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Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

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Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Littlefish » Sat May 02, 2009 4:00 pm

Hi all, from my hopstial bed 1 week post Ultra Low Rectal Resection and starting to feel normal again & quite mobile.

Straight after surgery in recovery I had quite a horrific few hours and night due to my stomach muscles regularly spasaming and contracting (maybe like pregnancy contractions). I was crying out in pain (very loud) for almost 3 hours before it settled with Valium (they 1st tried a specific bowel spasm drug, but it was more the general stomach muscles), but it took them quite a while to work out what the problem was and get it under control. It kept going all night and for the next 24hrs but not as bad.

I was wondering if anyone else had this problem in the hours post surgery??? It was really quite awful and I'm a bit apprehensive for my liver surg if this is how my stomach muscles react to surg.

And for the good news- my wonderful surgeon was able to do the Ultra low resecton with the temp ostomony, my margins have come back clear, no nasty surprises down there, 1-2 Lymp nodes were shown to be infected on ultra sound before start of treamtment are now clear, and all of them came back clear. :lol: My tumor turned out to only be a T3, which still doesn't seem logical that it managed to get to my liver, but I'm happy with the post surg results. Also my liver met shrank from 1.8cm to 1.2cm from the 6 weeks of chemo (FloFox).

Just didn't think the surgery and the days after it would be so tough and painful.
Last edited by Littlefish on Wed May 06, 2009 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Kath 35yrs
Dx Dec 08
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (1 Liver met- resected)
Treatment started Feb 09 :6 weeks Chemo/Radiation, April 09 Ultra Low Rectal Resection, June 09 Liver Resection
July-Nov 09 8 rounds FOLFOX & Avastin
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Suze » Sat May 02, 2009 4:30 pm

For a stage IV, you are in a pretty good position (everything is relative, isn't it?) T3 could be worse, no lymph nodes is very good, and one liver met that shrank with chemo is good, both because it is only one, and you responded well to chemo. One more surgery and you are on your way to NEDsville. As for the pain. Was your surgery laparoscopic? Mine was, and I had terrible pain afterwards, it felt like a Charlie horse/labor contraction in my diaphragm. The doctors and nurses never would tell me what was going on, but gave me a drug called thordal (sp?) which finally helped, or else it went away of its own accord. A RN friend of mine told me later it was caused by the gas they pump into you when they do a lap surgery. They try to get the gas out when they are done, but they don't always get all of it, and it puts pressure on places that are not use to having pressure. If it wasn't lap, then I have no idea where the pain came from. Just tell them to have the valium ready when you get out of liver surgery. Best wishes, Susan
Dx 5/07 Stage IV 59 y/o
6 mos Folfox, Avas., erb.
Surg. for colon, liver mets 1/08
Folfox & Avas. 2/08-8/08
Liver met 10/09, Iri 11/09 - 7/10
SBRT 4/10, 12/10
30-40 lung mets 4/11
Irin./erbitux 5/11-8/11
xeloda/avastin 8/11-2/12
xeloda/erb 2/12/-4/12
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Littlefish » Sun May 03, 2009 3:08 am

Hi Suze, no my surgery wasn't laproscopic. But yes it was that contactraction type pain (not that I've ever been in labour). In Australia we've just had Avastin approved today on our Federal Funding for advanced Colorectal Cancer. It will be interesting to see if my Onc wants to add it in for my 4 & 1/2 months of post-surg chemo.
Kath 35yrs
Dx Dec 08
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (1 Liver met- resected)
Treatment started Feb 09 :6 weeks Chemo/Radiation, April 09 Ultra Low Rectal Resection, June 09 Liver Resection
July-Nov 09 8 rounds FOLFOX & Avastin
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby whatcomesnextdude » Mon May 04, 2009 8:55 am

Actually, I just posted about the very same issue in my first post here. The first day of surgery, a nurse aide yanked a pillow from behind me without warning, and thus began the worst spasm and pain in my entire life. I couldn't move, I could barely BREATHE!!!!!! It had me in tears, and lasted for a little more than 2 days.

