Stomach aches

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lindzwolo
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:56 am

Stomach aches

Postby lindzwolo » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:16 am

Hi all,
I am new to the forum. I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in January 2017 at 37 years old. I had emergency surgery, 6 months of chemo and am NED. I have have on and off slight pains where my original pain started about 6 months after surgery, had ct all was well, pains started again in 6 more months, ct bloodwork all good again. Most recently pains started back (they are like a cramp-not horrible not there all the time, but there). I went to onc this Monday. He says scar tissue likely to blame, but this time I fell sick to my stomach, bloating, belching...bowels range from normal to water, dependent on the day. The onc said I should see a GI specialist which I see today and I have another CT tomorrow. Anyone have stomach aches that come and go? Is it my nerves? Is it because I have half my colon gone? I am so tired of worrying and I wonder the toll it takes on my life. I take meds to help with anxiety, been to therapy. I have tried to advocate for myself because I was so misguided before my diagnosis. Is all of this normal?

NHMike
Posts: 1835
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Stomach aches

Postby NHMike » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:45 pm

I haven't had stomach aches but have had scar tissue issues and those are more like sharp pain when you make an odd movement.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 9/8: 1.8; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal

Cmac1275
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:21 pm

Re: Stomach aches

Postby Cmac1275 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:32 am

lindzwolo wrote:Hi all,
I am new to the forum. I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in January 2017 at 37 years old. I had emergency surgery, 6 months of chemo and am NED. I have have on and off slight pains where my original pain started about 6 months after surgery, had ct all was well, pains started again in 6 more months, ct bloodwork all good again. Most recently pains started back (they are like a cramp-not horrible not there all the time, but there). I went to onc this Monday. He says scar tissue likely to blame, but this time I fell sick to my stomach, bloating, belching...bowels range from normal to water, dependent on the day. The onc said I should see a GI specialist which I see today and I have another CT tomorrow. Anyone have stomach aches that come and go? Is it my nerves? Is it because I have half my colon gone? I am so tired of worrying and I wonder the toll it takes on my life. I take meds to help with anxiety, been to therapy. I have tried to advocate for myself because I was so misguided before my diagnosis. Is all of this normal?


Welcome to life after colon surgery, my friend. Totally hear you on this. I deal with random stomach aches and bloating. Not a daily thing for me. But, for example, this past Tuesday was miserable. It felt like i had a stomach bug. You can't help thinking it's something worse. For me, the aches are very familiar to the pain that made me see my doctor in the first place when they discovered the colon tumor.

Scar tissues and adhesions are common though. I have a very hard lumpy mass right next to my incision line at the top of my abdomen. It sometimes feels like it's pushing on something. Onc told me it's definitely scar tissue. This is part of the new normal we have to learn to live with, I guess. I'd definitely consult a GI specialist though if it gets really bad. They say sometimes these things can resolve themselves. Otherwise, you'd have to weigh out the pros/cons of surgery, if it's indeed scar tissue/adhesion related. Surgery can resolve the discomfort but you also risk new adhesions.
42 yr, male, husband and father of 3
DX Stage IV Colon Cancer Jan 2018
Multiple liver mets
KRAS G13D / MSS

Jan 2018 Partial colon resection
Mar 2018 FOLFOX + Avastin | CEA 60.1
July 2018 Partial liver resection | CEA 4.7
Sep 2018 Recurrence in liver | CEA 2.9
Oct 2018 FOLFOX + Avastin
Nov 2018 Stopping FOLFOX. New mets | CEA 4.3
Dec 2018 Beginning AbbVie ABT-165 Trial

MissMolly
Posts: 571
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:33 pm
Location: Portland, Ore

Re: Stomach aches

Postby MissMolly » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:47 pm

Scar tissue and adhesions are a frequent culprit that interrupts digestion post abdominal surgery. Bands of scar tissue can tether a segment of intestine to another segment of intestine or organ, causing a narrowing or kink in the flow of digested food contents.

A few things that can help:
1. Regular, gentle yoga.
Yoga’s poses and stretches serve to mobilize and stretch the abdomen and its contents. Think of yoga as a type of internal massage, kneading the intestinal tract and connective tissues. You do not need to be a human pretzel to benefit from yoga. Simple, beginner yoga poses are excellent. Google “Beginning yoga poses” or “restorative yoga poses” for ideas.

2. Use of Miralax or similar osmotic laxative
Miralax or magnesium supplement (ex. Natural Calm by Virality Holistics) can ease digestive woes where adhesions are at play. Water will be drawn into the colon, making digestive output more liquidy and easier to pass through tight passages. Start with 1/2 cap (1/2 the daily recommended dose) for 2-3 days and see how it affects the ease of your digestion. A benefit of using Miealax or supplemental magnesium is that you can titrate and adjust the dose that is best for you, as needed or day to day. Both can be used long-term without risk of dependency or “lazy colon.”

3. Visit with a physical therapist
An individualized program of abdominal and torso stretching and core strengthening can be helpful in finding digestive balance due to the benefits of tissue mobilization and stimulation of intestinal motility. A therapist can also evaluate for use of deep tissue massage to ease adhesions.
Karen
Dear friend to Bella Piazza, former Colon Club member (NWGirl).
I have a permanent ileostomy and offer advice on living with an ostomy - in loving remembrance of Bella
I am on Palliative Care for broad endocrine failure + Addison's disease + osteonecrosis of both hips/jaw + immunosuppression. I live a simple life due to frail health.


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