Adhesion surgery for blockages

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kiwiinoz
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:44 pm

Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby kiwiinoz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:37 am

Hi Guys

Don't you love CRC, the gift that keeps on giving.
After 4 years, 11 months and 1 day from diagnosis, and after having blockages about every 6 months, causing many more CT scans that I needed, I had the worst blockage I have had yet.
I have always been fortunate, if that is the correct word, to have the blockages out of business hours, but I had my first during working hours on Tuesday 07 Nov.
It was not a good day as it was the "Melbourne Cup Day", which is a horse race that most Australian's watch, and we always have a lunch that we put on at work. I disappeared at 11:00AM off to to the local hospital.
After 3 injections of morphine I was able to get the pain to a level where I was no longer hyperventilating.
Suffice it to say that it was a tad painful this time, much more than in the past.
After exploratory surgery I had a 2 hours operation to remove my appendix, and get rid of the adhesions.
On every scan I have ever had I have always had a comment about fecal impact and excessive fecal matter, which, to put it bluntly, is finally starting to come out.

In Australia we have both free public and paid private health insurance. They are both done by the same doctors and it is just which operating theatre in the hospital that you get put into, and which ward you recover from, that is the difference. I had no time or choice so was put into the public system. Nothing but praise for all the nursing staff, but I was in ward in a room with 4 beds. I am a 44 year old male and was in with ladies in their 70's all with different GI issues and they all snored massively!! I slept great the first night when I had the PCA. I was fine the 2nd night as whenever I got woken up by noise I took some more pain killer and went back to sleep but the last 3 nights waiting for my bowels to start again meant I was only getting 2 hours of solid sleep a night!

My only complaint was that I pay for private health insurance and couldn't use it.

I am off running :roll: for 6 weeks and no exercise for 6 weeks.

However I am looking forward to being able to not run without stomach cramps from compacted fecal matter and it should make me lighter an faster!

Kiwi
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (39 Year old male at dx)
pT3N0M1 (wish that was M0)
Diagnosed 05 Dec 2012
LAR 05 Jan 2013
VATS 27 Feb 2013
FOLOFX April 2013 - Sep 2013
Clear Scan 03 Dec 2013 - 27 March 2017
Port Out 26 March 2015

MissMolly
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:33 pm
Location: Portland, Ore

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby MissMolly » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:09 am

Kiwi:
Two peas in a pod.

I just underwent similar surgery two days ago for a small bowel obstruction due to a spider’s web of adhesions.

Like you, I had been bothered by repeated episodes. This was my 4 th small bowel obstruction in 5 months - the prior episodes resolved with placement of an NG tube and bowel rest. I am 6 years post initial abdominal surgery and 3 years post small bowel obstruction that required surgerical resolution.

My recent surgery employed thre used SepaFilm. It is a paper thin sheet-like material placed between the loops of small bowel with the intent of limiting the formation of adhesions and tethering of the small bowel. You might query your surgeon to see if SepaFilm or similar was used for you.

I often read your posts and look forward to the photographs you share when you are out for a brisk morning run. I was a former distance runner. Running was my personal oxygen. I was at my total peace on a long run - content with mind, body, and soul.

I wish you a complication free (aka boring) recovery filled with restorative naps and pleasant visits by family and friends. You have many more miles to run catching the sunrise.

Be well,
Karen
Devoted daughter to my father, diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer Nov-2014.
Dear friend to Bella Piazza, former CC member.
I have a permanent ileostomy and offer advice on living with an ostomy.
I have been on Palliative Care for broad endocrine failure + Addison's disease + osteonecrosis of both hips/jaw + immunosuppression and recurrent infection x 4 years. I transitioned to Hospice Sept-2016, but it was not yet my time. I am back on Palliative Care and live a simple life due to frail health.

