The aim of this study was to explore patients’ lived experiences of participating in a fast-track programme after colonical surgery within a phenomenological framework. 16 patients suffering from colonic cancer were interviewed twice. Transcriptions of the interviews were analysed using Reflective Lifeworld Research.

Participating in the programme involved facing several dilemmas. It was not always easy for the patients to find the strength, courage, and will to comply with the daily regimen because discomfort and vulnerability could undermine their abilities to follow the recommendations. In this process, support from professionals or relatives was a decisive factor. After discharge, the professional recommendations were included in the patients’ daily routines to the extent which suited the individual patient’s everyday life. The findings show that these aspects are of great importance to the way in which the patients act and cope with the programme at the hospital and at home.