Rectal cancer survivor, bowel management problems. Does it get better?

You Sep 22 


My name is George. I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer 6/15. Since then had chemo/radiation and then my LAR surgery in 10/15 then 4 mos of chemo followed by my ileostomy reversal 5/16. Since then I have had a hard time trying to manage my bowels, i.e. 40-50 BM daily then down to the 20s and now sometimes below 10 then out of nowhere back up to the 20s. I would like to speak with someone if that is possible; if not, this forum would suffice. Basically I would like to know how any others in my situation are doing? And if you are better I would like to know how you got there. Looking forward to any response.


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    edited September 2016 #2

    I know that your porblem is shared by others here on the forum. I'm sure they will be popping by, off and on over the coming days. 

    Until then, let me welcome you to our friendly little group. I hope you get some help with your problem. 

    I have multiple trips to the loo, but not as multiple as you, so I know I can't help you there. 

    Good luck.


  • DD3
    DD3 Member Posts: 136 Member
    edited October 2016 #3

    boy.... My wife is a rectal cancer survivor.  She too had a temp ileostomy and had it reversed.  Your story sounds pretty familiar.  Where to start.  Initially after the reversal it was tough.  When I say seconds mattered, seconds truly mattered.  This went on for the first month and half (maybe?)....  things started to settle down but the sense of urgency and frequency still was all over the place.  We played with diet and everything.  Just was rough going.  It seems to me it took about a year for things to get to a new normal. We have purge days where she will go quite frequently.  What sets it off? Have no idea.  We have looked at this from every different angle.  So, fiber supplement is a daily requirement and she will eat smaller more frequent portions.  Life is definitely manageable. 

    I know this is frustrating but give your body time to adjust again.  It just takes time.  I have asked the surgeon and she indicated my wife is anotomically normal.  No reason for the problems my wife has. 

    I wish you well on your recovery. 

  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member
    edited October 2016 #4

    I too had an ileostomy that was reversed.  Get an RX for LOMOTIL.  It does stop the bms.  I have been NED for 6 yrs, yet still get occasional diarrhea.  With the LOMOTIL it is something I have learned to live with.  Good luck to you!!