I was just reading that thread too, very interesting. For my LARS, as it is, well I don’t have a good basis of comparison except what I’ve read here and heard from docs, but I think I got off pretty easy. Really the main nuisance side effect I have is some strong “urges”, that is, that feeling that I have to go right now! But I’ve found I can hold it back and it goes away in 10 seconds or so and I’m fine. If it happens a lot in succession I know it’s “for real” and I’ll just go to the bathroom, which is otherwise a mostly normal process. My stool is just smaller than before. I do occasionally get the “clustering” effect, where right after I finish I find I have to go again, but I can kind of predict that and just take my time now. It’s not bad. For those things the docs recommended I take psyllium fiber, which I do and it does make a difference. So all in all I’d say I go more frequently now and have those intermittent urges but otherwise things are pretty normal, which is really great!
FWIW my primary tumor was 8cm from the anal verge and 6cm from the sphincter. The surgeon said he did hundreds a year laparoscopic and robotic, and had a good reputation so we felt comfortable going with him. He also said he would start robotically but if the situation demanded it he would switch it to open during the procedure, so I had to be okay with that. I thought that was reasonable, though I’m glad he didn’t have to. In any case I was really happy to have that thing cut out!
I hope that helps, good luck!
DX 6/2017, 37yo father of two
Stage IIIb rectal cancer (T3N1bM0) no genetic indicators, normal CEA
7/2017 radiation + 5FU
10/2017 LAR w/ temp loop ileo. clear margins, 2/33 nodes
11/2017-3/2018 FOLFOX, 9 rounds
2/2018 clear CT
4/2018 ileo reversal
10/2018 CT shows suspicious mass in liver (1.7 cm), and in lung (0.6 cm)
MRI confirms 1 liver met, Stage IV
11/2018 liver resection, clear margins
1/2019 CT: lung node shrank to 0.3 cm