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43 year old recovering from LAR

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2007

It is too bad that as a gay man, I can't seem to much support information concerning cancer. However, I am glad to see this discusion group.
On my 43 birthday (past Jan) I found out I had a villous polyp than showed cancer. They were unable to removed the complete polyp, and I was told that to remove it part of my sigmoid would have to be removed. The cancer was staged as 0 (en-situ). I hoped since I was lucky and the cancer was discovered so early I would be able to have a non-invasive procedure. However, I was told that a local excision only worked on rectal cancers not those in the sigmoid.
Long and short of it ..I finally agreed to the surgery..but when I came out of surgery, the doctor told me the polyp was more in my rectum after all and so he had remove about half of my rectum as well as a bit of my sigmoid colon.
He told me the tatooed polyp was lower than first thought.
I am now recovering very slowly..it has been 4 weeks and I am either constipated or have nearly uncontroled diarrhea.
When I got the lab test on my lymph nodes and the removed rectum/sigmoid, I was so happy that they found no cancer. But also feel that this surgery was a mistake and that I will have QOL issues that will never go away.
I am very depressed and in pain.
My 30 year old relationship is in real trouble due to my situation. My lover is concerned with how miserble I am and that I might never be able to have sex with him again. He has pulled away from me when I now need him the most.
Wish there were other gay men that have gone through this I could talk with.

Limey's picture
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

Well Cody, I can assure you your not alone. i am active on the colorectal chat and there are hundreds that have dealt with similar issues. i would encourage you to stop in that chat sometime, it has been really helpful for me. Many people also talk about how thier relationships have suffured and some ended bacause of the stress of the partner going through this also. we have no choice so we just deside to fight. They have choices so often i think it is harder for them do deal with it. My partner has been quite supportive but he often tells me when i am sruggling he does not know what to say or does not know what to do. the best thing is to just hold me somethimes and he has a hard time doing that. Sorry that your fighting the pain. it sounds like the surgery is recent. I had my last surgery in October and am just now starting to feel better. I still have active tumors but the surgery pain and the stomach and pooping issues have subsided. ther is hope. I will send yo umy private e-mail and fee freet to email me when ever. check out the colorectal gropu for questions specific to your surgery and recovery. lets stay in touch.
Limey (Mark)

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2004

Cody, I'm sorry I just read your post. I don't check this site that often. But as a gay man who had rectal cancer stage 3 I underwent "Linear Radiation" and didn't have surgery but very very intensive chemo and radiation, 5 days a week, for 3 months both at the same time. It took about a year until I was functioning somewhat normally when I went to the bathroom. But the long term effects because of the location of the radiation have been frusterating. But your body is amazing though. Over time my rectum has become almost normal and I'm told by doctors that there is very little scaring. Concidering the cancer had eaten a hold 3mm from the rectum and was I think they said about 2" deep into the colon was amazing. I also had diarrhea for over two years. The pain meds are the cause of the constipation so talk to your doctor for a mild laxative. Changing my diet helped but I believe time was the really the cure.
As for support, my partner of 15 years was very unsupportive. But I was blessed to have his family and other friends that helped me through the ordeals. I think what "Limey" says about having to explain what you want and feel to your partner is a good idea. Cancer is such a heavy subject to some people and they don't know how to react or ask the questions they want to ask. I found it easier to just tell them. I figured that if I thought if it they have too. So why not give the answers and get it over with.
I'm just telling you my experience. I just want to encourage you because it does get better. And your not the only gay man who has gone through this. It's been 12 years and you would never know I had cancer.
I find it interesting that you were told of your cancer so close to your birthday. I found out about my cancer on October 26th my treatment started the 27th and chemo and readiation on my birthday the 29th.

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