SC77 wrote:Thank you all for taking the time to reply! It is much appreciated. I'm confused and worried. My surgeon is not a rectal cancer specialist. There isn't one in my area. He has a good reputation. My original surgeon who performed my first colonoscopy told me he would not do the operation because of the complexities of rectal cancer. The nearest specialist is 3 hours away.
I don't have pain or burns from the radiation. Except for a bit of lingering cystitis and some hip and back pain after standing or working all day, I feel all right. I'm an elementary teacher and I've been working through treatment.
Now I have doubt and I'm questioning everthing. This has probably been my most depressed day so far.
My surgery is this Monday and it's about 75 minutes away and I'll need to get a hotel as there's so much prep work the day before that I can't drive in to the surgery. My GI guy discussed the oncologist, radiation doctor and surgeon with me and the advantages and disadvantages of using local and distant services. So we went with local services for oncology and radiation treatment and distant for surgery (after second opinions on oncology and radiation). This and the regular recommendations on this board for choosing a specialist for surgery if possible.
The logistics of a distant surgery and recovery can be quite complicated, especially if you don't have someone with you or other local support. I'm trying to minimize the amount of help that I'm asking from others but I don't think that it would be possible without some help, providing rides, bringing me things, etc. I think that it would be challenging to change surgeons at this late date if you wanted the surgery date to remain the same as hospital operating room and surgeon schedules can be quite complicated to work out and it would depend on their workloads as well. I think that it can be challenging working out the logistics on short notice as well.
Last edited by NHMike
on Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
6/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/13: Stage 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/31-9/8: Xeloda 3,400 mg/day+radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 9/8: 1.8; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/6: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/30: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
12/20: Started CapeOx