Coloradian Member Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi all,

I'm new to this discussion board. I was diagnosed with Rectal cancer in April have gone thru chemo/Radiation, Surgery and now have an temporary Ileostomy. I have 2/3rds of my sphincter muscles left as the cancer was very low.

I have been reading about fecal incontinence after the reversal of the Ileostomy and frankly I'm very worried. I need to get back to work soon as possible after the reversal is done which will be one month after the next round of Chemo is done.

I'm hoping to hear from people who have been in my situation and can guide and prepare me for what has to come.

Thank you


  • libris
    libris Member Posts: 23

    After 7 months with a temporary ileostomy I took 4 weeks off from work after my reversal. I really could have used more time, but fortunately I work in a very flexible situation (where I'm the boss) so I was able to take it easy at work for the first few weeks back. Some recommend using immodium to regulate the bowel. I just let nature take its course. Now, just about 1 year later I still have more than one bowel movement a day, but no urgency and no incontinence.

    I hope you have an understanding crew at work and a bathroom nearby. You will need to give your body time to adjust. Best of luck!!
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    One of my patient partners (I have a total of 11 now that I have 'guided' little flock!!lol) was in you situation...and even during the time she had her ileostomy, she did kegel muscle exercises...well, anyway, exercised the sphincter muscles so well that when she was reconnected, she has had no trouble at all....even 3 weeks post-op!!!

    I never had a temp....started using my 'new' rectum the night after surgery...but I learned a very valuable sensitive to the signs that a BM is coming....mine is a slight cramp in my right pelvis, then one in the center...time to find a bathroom!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072 Member
    I also had a very low tumor and had all of my rectal tissue removed. I had an unsuccessful reversal. I am not trying to scare you, just prepare you. I was left with diarrhea, butt burn, incontinece, 30 - 40 trips all day and all nite to the loo. I made the hardest decision in my life and had a colostomy done. I haven't looked back.

    If you want you can email me through this site.

  • Faith4Cure
    Faith4Cure Member Posts: 405 Member
    My husband had his reversal at the end of May. He was back to work within 10 days after surgery (but it wasn't easy)It has been 3 months since surgery and he his still dealing with pain, urgency, and burning. He does have really good days, and then some that are not good at all. We are told that it takes time, so we are trying to be patient! Even though it has been very bothersome, he is living his life fairly normal. We always make sure we know where the bathroom is!!!Hopefully in a couple of months we can tell you that it does get much better!

    Keep a positive attitude and be patient. A little humor goes a long ways too! If you want to e-mail us, we'd be glad to answer any other questions you may have.

    Take Care