It helps me feel better that I wasn't the only one to deal with this. I hope it helps you feel a little better, too.
rt. hemicolectomy April 3, 2009, dx. with Stage I colon cancer 3 days later. Clear margins, well-differentiated. This is my 3rd malignancy, and I am currently testing to see if I have a genetic mutation called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Guest » Tue May 05, 2009 4:57 am

Could they not give you some sort of muscle relaxant to stop the spasms? e.g. something like carisoprodol or Zanaflex? Mind you, I don't know if those would be contraindicated in your situation.
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby karma » Tue May 05, 2009 1:56 pm

Your post and this board in general has me thinking surgery is not going to be worth it for me!! I would be having open rectal surgery too for a low tumour, though I won't have the same luck with the path report (too many nodes involved, poorly differentiated tumour) so no cure for me! Which makes me think surgery is just not worth the pain, or having to deal with a bag for so long afterwards and then having toilet issues for however long is left. Seriously, what makes any of that worthwhile if you know you're not going to be cured anyway???
karma
 

Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Littlefish » Tue May 05, 2009 5:21 pm

Karma,
my case of the muscle spasms/contractions was quite unusual (judging from what the Drs said I was problably that unlucky 1 in 100 person who mught experience something like that- Valium did eventually give me some relief).
And yes, the first few days were pretty tough with the pain, but I was up after a couple of days & by the morning of day 9 in hospital I had even 'sprung' out of bed, tidied my hospital room & flowers, washed and dried my hair, made my hospital bed and was sitting up out of bed with the paper and a cup of tea when the surgeon came by for his visit (discharge me please!). Admittidly, it did cross my mind in those first fews days if it was all worth it. But, you know what I'm going to say- you got to do it. I went into surgery scared out of my witts- there were 3 options. 1. remove tumor with temp stoma. 2. remove all of large bowel with permanent stoma. 3. my CEA was still so high my surgeon warned me that there might be some nasty surprises too small to pick up on PET/CT and he won't operate and sew me back up. But, something good was on my side and I came out with option 1. You owe yourself to give it a go. Anyway, afterwards you'd only eat yourself up and feel worse if you didn't. Wishing you lots of good vibes. Kath
Last edited by Littlefish on Wed May 06, 2009 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kath 35yrs
Dx Dec 08
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (1 Liver met- resected)
Treatment started Feb 09 :6 weeks Chemo/Radiation, April 09 Ultra Low Rectal Resection, June 09 Liver Resection
July-Nov 09 8 rounds FOLFOX & Avastin
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Littlefish
 
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Location: Australia

Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby whatcomesnextdude » Wed May 06, 2009 12:42 am

I completely agree with Kath. Those 2 days were absolutely horrifying, and I cried a LOT. The pain would literally knock me off of my feet (thank God my husband was there to catch me both times). However, by day 3, I was doing laps around the nurse's station, by day 4 they took out the NG tube, by day 5, I showered and washed my hair.

I will be honest and say that I felt lousy in the beginning, had setbacks with infections, and was re-admitted to the hospital for another 5 days. However, because I was proactive, all of the cancer was removed, and I am on the road to recovery. I'm beginning to question if I have any part of me that is in it's original form, I have been worked on so much!

However, it is completely worth it. No, we don't know if our attempt at treatment will or will not work, but just as Kath said, you owe it to yourself. You will never know unless you try.
rt. hemicolectomy April 3, 2009, dx. with Stage I colon cancer 3 days later. Clear margins, well-differentiated. This is my 3rd malignancy, and I am currently testing to see if I have a genetic mutation called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Monique » Thu May 07, 2009 5:43 pm

Hi Littlefish,

I had the exact same experience following surgery. However, I might not have experienced the muscle spasms had my epidural worked properly (I later learned that it was faulty). When I asked my surgeon what had caused the muscle spasms, he replied in layman terms, that my stomach muscles were trying to knit themselves back together following surgery. I likely wouldn't have felt a thing if I'd being receiving the proper amount of pain medication.

Reading through your post, I wonder if you were receiving the proper amount of pain meds? I have a nurse friend who gave me the very handy advice that if one's pain ever reaches above a 4/10 to demand more medication. Apparently, a lot of patients try to "tough it out", as I did for the first couple of hours following my surgery. Not a good idea.

