Jul 29, 2014 - 12:31 pm
I'm 48 years old and last year I was diagnosed with Rectal Cancer stage 4 and had 28 sessions of radiation, surgery to remove my rectum and 18 inches of my radiated colon with an illeostomy bag, 2 months later had the bag removed and 4 months of Chemo which finished in November 2013. The radiation fused my rectum and vagina together so when the rectum was removed the vagina became smaller. I was told the cancer is completely gone. Overjoyed!
I now deal with the inablility to be intimate with my husband and diarrhea at any inconvenient time.
My current solutions:
Vagina- I have a series of different dialators that range from extra small to large including half sizes. I've gotten to medium plus (not big enough for my husband yet - still forging ahead) Taking a hot bath or getting in a hot tub before using the dialator helps soften. Always use lubricant because radiation causes long-term drying.
Diarrhea- I have had to take 2 tablets of Immodium 3 to 4 times a day. When it gets real bad I have to take Norco (pain killer) to stop down my system because the maximum immodium is 8 pills per day. I only take the Norco before bed to sleep otherwise I get up to go to the bathroom 4 to 5 times at night - hard to get a good nights sleep. The stool is caustic to sore skin tissue and if it's soft or loose it will continue to hurt. A barrier helps keep the stool away from the skin. There are many out there but some sting. My suggestion is Desitin generously coated and then put a small folded up tissue in your crack. You get used to the feeling. Don't wipe harshly after going to the bathroom. Having a generous amount of barrier helps with wiping because you won't irritate the anus as much. Re-apply I also take Citrucel to help form the stools and also Align Probiotic. I haven't had an inconvenient diarrhea incident in a long time. I wear liners just in case.
-I would like to eventually get off of the Immodium and Norco. Does anyone have any suggestions?
-I would like to be intimate with my husband again. Any suggestions?