Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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I had APR surgery on 18th July and as far as I know , everything went well. I’m home now and struggling! I don’t get much sleep as can’t get comfy, I can’t sit down or lie down and I’m in quite a bit of pain. Any hints and tips for managing pain and discomfort gratefully appreciated :x:


Good morning @jan67,

Great news that the surgery is all done and dusted and also that it appears to have gone well! I am however sorry to hear you're struggling. I don't think that's unusual for that particular surgery but don't have personal experience to share I'm afraid. I'm sure there will be others along very soon who do and can offer you some words of wisdom.

Sending lots of love and 'gentle' hugs,

Karen 🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻


Hi @jan67 . I had the APR surgery three years ago. I had strong pain killers from the hospital when I came home and I did need them in the beginning, especially to sleep. I tried to only use them when really needed though, because they are addictive.

I had a triangle cushion in bed and I slept on my side with one leg sort of draped over the cushion at my side, and I did find that to be the most comfortable. It does take a while, to be honest, but it is slowly getting better. You will notice this if you keep a diary for a little while. It is quite revealing about the progress when you see where you were, compared to where you are now.

As soon as I could I was having warm shallow baths to keep the area clean, but I also found the warmth very soothing. I added a handful of salt to the water. I only dried the area with a hair dryer set on low for a long time.

When I sat I used a very soft bed pillow for probably the first six weeks and sitting on my recliner helped too, because reclining my legs took the weight off the wound. I started walking small distances right from the start, firstly just around the house and then later outside. Moving helps, because your supporting muscles get stronger.

It is still very early days for you, and it is hard to not be impatient, but you will get there. I live a very normal life these days and am much healthier and still cancer free. Good luck with your journey!



Thank you Nina :x::x:


Hi @jan67 i had APR 3 years ago. Its a long journey but you will get there. Everyone on here are a great support so you can ask anything. I used a cushion, but mostly lay back as it was better for me. My wound healed well. I followed my hospital advice and was strict about it. Take meds regular and dont let pain take over, it honestly helps. I struggled mentally as well for a while, so take all the help you get offered. Eat well and be kind to yourself. "Hugs" :x::x::x: Linda


Thanks Linda, I appreciate your response and it’s good to hear life goes on 😊:x::x::x:


Hi @jan67 . I had mine on new years eve and like everyone else has said, it takes time. Kept hearing "still early days" which used to annoy the living daylights out of me but now, 7 months on I am back riding my back and apart from pain when driving (due to radiotherapy) it's getting easier. It is a major op and a major change in your life so ask for help if you need it. Keep going. :)


Thank you. I’ll starting to feel better already, getting out for walks each day.
Hope the radiotherapy pain clears for you 😊


I had APR 5 weeks ago and it’s tough. Struggling with stoma and now have a lot of anal pain. I am told this is all normal and I hate to say it but it is early days and our bodies have gone through major trauma. As have our minds.
Don’t underestimate paracetamol and make sure you’re keep the meds going.
Don’t try to much too soon….says she who has an emergency apt with surgeon tomorrow as think I’ve walked too far and caused swelling in rectum. Resting is hard to do when you want your old life back but it is very important advice. Wish I’d taken it.
Best wishes to you and your recovery. Give yourself time. :x:

Liz Blakelands

Hi hope that appointment with surgeon goes well today and things get back on track.
It is so hard taking things easy when you are not used to it.
Liz :x::x: