Pale, clay-coloured stools: Since my... - Oesophageal Patie...

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Pale, clay-coloured stools

Since my total gastrectomy 5 weeks ago my stools have been almost white. A blood test done 3 days ago showed abnormal liver and kidney functioning. Is this normal after such major op?

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I am now 11 months post Ivor Lewis and still have occasional pale stools, dumping and constipation. You must consult regularly with your dietician to ensure that you are getting sufficient calories and vitamins. We are all different so difficult to give you guidance without contradicting your own medical advisors. Good luck. Recovery is possible but it may be slow. Best wishes Tanktank

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Yes, you are right. Since my discharge from hospital 3 weeks ago I have not managed my attempt to recover very well. 2 steps forward and one step back seemed reasonable, but when it turns to 1 step forward and 2 back the alarm bells ring. I have now contacted the relevant professionals of my team and I was quickly offered help and good advice. I have learned that trying to be tough and independent is a no no in our situation.

Thank you, Tanktanks

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Hope things improve for you very quickly.

Can I ask, how did you realise you had stomach C?

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My husband had a total gastrectomy April 2015 ( now very well). Symptoms included needing to take increasing amounts of PPI ( Omeprazole), maxed at 80 mg/ day, and a feeling of fullness ( because of size of gastric tumour) . Graded at T4N3. Staged at 3C.

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Hi Basel-m

I suppose I must think myself lucky that my stomach cancer was discovered when it was. My complaint at the time was a severe infection of one of my salivary glands. The medication I was given caused almost continuous stomach and bowel upset. After three months of pain and fatigue my GP referred me for an gastro endoscopy when the tumour was discovered.

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I hope you’re getting better.

How did they relate salivary glands to stomach cancer? And can I ask what was your salivary glands infection like?

I guess when you said three months of pain, that was stomach pain, right?

Did you use to get any reflux as well?

I really hope you improve soon. Fingers crossed for you

Basel

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The fact is they did not relate the two and they may well not be related. I had salivary gland infections on and off to various degrees for the past 2 years. I was never aware of any reflux. The swelling of the gland was put down to "probably" scarring of the salivary gland duct that caused the obstruction and consequently the infections when I get a hard, extremely painful lump at the side of my neck and the whole side of my face. My mouth and throat is always dry, especially in the morning. That problem is still ongoing.

The stomach pain and bowel cramps were believed to have been brought on by an anti-inflammatory drug and unsuccessfully treated for reflux when eventually one of my GP s decided to refer me for a GI Endoscopy.

Hope that answers your questions.

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Thank you ayayay, and so sorry to hear you have been going through all this.

Sorry to keep asking you questions, but do I understand that you had no stomach pain until the anti-inflammatory drug and unsuccessfully treated reflux?

You were never aware of any reflux though?

It’s scary, because it sounds like you’ve been misdiagnosed.

How long you suffered until you had the Endoscopy?

Thank you again, and hope you get better soon and be able to do what you like to do.

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Hi Basel-m. I don't mind in the least you asking questions. I have in the past suffered very, very occasionally from what seemed like IBS, but it only ever lasted a day and apart from taking 1 or 2 Imodium I did nothing . The weeks after the anti-inflammatory drug were totally different and I should not have suffered in silence for all that time until I felt really weak, but was still not aware of reflux..

According to studies - Stomach cancer is not often detected until it has spread to other organs and is too late for curative surgery. The fact that my cancer had penetrated the stomach wall and entered my pancreas was not realised until the op was in process.

My progress is still slow - some good days and some bad ones. The going is quite tough, but it is early days yet, just 5 weeks. I wish you and everyone on this site the very best.

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I only had problems like this when I had gallbladder trouble before op for OC, maybe something to do with bile. Have you gone back to consultant.

