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Stool caliber after radiation

zsazsa1
Posts: 344
Joined: Oct 2018

It's four months since I finished pelvic IMRT radiation, and I'm finally mostly over the diarrhea.  I'm not back to how I was before, but at least I can go out, do things, without worrying so much about proximity to a bathroom.  But I'm a bit worried.  The diameter of the formed stool is so small!  The stools are not as wide as a pencil in diameter.  I'm worried about scarring, and an obstruction forming.

Any reassurance from anyone who's been through this?

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 255
Joined: Jan 2017

I am 18 months out from Pelvic rads and find everything has changed. Size especially, and I think that is because it does not have time to get packed and bigger. If I have a normal stool, it is rare. I find if I take an Immodium, the stool is firmer and more formed prerads. My doc says I am OK and everything is gonna be this way - probably for the rest of my life. So I have accepted this new size and schedule. Hang in there.

Anonymous user (not verified)

I was told to bulk up fiber to get a normal stool instead of the pencils. However, pencils still prevail sometimes.  If you eat prunes or raisins, I find this helps me.  Even drink prune juice with the pulp.  

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 229
Joined: Feb 2018

I noticed that too, although I also had additional things going on (microscopic colitis). I didn't see normal caliber until just recently (over a year since finishing rads), and then only after getting on colestyramine (Questran) and increasing the dose. I don't think our bowels can ever be totally normal after radiating them. 

zsazsa1
Posts: 344
Joined: Oct 2018

I finally had the courage to try eating some salad, and I'm happy to say, 24 hrs later, no bad effects!  I am so eager to eat vegetables again, even though they were never my favorite.

MAbound
Posts: 874
Joined: Jun 2016

I've found that eating small helps me to eat more of the stuff I should be eating. The cruciferous vegetables, give me the most trouble. 

suzycruise76's picture
suzycruise76
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2019

I envy you...but good for you! I have not been eating any fresh fruit,fresh vegetables and lettuce for almost 3 and a half months,and I sure miss them a lot. Almost would be ready to try...but I am getting reversal of my ileostomy in 11 days,so I am not going to risk it.

Unfortunately it looks like I will not be able to eat it soon after the surgery again...oh well; I am on my way to complete recovery (cancer-free at the moment told me my surgeon),I had been strong during the treatment and first surgery (colon tumor removal plus complete hysterectomy),so I must stay strong for a bit longer!

Enjoy your greens, and all the best,

Suzy

zsazsa1
Posts: 344
Joined: Oct 2018

Hooray, Suzy!  11 days and you'll be reconnected.  That is something to look forward to.  I'm happy for you that you are cancer-free, and soon will hopefully be device-free, too.  Don't worry, it won't be long before you can eat fruits and veggies again.

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1456
Joined: Jun 2012

heres to everything going perfectly with your reversal. 

suzycruise76's picture
suzycruise76
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2019

ConnieSW,I hope everything is going to fine. I was diagnosed in January,and having to be "done" with cancer in September seems to me extremely fast...but not so easy. I still consider myself very lucky.

I don't know your situation,but wish you just the best,

Suzy

suzycruise76's picture
suzycruise76
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2019

thank you so much! I just started doing experimental pre-op preparation:getting daily dose of some kind of gellatine solution injected through my stoma,it goes to my colon,and it is suppose to "wake" it up prior to the surgery. It is done in my hospital by stoma nurse. So,I started using my "back end" even without reconnection, it works,but the little problem is to be close to the washroom to get all that jelly-like stuff into toilet and not into my pants ;-)

I wonder if somebody knows about it and tried it,too.

Well just 7 more days!

I''ll be back after my surgery,so talk you laterSmile,

Suzy

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1456
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm a retired nurse so like stuff like you educated us about. Now I'm off to let Mr Google tell me more. 

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 902
Joined: Jan 2016

My stool after radiation has never been normal after radiation and I fact I never had the diarea during like most people. I can’t have a normal colonoscopy because it would be dangerous, something about a turn not narrowing. Yes all of this worries me at times, but with help of miralax and fiber suppli,ents I deal. I guess our new normal.

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