Yesterday I had a good phone chat with Dr. West regarding this partial bowel obstruction. She was really quite upbeat about the whole thing and it was a big encouragement to talk with her. She says it is typical in ovarian cancer, often it will resolve itself, and it will be something to keep an eye on from here on out, and change my diet accordingly if I feel it coming on. So that’s kind of encouraging but also kind of a bummer.
She suggested a different supplement regimen for now, a variety of different things I can eat, and we both laughed about how the liquid/low-fiber diet is basically 100% the opposite of what she’d like me to be eating normally. But it is what it is. She said to have a lot of full fat coconut milk, Thai coconut milk chicken soup (Tom Kha Gai), lots of well cooked Indian food without the rice, etc. I can live with that.
So I felt much better after talking to her. And I was feeling pretty much better in my gut anyway.
So then I went off to town to get a refill on my PARP inhibitor, and pick up groceries that will work for me now. Because of COVID-19 I was a bit hypervigilant about wiping down carts, not touching my face, using hand sanitizer, etc. We shop at a little natural foods market, so they don’t get the runs (no pun intended) on toilet paper that some of the other places seem to be having, so I picked up some more, but they were out of hand sanitizer. So, we’ll either have to make our own or go without. The pharmacy where I pick up my prescription is inside Target and I had to wait in line down the aisle of cold medicines, which were completely wiped out, including pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Part of me is like, this is so silly, but at the same time it seems it really is something to be concerned about, but also, mass hysteria? Really? C’mon people.
Anyway, at this moment I’m glad my income is not tied to actual work, (thank you US Taxpayers and SSDI – you have no idea of the depth of my gratitude, and thank you UnitedHealthCare and my long term disability insurance) but am worrying about my housemates who need to work to live and what all will be happening if we all get put on social isolation to slow the rate of transmission of this virus. Ugh.
But later in the afternoon and early evening I started actually feeling discomfort in, of all places, my sigmoid colon region. All this time, the pain has been on the right side even though the stricture has been on the left. Well, for some reason, it has decided to hurt there now. And it’s really hurting. 8.5 or 9 out of 10 sometimes. It comes and goes. I was quite worried this morning that maybe that meant that it was no longer partially blocked, but actually fully blocked. However, I paid attention and noticed that, *ahem* something was passing, so it’s not blocked fully, which is good. But I’m confounded as to why now it is hurting there.
It’s very disappointing and difficult to deal with.
I have an appointment with Dr. G tomorrow. Dr. West agreed that unless he has a really good reason for a laparoscopy that it’s probably not necessary, and it’s not completely non-invasive, and does require recuperation time, just to look around, unless he can also do something about loosening a bit of scar tissue while he’s in there.
Grant suggested I be in touch with his Rolfer, Tim, and apparently there is a protocol for dealing with scar tissue/adhesions through physical manipulation, and there is a risk in a cancer patient of spreading any loose cancer cells around due to it. However, Dr. West is interested in the idea, and says the protocol is really just about the practitioner covering their butt, so I’ll give the idea more thought. A published study is here, and a company that does it has good info here. The drawings on this last link really show what this is about, and shows well how and why it feels the way it does. Especially this one. Frustrating.
I signed onto Inspire.com and joined the ovarian cancer community just to see if anyone had any bowel obstruction symptoms from the PARP inhibitors because they had one quote on the Rubraca information page from “a member” who had had problems. I could never find who that member was or ask further questions. But I found other people talking about ovarian cancer and bowel obstructions. One woman basically felt written off by her providers, that “Oh, well now it’s time for you to go into hospice.” Everyone else on the thread was like, “What?! Get a new doctor!” But just the idea of that is kind of sobering. I could see how if this continued long term, my quality of life and desire to keep living might suffer mightily.
So that’s what I know for now. Getting tired of this. Send loosening thoughts, prayers, vibes, as you are so inclined. Merci, beaucoup. 🙏🏼