Pooper Problems
published: Mar 26, 2019 | last modified: Mar 26, 2019
estimated reading time 3 minutes

The content in this post will get a bit explicit concerning the torture my poor little anus is currently enduring. If you don’t want to read about my pooper, just move along.

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So. My Pooper. A quick review:

  • At the time the cancer was cut from my rectum, an ileostomy bag was installed to allow my lower intestines to heal.
  • Nine months later an “ileostomy takedown” was performed, putting my lower intestines back in the loop.
  • There were several unusual side-effects of putting my insides back together, but they began subsiding.
  • A liver resection.
  • And finally a question from Dr. Panjala during my first colonoscopy appointment since I began this path: “How many times are you having bowel movements a day?”

That last is significant, as at the time I might have 4-6. His reply was “Good. Others have as many as 10-30.” 30! I was surprised and thankful I didn’t fall into that category. However, recently I suspect I might.

The last month my movements have been increasing. Along with this is pain when I am on my 5th or 6th just from the abuse my little sphincter is taking. At times the pain spikes to 8 or 9 during the poop itself. Just for a moment, but it is sharp. On occasion, there is a bit of blood also. I don’t like it.

Today I begin keeping a record of my movements: time of day and amount (a pretty subjective measurement — not like I’m going to weigh it or anything). This will eliminate any guessing when I ask Dr. Lu about this at the end of April when I see him for a follow-up.

I am sure some of this has to do with the amount and what I am eating. Julie and I have not been doing the keto thing as we are frantically trying to prep our house for its new owner and find a place to live until our prospective new home becomes available.

Some of the things I am eating that are keto friendly — and even recommended — are causing issues; specifically nuts. I have tried three different types — pistachios, pecans, and macadamia — and each time I have some I have issues. Any more than a small handful in a day and there will be quality time on the toilet.

The issues also seem to either happen more frequently or hang around longer if I take in lots of carbs (pasta, bread, rice). The actual amount I am eating and the stress of moving is probably not helping either.

When I say I have an issue, I am talking about visiting the toilet 4-6 times over a three hour period. I might have 20-30 hours of nothing before the next issue. I might be able to power through the issues, especially since I get the impression from casual conversation with others in the health care industry, that over time my system behaviors should become closer to normal. My big concern though is hemorrhoids, or worse, a prolapse of my colon, before then.

So today I begin my Poop Log and start listing the questions I have for Dr. Lu.

Julie and I often go to my appointments with lists of questions. This serves two purposes: first we don’t forget something (we have gone with close to 20 questions at times between the two of us); second, my memory is flagging a bit — a possible side effect of the chemotherapy. Which is one of the reasons I am taking Lions Mane.

This is a post in the "path to cancer free" series.
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series:  path to cancer free