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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

I'm back. Just some thoughts on your situation(s) regarding your bowel issues...I NEVER want to project my condition onto any other woman. With that being said I cannot in good conscious keep quiet about the potential for endometriosis. It is a horrifically "sneaky" disease that although common, goes undiagnosed. NO DOCTOR can just tell you you're silly and you don't have this. Few, if any, are educated or qualified to recognize or diagnose. Those that are capable of diagnosis are then challenged by the various methods of treatment. There is no cure. I can only speak from my experience and cannot advise as I am no expert. I am basically self-taught after the fact (20 years post hysterectomy w/ovaries, tubes removed) at age 33. The details of my struggle are deep and dark, but well documented through months of posting.

Although I understand the angst and fear that both of you are consumed by, I don't think either of you has cancer. It's more likely Irritable or Inflammatory Bowel, which can cause both diarrhea and constipation. It could also be Diverticulitis, and you are experiencing "flares" when your symptoms intensify. I'm not clear on both of your ages, just Jas. I think you are certainly a candidate for endometriosis, and I believe you already mentioned that you have fibroids. The excruciating pain in the left side is certainly something I relate to, even now as I type. My digestive system is a proverbial "grab bag" of anatomical changes per 4 major surgeries. I have a "crimp" in my colon (left side) that hinders passage of stool. It's called a splenic flecture (sic). It was diagnosed years ago, but surgeons would never do a resection. IMO they are afraid to open that can of worms (snakes) in my case. I believe that if they went back into my belly, they would find that residual endometriosis and/or scar tissue had consumed and "strangled" my vital organs (AGAIN). It's quite possible they would have to remove large sections of bowel, possibly leaving me with a colostomy bag. That's the good news. The bad news is that even that would not eradicate my pain and suffering. The disease went undiagnosed for most of my life even though looking back, I had all of the hallmark symptoms/markers/indicators. I saw SO MANY so called GYN/GASTRO specialists that "dismissed" my complaints (including horrifically heavy bleeding/passing huge clots/fetal position pain) causing missed days of school, college, and then work. My earliest memories were what we always called back then "a nervous tummy". I had raging anxiety from a young age that perpetuated chronic diarrhea and cramping, even before I started menses. Oh my mercy the AGONY when I did start my periods at 11. I would have to see our FP regularly who could only recommend hot soaking baths (which I threw up) and muscle relaxers. For 8 days minimum of every month my life was a living HELL. I have no uterus or ovaries, yet believe it or not, I still have 8 days to 2 weeks of that same pain less the period EVERY MONTH. I get the distention and bloating in my belly/pelvic region, but visual in that left side as though being "filled" with an air compressor. I go for up to 11 days without my bowels moving, no matter how many softeners or stimulants I take. Until my last surgery in 1994, I had to take Lomotil to slow the raging diarrhea and prevent me from literally soiling myself.

I started pain management 3 months ago because I can no longer live with this pain. So far it's not been a success, with pain meds causing constipation with potential for deadly obstruction. I'm sorry I've gone on a rant. My intention remains the same for you. If you feel that the colonoscopy will ease your mind, run don't walk to get your prep and get-r-done. The prep is funky, but doable. You will be sedated for the test...won't know it happened except for the prep. Be sure to have some Gas-X meltaways for post op gas. It's my miracle drug. I have to add that a clear colonoscopy does not mean you don't have endometriosis. If your symptoms do not ease, and you see a correlation between the bowels and your period, please ask for a referral to a GYN specializing in endocrinology with endo experience.

I'm worried about you children because as I said before "They are sponges...soaking in EVERYTHING they hear". This will cause them to develop their own lifelong issues with anxiety. Please consider some counseling to teach you better coping skills. Please beware of the Ativan. It's a blessing if used properly...a curse if not. I don't think I'd have gone to that extent right now, though I do agree that you need anti-anxiety meds. You would benefit further (lifelong) by seeking therapy to learn to recognize your obsessive tendencies and fears. If you won't do it for you, DO IT for your kids. I'm not judging you. I just ABSOLUTELY know that one can worry themselves sick and into the grave. Please don't let that be you=) HUGS
I had a little giggle just with the brief description you gave about the phone call. I can only imagine!!! 2 weeks is tolerable, I've been going through this a few months...I'm actually surprised they were able to schedule it so soon, given the fact that it was only ordered yesterday. I tried to ask for something to knock me completely out, but the nurse said she would have to get permission, change the order, and could not guarantee a May 9th procedure date. So I may just wait until I'm in there...I'm sure they will be able to tell how badly I'm freaking out LOL...maybe they will be kind, and give me a little something extra. :) I'm not worried about the prep, mostly the no eating part LOL....I'm used to daily or at least fairly frequent diarrhea - no big deal. Thanks for the encouraging words!
I'm having a colonoscopy this Friday morning, and I'm terrified of the results. I can barely stand it. I'm not worried about the prep or procedure itself. I cry constantly from fear of hearing something bad!! My GI doesn't really consider me high risk even with a Grandfather who was diagnosed nearer to age 60. He is the ONLY relative that I know of who had Colon Cancer. And genetic cancer is also usually related to a polyp disease that runs in families. My grandfather isn't even considered a first degree relative. My father had his done at age 50 and didn't have even one polyp. I've had a CT scan very recently which would have shown any cancer that had spread to the liver or other surrounding organs, it didn't even show any inflammation of the bowel...whatever that means, if anything. so I'm at least OK there. Thanks for your thoughts.

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