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.