I had radiation for endometrial cancer in 1995 followed by extensive radiation. I had some digestive issues afterward but no big deal until 6 years ago when I had colon cancer. This cancer was a result of the radiation exactly 20 years prior. The surgeon who removed the tumor also removed almost two feet of my small bowel in order to make a safe connection. He said that those two feet were so damaged by radiation that he had to remove them and that they weren't doing me any good anyway. Wrong!! Since then I have had diarrhea abd gas. Like you I always had to have a bathroom near but I had accidents in my own house because the diarrhea came on so fast.
A couple of months ago everything got worse except the diarrhea which was better. What was worse was intense abdominal pain. I saw a Chrohns specialist who told me that everyone needs an intact ileum which is where I am missing so much small bowel. He wasn't really any help except for the explanation.
My regular gastroenterologist performed a colonoscopy and found no cancer but inflammation of the small bowel. He prescribed budesonide, a steroid, which I haven't taken yet because the pain improved after the colonoscopy. He is sure the inflammation is not Chrohns although that's what it would look like. I'm positive it is from the long term effects of the radiation.
I apologize for the long post but I wanted you to know that you are not alone in suffering the after effects of radiation. I'm being treated at the same medical center where I had the radiation. They tell me that they don't do the extensive radiation any more. I'm glad but sorry that they did it to me. I should have had chemo instead.
Sorry you are having so much difficulty. “Stone Age” radiation meant “good tissue” was negatively affected. I don’t regret the Tx in 1987 since it saved my life. But the bowel resection after effects 3 years out are getting really old. Have to be careful of kidneys bc of Stage IIIb chronic kidney disease. Tonight I had b. movement that nearly made me pass out from the pain. Exhausted from chasing solutions, daily bouts of diarrhea and pain.