I'm so sorry that you've qualified as a caregiver to join our group, but you've come to the right place.
Your mother's cancer has been caught in good time for maximum positive results of treatment.
x2 on everything stated above, especially weisssoccormom's very complete response.
This is NOT a death sentence by any means, so think of your mom among the 80%+ survivors of lower-stage CRC unless you hear differently on her staging.
Many surgenos prefer to shrink the tumor with an initial course of an easy chemo, like 5-FU + Luecovorin, and that seems like is proposed for your mom.
By all means get a second opinion if you want.
And seeking an oncology surgeon board-certified in CRC is the best course of action IMO.
Your mom and her needs can easily be fullfilled by you away at college, if you have a car and it's only 30 mins travel.
Make the time spent with her special, like maybe gifts of labor such as doing HER laundry, housecleaning, etc.
A weekend at the beach sounds like exactly what your family could use.
Of course, you and siblings and dad do the work
Finally, a guy's perspective: We tend to be more realistic/rational about physical things, and we set aside emotional issues that are usually of more concern to women; actually, we're kinda oblivious to such
Your dad's approach is probably similar to the way he's handled other family issues, and isn't likely to change.
C'est la vie.