Helpline
Speak to a member of our Information Support Team
(Call-back service – 24h answer machine)

020 8973 0011

or email nurse@beatingbowelcancer.org
Beating Bowel Cancer Community

Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

PaulaS

Colic

Has anyone experienced abdominal colic while on Oxi plus Capecitabine?
Just started round 7 but have been having bad abdominal cramping and back pain on and off since round 6.
My oncologist has prescribed meds for the cramps and said likely colic but is concerned that it hasn’t gone away with meds and said I will need to go for s CT scan next week if it continues.
Anyone else experience colic? If so did you find anything that helped.
Thanks

Jane39

Hi @PaulaS . I have had Oxi and Capcitebine and now on FOLFIRI. I use omeprazole, buscopan and peppermint tea which combined all really helps . Not sure if you have tried these . Hope that helps . It is horrid. Take care

PaulaS

Hi Jane- thanks for responding. I’m on Omeprazole and buscopan plus ibuprofen but nothing seems to be helping and it’s been going on three weeks now. Guess I’m worried that maybe something else is going on. How long did you experience colic for? And yes it is horrid- very painful.

Jane39

Hi @PaulaS. On and off throughout the 8 cycles . Sorry to hear the medicines are not helping . Buscopan maximum dose was my best friend . That chemo is so tough on our bodies but seems you are digging deep and getting through it . Hope you get some relief soon :x::x::x:

Baxter2

Good morning @PaulaS or in your case, probably good evening since I’ve realised you’re in New Zealand!) welcome to the forum and making your first post! I’m sure you’ll find this a safe and supportive place as you navigate your cancer journey!

Sorry youre having trouble with the pain and colic. I’m glad you’re having medicine to help and that your oncologist is being proactive and arranging a CT scan in the next few weeks. Hopefully this will reassure you that all is ok.

Hopefully you’ll let us know how things go?

Sending all my very best wishes,

K????❤️❤️

PaulaS

Thanks Jane39 and Baxter2 and yes I am all the way over the other side of the world in NZ. I’m going to ring my oncologist today as the pain is getting worse and it’s wearimg me down. I’m a single mum to 2 boys the eldest is severely disabled so life is challenging enough without this constant pain that is disrupting my sleep.
I had a sigmoidectomy and the tumor was 35mm. Unfortunately it was in 18/30 lymph nodes and I’m BRAF mutation positive. So straight into chemo 4 weeks post surgery and this is now my 7th round with one more to go. I guess once you receive a cancer diagnosis it’s hard to not worry that any symptoms are a sign of the cancer returning. But this group seems to be a great place for support and information so thanks for accepting me ?

Baxter2

I’m so sorry to learn of the pain you’re in and the challenges you face in life! It really is so unfair. I hope your oncologist is able to help with the pain management.

I hope you stick around, it’s lovely to have you join us! (If you know what I mean!)
Lots of love,

K????❤️

Baxter2

Hi @PaulaS

@HappyAtom is in NZ too! (I realise it’s a big country of course haha! ?

K????❤️

HappyAtom

@PaulaS @Baxter2 Yep, NZ is as big as the uk, but with only 4.6 million people, so there is only usually one degree of separation here ?Whereabouts are you Paula? Your profile shows you still in the Uk.

PaulaS

Hi baxter2 & HappyAtom- I’m in Auckland NZ. Had a really rough week with pain in abdomen and back. Spent a couple of days in hospital and they did a scan. Could find no reason for pain but scan did show tissue abnormality at the original incision site and they say that coupled with rising CEA (8.5) is suspicious of tumor recurrence so am waiting to hear back.
Feeling pretty gutted right now as I was into round 7 of oxi and cape and only had one round to go. Thought there might be light at the end of the tunnel but now there’s just worry. I’m BRAF positive so I knew I was high risk but was told the possibility of the tumor coming back while on chemo was remote so this is really worrisome.
Plus my pain continues to be severe even with pain meds -it’s exhausting trying to manage everything.
So many people in this site are amazing Baxter2 & HappyAtom- how do you keep going and keep fighting? I’m so tired of feeling like crap I’m not sure I want to keep going like this ?

Baxter2

Oh I’m so sorry to read your latest news @PaulaS

I can only imagine how worried you are and suffering all that pain will certainly get you down too! Do you have help at home for yourself and the kids? I can’t help wondering if you should have another review of your pain medication especially as it’s not very effective. Can you see or discuss with your doctor tomorrow?

I am thinking that IF they discover a potential problem following your scan, then at least it has been identified and further treatment can be initiated. As you’re nearly at the end of your capox regime, it may be that you are commenced on another chemo which will help. I experienced recurrence on capox and was then switched to Folfiri and Cetuximab which was very effective in reducing the mets as well as the pain within the first few cycles! Please don’t lose heart or hope?

I know you won’t feel like it just now but perhaps once things are back under control again, you might like to think about some counselling too since facing the challenges of cancer is a tricky business. I found it very helpful as well as anti depressants to help lift my mood and help me face things more positively.

Keep in touch and let us know how things go? You can also send private messages if that’s easier for you.

Take care and hope tomorrow is a little brighter for you.

