I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in Sept. 2004. I was told a 4-5 cm tumor approx. 8-10 inches from anus. CT scan did not show spread anywhere else. Not sure of technical stagging, but I was told everything showed no signs of anything advanced.
I completed 6 weeks of continuous 5F chemo infusion through porta cath and radiation 2 weeks ago. During exam in surgeon's office the other day, he says most of tumor is gone with what looks to him to be small ulcer-like remains. Surgery is scheduled in Jan. to remove remains of tumor and lymph nodes close-by. He will remove approx. 10-12 inches of rectum/colon. He was pleased with what he saw and feels chances for permanent bag is slight, although depending on what condition my rectum/colon is at time of surgery will determine if a temporary bag is needed. Pathology results following surgery will determine what kind of chemo (I was told to expect about 6 months) I will have post-surgery.
On the one hand, I am extremely happy with the progress and results so far. However, I am extremely nervous about upcoming surgery. I realize that there is no other choice but surgery and that is the best way of getting rid of this damn cancer so I can go on with my life. I will be cut from near belly button to public area, be in hospital for about 5 days and then expect to be home 2-3 weeks. Catheter will be put in penis once I am asleep, but will remain for a few days. I am trying to be upbeat and do realize that I am lucky in a lot of ways, but I must admit to being scarred.
I just turned 60, male, married with teen-age daughter.
Can someone in network reply with first-hand experience on what to expect? Thanks!