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susie0915
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:17 am
Facebook Username: Susan DeGrazia Hostetter
Location: Michigan

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby susie0915 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:16 pm

I feel for you guys. I had a bowel blockage 4 weeks after my resection in 2015. It was painful. After placement of ng tube, no food, and walking for over a week my surgeon went in and removed adhesions. He also reversed my ileostomy at that time since he was going in and would save me surgery down the road. Made chemo tougher but made it through. A couple days after surgery and reversal I got c-diff. That was fun with practically no rectum. I was in the hospital 3 1/2 weeks. Luckily I had my own room, it would've been awful with a roommate for me and anyone else. I'm glad you're recovering and hopefully you will not have anymore blockages for a long time or forever. It was the worst time of my treatment and getting another is my biggest fear.
58 yr old mother of 3 Dx @ 55
5/15 DX T3N0MO/ 2A
6/15 5 wks of chemo/rad
7/15 sigmoidoscopy/scar tissue left
8/15 Pet scan NED
9/15 LAR
0/24 nodes
10/15 Bowel blockage. 3 1/2 weeks in hospital,early ileo rev, c-diff inf :(
12/15 6 rds of xelox
5/16 Clear CT lung scarring/inflammation
9/16 clear colonoscopy
4/17 CT 4mm lung nod onc thinks scar tissue
monitored for autoimmune disorder/interstitial lung disease
7/17 no change lung nodule
10/17 Clear CT
11/17 CEA<.5

stu
Posts: 613
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby stu » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:39 pm

Hi ,
So pleased your through that . It sounded very painful . I think my mum has been opened up so much that she has a few adhesions too . Thankfully they seem to resolve .
I can just imagine your ward . We used to have a similar system but have just had a beautiful state hospital built with single rooms . Once my sister woke up to a little lady trying to get into bed with her . The joys . Rubbish that you did not get your money’s worth though .
Stay well .
Stu
supporter to my mum who lives a great life despite a difficult diagnosis
stage4 2009 significant spread to liver
2010 colon /liver resection
chemo following recurrence
73% of liver removed
enjoying life treatment free
2016 lung resection
Oct 2017 nice clear scan . Two lung nodules disappeared

kiwiinoz
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:44 pm

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby kiwiinoz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:46 pm

Hi Karen

To run to catch the sunrise is something I always enjoy. Sunrise is about 5:45AM so it starts to get light just after 5:00-5:15AM at the moment so I have to do 4:30AM runs.
I did 2 marathons, one in Sydney in September, and one in Melbourne in October, and the one in October left me with an injury that I was carrying so I took a 3 weeks off....actually I took one week off and then was only running less than 20km (12 miles) a week which, as you know, is not much. I was planning on running to work and doing some 3 hour runs to get back into training for a marathon in Hobart in January and then had yet another blockage as per above.

I find it funny that I have so much of my identity tied up in running. It became my protective armour when I was undergoing treatment as if it could keep the cancer at bay. It then became my way of dealing with my stress and fear of a recurrence when I was no longer undergoing treatment. Now that I can't run I really feel at a loss and am not sure what to do with myself.

I am fortunate to have a loving wife that runs with me, who is wanting to reduce her running (no time at the moment) so we are walking and that is one really positive thing.

I have to meet my surgeon in 2 weeks, and will ask the questions you posed. He is a pretty good surgeon and a really nice guy, but I think he feels a little guilty about my situation, as he seems to feel that he should have done the initial bowel resection better to avoid the adhesions.

Susie,

I had the NG tube for the first time and the only issue I had was that it really irritated the back of my throat.
I must admit that I tend to have a veggie based diet so tend to eat more fibre than most people, but I try to compenstate by taking pro biotics, prune juice, and keeping my fluids up a lot. Whenever I slack off on one of those I can really notice the difference.

Stu,

I think that after growing up in NZ, having relatives in US, and seeing what Japan and other countries do, that Australia has one of the best, socially fair systems that we have. I am fortunate that I earn a little more than average, and I then get taxed 1.50% of my income as a "medicare levy" which goes into funding the public health system. If I don't have private insurance I then get taxed another levy so we pay for it, but after all my operations I willingly pay, and think of the benefits that this gives to those less fortunate.

I'll post some photos again once I find something worth while to take and post.

Until then, please all keep well.

