Re: I could really use some help.
It sounds like IBS with constipation and diarrhea....but the only way to actually know is to have a colonoscopy done and have the anus/rectum checked thoroughly.
But, if you have blood IN or alongslde the stool, it's not IBS, unless you have an internal hemmie and it's ripped open while straining and then during the last parts of a bm, it slides along and the blood goes along with it.
The other possibility is a fissure (cut in the anus) that's opening during bms and drips into the toilet and gets on the toilet paper while wiping. A fissure can become infected and create a bump...have you taken a look-see?
To check for infection, swabs should be done.
In general, IBS is like a bipolar colon...it's out of control one way or the other. It's a mechanical dysfunction, not organic in the way of a disease, infection or other. But if one has anything else going on in the colon or rectum, the mechanical functioning can definitely be disrupted.
Regarding your age and the likelihood of cancer...while it's comforting, it won't change whether one has it or not...so checking for polyps, etc with a scope is always a good thing. If all is clear, you won't need one for many years, and at least you have a good baseline regarding results.
How is your diet? Some foods can definitely cause diarrhea or constipation as can eating too much or not eating enough.
Are you getting enough fibre through foods or supplements?
Are you on any medications? Some can definitely cause constipation.
You should consider probiotics...there are many high quality ones out there.
Create a list of questions to ask the GI when you see him and get him to explain exactly what he sees when he takes a look. Enquire or request a colonoscopy and have biopsies done. If all is good...then your diagnosis will probably be IBS. It's a pain to deal with sometimes, but being in the know makes it much easier to live with.
Hope this helps....hang tough, been where you are, and I know the waiting is the most difficult.
It's all a matter of perspective!