(...) Met with Dr. Matthew Kalady
of the Cleveland clinic on Monday ...Called me on Wednesday and has recommended short course radiation, 1 week, wait 7-10 days, then surgery to remove the tumor. I assume this will be followed up by "mop up"chemo for a time
... I will have an ileostomy for a time
, but otherwise I think that's good news. The less chemo and/or rad that I have to endure, the better? ...
Yes, I think you're right -- the less chemo/rad, the better -- that is, whenever this approach can be justified.
I just wanted to mention one other thing, though, that is not always covered whenever the topic of 'temporary ileostomy' comes up: When you have a temp ileo in place, the number of months
that you have it in place is a critical factor. During all of this time the colon is "off-line" and not actively performing bowel movements. What happens is that the colon and the associated muscle groups then eventually become weak or lazy due to lack of use. The scientific literature mentions something like 4 months as being the "point of no return." If the patient does not do any pelvic muscle exercises at all to keep the sphincters and pelvic floor muscles in tone while the temp ileo is in place, then eventually the colon becomes quite dysfunctional and almost beyond rehabilitation -- i.e., after about 6 months of continuous temp ileo presence with no exercise, the colon as well as the sphincters, etc., essentially forget how to function, and then when the reversal eventually takes place it can be extremely difficult to train the colon how to behave properly. In essence, we then regress to the status of a being a toddler who has to go through toilet training from the very beginning
So, when the doctor or nurse suggests that you try doing some Kegel exercises, or squats, or vigorous power walking while you are on a temp ileo, this is probably good advice and is something that should be followed. It might help reduce future problems and frustrations.
The scientific studies show that patients who have temp ileostomies in place less than 4 months have significantly fewer bowel control problems during the post-reversal period than patients who have had to have their temp ileo in place a longer period of time