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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

Hi, I'm totally new here and don't even pretend to be in the same situation as those here who are fighting colon and rectal cancer. I'll make my story short. Granted, I may just be venting, but I have to let it out somewhere.

Four years ago I had two separate events in a 2-week span of massive blood in my stool. Both times it was preceded by intense cramping followed by diarrhea with the blood. The blood was darkish red and filled the bowl. I called GP and he referred me to a gastro doc. I had colonoscopy #1 with a finding of an internal hemorrhoid, a large, thrombosed external hemorrhoid, and diverticula throughout the colon. I had day surgery for the hemorrhoids (ouch!!!!) and given a clean bill of health with a scolding about eating more fiber. Just 6 months after the surgery I ended up in the ER with diverticulitis. After IV fluids, pain meds and antibiotics I was sent on my way with a scolding about eating more fiber. In the ensuing 12 months I had alternating periods of constipation and diarrhea, and mucus in my stool. Several times a month there would also be blood in my stool. All of that culminated in colonoscopy #2 during which (again) diverticula were noted and a non-cancerous sessile polyp was found and removed. I was sent on my way with a prescription for fiber and a lecture about the benefits of fiber.

Since all of that up until now I've continued to have constipation (sometimes 5 days in duration) and diarrhea and occasional blood inside my stool. Three weeks ago I started having abdominal cramping, bloating, going to the toilet several times a day with varying amounts of stool with mucus and dark spots. After each bowel movement I still felt cramped and bloated and like I still had to go, but nothing would come out. Whenever I am able to have a BM the stool is flattened - never tubular. All of these bowel issues, except the blood and mucus, are new to me and very concerning. It's been this was for 3 weeks now.

I finally got in to see someone in gastroenterology (a physicians assistant) and went over my symptoms in grueling detail. She wrote a script for the bloating, scheduled a CT scan with oral and IV contrast and a flexible sigmoidoscopy. I had the CT scan on Monday of this week (5/11), which apparently was unremarkable because my PA didn't bother to call me even though I left a few messages. My flexible sigmoidoscopy isn't scheduled until 6/26. When I called the PA about the far out date for the flex sig she was unconcerned and said 6/26 should be fine. Nevertheless, the bloating, cramping, colicky pain, diarrhea, constipation, mucus and blood continue.

So, here I am with uncomfortable, concerning bowel symptoms that I think should be taken more seriously. I had 6 BM's yesterday - all had mucus, a little dark blood and were flat as pancakes. My questions for the knowledgeable, caring folks here is whether or not I have reason to be concerned? Is my PA doing what should be done given my symptoms? And, be honest, am I just overreacting? Obviously, I don't want to have colon or rectal cancer, but I also want to know what's really going on with me and what to attribute all of my symptoms. I'm really frustrated and fed up. I just want answers and a course of action.

Thank you for reading my story, tolerating my rant and for whatever help/guidance you can offer. I really appreciate it.

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