Janie - only too glad to answer another question. Well about
5 years into this stage, post-cancer, post-colon resection, I went in for a GYN check. I had an ovary cyst that turned out to be benign (great news) but while performing this simple laparoscopy surgery my GYN doc said I had scar tissue by my left ovary, where the cyst was located and I should be on a stool softener. In case I ever had a blockage from where my old temporary colostomy was located (near this left ovary). I laughed and said - oh no problem there! I go ALL the time. In fact compared to what I've read here and on the IBS board I have never been anywhere near a blockage stage. So that was good news to share with him. He then explained that if I were to be on a daily low dose maintenance stool softener, it would keep my stool more consistent and soft. Not rock hard or D. I've always wanted that in between stage - formed stool. That's been my goal all this time. to easily run in the bathroom, go for that multiple time that given day and be done - no mess, done and back to whatever I had been doing at the time (yardwork, chores, errands, and now working part time). So long story short, he gave me something to think about
. At my my next colon check I mentioned his advice to my colon doc. She pondered his advice for a few minutes and agreed, that a pediatric dose might be what would help me the most. So it sounds CRAZY that I take this! But my GYN doc was right. Now I will tell you when I first purchased Colace in 50 mg I had to take it every 36 hours. 24 was too much and 48 too little. So after a while I got into a pattern of taking it near bedtime and now I can take it every 24 hours. It does keep my stool more consistent but not D. For a while I tried generic but it contained senna in it (my advice is to never take anything with senna, it's an herbal type product that irritates the lining of the colon and induces D!). So now I just order Colace 50 mg from the pharmacy, it is OTC but it's a product they do not keep on the shelf. They stock 100 mg but they're capsules, you can't cut them in half.
Personally, my situation works best with several key things in place (I feel like they're puzzle pieces, if one is missing, I'm a mess...LOL): low residue diet, smaller meals or skipping meals sometimes, keeping my stress as low as possible, and Colace 50 mg. All of these combined keep my stool as formed as possible. I'm also back to eating 1 full cup of Stonyfield Vanilla flavored yogurt a day, half in the am and half right after dinner. I'm also trying acidopholis pills again (1 a day, found in the organic chilled section near organic yogurt). Recently I think I got into a pattern of having bad bacteria build up in my colon and I needed to restore the good (with acidopholis).
However I think you are in the stage I was at very early on. You are trying to thicken your stool and keep it formed, right? I would go on the low residue diet, 100% of the time. Immodium is okay to take but it never really helped me much.
I hope I haven't complicated things by being so wordy but that's where I am almost 10 years later. Thanks for the congrats! I should celebrate next Wed. Trouble is our family's budget is so incredibly tight. So tight that I am now seeking a full time job (wish me luck with endeavor, I will have to skip lunch every work day).
Oh one more thing.....yes I lost weight. I was a size 12 pre-cancer, bordering on 14. I went from a 12 to a 4. In about
4 weeks! I was very, very thin. I hadn't been a size 4 since prior to having had my 2 daughters. So I knew a 4 wasn't a realistic size to settle on. I bought a few 6's but now I'm an 8. I've remained an 8 for about
6 years now. I do think since food doesn't stay in my system for long, I am able to keep my weight down. But of course there are those well meaning friends and family who want to fatten me up, usually with very large meals. I can no longer eat that way! You might as well have me take meals on the toilet then......sometimes I just out and out lie - oh I'm not hungry or I ate earlier (to avoid being stuck in someone's bathroom after eating the amounts of food they think I "need"). I do think it's okay to fib. I just eat well the next day. LOL
It's useless to try and explain any of this to someone with a normal colon (who poops once or twice a day).
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening
All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!
Post Edited (Marsky) : 4/25/2009 9:03:01 AM (GMT-6)