AlexMichelle wrote: The surgeon is doing "open" surgery because the 4 cm cancer is in the lower colon and upper rectum and he thinks with the open surgery it will give me a better chance to avoid a colostomy. If any one here has had the open surgery, could you please share your experience in terms of recovery the day of surgery and going forward.
It took me 4 months from the time I saw blood in my stool to get a colonoscopy -- the gastroenterologist I saw is a busy man. But it's my understanding that cancers down there grow quite slowly, so a few days delay shouldn't make any difference for you.
After I had my LAR surgery for the rectal cancer (no ileostmy), I was in the hospital for 10 days, catheterized (since my ureter had been slightly damaged after the operation) and with nothing at all to eat or drink for 9 days. There was a nasogastric tube up through my nose to suck gastric juices out of my stomach. so my colon could be kept inactive while it healed, and there were feeding tubes attached at my throat. It was awkward getting around, but I was never in any pain. It was a boring time, but also relaxing.
After going home, I took it easy for a couple of weeks, I had been given a prescription for pain medication, but I had no discomfort at all, so there was no need to fill the prescription.
Starting after about a month, I commenced a 6 week course of radiation and 5fu chemotherapy. I had gone back to work and just stopped by the hospital on weekdays for the treatments. The radiation treatments themselves produced no sensation, but they did irritate my bowel, which was no fun.
This was all over 10 years ago. There has been no sign of a recurrence of the cancer.