Newbie with pooping issues

Hi Folks,

Another newbie here.  Dx with Stage two rectal cancer in January.  Did the resection end of January.  And am now undergoing chemo.  The oncologist recommended it even though stage two.  Had my first treatment last week (Oxy and 5-FU).  Tolerating the chemo ok I guess.  Slight nausea but bad diarrhea.

My concerns really lie with post resection pooping issues.  I’m suffering from lower anterior syndrome I think.  Often I’ll go a couple of days without pooping and then have up to 10 poops in one day in clusters.  It’s very uncomfortable and makes it hard to go about daily life on that pooping day.  I’m wondering will this settle down at all?  I’m less than two months from my surgery and know it takes time, but this is rather debilitating at times.  It’s making it difficult for me to work.  And the worst part is the pain in my rear… I feel like I’m having a spasm and have to go again for hours after one of the multiple pooping sessions during the day.  I’m not talking about being raw, but the sensation of having your anus open maybe?  I’m not really sure how to describe it, except that it’s painful and very uncomfortable.  Hard to sit or stand until the feeling slowly goes away – like I said over the course of a couple of hours. 

Someone mentioned on here that he does regular enemas and this helps?  I’d love more information on that if possible.  I’m really at a loss for what to do.  The diarrhea with the chemo is making it worse.  It’s making me really depressed. 

Thanks for any suggestions and your support.  So happy to have found this place.



  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,626 Member
    Write it all down

    Write every minute detail down, and be sure to talk to your Oncologist about this.

    I also have that feeling of an open anus after my bowel movemnets have been strained. It feels like something is still in there waiting to come out, but it won't.  It scares me, becuase this is how it was when I was diagnosed in November. 

    What I am doing is making sure I eat a well rounded diet, with the veg and fiber that is needed to make a Dr. Oz approved BM.  I have to help it out after the chemo (same as yours) with some Colace. The few days after being unhooked from the 5FU, I don't want to eat, but now, session 5, I make myself eat a little every few hours, and it is really making a HUGE difference. 

    Still, I would definitely talk to the Onc about all of this. And I know that other here will have more info and help for you.

    Welcome to the forum. We wish you didn't need to be here, but now that you are, you will find such wonderful people, loads of info, and support and help that will carry you along this journey. 


  • thxmiker
    thxmiker Member Posts: 1,278
    Add Real Oatmeal to your

    Add Real Oatmeal to your diet.   Oatmeal will do a couple of things for you.  

    A: It wiil make you regular.

    B: It will slow down the diarrhea.  It seems counter intuitive to add fiber, but the added fiber will clump things together and add regularity.


    Get on a balanced diet!  The Zone, Mediteranean, etc...  


    Juicing will add nutrients will making one regular. It also lowered the acidity of BMs for me. 


    Bananas and Ginger helped me when I felt depletedd after large BMs. One loses a lot of Potasium and minerals during the depleting BMs following chemo.  Ginger helped me with the nausea.


    Best Always, mike

  • YoVita
    YoVita Member Posts: 590
    Two practical suggestions

    I too am a rectal cancer survivor (diagnosed stage IIIC 3 years ago).  Use Tucks wipes, they are more gentle.  Also try Nupercainal cream following bowel movements.  Both helped me during the tougher times.  It does get better.  Best wishes to you, Vita

  • johnom
    johnom Member Posts: 86 Member
    Pooping problems

    I was Stage II dx'd in 2004.  I have spent the whole weekend in, near or locating the restroom facilities.  I had a LAR, with chemo and radiation before and chemo afterward (which I wanted just in case there was anything left in there they couldn't see). However, it has been 5 or 6 months since the last time this kind of attack by my bowel happened.

    Everyone is different, and yet all of us have very similar issues.  A doctor asked me why I didn't just take immodium to control it.  It was a well-intentioned, but inexperienced question to me. He seemed to mean since I was surgically altered around the rectum, I should do whatever I had to do to make myself comfortable. (?) He didn't understand that's not our favorite choice of remedy, i.e. putting a cork in it.  I do take it anytime I am going to be on a plane. Another tough lesson to learn.

    After surgery back then, all I could eat were graham crackers and all I could drink was Root Beer.  A few months post-op I did recognize that oatmeal and other sources of fiber are probably the best you can do.  The fiber produces "bulk" which slows down the movement southward.  I took metamucil capsules, but there are certainly other foods to eat as well. At this point, I almost never eat any bread or much else, including pasta, that isn't full of fiber.  Spicy dishes are totally out, or else I get an attack like you are describing.  It took me about 4 years to be able to claim my bowel had retrained itself.  I sit in a courtroom all day and it can get embarrassing sometimes, especially with uncontrollable flatulence when I stand up, or the occasional dash out the door to the toilet, which is sometimes too late. 

    All of the advice you are getting here will work. I wish you the very best recovery!  It does subside over time, but it will try your patience, too. By the way, I have now had 14 colonoscopy preps.  That's a whole different discussion....

    Best of luck to you.  I know you will make it through just fine.





  • renw
    renw Member Posts: 282
    Your pain sounds like a

    Your pain sounds like a fissure in the rectum or anus that is not healing courtesy of chemo. Been through that, though lasted only about 2-3 weeks.  To keep regular, I had a few spoon fulls of chia seeds every day either with just water or in a smoothie. 

  • marbleotis
    marbleotis Member Posts: 720 Member

    A nurse told me in case of chemo diarrea use the BRAT diet. B=banannas, R=rice, A=applesauce and T=toast.

    Small amounts on a plate.  It is very gentle on your system and worked GREAT!

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,626 Member
    renw said:

    Your pain sounds like a

    Your pain sounds like a fissure in the rectum or anus that is not healing courtesy of chemo. Been through that, though lasted only about 2-3 weeks.  To keep regular, I had a few spoon fulls of chia seeds every day either with just water or in a smoothie. 


    Do you crush your chia seeds? I Know they swell up in the stomach and heard that crushing them is best. 

  • KayeKay
    KayeKay Member Posts: 122
    this is very interesting to

    this is very interesting to me considering i had this same exact problem for a few months prior to being rediagnosed last month. i had really bad nerves that was causing it. when my nerves are under control im ok but when they are not im a ticking time bomb. bentyl is a medication that helps a lot with this problem. and getting anxiety under control. my grandmother also has this problem and she has what they call  a spastic colon. both cause pain. tell ur doc so they can get it under control.

  • renw
    renw Member Posts: 282
    Trubrit said:


    Do you crush your chia seeds? I Know they swell up in the stomach and heard that crushing them is best. 

    they do not need to be

    they do not need to be crushed. They digest well and most of  the fiber is on the outside anyway,  the jelly like envelope which surrounds the seed when soaked.

  • ajouteast
    ajouteast Member Posts: 10
    Meeting with the surgeon

    Meeting with the surgeon today to discuss the issue.  For the time being he put me on valium I guess to try to reduce the spasms.  Haven't had to go since I've taken the valium so I don't know if it will help.  Has anyone else been put on any medications for pain associated with pooping?