I finished radiation end of July, 2015. I had a sigmoidoscopy a couple weeks later and a pet scan the end of August. After the sigmoidoscopy my surgeon scheduled the surgery for September 9, 2015. So that was about 6 weeks after finishing radiation. It does seem like a long time to wait for surgery.
I know the radiation continues to work for quite some time after completion. I didn't really have any problems with bowel movements during or after radiation, just the pain from skin being burned, and pain when urinating, felt like passing glass.
I had a temporary ileostomy and had to have it reversed 4 weeks later. I had a bowel blockage caused by scar tissue and the surgeon had to do surgery so he said he would reverse the ileo while doing that surgery. I had problems with the ileo as my stoma (which is the intestines that sticks out of the abdomen) would start to bleed for no reason. I had an appt with the ostomy nurse the day after I went into the hospital to talk to her. She came to see me in the hospital and removed the bag and we sat there and watch the stoma begin to bleed. She couldn't figure out why. Since I had the reversal it became a non issue. I was to originally keep the ileo until after adjuvant therapy, since chemo can cause diarrhea. So once I did have chemo, I did have issues with diarrhea. The bag was easy to empty and I did adjust, just had the issues with the bleeding. I know there can be some dietary issues with the ileo, as it is located higher up where the small intestines are, so it is mostly liquid. I got mixed responses, my home care nurse told me I could eat anything, while the directions given to me to take home from the hospital listed some foods to avoid.
I had total response to the radiation as all that was left was scar tissue. Hopefully, your mom will show complete response or a lot of shrinkage of the tumor. You are being great with your mom, such a help to her. My daughter was so helpful also. Depending what pain meds she is taking, it can cause constipation or issues with bowel movements. Good Luck to you and your mom and hopefully as she recovers from the radiation things will get better.
58 yr old mother of 3 Dx @ 55
5/15 DX T3N0MO/ 2A
6/15 5 wks of chemo/rad
7/15 sigmoidoscopy/scar tissue left
8/15 Pet scan NED
10/15 Bowel blockage. 3 1/2 weeks in hospital,early ileo rev since
surgery to repair blockage. c-diff inf
12/15 6 rds of xelox
5/16 Clear CT lung scarring/inflammation
9/16 clear colonoscopy
4/17 CT 4mm lung nod onc thinks scar tissue
monitored for autoimmune disorder/interstitial lung disease
7/17 no change lung nodule
10/17 Clear CT