I'm also stage 3 colo-rectal cancer with 20+ nodes affected. I had my entire rectum and part of my colon removed and had a loop ileostomy put in when my tumor was removed, back in November. I've had chemo, chemo/radiation and starting Monday 8 more rounds of chemo. My surgeon didn't give me the option of when the reversal would be done - she said call her when I'm done with chemo - she would not reverse it before then.
Fortunately, I had (have) a FANTASTIC ostomy nurse. I don't know how I would have handled my ileostomy situation both logistically (which products to use and how) and emotionally (I was completely devastated to hear I had to have an ileostomy) without her support. She is a true angel. I cried and cried and cried on her shoulder and she helped me work through my issues.
Both the chemo and radiation give me diahhrea on a pretty regular basis. Despite not being thrilled to have the ileostomy, I am glad all this nuclear poop isn't coming out my bottom. My surgeon obviously knew what she was doing when she said she would not do the reversal until after all chemo was done.
There is an ostomy web-site that has a chat group similar to this one that you may find helpful in dealing with all sorts of ostomy issues. The address is www.uoaa.org
The members are all very supportive and helpful. If you haven't checked it out yet I would strongly recommend it.