AngiLou - so glad that they are sending you to California, hopefully San Diego is close enough to where your family is. I completely understand the state of shock you are in, but I can't imagine the added stress of living oversees and trying to pack up my life there, without my husband.
I had rectal cancer as well (diagnosed @ 40). One thing about rectal cancer is that the treatment plan is might be longer than someone with colon cancer because we lucky peeps get to have radiation with chemo first (consider getting the pills - Xeloda over the pump). One thing to keep in mind is that it's a long road, MRIs (typically no prep involved), maybe chest & abdomen CT (usually contrast drink involved), then probably chemo/radiation, then rest, surgery, rest then depending on stage chemo again.
There's lots more I could share right now, but I know you are overwhelmed. Just know that we're here for you. Once you have a few posts, you can PM (private message) some folks if someone posts something that really speaks to you, and you can ask specific questions to that person. But in general, feel free to post any questions, thoughts or just to blow of steam.
Good luck with your upcoming trip and getting situated in San Diego.
Kelly, mom 14 yo girl
Dx 11/15/12 Rectal Cancer @ age 40
5.5 weeks Xeloda & Radiation - complete 2/5/13
Colectomy 3/12/13, 7 of 14 nodes positive - no ileo
4/24/13-8/20/13 - 5 rounds Xelox, 1 Xeloda only