Long Time Survivor--First visit to this forum
Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:29 am
I am in my 14th year of survival following surgery for stage 3 rectal cancer. The surgery removed 12 inches of my colon including half my rectum. Surgery was followed by seven weeks of radiation treatments five days per week, accompanied by continuous infusion chemotherapy also five days per week, 24 hours a day. I had two follow-up 14 day continuous chemo treatments a few months later with a higher dosage of fluorouracil than the earlier chemo. My strength was minimally affected by all of this, and I was able to go to work every day during my treatments. Five years, three colonoscopies, and 11 CT scans after my last chemo treatment I was pronounced cancer free. That was seven years ago. I have been able to lead a normal life with the exception of the problem of frequent bowel movements (6-8 per day, sometimes more) and some diarrhea. I have managed my situation with dietary restrictions and over-the-counter supplements (metamucil capsules, activated charcoal capsules for gas, and dietary enzymes) that I take with every meal. The most comprehensive advice I have found came from an Australian government publication that I found here: https://www.continence.org.au/download. ... urgery.pdf. I have tailored my diet based on information I found in this document, and that has helped me a good deal. I am now 73 years old, but I feel quite strong and lead a very active life. I have played 152 rounds of golf this year and have gone downhill skiing 41 times--but still I have to manage all of my activities around my bowel habits.