Yes, that was me post surgery. I was totally depressed and also in incredible pain. Also, the rectal cancer can be so painful that you don't want to eat (nothing going in means nothing going out). I was barely eating before diagnosis because pooping hurt so bad. I also had terrible diarrhea for about a month. They didn't know what was causing mine, but it sound s like her tumors are aggravating her colon. The colon might be trying to flush them out, like constipation. She probably feels absolutely terrible and no energy because no calories.
I was in the hospital for a week from this at diagnosis. What helped me the most was going on a liquid diet until the diarrhea stopped. Since she is home, you can try getting a styrofoam cooler and set it by her bed. Jello, sweet tea, chicken broth (this would need to be heated), ensure or carnation instant breakfast, etc. The liquid diet can help reset the system. It did for me. Focus on calories, not eating. Could you have her stay with you for a while? They pretty much made me consume my liquid diet calories in the hospital. After about five days of the liquid diet, I was on a low residue diet for a while and stayed on that during chemo/radiation. I didn't have any problems with excessive diarrhea after that.
I also saw a nutritionist before I started chemo/radiation to get a list of foods that would help me avoid diarrhea during chemo/radiation. Maybe a nutritionist could help put together a liquid diet and low residue diet to get her diarrhea under control and her energy back up. When I did this, it was my idea. They told me I would have to stop treatment if my diarrhea got out of control so I took steps to control it. Don't wait for her doctors to recommend something like this.
She really needs to start chemo ASAP. She will feel a lot better when her tumors start shrinking. She may become a surgical candidate if they shrink enough. They don't always tell you that up front.
47yo single mom of 4 (24, 21, 18, 16) at Dx
6/13 - RC T4b IIIc 5LNs on PET CEA 5.4
8/13 - Finish chemorad
10/13 - APR/hyst+ovaries/perm colostomy 2/12 nodes+
6/14 - Finish Xelox 6 rds
1/15 - CT clear CEA 0.2
10/15 - CT/MRI clear CEA 0.7
4/16 - CT clear
10/16 - CT/MRI clear CEA 0.6