Colon Cancer and Radiation

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/14/2011 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer in the Fall of 2009. I can't believe how much time has gone by. Starting in October and into November, I was taking chemo and having radiation four times a week. At first the radiation seemed like a piece of cake. They would near the end that I would hate going in. The actual zap by the machine was nothing, but like they said, it was taking it's toll. At one point the doctor showed me a plastic dish with hose that would allow me to clean with water instead of using toilet paper. I took one look at what he was suggesting and opted for a bidet seat for my toilet instead. I picked up a fairly standard model that used the same water as the toilet, and had a cord that I could plug into a standard outlet to warm the seat and the water. Washing with the warm water was much easier that using the scratchy paper. Not that I would have thought that nice "soft" paper was that harsh before, but with radiation, it would rub the skin off. The last thing I wanted to do was "wipe" the outer layer of skin off back there. Near the end, the doctor would take a look and say that it looked in twice a good of shape as what was normal for his patients. I laughed and told him I was in a lot of pain doing it my way, and that if the others looked much worse, I didn't even want to think about what they were going through. I asked him how many of his other patients had used the water wash, and he said almost none.
Wow!  Insurance pays for thousands of dollars worth of radiation treatment, but not for methods or devices to reduce wear and tear on the old sitter.
Lucky for me, I had a few bucks I could spend, but it also made me sad that the others were in even more pain.
I ended my radiation the day before Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving Day was a very bad day for my pain. My son and daughter came over and cooked. After six weeks or so taking chemo and radiation, my tastes had changed. My son loves garlic, and now the smell of garlic was unbearable. I was afraid to tell him that though. It's pretty nice when you have family that thinks to take care of you in moments like that.
So anyway, if you are doing radiation, or know someone that does, think about the water washing. They call these things bidet seats, washlets and sometimes bidets.
Your don't need special plumbing. If you have a toilet, you can have one of these. It replaces the seat that you have. The seat you have holds on with two bolts. Remove those, and drop on a bidet seat. The seat will come with a tee that splits off the water for both the toilet and the seat.
Sometimes you can find a nearby outlet, or use a small extension cord. I mean a short cord, not small. These little critters will use somewhere between 500 watts and 1300 watts depending on the method of heating.
The nice thing, is that now that I'm done with that, I wound up with a Ileostomy, and for some reason, and those that have them will know what I mean, it''s still nice to keep clean with water.
That Winter after the surgery to remove part of the colon, I found that sitting on the non-heated seat was almost unbearable. I was having a hard time with the Seattle cold in the Winter. The seat that was warm was so much easier for me. I even had to keep the home heated at a higher level. So having the heated seat was very important. There's nothing worse then losing you ability to handle cold, and then someone comes over and opens all your doors and window in Winter to "air" the place out. I guess that's why they make blankets.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 6/15/2011 6:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I got a biffy bidet for when my IBD was active -- it was really helpful to avoid being so sore down there all the time. Since my ileo, I've used it a lot less. I've had some complications with my butt wound and it's still not easy for me to sit on the toilet. Glad you're still getting use out of it.

Congrats on being done with chemo and radiation and welcome to the list!
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 6/15/2011 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Terry welcome and very helpful advice.
Wife of 64 yr old male suffered with UC & in May 06 had a severe flare & hospitalized 6 days...various prednisone treatments leading to steroid dependence and osteopenia, 12 asacol, 200 mg Imuran, failed remicade infusions Jan-May 2010 Dependence on pain meds. Made decision 6/10 to have surgery which was on 12/17/10 (total proctocolectomy & ileostomy - unable to have the j-pouch) & now pain free
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