My surgeon called last night to discuss the email I’d sent him discussing the pain that I was experiencing when I stopped taking my painkillers. It turns out that there are a variety of possible scenarios, ranging from the extremely unlikely, but extremely serious, through to the far more likely, and much more mundane.
By far the worst case would be the return of the tumour. However, my surgeon discounts this as being so remote a possibility that it’s not really worth considering. It will also show up definitively on my CT scan (already booked for the 25th of this month) if it has recurred, so we can tackle that possibility then if we have to.
The next worst scenario is that the join in my colon is leaking, causing an infection. This would be really bad news, as the infection would be serious, and fixing the join would be very difficult. However, I would definitely be running a fever (at the very least!) and my temperature is ticking along nicely in the low 36c area, which is completely normal for me. So it’s almost certainly not that. But some blood tests will show if I’m suffering from this kind of infection.
Another possibility is prostatitis, but again, I have no signs of fever, general ill-health, or many of the other symptoms that I’d be experiencing if I’d got this. So it’s unlikely. But it is possible, so I need to take a urine test to check that one off the list.
However, the most likely cause is simply me clenching all the muscles “down there” a lot more severely than normal, causing fatigue and inflammation. This explanation fits well with my experience of my current situation where I have issues around frequency and urgency. The good news is that it’s not very serious; the bad news is that there’s not much that we can do about it, short of waiting for my bowels to generally settle down.
So, in the short term I’m to continue with sufficient painkillers and Loperamide to effectively manage my situation, and to arrange for a couple of blood tests (FBC and CRP) and a urine test in the next few days to discount any of the more serious possibilities.
Which is a bit of a relief.