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Stage 4 lung cancer. Bowel obstruction or constipation?

(9 Posts)
LivinLaVidaLoki Sun 17-Jan-16 10:03:28

My aunt called this morning.

My mum has been taken to hospital in agony. Screaming and wailing in pain. She hasnt been able to go to the toilet in a while and now the pain is too much.
I said Id travel down (200 miles) but my aunt said to stay put in case its just constipation she will call as soon as they know whats happening.
I know that people with advanced cancer can get bowel obstruction and this is always bad so now Im just on edge.
Anyone have any advice/experience or anything just to take my mind off it for a bit til I hear whats happening.

BlossomCat Sun 17-Jan-16 10:12:01

Constipation is a horrible thing to go through and can cause really bad pain. If your mum is taking pain relief that contains opiates, (codeine, tramadol etc etc) constipation is a nasty side effect.
That said, the only way to tell if the issue is constipation or a bowel obstruction is to be examined by a HCP. They may well sca/xray her to find the root cause of the pain.
I hope she feels more comfortable very soon, and you look after yourself, too.

Pipistrella Sun 17-Jan-16 10:17:31

I'm so sorry to hear this Loki. It could be progression of the cancer or it could be constipation or a complication from that.

Opiates as Blossom says are liable to cause severe constipation.

I hope you hear something soon just so that you know whats going on.

LivinLaVidaLoki Sun 17-Jan-16 12:41:59

Still no news. She has been taking laxatives for a while but still not able to go and now this. Im worried sick.

Pipistrella Sun 17-Jan-16 12:50:40

They will be able to do something for her even if it is another tumour or blockage of the bowel. People can still have surgery usually even at a fairly late stage. What ever it is, they will do their best to make her comfortable.

CharleyDavidson Sun 24-Jan-16 00:16:57

If she's strong enough and it is malignant bowel obstruction, then they can sometimes fit stents to keep it open longer and to buy some more time.

In my Dad's case he was taken into hospital because of confusion and the blockage stopping him being able to go to the toilet for a while. He spent a few days being treated completely nil by mouth in case that could help with the blockage, and having scans to see what the cause was. It was found to be his cancer that he'd had since the Nov before. By that stage, the tumour was too large and he wasn't strong enough for the operation in any case. They immediately started to talk about his care in terms of making him comfortable. We were told it was hours to days that he then had left. He was allowed to drink, which calmed him a lot although it did make him sick occasionally. And he was treated with meds to aleviate his pain and the gut symptoms that caused a lot of his pain. 6 days after being told that he was completely blocked, he passed away.

LivinLaVidaLoki Sun 24-Jan-16 15:47:05

Oh Im so sorry for your loss charley

They gave her three enemas which cleared it, then sent her home.

CharleyDavidson Sun 24-Jan-16 18:28:32

Oh I am glad it was easily treatable. Apologies for the worst case scenario!

LivinLaVidaLoki Mon 25-Jan-16 06:58:06

Its ok charley, really.
Everytime she is ill now, my mind always drifts to the worst case scenario. I think its my minds way of trying to prepare myself for the worst, just in case.

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