Ah, got it.
Also, to clarify, they are not doing a resection of the rectum, just putting a temp ileostomy to avoid blockage during treatment, correct?
If so, I will say an ileostomy is not so bad because it may just be temporary.
Also, stage 4 is when the cancer has metastasized to other organs, generally, liver or lungs, in the case of rectal cancer.
Honestly, with this disease, my experience was that the radiation and even the chemo weren’t so bad. You eventually get back to your old self with time. The surgery is, however, brutal, which is why respectable centers like MSK and Mayo are trying to find non-surgical ways to solve this problem. Looking back, if I were to draw a hypothetical “line in the sand,” it would be at the surgery. The presurgery treatment may actually be curative in some instances, so I would advise him to get on with the initial treatments. He’ll have plenty of time to think about the surgery in the future.
I hope this helps and I understand where your spouse is coming from.
Male 48, dx 10/16 rectal cancer t3n1m0
Chemorad Dec 16
Xelox Mar 17-Jul 17
Lar Sept 17
Reversal Dec 17