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

020 8973 0011

or email
Beating Bowel Cancer Community

Ask the Nurse

Posts in this section can only be replied to by the Beating Bowel Cancer nurses. If you wish other users to respond to your question you will need to post it in another topic on the forum as well.


new symptoms

Hello, my husband is approaching his annual CT scan, he was declared cancer free (i think) in July 2016 after surgery in December 2015 followed by some chemo. He was initially diagnosed as a T4bN1M0 or dukes C1.
He had been suffering for about two weeks from diarrhoea and urgency along with tummy pain. For two days he has had a pain in his lower chest/upper abdomen which he says is indigestion. (I do not believe that indigestion can last this long) . He is knocking back Gaviscon and referring to pain under his rib cage.
He refuses to call his colorectal nurse as he already had an an appointment towards the end of July anyway.
Do I need to take control and call the nurse or am I being dramatic and should I just wait for the nurses appointment???

springer michelle

For peace of mind get him to ring his team just to check :x::x:


As @springer michelle says, I would give the nurses a ring just for peace of mind. There's no harm in doing so :x::x:


Also, I'd just add @Cardiffgirl my husband tends to be the same and doesn't like 'causing a fuss' but last time we left it his pain got so bad he ended up being in hospital - not saying that will happen to your husband but it's better to raise these issues from the get-go :x::x:


Another vote from me for speaking to the specialist nurse. As someone who never, ever used to visit my GP this has been a difficult lesson for me to learn but my GP has finally convinced me that no visit is a waste of time.


I too think any change in symptoms @Cardiffgirl is worth you (if your husband doesn't want to) checking it out with your colorectal specialist nurse, they can talk it over with you over the phone and take it from there :x::x:


Thank you all for getting back to me. He would not call the nurses but I will try again tomorrow. I am very worried.


Hi @Cardiffgirl .. or at least he should start with a GP appt. it's always hard. I had a pain in Salcombe milR area post op, 7 weeks and ended up seeing local gp last Friday. She checked me over and all was ok luckily but best to have peace of mind or get them to refer back to colorectal if they think it's necessary. Good luck, it's not easy when someone doesn't want to make a fuss. Bridget :x:

Charlotte Nurse Advisor

Dear @Cardiffgirl,

Thank you to others for your replies.

I too would recommend that your husband either calls his colorectal nurse or sees his GP. Many symptoms can be easily explained and dealt with but putting off being seen by the doctor can make things worse as people are understandably anxious and fearful of finding out what might the cause. Often this anxiety will just exacerbate the symptoms.

However concerned you are, going to see the GP or call the nurse is something only your husband can do. Encourage him as much as you can - I am sure you are - and hopefully he will come around and agree to an appointment.

With kindest regards,



He hasn't let me call the nurse. As soon as I told him he needed to call the nurse he said he was feeling better. And now two weeks later he has terrible diarrhoea again and I'm freaking out with worry


Hi @Cardiffgirl It must be so difficult when your hubby doesnt want to call for help, and you know its the best think for him. When is his next appointment to see anyone? Maybe if you tell him you are concerned is this something he would do to stop you worrying? :x::x::x::x:

Lady GT

Gosh, how very difficult for you @Cardiffgirl .
The end of July must seem a lifetime away for you?
How about if you change tack with your husband and suggest he tries to bring the appointment forward? So, he's not 'making a fuss' or having an extra appointment, simply being seen a little earlier. Maybe he would let you do that for him?
I'm guessing he is as terrified as you but perhaps you could also point out that, if this IS something horrid, the sooner it's dealt with, the better. Putting it off won't change the outcome, but a delay could just make things worse.

I do sympathise with your situation, all very difficult.
Let us know how you get on? :x:


Hi @Cardiffgirl
How difficult for you...lots of sympathy.

But thinking as a patient and at a time when I was feeling absolutely rotten, what I really wanted was for my husband to take charge, make a decision for me, and tell me he was going to make that phone call for me. (Even though part of me didn't want to have another hospital trip or more prodding and poking and embarrassment )

(In fact, lovely though he is, I had to beg him to phone and then tell him where to find the phone number, what chemo I was on and even my date of birth!)

So i might be reading the situation wrong, and I recognise that you can't go against his wishes, but if I was him, I would want you to insist. Hope you get somewhere! :x:


Finally convinced him to let me call the colorectal nurse as his diarrhea is still really bad and he's still having chest pain. She advised that he probably has a stomach bug causing the diarrhea and the chest pain is an issue for the GP. So a waste of time. Now I don't know if we are simply overreacting


You are never over reacting @Cardiffgirl My own GP pointed out that even if I was 'over-reacting' it was the gp's problem not mine, as my concerns were not being addressed properly.
Definitely call the GP about chest pain. I wouldn't have thought a bug would cause issues for 3 weeks without needing some sort of follow up. So, sorry, I think you need to continue to fight his corner for him (though why these things get worse on Friday evenings, I dont know.)
Hope you get some help very soon, best wishes to you both.


Thank you @Lizalou. It took ages to convince him to let me ring and I felt silly afterwards. I imagine she probably gets calls like mine daily and to the nurse this is just everyday stuff. To me though it had been causing a great deal of anxiety and concern. Maybe we need some counselling to try and not always jump to the worst conclusion

Charlotte Nurse Advisor

Dear @Cardiffgirl,

Please, please do not feel silly or that you are overreacting to anything. A cancer diagnosis is one, if not the most frightening things to be faced with and it is entirely normal to worry about new signs and symptoms. As a nurse specialist your husband's nurse will completely understand this. I always encouraged my patients to call me as I would far rather they rang with things that ended up being nothing than ignored something serious.
Your husband's team are there for any worries / concerns you have and yes I am sure they are busy but if it were my patient I would want to know.
As time passes you will both feel a little more confident but remember this takes time and it is absolutely normal to experience these feelings.
Remember we are all here on the Forum to help you with times when you have a wobble!

Charlotte :x:


Thank you Charlotte :x: