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No surgery for rectal cancer

cjohnson
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2001

I am wondering why you have not had surgery for your rectal tumor. You indicated you have had 3 weeks of chemo and 38 days of radiation. I also have rectal cancer and have had radiation (which totally eradicated my tumor -- however, my tumor had broken through the rectum and is now butting up against the uterus so the surgeons say surgery is imperative). I had 2 weeks of chemo as well. I am still struggling with when to have the surgical resection done. My tumor was in the mid-rectal area and they believe they can reconnect to the colon and I should have "good" functioning. Right now, I am feeling terrific with great functioning and don't want to have the surgery unless as a last resort. I have tried hooking up with cancer survivors who have experienced rectal cancer with a low anterior resection to see what possible results I am facing. However, most people have had to have a permanent colostomy. Anyone out there who can help me?

peje
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

I had surgery for my rectal cancer following two 4day sessions of chemo and 6weeks of radiation. This was to enable the surgon to have enough bowel that was free of cancer to hook up to the anus. I have about 10 stools a day now and sometimes flatus at the wrong time. However, after 1 year and 4 months, I am cancer free. I am following my own alternative diet based on what I have researched, I exercise every day and feel good most days. Let me know what you decide. I am interested.

s.w.johnson
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2000

I am an 18 month survivor of rectal cancer and I had a low anterior resection with complete removal of my rectum. My tumor was high enough so they could spare my spincther muscles. I was reconnected. First, you must insist they try to spare your spincther and do a reconnection. They can and they do this for many who have no cancer involvement in those muscles. You must go through with this surgery to be sure the cancer is completely removed. My tumor was also eradicated with preoperative chemo and radiation,but my team of doctors insisted that I go through with this seemingly radical surgery. It is the best decision I ever made because 18 months later I remain cancer free! Please take my advice. There is a long term affect of complete rectal recision and that is more frequent bowel movements, but I have found many ways to deal with this and my life has not been drastically altered. It is much easier than a colostomy, which I had for three months after my surgery while I healed. Please write to me if you have any other questions. I want to help!

peje
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

I am a 16 month survivor of rectal cancer and I also had a low anterior resection. I had chemo and radiation prior to surgery so my spincther muscles could be spared. I never had a colostomy. I fuss because of frequent stools and flatus but I am dealing better with the problems as I listen to my body more and am better able to anticipate how it is going to react. I also believe surgery is the way to go.

Toughdog

cbecker
Posts: 89
Joined: Sep 2002

My sister you has rectal cancer had surgery 7 weeks ago. It was in the lower rectal area. She had enough colon that they were able to connect hers. Her bowels are functioning normally. She now has to face chemo 5FU and now they told her she also has to have radiation. There was a small speck found in one of her lymph nolds. They did remove that alos. I will have here get in touch with you about the surgery. The surgery was very painfull for her but after about 5 - 6 weeks she was better. After 6 weeks she returned to work, but now is facing chemo and radiation. I think you can help each other. Sounds like alot of the same things. I will tell her how to get to this message. cjohnson is her name also. Thanks, Candy

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