Wow, really glad to see all these replies when I woke up this morning. Thank you all!
PainInTheAss, I should have mentioned that my tumour was already excised during the colonscopy. I think that's the less invasive procedure you mention? The pathology on the tumour said that complete resection could not be guaranteed and that lymphovascular invasion was detected. Right now I'm a "probable" stage 1 but my surgeon has said I could very well be restaged 2 or 3 after surgery. The MRI was partially obscured because the polyp wound was sutured with a metal clip, which just showed up as a big black shadow on the scans, so they could not determine if there is invasion of the muscular wall. The MRI report also mentioned some enlarged nodes but said they are probably due to the polyp removal. Wish I'd had an MRI before the polyp was removed. So anyway, I am quite nervous what they are going to find after surgery. Genetic testing came back negative, but I may see a genetic counsellor to do more extensive testing. I have not been offered radiation or chemo at all so far, the surgeon wants to decide after the surgery.
Jan, your situation does sound very similar to mine. I will ask about pre-adjuvant radiation and chemo as that has not been offered to me as an option either. However, after meeting another surgeon for a second opinion, I am really leaning towards the ULAR. Like you, I am sure if the pathology after surgery all comes back negative I may wonder if I made the right choice, but if I do not go in aggressively now and I have a recurrence down the track then I think I will really be beating myself up over it. Lifestyle issues are all secondary to me, I really just want to beat this stupid cancer. Hope further recovery continues to improve your situation!
Jacques, thanks for the links. Looking through those documents, it sounds like the risks are very similar between the two procedures.
Deb, great to hear you have had a good experience with it. I have been reading a lot about colostomy bags and the more I do, the more I think I could comfortably live with one if I had to. Like you said, it's a small piece in the big picture and I think I need to focus on finding the best treatment first and everything else is manageable.
Mastan, thank you for sharing your experiences with the APR. It sounds like most people adjust well and just get on with their lives. I'm in Australia so Sloan Kettering is not an option, but I have a very experienced surgeon from a great hospital and I have a lot of confidence.
tarheelmom, I know exactly what you mean about thinking that you can now feel it! I think my mind is made up for the LAR surgery as well. Best wishes for your surgery! I am having mine a bit earlier than you, so feel free to ask me any questions during recovery.
Male, 33 @ dx, stage 1 RC (T1N0M0 mod. diff. 0/29 LNs)
2016-02 - Cancerous polyp removed during colonscopy, 0.5 mm margin
2016-03 - ULAR & TME surgery, temp ileostomy
2016-04 - DVT, pulmonary embolism
2016-11 - Ileostomy reversal
2018-10 - Another DVT & PE
2019-04 - Became a dad
5 years of clean scopes/scans/bloods