looking for answers... And hope

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 12/21/2008 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
hi all

As many of you know, my husband (justin, 34yrs) had a resection of his large intestines on December 9th. This is when we discovered that he had colon cancer and not crohns. It spread to 1 lymph node and he starts chemo in January for 6mo.

Prior to all of this, he was on 60mg of prednisone which didn't really help - go figure. He was on this high dose for a couple months. However, he was down to 10 when he went in for surgery. He's now down to 2.5mg and trying to get off completely.

So, he recovered very quickly and we were home from the hospital in only a few days. He even went to work a couple of days last week! Well, now he feels horrible. He was very constipated, but now he has D. And what's even weirder is one of the glands in his throat is swollen and his head hurts. He just feels like absolute crap!

So, here are some of the questions running around in my head:
Do you think this could be from prednisone withdrawals? Or is this just natural after surgery? Could it be cancer related? Do you think the throat thing is just a coincidence? Maybe he got sick cause his body is under stress? He stopped taking the probiotics. (haven't seen much on probiotics and colon cancer) Could that be it? Also, does anyone have any good resources for colon cancer patients? This forum is great and I can't find anything like it for colon cancer :( I miss being able to come here for help but it seems our problems are a whole different beast now

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. I'm questioning everything and feel very lost.

sad sad sad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 12/21/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Emrose glad to see you here. I do know that pred. withdrawal can cause headache the best thing to do for that is google prednisone withdrawal symptoms.I am not sure if it would effect the neck glands but it might tell you some good info. If you are worried about the D and other problems you could call his Dr.I don't know any cancer sites that are like here but but we are all like family here and certainly care about you and Justin.I can tell you that lots here do have pred. withdrawal but some have been on it for awhile ,sorry you are feeling all alone.Wishing you both the very best Holiday Season.lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still alive.lol gail

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/21/2008 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Em, regarding your question about good forums for colon cancer patients, I think it would be a good idea to contact your local cancer society and ask them for some reputable links. We were given this advice when my mother was rediagnosed with cancer, and I'm glad we followed it.

I - and various cancer societies - would advise you not to go netsurfing to find a good forum yourself. You'll either scare yourself by reading the worst case scenarios, or stumble onto a site that's full of misinformation.

Anyway, all the best to you.

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 12/21/2008 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi emrose,

I am currently tapering off prednisone and I get really bad headaches when I do. The lower the dose, the worse my headaches are.

I wish the very best for both of you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 12/21/2008 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
sore throat and swollen gland and headache- sounds like strep to me.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7056
   Posted 12/21/2008 11:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Emrose - I have a couple of ideas about what might be going on but I am not a doctor. So my first recommendation is to call either his surgeon or primary doctor and run your list of qustions past them. Now I will add some general thoughts about some of his complaints.

First off, prednisone masks LOTS of inflammation. Because he was on a high dose, coming off can reveal lots of nagging issues. His sore throat could be a virus he picked up since getting out of the hospital. OR his throat issues could be a result of being intubated for surgery. That can cause throat irritation too.

I believe you said his tumor was near the terminal ileum in his small bowel. Is that correct? Bowel surgery causes a big disruption. It can take 6 weeks to 3-4 months for the bowels to settle down after surgery. Also, if they removed his ileocecal valve during the surgery, some people experience diarrhea from this. However, I doubt they would say his diarrhea was caused by this until some more time has passed. If the diarrhea is occuring right after he eats, then it might be associated with the removal of the IC valve. I am pretty sure the doctors don't want him to get constipated at this point but they might be able to prescribe something to slow the diarrhea down if it is really interferring with his daily living.

Please don't assume every odd symptom he experiences is a cancer related event. While it might be, most likely at this stage it is not. It is good to keep track of new symptoms he experiences so he can inform the doctor so they can investigate. Just don't let your imagination run wild because you will become a basket-case.

Sorry I can't help you with a colon cancer forum suggestion. But don't feel badly coming here with questions. Many people here have had small bowel/colon surgery and can help answer questions about that aspect.

Take care of yourself!
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20557
   Posted 12/21/2008 11:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Because it's cancer he's dealing with (which I am so sorry to hear) I think it's best he talk to his dr about his symptoms. Wishing both of you the very best and I hope they've caught it all.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 12/22/2008 3:21 AM (GMT -6)   
thank you everyone!! I really appreciate it. I know that I am asking questions about something less familiar to all of you so I appreciate any response at all!

Ivy - I reached out to a local cancer society group via email and am looking forward to hearing their suggestions. Thanks for the encouragement to do so. In the meantime I found a forum called cancer survivors network that seems promising! I introduced myself to the gang over there today. I feel as though I've gotten to "know" many of you though so it will take some getting used to! But I think I'm done with my research on the net for now!

Ides - I REALLY appreciate your insight. He actually had a large section of his large intestines removed, including much of his sigmoid colon. So, not exactly what you are talkig about but I do think it's probably normal to have D after any resection. He was constipated at first, but I think that was just the pain meds. It's true, the cancer diagnosis is is turning me into a basket case slowly but surely! I'll calm down eventually... Just as I did after I went through this when we thought it was crohns.

pb4, survivor, indigo, gachrons and everyon else who reads this and thinks positive thoughts for us - THANK YOU! It means a lot that I can still come here and share my story. I will stop by and give you updates as we battle and overcome this!!! Gachrons, when you said that you care about us, it meant a lot to me :-)
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