I am exactly 6 months since my ileo reversal post rectal cancer Dx March 2007. I had 28 radiation days with 5FU, followed by LAR with TME, and 6 months of Folfox 6.
First couple of weeks are very unpredictable. Was hard to leave home and feel ok about it. However, that gradually changed as my body began to adjust and I felt more confident with my body's signals. At first, it is a good idea to eat a low residue diet...not a lot of fiber at first and then gradually introduce soluble fiber - e.g. peel your apples, eat vegetables that are low in insoluble fiber (well cooked carrots are good, lightly cooked broccoli is not) Stay away from alcohol, greasy spicy foods for a while until things settle and then use moderation.
I found that taking Immodium ( use the chewables) and Metameusil wafers (available at most drug stores) are very good to help regulate and slow things down. Be sure you are getting enough water each day while you are working on regulating and retraining your bowel. For the first few months, I would avoid gas producing foods to help control "urges".
Here is a link to a very useful article on bowel re-training from MD Anderson's department of Colorectal Surgeryhttp://www3.mdanderson.org/depts/hcc/su ... rticle.htm
It is normal to have "clusters". Example, you don't go to the BR for 12-24 hours and then go 6-8 times over 2-3 hours, because you no longer have a reservoir and so transit of stool takes time for you to fully evacuate. My surgeon told me that it is normal for things to keep adjusting over the first year.
A couple of things I found useful while going through this process
keep a food diary so you can tweak things to work for YOUR body. EXPERIMENT - especially after the first couple of months. Eating frequent small meals and one bigger meal at the same time, if possible, will help. I try to do this as much as possible. Exercise is really good to settle things down.
Feel free to get in touch with any questions