Being backed up can cause abdominal pain (as can straining--you're working those ab muscles), so don't go worrying about cancer or anything. But being backed up a long ways can be its own hazard. That you are at least moving some stool is a good sign, although it could obviously be better. Can you get no help from OTC laxatives, aloe vera, fiber, prune juice, magnesium supplements? Has anyone tried you on Zelnorm when all those things failed? If not, be sure to ask for it. Also, you may want to try a product called Equate. I took it while having bowel problems in college, and it cured my mild C (and my sensitive teeth!). I don't know what it would do for someone worse, like you, but it's worth a shot. It's not as cheap as the other remedies, but it has no side affects that I'm aware of, unlike Zelnorm, which has plenty of bad ones. You may find that you need a combination of several things in order to stay regular.