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    Old 07-20-2004, 10:21 AM   #1
    voriseks
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    Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    Hi,
    First time poster to this board. I am 36, male, active duty Air Foece. As so man of you I am scared of all the uncertainty and am so anxious for answers. I am a Hodgkin’s disease (HD) survivor of about 18 months and had a routine follow-up PET scan. The HD was clean, but they noted rectal wall thickening on the right side. It appeared with uptake from the injection. My Oncologist said I should have a colonoscopy (sp?). I am scheduled for a consult tomorrow.

    I do not have rectal bleeding, however, I do feel constipated and my BM's have been thinner than usual, occasionally real soft. I do have external hemorrhoids that will occasionally bleed, but very little. Since the PET results came. I have noticed a bloated feeling and slight lower back pain. (I do acknowledge that could be from the stress of this.) March PEt did not reveal thickening, can anyone help as to waht this might be. Could it be an agressive kind of rectal cancer?

    Have you heard of having rectal cancer without bleeding? What else could cause rectal wall thickening? I did learn "false positives" of rectal wall thickening can occur, but I think there is thickening because of my BM problems. Is there any significance of having thickening on the RIGHT side as opposed to the LEFT? I have so many questions and am so inpatient.

    Thanks for your previous post as they are enlightening and gives me a sense of unity with people experiencing similar things.

    Your replies are much appreciated and eagerly awaited.
    Steve

     
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    Old 07-20-2004, 03:31 PM   #2
    jaydees
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    A colonoscopy should reveal any problems in the colon. The 1st PET may well have been a false positive.

    Don't fret the colonoscopy. The drugs will have you feeling nothing even if you are still awake during the procedure. The worst part, as everyone says who has had one, is the prep which tastes awful and has you pooping several times an hour for a while. Get a good magazine and live in the bathroom for the duration .

    Hemorrhoids have nothing to do with colon cancer as far as I know. Blood from a cancer can be undetectable by sight especially if it is further up the colon and not in or near the rectum.

    The bloat and back pain could be a sign of a problem in the colon but could also be gas pain brought on by stress or even kidney problems. I don't think you will still have the bloat and pain after the c'scopy since the prep will clear you out and if there is a blockage they will find it during the c'scopy.

    Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after the prep. Sport drinks work best since they contain electrolytes that you may lose during the prep. Make sure you are getting those electrolytes during the prep especially if you are using phospo-soda. Clear chicken or beef broth, the afore mentioned sport drinks and clear apple juice are also good clear fluids. No alcoholic or caffinated beverages.

     
    Old 07-20-2004, 03:46 PM   #3
    voriseks
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    Smile Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    Jaydees,
    Thanks for the reply. I will definatley take your fluid advice. I had no idea anything about the test. I did not know they "cleared" you out prior to the procedure. I am praying the last PET was a false positive. I am scared and am just getting over the HD affects. I was just learning what normal was and now this. I admire the courage I have read about on this sight. I am praying you all have strength and find peace.
    Thanks again.
    Steve

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 12:12 AM   #4
    michaelfloyd
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    just wanted to chime in and say that something on the right side would not cause a change in stool shape, as the stools are in liquid form in that part of the intestines.

    with that said, i have Ulcerative Colitis and i just had my first colonoscopy last week, which, other than my UC came up clear. the reason i am telling you that is because i have been having rather flat stools for the last 6 or 7 months... so i just wanted to say that that is not necessarily a sign of cancer, though it can be. but, you said the area in question is on your right colon, and, as i said before, something on the right side wouldn't produce a change in stool shape.

    as for the colonoscopy itself... don't fret it. i was so nervous but it's really nothing. the prep is the worst part and even that isn't too bad really. they will sedate you and you won't feel or remember a thing. for me, the sedative hit me maybe 10 seconds after they put it in the IV... then a few minutes after that i was out like a light... next thing i knew i was laying in the recovery area. you'll have to have somebody drive you home because you'll be very drowsy and, in my case, i slept most of the car ride home and took a 3 hour nap after that. then when i woke up i felt as if i had a slight hangover... nothing too bad though and a couple of hours later i felt fine.

    so, best of luck to you and i hope everything turns out ok. but, take it from me, try not to worry too much until you have something to worry about. i spent months worrying and worrying and it was all for nothing. the stress and anxiety that comes with worrying can cause you to feel a lot worse than you should and can actually cause some symptoms that you might mistake for something more serious, which in turn will make you even more anxious. so, just try to relax (i know, easier said than done) and try not to freak yourself out.

