HappyNao wrote:... I've got one more appointment with the surgeon for tomorrow morning as well, to talk about the surgery in general because we haven't done that yet, but I'm also going to get her take on how the radiation affects surgical outcomes. ...
Good luck with your meeting with the surgeon today. Do you have all of your questions written down and prioritized? Are you bringing a notebook to write down all of the answers? Be sure to ask for explanations about her approach to Sphincter Sparing Operations (SSO), and Total Mesorectal Excisions (TME). Is the surgery going to be "laparoscopic", or is it going to be "open"? Also ask about possible collateral damage resulting from using a circular stapler to staple the anastomosis junction.https://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=60707&p=480762#p480762
There are many, many questions that could be asked. Sometimes some of the most important ones are never asked because the patient doesn't yet know enough about rectal cancer surgery to ask the right kinds of questions. For example, member chrisca
has posted these comments about questions he wished he had asked before his surgery:Inferior mesenteric artery (IMA)
. Image of the inferior mesenteric artery
And there are many other cases like that one - - questions that patients, in retrospect, now wish they had asked in the beginning, before surgery ever took place.
One of the big problems that many newly diagnosed patients are faced with is inadequate basic bloodwork
before the first major treatment (see link to rp1954's post below). In your case, the first major treatment will be your 5-day short-course radiation.
The question is: Did your doctors do all of the tests/biopsies/pathology analyses necessary for having a comprehensive baseline
of bio-markers before the start of your first radiation treatment? If not, then when are they planning to do deal with the missing data items? What if they haven't yet tested your CEA tumor-marker level? Have you asked these questions of your doctor?