Best,
Monique
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Littlefish » Thu May 07, 2009 6:01 pm

Yeah- I didn't have a epidural. My anesthesist said it's something "they used to do a lot of" but I'm going to ask about one for my next surg. I was definitely asking for more drugs- in between me very loadly crying down the recovery ward I kept saying "give me more drugs" "Put me back to sleep". Ahhh, guess it was 3 hours out of my life and time to move on, but always nice to know I wasnt the only one.
These anesthesist's have an easy well paid job don't they!! Mine charged a flat rate for the operation, and after I get back Medicare and Healthinsurance I'm still $1600 out of pocket. With my super star surgeon I'm max $500 out of pocket and he visited me 3 times a day for the 2 days following the operation, and every other day I was in hospital (except for his weekend off)!
Kath 35yrs
Dx Dec 08
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (1 Liver met- resected)
Treatment started Feb 09 :6 weeks Chemo/Radiation, April 09 Ultra Low Rectal Resection, June 09 Liver Resection
July-Nov 09 8 rounds FOLFOX & Avastin
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Littlefish
 
Posts: 89
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Location: Australia

Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby whatcomesnextdude » Fri May 08, 2009 11:50 pm

I was constantly asking for more drugs, too. On day 1, they did change my med to dilaudid, which would help a bit-probably about 30 minutes of comfort. I had that administered every 2 hours. The other drug was torodol (spelling?), and I got that every 6 hours. By day 3 I was allowed to swallow a valium (they'd turn off the NG tube until I absorbed it).
rt. hemicolectomy April 3, 2009, dx. with Stage I colon cancer 3 days later. Clear margins, well-differentiated. This is my 3rd malignancy, and I am currently testing to see if I have a genetic mutation called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.
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Posts: 108
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Painful bowel spasms in the 2 weeks between chemo sessions

Postby auntiesusie » Sat May 30, 2009 3:26 am

Hi All! My first time! My husband had first bowel resections/ostomy/reversal in 2002, then liver and lung mets appeared in 2005 - 2 liver resections and various chemo ever since - FOLFOX, FOLFIRI, plus panitumumab (trial), cetuximab, Xeloda, mitomycin C, and now Avastin. Sadly we are not eligible for the Australian government subsidy for Avastin, as it is only available for first line treatment of advanced colorectal cancer. Any ideas? It is costing us $1000s, as did cetuximab (Erbitux). :(

What led me to this forum was desperately seeking some idea for relieving the bowel spasms he has had ever since the initial surgeries, they are very painful and distressing. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Last edited by auntiesusie on Sun May 31, 2009 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Suze » Sat May 30, 2009 2:00 pm

Hi auntiesusie -- Wish I could help you, but my problem cleared up before I left the hospital. You should probably start a new thread. It will get more attention that way. Best wishes, Susan
Dx 5/07 Stage IV 59 y/o
6 mos Folfox, Avas., erb.
Surg. for colon, liver mets 1/08
Folfox & Avas. 2/08-8/08
Liver met 10/09, Iri 11/09 - 7/10
SBRT 4/10, 12/10
30-40 lung mets 4/11
Irin./erbitux 5/11-8/11
xeloda/avastin 8/11-2/12
xeloda/erb 2/12/-4/12
Suze
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:12 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby Terry » Sat May 30, 2009 7:18 pm

The medication was Toradol. It's kind of like a strong antiflammatory (advil, etc.) in an injection form. It works fantastic for a lot of things. Ativan also works well when given with pain pills, it helps the patient to relax and let the pain pills do their job. The gas they put in you during laprascopic surgery can be very painful. It can make your shoulders hurt as well as your belly.

I'm so happy your results were so great! Don't worry about your liver resection to much because it is a different surgery. I'm not going to tell you, you won't have pain but it may not be as severe.
DX 7/3/07
Chemo, radiation, 20 mo. chemo, IMRT, cyberknife, 6/11 lobectomy.
1/16 resection perm. colostomy intraop. rad.
PET 2/12 nose, thyroid, liver, lngs
Folfox 3/12
Lord I know You'll keep me here until
you know I cannot suffer any longer!
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Re: Anyone else had muscle spasms post surg & some good news

Postby RHB » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:06 am

I had cancer surgery January 2012. It is now November 2012 and I still have pain, spasms,naseau. My surgeon is one of recognized best in this field and I am the first long term pain problem he has had. I had 12" colon and 3/4 of rectum removed along with 18 lymph nodes and appendix. I am cancer free. I take NORCO APAP 325 for the pain, as much as 6 tablets a day. I have a small service business that would keep me on the road all day. I am retiring because the stress and threat of pain, diarhea is just too great when I'm working.I know where every public restroom is in 8 counties. I am hopefull I can move away from medication by being able to rest, relax, and reduce anxiety. It was suggested I might benefit from therapy to retrain the muscles in the pelvic floor but I have found "therapy" to generally be a time and money waster. I had the Botox injections but this only increased the pain.
The doctor has said that where I am after one year is probably where I will be forever. No further improvement. I'm glad to be alive but hope to gain some knowledge from fellow survivors/sufferers.
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