kmv, I am a bit of late, didn't saw your post, I had RC also, very low - 6 cm from anocutaneous verge, doc told me that he is almost certain I will get permanent stoma, but when I woke up, I didn't get it. But when you wake up and see you are here, truth is that there is no problem if you have stoma, you are so glad you are without this damn thing in your colon/rectum and stoma is not something scary any more.
I had symptoms over decade, evryday bleeding, and last year and a half pain and feeling that I had to go to WC and push - all day long........and I didn't always have normal poop, sometimes blood and mucus only .....
I was fortunate to be T2, but I have signet ring cell carcinoma. I pray for your good response before surgery, and good results after surgery. My friends husband was stage IIIB or even IV, before 18 years, he is cancer free since, and he gets complete colon removed.
surgery 5/11, T2N0MX, G2, SRC rectal ca, 22 cm removed
CT- numerous mets in abdomen - LN, 2 big ones on pancreas, one penetrated right urether. Surgery, they just take samples for PHD, 6 roundds 5FU, refuse further chemos