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 02:57 AM   #5
    voriseks
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    Michael,
    Thanks for the reply and information. I will go to the consult today and hopefully set up the colonoscopy for this week or next. I had never heard of Ulcerative Colitus sounds serious, I wil look it up. I thought when they said I had thickening on the right side of my rectum that that simply meant on the right side of essentially a straight pipe is where the thickening was. would it be safe to say the thickening maybe all throughout the rectum "pipe" on the left side? I don't know if I know how the rectum/colon sit in your body. I think I need to look that up as well. Again, thanks for the note, I will let you know how it comes out.
    Steve

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 12:23 PM   #6
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    ohhh... you meant the right side of your rectum... i'm sorry i missread what you wrote and thought you meant the right side colon. wow... ok... i feel dumb now. ok, well, if there was a mass there then it could certainly cause a thinning of the stool. basically you have your rectum which includes the anus, which then attaches to the descending, or sigmoid colon, which basically goes up the left side of your abdomen, then it goes across your abdomen, which is the transverse colon, then goes down the right side of your abdomen (which is the area i thought you meant), which is the ascending colon, which connects to your small intestines.

    i'm not sure if i'm allowed to post this but here is a diagram of the colon so you can see what i'm talking about:

    [url]http://www.healingdaily.com/colon-kidney-detoxification/colon-cleansing.jpg[/url]

    Last edited by michaelfloyd; 07-21-2004 at 10:35 PM.

     
    Old 07-21-2004, 07:44 PM   #7
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    Just had to chime in about the colonoscopy prep. If they are going to sedate you for the procedure, please make sure you don't take ANY fluids after the time they specify! (For me it was midnight the night prior to the procedure)

     
    Old 07-22-2004, 02:57 AM   #8
    voriseks
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    I had the consult yesterday. I would say it went well, minus the digital exam. The Dr said he has seen a lot of false positive with PET scan showing rectal wall thickening. He said he did not feel anything with his exam and also no blood in my stool. However, I am still constipated and my stomach feels bloated. I have the colonoscopy on Wen. I can see why people say the prep is the worse part. Not looking forward to that. Praying it is nothing after all is said and done.

    I will follow the directions to the tee. My directions say nothing after midnight too.

    Michael,
    Thanks for the advice. I will let you know how it goes. I

     
    Old 07-22-2004, 10:03 PM   #9
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    what prep you using?
    Golytely
    phospa-soda
    citro-mag
    ????

     
    Old 07-23-2004, 02:51 AM   #10
    voriseks
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    The Prep they got me on is a combination of Phospa-Soda and exlax the day before andof course the liquid diet. I am still constipated and took some exlax to try to get some relief. I am no expert, but whatever is going on has happened fast and is real. Its is like I am blocked by something. Must be higher in my rectum then the doctor could feel. Have you any idea as far as being able to have a BM what might happen over a couple weeks like this? As far as I have read, cancer would not be that fast. The waiting stinks.
    Steve

     
    Old 07-23-2004, 09:01 PM   #11
    jaydees
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    Cancer would not be that fast. It could be a blockage of some sort. Perhaps a twist in the bowel, had any sports or work injuries in the area? It could also be that part of the bowel simply isn't working. ie, stuff gets that far and isn't pushed through along the next stretch until pressure behind it moves it along.(not a good thing obviously) Again a blow might do that or an infection.

    Phospha soda is good at clearing you out but also you lose electrolytes more with it.Careful about that as I said above.

     
    Old 07-28-2004, 04:30 AM   #12
    voriseks
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    I am off to have my colonoscopy. Should be done by 1pm. The prep was not enjoyable. Trying to get sleep in between trips to the bathroom was not a lot of fun. I am praying they don't find anything too wrong. If anything, I hope it is just polyps. I will let you know how it goes, hopefully this afternoon.

    PS. I am starving

    Steve

     
    Old 07-28-2004, 11:10 AM   #13
    voriseks
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    Ulcerative colitus is what I seem to have. A very mild case, according to the Dr. He took a couple of Biopsies. From what I read, th ebiopsies will see how severe it is and if I have the markers for colon cancer. I am so glad it is not Cancer. The procedure was painless, I slept though it. Again the prep was the worse part of it. I go for the read of the biopsy in a couple of weeks. I am relieved and am hoing this diagnosis is no big deal. Any word on what to expect?
    Steve

     
    Old 07-29-2004, 10:17 PM   #14
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    hi steve... glad to hear you don't have cancer... i also have a mild case of ulcerative colitis. it first started with blood in the stools and some mild/moderate cramping... but i've been on a drug called Asacol since January and it's been very controllable with that. i'm sure that's what they'll put you on or a generic version called Sulfasalazine. the problem with sulfasalazine is that, while the main active drug is the same as asacol and it's cheaper, it contains sulfer, which has the possibility of causing some crappy side effects, like sensitivity to light, and skin discoloration (yellow)... and even though those symptoms may not happen, i decided i didn't want to possibly deal with that kind of stuff since i was already having to deal with the disease itself and just stayed on asacol. right now i'm particitpating in a clinical trial for a new UC drug. if you go to the bowel disorders board you can read up on my experiences and others who have UC. good luck to you.

     
    Old 08-01-2004, 09:38 PM   #15
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    Re: Scared and ignorant. Questions?

    Quote:
    Again the prep was the worse part of it.
    That is the single most common description of a colonoscopy

     
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