Concerned about mum

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Hello everyone, my mum has recently undergone bladder removal surgery after a bladder cancer diagnosis. I'm after some advice, if anyone has gone through the same, can I ask how long you started to feel back to normal again? Her surgery was back in January, and she's struggling really badly with her lack of appetite. She can only take a couple of bites of food and that's it, she's lost so much weight and is also suffering with really bad constipation. Just trying to see if anyone experienced the same and can give us some hope that she will be back to her normal bubbly self soon-she just has no energy and it's awful to see her this way. Thank you in advance.

  • Hi Jxmria,Welcome to the group.I’m sorry to hear your mum is struggling post op.Nausea and lack of appetite can be a problem following cystectomy.The bowels can be very sluggish and constipation can add to the feeling of nausea.Is your mum taking anything for the constipation ? Sugar free sugar chewing gum can help to stimulate the bowels.I found prune juice helpful and other fruit.I was on a low fibre diet at the start.Then I found by snacking I got my appetite back.I lived off yoghurts,rice puddings,cheese and biscuits,soup,jacket potatoes,omelettes and sandwich thins with meat or cheese.It’s important to stay hydrated which is difficult when you don’t feel hungry.I used a straw for fluids when I felt too sick to look at a cup full.It’s important to move about even if it’s just shuffling.These early weeks are difficult but hopefully once the constipation is better and her appetite returns your mum should start picking up.I felt better 3/4 months post op but it was 8 months before I was back at work.Recovery does take time and can feel very frustrating.I hope your mum picks up soon.Love Jane x

  • Might be worth checking with hosp or GP if she could be prescribed special nutritional drinks. Personally I found them too sweet & nauseating, but I gather some flavours are better than others. Otherwise, I endorse all that winkers says about snacking. Try to get something down every couple of hours (or every hour) even if it is just a bite of a biscuit or a spoonful of custard. Concentrate on carbs & protein. Perhaps try something like a stock cube with some complan (or similar) if she can take fluids better than solids. 

    Recovery can seem frustratingly slow, once she can turn a corner with intake & output, I'm sure your Mum will start to feel better. Best wishes.

  • Thank you for your reply, she has some suppository's but after trying one she's not keen as they caused a bit of discomfort (she's very sore in her back end due to the pressure) so it's very hard to get her now use them. She's taking some tablets now but unsure how helpful they will be. It's frustrating because I live a few hundred miles away so I'm relying on updates through my phone from my brother who's trying his best. He will make her whatever snacks she fancies but she will take one bite and can't eat any more. Shall I get him to just keep trying? I will pass on this info to him about keeping her moving. It's all very helpful. She has been going for very short walks every now and then when she feels up to it x

  • Thank you for your reply, as of today she has been given those nutritional drinks you mentioned, and has managed to have some which I'm thankful about. I will pass on the info about the snacks to my brother as he's the one caring for him as I live a few hundred miles away unfortunately. 

  • That must be very tough for you being so far away.You really do have to keep trying a few mouthfuls often.It’s important to try and get the constipation sorted out.I do understand how hard it is.I refused to take the opioid painkillers as they made the constipation and nausea worse.Do you know if your mum is on any medication ? I think that once the constipation is better then your mum will feel more like eating and start building her strength back up.Good to hear the nutritional drinks are there.They will help.Walking will help to get the bowels moving.I could only manage a slow walk to the post box just up the road to begin with.Build up walking gradually.It took me 3 attempts to visit my late mum in a care home.I hope things improve.Let us know how your mum gets on.We are here to help.