Lots of love,

K????❤️

jeangenie

I had a sigmoidectomy last April and the same chemo as you June - November. While on chemo I had acid reflux and bowel cramping and used buscopan, ibuprofen and omeprazole. I raised the head of my bed so I was sleeping a bit upright. All my symptoms have gone now I have finished the chemo. I also had some activity at the original operation site which showed up on a PET scan. A colonoscopy showed that it was an overgrowth of granulated tissue associated with the healing process. I do hope you have similar outcomes to me. It's nasty while you have these problems but great when they resolve themselves. Good luck and lots of hugs.

PaulaS

Thanks Baxter2 your words of support and encouragement really help. I have minimal support with my son- his father won’t have him and hasn’t seen him in 2 years and friends and family try to help but he’s difficult to manage and they all have their own families plus work.
I have lots of emotional support it’s just at the end of the day it still primarily comes down to me. This journey is physically, mentally & emotionally exhausting and I’m struggling at the moment.
I’m always the happy positive person but this constant pain is really having an effect.
I’m going to ring now and talk to my oncologist to see if there are alternate pain meds.
I’ve had heaps of side effects and chemo toxicity with Capox- did you find the folfiri cetuximab easier than the Capox? I’m really worried about doing more chemo as the Capox has been so hard on my body.
Thanks again for all your support Baxter2

Baxter2

I really hope you get somewhere with your pain meds @PaulaS. Constant pain can be so draining. I’m glad you’re calling today.

I found Folfiri and Cetuximab a walk in the park compared to Capox. I have minimal side effects which are more annoying than anything else. I tolerate it very well and will be having cycle number 35 this week! Capox was pretty miserable for me. It’s so strange how we are all affected differently. You never really know how it will be until you try it I suppose. I hope you get somewhere today. Please let me know how you get on will you?

Lots of love,

K????❤️

DianeS

Hi @PaulaS and welcome to our forum. So sorry to read you are in such pain, and I understand how exhausting and physically draining this must be for you. So hope your team get to the bottom of this soon and manage to make you feel well again. Thinking of you Diane :x::x::x::x:

HappyAtom

@PaulaS you have been doing fantastically well, I hope you do manage to get the pain sorted out, try to get your oncologist to refer you to a pain specialist - they exist, I saw one after my bowel surgery.

Later, for a variety of reasons after my ileostomy reversal, the nursing staff let my pain get out of control. The physical effects were quite scary, couldn’t breathe properly, was tachycardic, and my temperature went up to 39.5. Once the pain was sorted, all back to normal.

Pain can strip away at our coping mechanisms, get that sorted and you should see improvement. There are so many drugs they could try, so keep pushing.

Kia kaha

PaulaS

Hi Jeangenie- thanks so much for your response. Really appreciate the advice and hearing your positive outcome. That’s the main thing I think I need to do right now - try and stay positive. I’ve been really letting everything get me down but the support and encouragement from everyone on this site helps so much ?

Quote from @jeangenie:
I had a sigmoidectomy last April and the same chemo as you June - November. While on chemo I had acid reflux and bowel cramping and used buscopan, ibuprofen and omeprazole. I raised the head of my bed so I was sleeping a bit upright. All my symptoms have gone now I have finished the chemo. I also had some activity at the original operation site which showed up on a PET scan. A colonoscopy showed that it was an overgrowth of granulated tissue associated with the healing process. I do hope you have similar outcomes to me. It's nasty while you have these problems but great when they resolve themselves. Good luck and lots of hugs.

PaulaS

Thanks to everyone for the lovely words of support. You are all right the pain is really getting me down and I’ve been struggling to see the point of continuing. It feels endless and overwhelming right now but I know I need to try and stay positive and try and push through.
My boys keep me going as I’m so scared for them if I’m not here to look after them.
I honestly don’t know how you all keep going and manage to support others too.

Baxter2

Hi @PaulaS

Sometimes the only thing you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep pushing on steadily. Baby steps! Things WILL get better, I’m sure of that. I think once the pain is under control, the rest will seem more manageable. You definitely don’t need to be positive all the time, we’re all human and despite the happy face we plaster on our faces, we can often be screaming inside!!

I like the analogy quoted by HH79. Think of walking on a tightrope, always look forward, never down and never back! Just keep focussed on moving forward with your lovely boys in sight!

Hopefully you’ll get somewhere today with pain meds.

Lots of love,

Karen :x::x::x::x:

PaulaS

Spoke to my oncology nurse today and they have increased the morphine so will see how that goes. Thanks Karen- you have a talent for saying the right thing. You and the other on this site inspire me. I’ve only been going 6 months and it feels like a lifetime. I guess part of it is adjusting to a new way of life.

Baxter2

Oh I’m glad you’ve managed to get in touch with your nurse @PaulaS. Let’s hope the morphine helps. I do think there’s a lot of processing information and adjusting that has to go on during the first 6 months. It’s early days still and we all process and cope with these challenges in a different way and to digpfferent timescales. There’s no right or wrong way. You’re doing just fine and don’t ever forget that!

Hope today (or maybe in your case tonight) is a better one. Just take it slowly one day at a time!

Lots of love,

Karen ????❤️