Hi JrJolly, My husband Phil, who is 52 years old, learned he had rectal cancer on December 27, 2004 (one week exactly after your diagnosis), and has experienced almost exactly your journey--surgery on April 5th after the chemo/radiation (chemo was Xeloda, taken in pill form) and path report showed him to be cancer-free--no lymph node involvement. He has had the illeostomy for eight weeks, and is going in tomorrow, May 31, for the take-down operation. He will be in the hospital for four or five days, then home to recover for six weeks or so. I guess the take-down surgery isn't something you can just breeze through, even though it is much less invasive than the first surgery. Then he will have another CT scan on June 13th, and a visit with the oncologist to determine what our next steps should be. We already know he will do three more two-week rounds of Xeloda after he rebuilds some strength post-surgery, and we are anticipating he will be completely done with all cancer treatments by mid-August, when we will CELEBRATE!!!
Phil looks great. He hasn't lost any hair or weight, and I think he will sail through this. I hope everything goes well with you too! Lisa