Kiwi
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (39 Year old male at dx)
pT3N0M1 (wish that was M0)
Diagnosed 05 Dec 2012
LAR 05 Jan 2013
VATS 27 Feb 2013
FOLOFX April 2013 - Sep 2013
Clear Scan 03 Dec 2013 - 27 March 2017
Port Out 26 March 2015

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juliej
Posts: 2748
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby juliej » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:04 pm

Kiwi, I am so sorry you had to have surgery, but like you said, there is a silver lining: no more running with stomach craps from compacted fecal matter! That is going to feel so good that you will forget about the surgery! :D :D :D

kiwiinoz wrote:I find it funny that I have so much of my identity tied up in running. It became my protective armour when I was undergoing treatment as if it could keep the cancer at bay. It then became my way of dealing with my stress and fear of a recurrence when I was no longer undergoing treatment. Now that I can't run I really feel at a loss and am not sure what to do with myself.

I completely understand having your identity tied up in running! At first I ran to deal with the stress of a stage 4 diagnosis -- and to be honest, I ran myself hollow back then. Then, after all the surgeries and chemo were finally over, I ran to restore what cancer had stripped from my spirit.

As you know, I train on mountain roads, running where the air gets thinner (still trying to get my lungs to 100% capacity after the surgeries!), powering through endless switchbacks, the tall grass brushing at my legs, the good company of stately Douglas firs and giant sequoias at my side. Running stabilizes me, energizes me, and fill me to the brim with pure joy.

So I can imagine your devastation at having to take time off. However, try to change your mindset: use walking to enjoy a different style of training. Walking is a good way to focus on specific muscle groups, like ensuring that your glutes are activating with each stride. Some runners in Japan even prepare for a race season by donning weight vests and walking up to 180 miles per week. So you can still train by walking during your recovery period. Use this time to cross-train and improve your resiliency and hopefully you'll be back running before you know it!

Sending healing thoughts your way!

Juliej
Stage IV, liver/lung mets 8/4/2010
Xelox+Avastin 8/18/10 to 10/21/11
LAR, liver resec, HAI pump 11/11
Double lung surgery + ileo reversal 2/12
Adjuvant Xeloda 3-9/12
VATS rt. lung 12/21/12 - benign granuloma!
NED 3/17/12 to 10/2/2017, CEA<1

kiwiinoz
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:44 pm

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby kiwiinoz » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:31 pm

Hi Julie

Let's say that the compacted fecal matter has been working its way out of me and I was amazed that I had that much in there. I feel so much better and lighter now so yes, there is always a positive in each cloud if you chose to look at it.

Mrs Kiwi really is the one that needs the glute activation. She keeps hitting the 38 km mark in a marathon and then her left glute seizes up. I'd say she is overworking the muscle and has not spent enough time on her feet to build her body up to the demands that she is putting it under. Any suggestions on exercises that she can do? She is still doing gym sessions so may be a good time to train up now that it is getting warmer in Sydney.

My 2018 is going to be a bigger year for running as I have a friend that is turning 40 and wants to do some marathons. He lives in the South of Sydney and has always been talking about running through the National Park and how much nicer it is to be in the bush than road running so I can do that with him and finally experience the bliss that you always talk about.

kiwi
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (39 Year old male at dx)
pT3N0M1 (wish that was M0)
Diagnosed 05 Dec 2012
LAR 05 Jan 2013
VATS 27 Feb 2013
FOLOFX April 2013 - Sep 2013
Clear Scan 03 Dec 2013 - 27 March 2017
Port Out 26 March 2015

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Rob in PA
Posts: 1972
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby Rob in PA » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:52 pm

Kiwi.....

I always knew you were full of s**t!!!!

LOL, glad to hear there is light at end of tunnel and hope you feel better than ever with clean pipes!

Cheers Mate!


