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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

I'm not sure how to begin except to say I need to think out loud with people who will understand what I'm trying to say. I hope I've found my answer.
I'll do my best to keep this as short as possible.
5 or so years ago, I had several adno-something-or-other polyps removed from my colon. I can't recall exactly what the surgeon said, except that they were pre-cancerous and there were a few more but too small to bother will and we'd catch them the following year. The "following year" never came. My dad was dx with lung cancer and I had to bring him home to care for him during his last year. Life happened, and I forgot all about it....until last winter.
Nausea became a constant. My stools, which had returned to normal after polyp removal, had become pencil thin, again. Since I was also told I had a slight case of colitis, I didn't give it much thought.
Then I began to lose weight and thought "Whoo Hoo!". I thought my metabolism finally picked up. I've gone from 174 to 140 and the only reason it's at 140is because my husband began making me eat ice-cream, etc, every day.
I recently went to the dr because the nausea became unbearable. He ran tests on my gallbladder because of past stone history. All is well there.
Something that bothers me, besides nausea, excessive bloating, tiredeness, etc, is that my tummy *should* be going down with the weight loss but it is staying an odd kind of big. If I suck in my stomach, the bottom part will go in a bit but along the top, under my rib cage, it stays out kind of like I'm wearing a small tire around my middle.
I've also noticed (this is goign to sound strange) chest pains seem to accompany those times when I'm in the worst gastrointestinal distress.
I've been adding two and two and finally came up with what I think is 4 and now believe my problems are originating in my colon but, if that is true, do I *really* want to do anything about it? If I allow another colonoscopy and the dr finds cancer, will I wake up with a colostomy? Will they allow me to wake up before deciding to do anythign drastic? I want to be in charge of what happens and what I would decide would depend on what they found. I cared for my mother as she died from breast cancer that had spread to her liver, lungs, brain and bones. I cared for my dad as his lung cancer spread to his stomach and his brain. The treatments may have added some time but that time was utterly miserable for them. My mom finally said, "Enough" but my dad always believed he could beat the cancer simply my keeping himself busy. Neither answer worked.
I know I should go to the doctor, but I don't want to drag myself through more misery without purpose, nor do I want to burden my husband with the financial burden. We have insurance but the coverage is minimal...doesn't even cover x-rays. Drat.
So....if I do have colon cancer, isnt' it already too late to really do anything about it?
Dear Abinormal~

First order of business should be for you to schedule a colonoscopy. It is minimally inconvenient, but of utmost importance as it is the only way you will find out what is going on in there -- most especially since you said that there were some things still remaining following your initial colonoscopy. And, you would NEVER just wake up and find that anyone had done more of a surgical procedure than you expected or asked for. The medical professionals make absolute sure you know what they will/are doing and that you have given specific permission to perform any test or medical procedure.

The colonoscopy will allow them to make a determination what is happening, and, really, it is the only way you (or they) will know anything since we are not born with see-thru windows in our abdomens.

It sounds as if you have really been through alot with your family and their illnesses. It is an emotional and physically draining experience, for sure. I'm sure your love and care were greatly appreciated. However, now, it is time to take care of yourself. YOU need to be your focus now. Don't panic -- a test is only to help make a determination of whats happening. If your husband loves you, he will understand. Certainly he wants you to be healthy just as much as you do. Collect yourself and your strengths, and make the call. Please let us know how things go. God speed and best wishes to you. Think positively (utmost importance). ;) Regards, Julesss

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