radiation therapy in the rectum - any problems?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/27/2011 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all
I was diagnosed with rectal cancer very low in my rectum in Feb 2010, went through two months of radiation + chemo, had a anterior resection and a temporary illeostomy fitted, which I have now had for 9 months, and also a further 6 months chemo as they removed 39 lymph nodes, 9 of which tested positive. I finally finished chemo in January 2011.
To be honest, excluding those last couple of weeks of the raidation and first week or so following the operation, I have sailed through the whole experience and am now nervously excited to have the reversal in about 4 weeks time.
Going through all the posts, I have two questions I couldn't see and would love to get answers for:
1 - My surgeon is pretty confident that despite no longer having a rectum, my sphincter will work fine after a while, however as the radiation was so low (10 centimetres for the entrance) can anyone share their experiences with me? Has the radiation caused longer term  problems?
2 - The area around my stoma has come out slighly, almost into the shape of, say, the top of a tennis ball protuding form under the skin - presumably a result of the stomach muscles weaking. I have asked my surgeon about this but haven't really found his answers to be very clear. Once the intestine disappears and the hole is mended, does this settle down?
Thanks for taking the time to read my version of War and Peace and thanks in advance for your responses. It is great to pick up that so many of us have such a positive and proactive outlook. It eqauls healing.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 2/28/2011 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry I don't have any insight as to how things will go once you've had your reversal. You may want to talk to your doctor about 'what if's' so it isn't a surprise...medications can help with bulking and slowing down after surgery. There are a few posters who have more knowledge on this and I am sure they'll be along.

It does sound like you have a hernia. If it is, your doctor can repair it during your reversal. Just know that the procedure may take a little more time than a straight reversal.

Good luck to you! And, welcome to the forum yeah
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!
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