Topic: Rough Week - Intestinal Blockage

Hi CC Family,
Over the last week, Jeff has been more nauseous than usual  and has had trouble with constipation. Zofran did not seem to help at all. We called the clinic and learned that our ONC was out of town for a few days. The NP or PA suggested that we try Reglan to help with the nausea and constipation. When we went to the pharmacy to pick it up, the pharmacist refused to fill it because of an adverse reaction potential with one of his other meds (Abilify). We called the clinic & spoke with a different ONC who knew nothing about Jeff or his case but suggested that we take him to the ER because it sounded like he was pretty sick. We did. 

On Thursday in the ER at our local hospital, they ran a CT scan and discovered an intestinal blockage in the duodenum area. He was hospitalized that night and surgery was scheduled for Friday. He had to be transferred to another local hospital for the surgery and then transferred back to the first one following the surgery.

The GI docs were not sure that they would be able to place a duodenal stint until they actually went in with endoscopy. Fortunately they were able to place the stint and it did open up the pipe which was an answer to our prayers. Alternative treatment options were not good, if they were unable to place the stint.

Jeff's disease has progressed to the point where tumors on the outside were compressing the digestive track in the area of the duodenum which was what was causing the occlusion.

Since Jeff was in the hospital on Friday when our next PET/CT scan was scheduled up at UCLA, we could not have that test done. Unfortunately, we found out enough with the CT scan to know that we are in some trouble here.

He was discharged from the hospital this afternoon because he was tolerating the liquid diet (and then soft food lunch this afternoon) well enough to go home. From my perspective, being healthy enough  for discharge was the best Father's Day Gift.

We plan to follow up with our ONC up at UCLA next week as well as the local GI docs who did the procedure. For now, he continues with the soft foods diet - mostly soups and pureed stuff. Does anyone have menu suggestions?

As is typical for Jeff, he charmed the nurses and medical staff in both hospitals. He had a steady stream of family & friends come visit for which we are most grateful. 

Please keep our Jeff in your thoughts and prayers. We are hoping for a better week.

Bob & Nancy

2 (edited by mparsons Sun, 16 Jun 2013 01:59:54)

Re: Rough Week - Intestinal Blockage

Dear Bob and Nancy,

I am so sorry to hear about the blockage. That is serious and it must have been a frantic and frightening time. What a relief that the endoscopic procedure was successful. It sounds like Jeff continues on with his tremendous strength of character. He so much deserves a better week than the last, and I will keep him in my prayers.

I'm glad you will be following up with Dr.Sadeghi. I wonder if he will want to change treatments. Anyway, there are great GI docs at UCLA, and maybe they can be involved in monitoring Jeff's progress.

You and Jeff are an inspiration to me.


Re: Rough Week - Intestinal Blockage

Dear Bob, Nancy and Jeff, I am so sorry to read of this frightening change of events and glad you got someone to do the deed. I always am so amazed at how so many of you on this Board take over and just get it done whatever 'it' may be! Indeed, it is a Happy Father's Day. For a soft food diet soups, eggs, egg salad on soft bread (no crust), peanut butter, jello, applesauce, sherbet, buttered pasta. Did they say how long he would have to be on a soft diet? The thoughts and prayers are sailing right to you and I too hope you have a much better week!


Re: Rough Week - Intestinal Blockage

Oh my gosh Bob and Nancy!  So glad Jeff was able to get treated when he did and that he is more comfortable.  I also had an intestinal blockage during chemo and I can attest to the fact that it is ridiculously painful and the relief felt when it is resolved is a blessing.

After my blockage was resolved I started taking 2 senna pills every morning and evening and 2 stool softeners morning and evenings as well.  Also, I would mix Mirulax in glass of something (usually water) and drink it during the day.  This "bomb" cocktail, as I called it, really did the trick for me.

Hope Jeff is feeling better.


Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Rough Week - Intestinal Blockage

jeff'smom&dad....I too am very sorry to hear of Jeff's blockage.  It is not umcommen in advanced disease and I am glad to hear that Jeff's stenting of  the duodenum worked efficiently.  In some cases it is possible to bypass the blockage in where the surgeon attaches the small bowel directly to the stomach.  Either way, it is one of the most important steps to be taken in order to eliminate the consistent vomiting caused by the blockage.
I am thinking of you and sending tons of hugs your way,


Re: Rough Week - Intestinal Blockage

When you say local hospital are you referring to Torrance or Little Company? Just wondering as we got to know the staff fairly well at Torrance. Was wondering which GI you had. So glad they were able to diagnose & do the procedure. Prayers for more comfortable days

Re: Rough Week - Intestinal Blockage

Hi Bob and Nancy,

I am sorry to hear your latest news on Jeff. Glad to hear though that he was able to have this procedure done so quickly and I hope that this works for him. My dad had a lot of issues with vomiting as well and he went through a load of different meds to try and get to grips with that. He also took Lactulose morning and night  to help with things as well. His GI specialist also advised taking foods that were easier for the body to break down, soft foods such as soups, minced beef etc he said would be easier for him.

Hope that Jeff gets some relief from this, well a lot actually and of course, my thoughts are with you all and I too hope for a much better week for Jeff as well.



Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.