Hey all -
Thought I'd update. Things seem to be improving a bit (now 6 weeks after reversal) although still going quite a bit (20+ times/day). Bathroom trips are grouped now, in what I call episodes, rather than just going on all day. Episodes can range from 2 to 4 hours. My joke with my family that the first three weeks after reversal were unlivable, now it's just unworkable.
Have added the Heather's Tummy Fiber to my routine, which also seems to be helping, although I did not eliminate Metamucil. Also was allowed to add Imodium, which helps quite a bit.
Had an issue I wanted to raise. Recently started adding some insoluble fiber to the diet (fruit and vegetables and whole grains) on the theory that this might cut down on clustering by helping move things through the system, and in fact it does seem to have that effect. Since reversal, however, my stool has remained relatively thinner than it was pre-diagnosis, and since I added the fruits and vegetables, bulking up the stool, I get more pain and anal spasms after moving my bowels. Is this normal? Is there an anal narrowing that occurs during the period of the temporary ileostomy or as a result of the LAR that just needs to be worked through (re-stretched as it were) or are the pain, spasms, etc indicative of some other issue? Just don't know what's normal - what I just have to work through and what might be a sign of an issue.
Be grateful for any thoughts.
- Dx Stage IIIc rectal cancer: January 2015 (CEA 20)
- Chemo (Folfox): January - April 2015
- Chemo-Radiation (Xeloda): May - June 2015
- Surgery (LAR/temporary ileostomy): September 2015; 4/20 lymph nodes – no adjuvant chemo
- Reversal: December 2015
- Stage IV: August 2016 - Lung Mets
- Chemo (Xeloda) Started October 2016.
- CEA down; lung mets shrinking.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."