but this is the first time I've really had anyone to talk to that understands me. :x::x:

Baxter2

Oh I can absolutely empathise with all you're saying @melwaite.....and some! We've all been there and no doubt will be again. It's a relentless rollercoaster of emotions, it really is! Just when you think things are going ok......boom! Something else hits you!

Getting through the initial diagnosis and chemo is positive.....you know you can do it and are much stronger than you thought I expect? That's how I felt actually. I have no idea where and how I found strength but I did! It's sink or swim sometimes isn't it?

I had an issue with wound healing too. Mine opened and I had a vac dressing applied for about 5 weeks. After that there were three wee bits and latterly one which took an absolute age to heal! I ended up going to the practice nurse a few times and eventually a little bit of inadine dressing and dry dressing on top did the trick! I was desperate for it to heal so I could swim on my holiday! (Next week!)

I think that after a cancer diagnosis, you are changed forever and adopt a new 'normal' life. The fear of it coming back probably never goes but please focus on all the positives you have so far. Life is for living! Have you thought about some counselling perhaps through a Maggies centre or Macmillan perhaps? They offer free 1:1 and group sessions. Also, I started on antidepressants around April 2016 (first time in my life I've ever had them) called mirtazepine 45mg and I'm certain they helped lift my mood enough to help me cope with my new 'normal' challenges!!! Something to think about? Prior to all this cancer malarkey, I never even needed a paracetamol!! Sending lots of good wishes and a squishy big hug for you! If you want to pm me please don't hesitate. Take good care! Karen 💜💛💚💙❤️

melwaite

Thanks again for the advice,will def look into maggies centre. That's the same with me, going on holiday in 3 weeks to Mexico. Booked a year ago and worried about swimming as I know my wound will not be healed. I have found some waterproof coverings so hopeful that will work. Much love, Mel

Baxter2

Oh wow! Mexico! How lovely! I really do hope your wound is healed by then though! Have you chased up the practice nurse for input? Bet you can't wait for your hols either!! K💜💛💚💙❤️

melwaite

I seem to have to chase up everyone. I'm trying to get my 6 monthly scan at moment as it hasn't come through. I met my cancer nurse for the first time when I was diagnosed and she said, I will be with u every step of the way and I've never seen her since. In fact I haven't seen any cancer nurse since. Does anyone else have this problem? When my partner rang her up as I was having trouble coping, she just said I'm sorry but I can't talk I have to go get my kids from school. Now I know as a mother we all had to do the school run but I don't need to know this. Maybe saying , I'm off duty now but will get a colleague to call u back would have been more appropriate .😗

Baxter2

Hi @melwaite

There's nothing worse than the feeling that you've been left high and dry! This is especially hard to deal with when we are dealing with THE most devastating life changing diagnosis such as this!

I often think actions speak louder than words. I've lost count of the times friends and colleagues have said things like......."anything you need, just ask" and "you know where I am if there's anything I can do" etc! I know it's well meaning but really?? As if we are going to call them up and ask for things, Ask for help or ask for company. It's just not going to happen is it? It's horrible that you've asked for support from your nurse and got the reply that you did. It's just rubbish! I'd say your pretty unlikely to call her again!! I'd say that I learned very early on that you have to be your own advocate in this game. Always just check that scan is booked, appointment made and such. It sounds like a Maggies or Macmillan "person" is the way forward for 1:1 support. In the meantime, get those bikinis and flip flops looked out! I'm having a sofa/dressing gown day after last weeks chemo but expect to bounce back tomorrow and tackle my 'to do' list for hols on sat! Hope you have a good enough day. Lots of love and strength, Karen 💜💛💚💙❤️

melwaite

Oh god I know exactly what you mean. Friends and family were there when I was diagnosed, which was great, but i feel I need them now more than ever. I coped so much better when I was going through it and did everything on my own. I think that's the problem they all think I'm super strong. But I'm falling to pieces now and convinced every pain is a return of cancer. This site is amazing but I feel I'm using it more in a negative way than a positive one, which I need to stop right now. I'm reading the return of cancer page more than the life after page. So convincing myself that everyone gets it back, and it makes me feel so bloody selfish to those that are going through it a second and third time. I've just convinced myself that there is no life after cancer and that the sneaky little blighters are just waiting to strike me again.

Sparkles

Oh @melwaite we could be sisters we have a lot of shared experiences ..... As for the constipation, definitely prune juice every morning before breakfast and (ask someone professional) but i take 1 movicol everynight and problem solved 😊 :x::x:

jean

Hi @melwaite. Ive not had a reversal but did suffer with constipation after my high anterior resection. Its settled down alot now and dont have as much trouble as i used ti have before the cancer diagnosis! So dont give up. Plenty of fluids and move around, exercises seemed to help. You soon know how to hold pelvic floor in when doing pilates! I too like you reas the 'when cancer comes back' section and its taken me 18 months to move on to life beyond bowel cancer.

jean

I cant move the cursor ha ha. But people do assume that everything its back to 'normal' and you are left in limbo, tho the nurse needs a lesson i feel in patient caring. This site will help you as its helped me and in time you'll start to put the cancer diagnosis behind you, but it will take time. Sending hugs :x::x::x::x:

melwaite

Haha sparkles, just read your profile, it did make me laugh , so thanks for that. I will def take advice on the prune juice. Thank you Jean, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who got stuck on, when cancer comes back.hugs to u too :x::x:

Sparkles

Hi @melwaite Sorry i missed your reply ... A little hint put a @ before someones name so they will be notified 😉 eg. @Sparkles :x::x:

melwaite

Oh @Sparkles lol thank you for that :x::x:

Sparkles

Your welcome @melwaite i hope the prune juice is making a difference 💩 :x::x: