Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Advice needed please

Good evening everyone

Mum had her colostomy (think that's the right word) operation on Tuesday.

Bearing in mind she's 83 the operation went well and she was in good spirits the day after (she couldn't believe she was alive she said!)

However now I think the adrenaline has worn off. She is in alot of discomfort with her bottom and tummy. She's having to lie on either side which is very uncomfortable and as the nurses (who are very good) don't turn her regularly, she has to keep asking which she hates.

She's been quite sick since yesterday, not eating at all and seems very low today which I suppose can be expected. She said she's got no strength and feels so weak but I keep reminding her it's only been 3 days since her operation.

She just phoned me in tears saying she doesn't think she's going to get better, they've told her she's not drinking enough and the catheter might have to be put back in tomorrow.

The nurses said she had to sit in the chair for an hour this morning but then the stoma nurse said that was far too long. Seems the departments aren't talking to each other.

She said she's scared to go to sleep incase she doesn't wake up 😪 she's frightened now of getting a chest infection or pneumonia.

Sorry for the essay! Just a couple of questions if I may;

Is it normal how mum is feeling?

Is there a cushion or something similar to help mum lie more comfortably? They've just got her propped up with pillows at the moment.

I'm going to try and speak to a doctor on Monday but surely she needs to start eating but how can she when the thought of food makes her feel sick?

Best wishes :x::x:


Good morning @mynannie, I am very pleased to hear that your mum has had her colectomy surgery, but I am sorry to hear that she is struggling.

The nausea and being sick is sadly common and is to do with the Bowel sulking and not yet functioning properly. This can take several days. Sometimes they insert a nasogastric tube to help. It is not especially pleasant until you get used to it, but really helps with the sickness. Maybe something to discuss with the Doctors?

If you use the search box above you will find lots of previous posts about cushions - so this may be of help 🤞🏻.

Are you able to visit her as if you can you may be able to grab five minutes with a senior nurse to discuss all of this.

Recovery is often two steps forward and one step back I’m afraid but I am sure she will get there. By the way, without belittling her feelings at all, it is worth pointing out that many people have a really weepy day a few days after surgery so hopefully her mood will begin to improve soon. Lots of love to you both, Kim :x::x::x:


Awww thank you Kim, that's helped to relieve the worry somewhat.

She's been very sick again during the night so I'll see if I can talk to a nurse when I visit today. Doesn't seem able to even hold water down.

Many thanks for your reply :x::x::x:


You are very welcome @mynannie. Weekends can be frustrating on hospital wards when trying to get some decisions, but I would be persistent to get her some relief from the sickness, in whatever form that takes, Kim :x::x::x:


@mynannie . As Kim says the bowel does not like being manhandled and this can also result in a condition called ileus where you can’t keep anything down and severe vomiting. I had it after both my tumour removal and again after my stoma reversal. It was sorted by me being put on nil by mouth for a couple of days, then just water, then just fluids eg. Soup and ice cream then gradually introduce small amounts of bland food. It’s harsh and I dropped a lot of weight but they also gave me some build up drinks which are in little bottles but have about 250 calories in.
I remember feeling absolutely dreadful and the inevitable lack of sleep in hospital didn’t help. I kept chanting ‘this too shall pass’ to myself and almost felt out of myself - my head knew I had to get out of bed but my body didn’t seem to want to. This sounds a bit daft as I’m writing it but it does pass and your mum will start to feel better in time :x:


Thank you so much for your reply @Kareno62

It's such a big operation to go through isn't its bound to have an effect on your system.

As you rightly said it seems the sickness has now passed thank goodness. For the first time she ate her lunch and then tea but said it would have been better with a drop of wine!

I've taken her some tinned peaches in which she's enjoyed and some crystallised ginger to suck on.

She's getting abit stir crazy now she feeling better so I took her out in the wheelchair for some fresh air which she enjoyed although the bumps weren't good for her poor bottom! She's also asked for a zimmer frame so she can walk around abit.

Now she's eating and drinking I'm less worried and remarkably they are thinking of possibly discharging her to my care middle of next week.

I do hope this finds you well. Thanks for your lovely message :x::x::x: