Two years ago, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer, had a colostomy put in, went through chemo/radiation, had my rectum removed, ileostomy put in, had a reversal a year ago, about six months ago had more intestines removed because of radiation damage and kept having blockage. Since then I have been trying to find a way of eating so I could lessen my bowel issues, accidents and pain. I have tried low residue, high fiber, vegetarian, so on and so on. All worked for a short time but then my bowels would rebel. So today, I am starting an elimination and reintroducing diet to truely find what I can safely eat. I am eating only white rice (which I know is safe) for a couple days till everything clears. I then want to reintroduce foods one by one. I have research IBS and Allergy reintroducing diets but since they are for a totally different issue, don't find them helpful. So Here is my questions.
Has anyone else needed to do this and if so, how did you reintroduce foods. In what order, how long between adding more foods, etc.? I would love some input. even if is to direct me to another site with the right info.
I'm not sure I'll be a lot of help because I had an iloeostomy reversal 6 months ago and still struggling with bowel issues. My main problem (believe it or not) has been constipation. I have been battling extreme gas issues & Beano wouldn't help at all. Finally, like you, I'm just trying different things to find out what will work for me. I've found 2 things that have helped immensely, but are a little pricey. For gas, I bought Andrew Lessman's "Bean & Vegetable Gas Relief," & to to help with digestion, I've been taking Andrew Lessman's "Digest Assure." I will check back to see how you're doing & hopefully, can get some advise from you & others. Take care,
Thanks JJsmith. Yes it sounds like we are dealing with different issues, but I feel for ya. I have successfully cleaned out my system and I did get some guidance from my colon/rectal surgeon. So I ate an egg, banana and baked salmon yesterday, because I felt those were pretty safe and wanted to get protein and potassium in me asap. I am going to add one more food today but not sure what yet. I will be adding on to this thread for a while just in case it might be helpful to someone someday.
3 days of relief. No accidents, sores are healing etc. If it wasn't for the lack of nutrition, I think I would just eat these few foods only so I could have a life. But I will keep trucking along. I added potato, with a very small pat of butter. Pretty sure those are safe. I also added lettuce. Had a cup and half with no dressing. Lettuce is really iffy but it's been about 18 hrs and so far so good.
I was really glad to read that you've had 3 days of relief! Soup has always been pretty safe for me, if it's not full of beans or spicy. Ice cream has actually been ok on occasion too. Yes, we're dealing with opposite issues, and both are just terrible. In the beginning, I had problems like yours and the pain from constant diarrhea was just about as painful as the surgery. Like you, I used everything I could get my hands on to help with the pain. Dermoplast Pain Relieving spray helped about as much as anything. I'm starting to feel fortunate that I have constipation instead of diarrhea. I guess we'll eventually figure out what works & what doesn't, but like you, I'm so ready to just get a life back so I can leave the house without fear of more accidents. Take care of yourself. Your in my prayers. JJ
The Following User Says Thank You to JJSMITH For This Useful Post: Nassau one (03-02-2011)
JJ, thanks for getting back to me. I am on my 5th day and still doing great! I have added with much research, oatmeal with maple syrup, sourdough bread, very finely diced onion, evoo, and lemon juice. I wont get too discriptive but I had the most "normal" bm I think a person without a rectum can have, last night. Today, I am adding carrots, I think to just be easier on my digestion, I will cook them, and maybe a white fish. I am nervous about trying any chicken, pork, beef or most dairy, so I will be putting those off for a while. I am just enjoying the healing and freedom. eventually, I will need to experiment with those foods, but I don't think for a week or two. I hope my journey here will help somebody with the same issues someday. I am not sure if me journaling here on a post every day or so is inappropriate. If it is, feel free somebody, to let me know. My feelings won't be hurt, I promise. BTW, I spent the afternoon away from home and with out a diaper for the first time in a year yesterday.!
kjmiller, I truly am so happy for you. 5 days is a MIRACLE, and such a positive sign that you are at long last ... healing. Being "normal," every once in a while is what keeps me going. Since I have such terrible constipation, I have more freedom to leave the house, but I'm just always living with the fear of an obstruction, by letting too many days pass without going. I take stool softeners at least twice a day, but my body just seems to be oblivious to it, so I have to take more & more to be able to go. It's getting scary. I'm taking a huge leap tomorrow and flying to visit a good friend in Las Vegas for a week before I head back to Houston (M.D. Anderson) for my next round of tests. I may have to stay in the room a lot, but that's ok. I'm just ready for a treat. No, I don't think posting several times is ever 'inappropriate!' That's what these boards are for. So many people read the posts and don't reply. I do that a lot. When I was diagnosed, I read these boards for hours, every day, and found such comfort from all the wonderful, compassionate people here. I'm taking my iPad with me, so I'll check on you every couple of days. Take care & keep up the good work!
JJ, my mom, brother and sister are headed on a plane tomorrow morning for Las vegas. Small world. I do not think you have it much easier because for about 4 months after my reversal, I had many obstructions and ended up having to have a lot of my small intestine removed because of radiation. Obstructions are painful and scarey. I will be praying for you too. I hope all goes well on your trip. I hope if things improve, I might be able to plan a plane ride someday.
Definitly have Gluten intolerance and have lots of questions, but will ask the gluten questions on another board. I haven't tested meat and dairy yet. Am sure there will be many more intolerances but I am enjoying things going well right now with my digestion. Last night, I was able to go and sit through a movie for the first time in two years
Since I have such terrible constipation, I have more freedom to leave the house, but I'm just always living with the fear of an obstruction, by letting too many days pass without going. I take stool softeners at least twice a day, but my body just seems to be oblivious to it, so I have to take more & more to be able to go.
My husband had a low anterior resection 4 years ago for Stage 3 colon cancer (hereditary -- sister and brother also diagnosed, Stage 3). He suffers from constant constipation and gas, and has spent a small fortune on products like pro-biotics, laxatives, etc. -- to no real avail. He had 10 inches of his sigmoid colon resected, and they had to put in a J-pouch to give him some "storage" since so much of the sigmoid colon was removed.
His doctor said because the nerves and muscles are disrupted during a resection, the colon may never function "normally" again...