The long term effects on bowel function of low rectal cancer survivors is often the least discussed topic before treatment and the biggest challenges after treatment. Everyone in this Club who has had low or very low rectal cancer knows the impact that the removal of some or most of the rectum has on their quality of life.
I am an ultra low rectal cancer survivor (cut line 2 cm above anal verge, Stage II, 1997, LAR, no pouch, no adjunct treatment). The LAR destroyed my normal bowel function. There was the normal multiple urges, inability to evacuate, incontinence, extreme urgency etc. Through desperation and the lack of concern on the part of my doctors, I began to experiment with a daily large volume tap water enema while taking my morning shower. I use a balloon catheter to allow me to shower without having to hold the tip. This approach truly works. Other than a 15 minute per day commitment to bowel management I live a normal life.
This approach is medically approved by my doctors and research. Follow the link to see a summary article on the use of daily enema. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entre ... xed=google
All that is necessary to eliminate the consequences of the treatment for low rectal cancer is a commitment to try the unconventional, the proper equipment and technique.