I can understand your husband's concern. I was scared to death too, going through my things and telling my son who was to get certain things. Awaiting surgery is a nightmare, so my heart goes out to your husband. I got along wonderfully well. Was in the hospital only 3 nights. I had about 18inches of colon removed and it was done laprascopically. Small incision about 3 inches long and with 3 more half-inch incisions for looking around in my abdomin. My doc explained that the colon does not have many nerves so I would not feel pain deep down inside where the resectioning took place, and he was right. I had a morphine pump which I only hit one time and that was because the nurse told me to do it when they moved me from the stretcher to the bed. I had some kind of medicine in a round ball with very thin tube that went into my incision. They called it a "Q-ball". I was given a non-narcotic drug called Torodal (not sure of the spelling).
Personally I believe alot will depend on your husband's incision as to how much pain he has. My cousin had colon surgery with an incision in her abdomin from her belly button downward. She experienced more pain with that than I did.
I hope this helps some. Blessings to you both.