Rob
P.S. Yes, I'm still here :D
dx 11/07 crc IIIb @ 39
Xelox/Rad/ temp colostomy
LAR/J-pouch/ temp ileo
Folfox-8
Failed reversal
2/09 liver mets; liver resect/ileo reversal
Folfiri/Avastin - 12
2/11 5 lung mets
Folfiri/Avastin 2011
SBRT 3/12
Lung met 5/13/ said NO to more chemo
SBRT 8/13
2 lung mets 5/14, VATS 8/14, NED

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chrisca
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:35 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby chrisca » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:43 pm

I had adhesion surgery as well two years after my resection. It seemed to work, but then I had more symptoms. The blockages post-surgery were always temporary and would resolve after 12 hours or so. Ultrasound and CT showed nothing wrong. After much research I changed to a diet of only organic grains and soy. The results: No more blockages for two years running now. See this post for more details: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53516.

The working theory I have is that glyphosate in corn, barley, oats, wheat, and soy can cause temporary ileus. It's been documented in the literature and is on the material safety data sheet for glyphosate. On many of these crops, it's now sprayed on them as little as three days prior to harvest. It can't decay in such a short time, and if you eat whole-grain versions of them it's on the outside of the kernel so you get a very high exposure to the chemical.

I've also found that when I break the rules and eat conventional grains while traveling, I get sick again. When I go back on organic or avoid the grains while traveling, everything gets better.

If you have blockages, scar tissue can be the cause. On my first surgery they definitely found it. But if the problem is recurring after surgery, try a dietary intervention and see what happens. No one should go under the knife if a simple diet change can fix the problem. As to why this is a problem for us cancer patients, I can't say for certain but have a theory that chemotherapy makes the lining of the bowel more sensitive and when we consume toxic chemicals while on chemo it creates a hypersensitive response.
Male, false negative colonoscopy age 48
DX: 12/2010 rectal cancer age 51
Stage T3N0M0 2 cm from anal verge
neoadjuvant rad/chemo Xeloda
Rectal resection (open surgery) straight anastomosis
Xeloda round 2
ileostomy reversal 11/2011
Successful adhesion X-lap 8/2013
Ongoing LAR syndrome but NED 6 years

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juliej
Posts: 2748
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby juliej » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:18 pm

kiwiinoz wrote:My 2018 is going to be a bigger year for running as I have a friend that is turning 40 and wants to do some marathons. He lives in the South of Sydney and has always been talking about running through the National Park and how much nicer it is to be in the bush than road running so I can do that with him and finally experience the bliss that you always talk about.

Kiwi, I am excited that you'll get a chance to go running in the bush! It's such a different experience -- hard to describe, but it feels much more organic, like something humans have been doing since the dawn of time, rather than an exercise. One foot in front of another, our ancestors migrated across the continents and discovered the remotest parts of the world.

Today my neighbor wanted me to exercise his horse so I rode him into town to get my mail. On the way I saw a red-tailed hawk hunting, wild sunflower heads rattling in hard wind, and a massive bull elk drinking from a sparkling river. Being outside informs my heart and brings my head/body into alignment with nature.

Let me know how your training goes now that it's getting warmer in Sydney. You must be heading towards the time of year with the longest hours of daylight too! I'm envious!

Juliej
Stage IV, liver/lung mets 8/4/2010
Xelox+Avastin 8/18/10 to 10/21/11
LAR, liver resec, HAI pump 11/11
Double lung surgery + ileo reversal 2/12
Adjuvant Xeloda 3-9/12
VATS rt. lung 12/21/12 - benign granuloma!
NED 3/17/12 to 10/2/2017, CEA<1

kiwiinoz
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:44 pm

Re: Adhesion surgery for blockages

Postby kiwiinoz » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:30 am

Julie

No idea where you live but riding a horse into town to get the mail sounds fairly rural. Even more rural and raw than where I grew up in NZ.
I started running again on the weekend and will get into some trail runs next year. Who knows, I may even post some pictures if I can get some done.

Keep warm. I seem to recall you were in California and I just always thought it doesn't get cold there but who knows.

Kiwi
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (39 Year old male at dx)
pT3N0M1 (wish that was M0)
Diagnosed 05 Dec 2012
LAR 05 Jan 2013
VATS 27 Feb 2013
FOLOFX April 2013 - Sep 2013
Clear Scan 03 Dec 2013 - 27 March 2017
Port Out 26 March 2015


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