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Reverse Ileostomy or Not

Karlen1
Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi All,
I would like to hear from anyone who has had rectal cancer, had surgery for it, had radiation and chemo, had temporary ileostomy and had it reversed. I am considering not having my ileo reversed as I've read of people having so many bowel problems after being re-connected. Things are going so well for me right now and the bag doesn't bother me that much. I would certainly prefer having the bag to being fecally incontinent, or having diarrhea all the time, or spending most of my time in the bathroom. Would like to hear from anyone who has had the same experience and get your thoughts on the matter. Reply to this message or e-mail me at circus@nb.sympatico.ca
All the best to All. Thanks, Karlen

wellness
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2003

I was diagnosed with rectal cancer 11/11/02, had a low anterior ressection with an illeostomy on 12/6/02 (I had one positive lymph node), had the illeo reversed on 1/22/03 and developed a fistula and stricture of the intestine and had another surgery on 2/24/03. I am currently undergoing radiation and chemo....I am being infused with the chemo continuously for 5 days while having the radiation for five days a week.
I am glad that I had the illeostomy reversed....I have constipation most of the time and have three or four small bowel movements a day while take konsyl to regulate the constipation. I do not regret having the illeostomy reversed. I wish I didn't have to have the third operation but those are the risks that you take with the surgery.
I am returning to work this week after being out for four months.
I wish you well and please keep me posted on how you are doing.

Karlen1
Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi there, Getting Well
Thanks so much for your reply. I had one postitive lymph node, too. That's why the chemo and radiation. I only took half of the chemo. They did not continue with it as I could not eat and had to be on a feeding tube. You sure got your ileostomy reversed soon after your surgery. I'm glad it worked out for you. Just what did they do for you on 2/24/03 ? I am not familiar with what they do for a stricture or a fistula. If you don't mind sharing, I would appreciate knowing.
Thanks again.
Karlen

wellness
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi,
I had a fistula which opened up on 2/18/2003 with which I had a temperature of 102.....I was on antibiotics for a week and than I had surgery to repair the fistula and take out another ten inches of my colon to treat the stricture.
I am having some problems now with the radiation and chemotherapy.....rash on my hands, sores in my mouth, frequent and painful bowel movements.
I have eight days of radiation and infused chemo to go and than I go on chemo for 6 months of 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off for three cycles.
I am worried that the cancer will re-appear in another area in my body but my surgeon says that he got it all so not to worry but i still do.
How are you doing ?

Karlen1
Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi again, Getting Well
Sorry, did not know you had replied. Sounds like you have been through a lot. Good luck with your chemo and rad. They gave me nystatin for my mouth sores when I had chemo. It was a liquid which you just swished around in your mouth several times per day, and it worked really well. The skin on my fingers and part of my palms and the bottoms of my feet peeled off from chemo and hands and feet were quite sore. They gave me Vit B6 for that, don't think it helped any, really. My 85 year old Aunt had some bowel problems from radiation while she was having it. She's through with rad now and it's clearing up fine. I hope yours will, too.
I guess we will always kind of worry about the cancer coming back. Just hoping for the best. Things are great with me right now, thanks. e-mail me at circus@nb.sympatico.ca anytime you like. All the best to you. Karlen

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