Best wishes

Debbie

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I am 7 years after a total gastrectomy and it was found my pancreas isn't producing the enzymes needed to digest food so I am taking CREON tablets, have to take 1 for every 10g of fat I eat Suggest discuss with your upper GI specialist nurse and have a stool test done.

best wishes

Rob

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Hi Rob

Today I too have been prescribed Creon. So, I tried the medication for the first time with my lunch. Since I find it too difficult to swallow tablets or capsules the dietitian said I could break the capsules open and swallow the bead-like contents with slightly acid food or drink, but not to chew. I took mine with apple juice. I started heaving immediately. I fought back the urge to vomit, but in the end some did come up, which would have contained some of the Creon. Have you any tips how else I could take them? Any advice appreciated.

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Sorry to say I suffer with swallowing issues even now but can take the Creon tablets okay as they are shaped so go down alright, you can break the creon open and spread on food as well as with a drink but try to persevere with swallowing them, problem is if as advised by my dietician to take 1 for every 10g of fat you eat including snacks you get through a lot of creon tablets. There really is no other way than swallowing or breaking them up but breaking them up all the time is a pain in itself. Sorry cant be more helpful with these.

Rob

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Meant to say I use an app on my phone called carbs and cals that gives the fat content of food that I use to look up what I am eating for the total fat content

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That sounds useful. Thank you.

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Hi, I am 11 years post total gastrectomy..just 2 mnths into my 12th year nothing you did before will be the same again..

It's a learning curb and a journey of what suits you..what you can eat..

I still have problems swallowing with SOME meds but you can always ask your consultant or GP for these meds in liquid form..which makes life a lot easier, always chew your food throughly before swallowing small amounts and take your time..you will also learn very early on that what works for one patient doesn't work for another..we are all different and react differently to diff meds & foods..

If there is anything you would like advice on please ask..

All the best

Suzy x

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Thank you Suzy. You are one of the people on this site with years of experience. My progress is very slow, or so it seems, so that I get frustrated and depressed. My energy level is very low and I try hard to avoid the dumping, which can be really painful and I want to sleep afterwards. Is that normal at this early stage - 6 weeks since the op? Would it be more beneficial to walk more and resist the temptation to sleep? I know there are no hard and fast rules. It is all down to trial and error and that is the most depressing thing when it doesn't work out. How did your early days go, if you can remember? And how have you managed to get through all those years?

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Hi ayayay,

The Early days can be quite hard to deal with and you can get very depressed, the days are long but remember everything you did before has now changed, it is a learning curb, feeling tired and wanting to sleep is a natural way for your body to start healing, having no energy is also normal remember you have been through major surgery..but it will get better, the dumping syndrome will also get better with time but 11 years on i still get it occassionally, don't expect too much of yourself, by all means have a little walk but maybe in the garden or just to some close shops, a park maybe, try to keep your mind active maybe reading a book or using an ipad or laptop..buy a diary and keep little notes of how you feel day to day you can always look back and see how you got through difficult days..try to surround yourself with possitive people, always remember you have your specialist nurses who you can phone and ask them about different things you may be worrying about..take one step at a time one day at a time..

Try to think positively, i found using a diary helped me a lot, i would also write down what i ate and drank what food & drink upset me and what didnt..

Writing my thoughts on paper helped me a lot...

Everything will get better in time..

Please be assured I'm here if you want to ask anything..

May i ask how old you are?..

Suzy x

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Thank you Suzy. I had educated myself thoroughly before I made my decision to have the operation. I am 82 and even my surgeon told me that if he were in my shoes, he really would not know what option he would choose. And that was even before he knew I would lose not only all of my stomach but my spleen too and some part of the pancreas. But it is done now and I hope I have made the right decision. I am lucky in having lots of friends who will be happy to take me out whenever I feel like it. I know I have to be patient.

Again, Thanks.

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Hi ayayay,

An amazing age, and lots of possitive ppl and friends around you will always help towards your recovery..

It would be nice to hear from you from time to time and how you are getting on..

All the very best for the future.

Suzy x

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