Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Husband fed up -- Update and questions

First off, my gratitude to the many people here who offered advice, thoughts, prayers, and good wishes on my other posting. As stated, we had a weekend from Hell because of Mike's severe back pain. Yesterday, he managed to get an appointment with his MO -- after a snotty nurse on the phone demanded to know why he didn't just go to the ER -- and the doctor went over the notes from his MRI scans in early March and the subsequent 'spot' radiation he had a a couple of weeks later. I stand corrected: Mike did have radiation to the spinal area along with his right hip and left femur. After questioning Mike, the MO wanted to know how much of the morphine he has been taking (the prescribed amount, which leaves him zonked out most of the day at work; we work at the office together) and how his bowel movements have been. MO thinks that Mike's recent pain is a result of a possibly fractured rib and lack of bowel movement, causing extreme stress on the transverse colon. I was not entirely satisfied with answer after the pain he's had off and on for several months now. This would be the timeline: 1. mets in spinal area causing initial pain. 2. possible rib fracture (he fell near our driveway and right on his back) 3. radiation to this area causing inflammation. 4. not using enough laxatives to combat severe constipation caused by morphine use, which has now been doubled in strength to 30mg doses. Question: Am I correct in my cynicism that the doctor's explanation is just a bit too simplistic or am I being naive in completely underestimating the detrimental effects that these opioids have? Has anyone else experienced this? I know that recently there was a TV ad for some sort of Rx med treating this problem. . . I just find it hard to believe that a 'twisting knife in the back' sensation could be caused by lack of bowel movements. Genny

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my wife had polio as a kid and has a sclerosed spine. Several times a week, she experiences extreme pain in her back - almost debilitating pain...until she can have a BM.

So, I'd have to say -it's possible...

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What he says sounds reasonable to me.

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Opiates are very constipating. Try giving the laxatives a try. If your sweetie would consider them what about regular enemas ? You could just do water enemas or even buy a couple fleet enemas. It is critical to health and healing to keep things moving.

1. If he won't do enemas then you need to be diligent with laxatives. I make my husband a smoothie every morning.. I include Aloe Vera juice.. if your local health food store does not have it Amazon does..

Other things for the smoothie:

Aloe Vera Juice

Good probiotic powder

Organic pomegranate berries from the frozen section of the grocery store.

berries(organic) ..

Flaxseed hulls..

organic banana to make it sweet

2 scoops of a good vanilla protein powder(If you eat meat you probably do not need the protein powder.. I like sanjevani.net - vegan sustain).

Apple Peel Powder(1 tablespoon) - seems to help my husbands arthritis pain

Moringa - 1teaspoon

Amla - 1 teaspoon

1/2-1 cup of cold herb tea..if it needs more liquid

This produces a healthy smoothie that is filling. The powders.. amla, moringa, apple peel are not necessary but the apple peel seemed to help my husbands pains..so we keep it up.

2. make sure he is drinking a lot of water.. . No mater how much fiber you eat if you don't have enough liquid then you will be constipated.

3. Senna Tea - I was making this every night for my sweetie when he was taking pain pills and it helped his constipation a lot.

I love my SOTA magnetic pulser (pemf )for pain. Even my older children have used it.. I am not sure why it helps.. and often we use it in combination with a good curcumin supplement.. like Bosmeric-Sr or RevGenetics .. but it does help. At $350 it is an expensive solution so it might be out budget.

I will pray for you and your husband. I hope he feels better soon!

Softwaremom

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Thank-you for your suggestions, mom. My husband is an extremely stubborn 'no way in hell' kind of guy, so I don't think he'd consider enemas or smoothies, but he is taking the senna formula and powdered stuff and I'm hoping that this will work. Me, Fiber one bars do the trick -- have to see if I can talk him into one of those instead of his usual junk food. As for the SOTA pulser, I will definitely look this up. Sounds interesting.

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my husband's oncologist recommended ICE COLD WATER as the first chug of the day...BIG 12 OZ GLASS...then comes the coffee. that along with the senna based laxatives helped immensely. he was on two 15 mg oxycodone every two hours for pain.

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4 oz prune juice with breakfast, followed by coffee. 4 oz prune juice with dinner. EZ peazy.

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Genny,

why can't he have an x-ray to determine if rib is fractured...seems to me if problem is caused by constipation from morphine, doubling the morphine dose is going to make the problem worse...this is a long shot but "the twisting knife in the back sensation" ...I had the same problem when my mother left me some money...I searched the bedroom and found a small bloody knife in my wife's nightstand...moved to another bedroom and put a double lock on the door and that solved the problem.

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Gus, you crack me up :) Yes, I wonder why they don't simply do an x-ray -- I always have a long list of questions when we go in, but always seem to forget the most obvious one -- but my guess is that they probably ASSUME (and you know what you get out of that) that if it was a fractured rib then there's not much they can do about it anyway. And it does make sense that this happened after he tripped and fell on a broken railroad tie on the side of our driveway back in the winter. Needless to say, the offending tie (which has also gotten me on a couple of occasions) has since been removed.

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Genny,

it just seems crazy....lets say it is the colon...stop the morphine and clean out his bowels...if he can't have a BM from a paralyzed colon double the morphine dose and he will never go again

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Genny,

Fiber can be real dangerous....good for regularity but in his case it can cause an intestinal blockage...my Onco told me "if you live long enough you will die from prostate cancer"..your husband has the same prognosis unless he drinks softwaremom's smoothie

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Gus - he's been told to use the powdered fiber 'until normal.' However, I will look into Softwaremom's smoothie. Who knows. . . maybe I can whip one up and convince him that not only does it taste good, but that it's good for him.

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Use smooth move tea daily works better than anything else for constipation. Available at most grocery stores. Can use twice a day at first.

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(1) CBD oil works very well for pain. (2) Metformin 100 mg in the am and 1000 in the pm makes me stay with loose BM and it is theraputic at the same time -- kill 2 birds with one stone. (3) With this extensive of mets, -- gene mutations are highly likely -- making him a good subject for immunotherapy -- like Keytruda.. you should ask the doctor to get him gene tested asap --there are several trials for immunotherapy.

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PRUNE JUICE.... Tell him to drink it in just one gulp, when he stops that's when it tastes like......... (you fill in the adjective).

Good Luck and Good Health.

j-o-h-n Wednesday 05/16/2018 1:33 PM EDT

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I use a 4 oz shot of prune juice with a capful of Miralax dissolved in it twice or three times a week. Yes, constipation can cause severe back pain - I have had opioid induced constipation for a year on and off until a wise nurse at my wife's heart surgeon told me what to do. Drink the prune juice like a shot, and wash it down with favorite beverage of choice- me I like sweet tea so use that to get any potential nastiness out of my mouth and throat.

When I was going through the constipation sessions, I would have severe back pain in my lower back like a "twisting knife" was in my spinal area until I finally went, either naturally or with a Fleet large enema. So yes, I would assume if he is that backed up then the back pain is coming from the bowel.

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Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I have to honestly say that I am more than a little surprised that something like this could cause so much agony. I really thought hubby's MO was just blowing us off with this talk and especially after Mike's previous back pain issues. However, I am still hoping that the radiation to that area worked, that there is 'No clear nerve root compression' as stated following his MRI scans, and that things will improve for him soon. Again, many thanks and good health to all. Genny

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I happen to like prunes and prune juice. Opiates plug me to the point only Milk of magnesia would help, and only after about six hours after max. dose, way nastier than fiber or prune juice. Relief was great.

Doug-AZ

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