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Stomach Cramps


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Hello, Mum is into her fifth month of chemo and has been having a bit of diahorrhea these past couple of weeks and now she is having quite bad stomach cramps. The specialist said it is quite normal and prescribed Buscopan Cramps medication but she cannot take her anti-sickness tablets as well. Does anyone know what the cause of the cramps is as she has been told it is something to do with the pancreas and not the chemo which is causing them. We don't seem to be getting the right answers. I have noticed now though that the more chemo she has the more she is tired. Last thursday was week one of month five and she felt sick throughout the chemo and was actually sick afterwards. She also slept for 12 hours and is still week and the cramps continuing. I don't know what to do for her as she is afraid of going into hospital again. She didn't have a new stent in after the other one disolved and this caused an infection which was pretty nasty so she was in hospital for 5 days. She was told after her first 3 months of chemo that it looked good and her count or markers showed an improvement. They have also booked her for another ultrasound in between the next treatments so I am wondering what they are looking for. Does anyone know if the cramps are a side effect of the chemo? Thank you, Lisa

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PCUK Nurse Dianne

Hi Lisa,

Sorry to hear that your mother is not so great at present. It sounds as if she has been through quite a lot. Often patient's do become more tired as the chemotherapy progresses, and if she has had diarrhoea for a while that in it self is quite draining. I am not sure if your mother is taking any enzyme supplements, ie Creon?? One of the very conclusive stool changes in patients with PC is that they may have loose, offensive, greasy stools and this is due to the fact that the pancreas cannot produce enough digestive enzymes to break down the fats in food. Due to the poor digestion and diarrhoea, some people do complain of stomach cramps and especially after eating a meal. By all means let us know if you need further information on this, or if your mother is not on Creon we can advise on when and how to take this. There is some information on the web site (http://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/information-and-support/diet-living-with-cancer) that may help especially re Creon. Don't hesitate to phone or email us if you need to (support@pancreaticcancer.org.uk - ph: 020 35357099) if we can help.

Best wishes,


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  • 1 month later...

Thanks Diane. I emerged that it was the anti-sickness meds they were giving Mum before the chemo and since this was changed it stopped. She has had 5 months of chemo with a month off after the 4th month due to an infection. They have now done a CT scan and the mass on her pancreas is still the same size as before the chemo started. There are also some spots on her liver. The consultant said this may be because the cancer has spread to the liver but he wants to look at the results again with some other colleagues just to verify this. I am almost sure that this is what it is and the cancer is immune to the chemo. My main concern now is that 6 months ago she was given 6 months to live without treatment and if this hasn't worked, what to expect next? I have no idea what to expect now as the consultant also said that there would be no more chemo as it was making her very tired and she was losing weight throughout. Is she going to be in pain? And where will the pain be? I have no idea what to expect and what to do to help her. She has had 3 weeks without chemo whilst waiting for the results after the CT and she does feel okay. If I had an idea of what to expect over the coming months this would help me to help her.

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