I'm getting surgery latter today and I've finished radiation on 6/3. Studies show that waiting until 60 days is safe. In a Congress at a central Hospital of Vienna about rectal cancer there was a talk about waiting longer when patients show a good response to chemo radiation.
Standard of care for rectal tumors above 3.7 cm in our Hospital is a Total mesorectal excision through a low anterior ressection. This means they are taking the Rectum and Mesorectum with all included Lymph nodes in the rectal area (TME). LAR is for low anterior ressection and this means usually performing TME in the low sitting tumors of the Rectum leaving the sfincters intact.
This may be done laparoscopicly and through the Anus, which is then called transanal minimal invasive surgery (TAMIS).
I feel you, when you talk about being apprehensive about surgery. I'm glad that I'm getting it done so that I can move forward. These last weeks were really hard for me, weighing options and making a decision.
Try to think about what are your short and long term objectives and to find peace within them when going forward.
God knows I'm trying
All the best for you, I'm really glad chemo radiation made a number on your tumor
Keep pushing forward,