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  • 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

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    Old 04-15-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
    Jas
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    35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    I am brand new to this forum, but have been lurking for quite some time. I'm hoping maybe I can get some answers, or reassurance here. I am a 35 y/o Female. For the past couple of months I have experienced a few changes to my bowel movements. First of all, my BM's are much thinner than usual, not "pencil-thin", about the diameter of my middle or index finger. They are mostly quite soft, and also seem to have edges (if that makes sense) on 2 sides, they aren't perfectly round. I often see bits of undigested food also. More recently, in the last couple of weeks, I feel like I have more going in (food) than what's coming out. I am now having to push these small stools out with more strain than normal, and I usually have to use the restroom a few times in a short period to evacuate just little bits. I saw a GI doctor because I had some blood streaked on a hard to pass stool only once, and he diagnosed me with GERD and an "irritable bowel"...I am taking over the counter Prevacid for my acid reflux. Since my appointment about a month ago, I had one other time where my stool was streaked with bright red blood, and also blood on the toilet paper when I wiped. That happened with a stool that seemed to be passed too quickly, and I could feel that I had a fissure. No other visible blood since that time. Anyways, the GI doctor had blood work done, and those all came back OK. I have no weight loss, no fatigue, no pain, other than feeling very bloated, crampy, and backed up. I took Milk of Magnesia, the minimum dose this morning, and haven't really made much progress...a few trips to the restroom and that's about it...still feel SO bloated. I have been obsessed with reading about colon cancer, my anxiety is making me sick!! I have a follow-up with my GI next Monday, but if anyone could give me some possibilities of what's going on? My grandfather on my Dad's side died of colon cancer, but that isn't considered a first degree relative, right? Should I still ask about a colonoscopy? Are there any other tests that are fairly reliable that may give an indication of something more sinister? Any advice is appreciated!

     
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    Old 04-15-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Hello Jas...Welcome to the boards=) I just briefly want to offer my sincere support and understanding to you. I think perhaps your anxiety is in overdrive. If you've seen your GASTRO this recently, then surely you've expressed your concerns? Yes, IBS can cause all of these symptoms, and the blood can be from fissures or hemorrhoids. What did your doctor say about that? I'm sure if you expressed your concerns, he will order a colonoscopy at your age, to ease your fears. I realize that cancer is a clear and present panic conclusion when you present with these symptoms. More often than not (though never guaranteed) your diagnosis is NOT cancer. It's better to be pro-active than re-active for your peace of mind.

    Meanwhile, there are many "female" issues that can cause problems with your bowels. Have you talked with your GYN? I would first convey my concerns to the GASTRO since he's ordering tests thus far. If he finds nothing...RELAX...if you can. If not, talk with your GYN concerning the possibility of cysts or endometriosis. I think you're going to be just fine if you focus more on "life" and less on "death". That's just my opinion. HUGS

     
    Old 04-15-2014, 02:31 PM   #3
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Yes, my anxiety is in over-overdrive lol. I originally went to the GI doctor because I stopped taking Prilosec cold turkey, because I read it was really bad for you...as I was having strange episodes of sulfur burps, excessive gas, and diarrhea that would last about 12 hours...my stools were bright yellow and had a strange odor to them...not just smelly, but almost infectious or chemical like? It's unlike any other thing I've smelled. He told me not to worry about the color of my stools, and sent me on my way with Prevacid. It has been since then that I have been paying closer attention to my bowel habits, it is because of that that I noticed the low caliber stools, etc. I have spent days on the internet, and I know it's bad for me. Your response was so gentle, and kind - thank you for that. I have 4 children, the oldest being only 11, and well, to be honest, I don't want to die. I want the colonoscopy because I feel like that is the only thing that will ease my mind, or confirm my biggest fear...and at the same time I don't want to know. It's an awful place to be in. I haven't considered any gynecological problems, in fact I haven't been to an OBGYN since my last child was born almost 7 years ago. I do know that I have uterine fibroids, so maybe even that's a possibility? Can those put pressure on your bowels and cause digestive problems? My periods are quite heavy and painful...Again, thank you so much for your kind thoughts, and sound advice. I just don't know how to stop obsessing.

     
    Old 04-15-2014, 02:52 PM   #4
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Just DO IT. STOP searching the internet, period. While it is indeed, a wonderful resource and a blessing...It can also be a mind-bending, gut wrenching curse. I understand your fear and I realize that you need validation, so PLEASE request a colonoscopy. It's almost 5 o'clock my time, so too late to call today. Put this at the top of your to-do list for Wednesday. Just call your GASTRO nurse and convey your concerns. I have no doubt that your doctor will schedule the test. I tend to use humor, dark or otherwise, to cope with my mutilated anatomy=) So...plain and simple...stop obsessing about your poop for now. Go have supper and rent a funny movie to watch with your husband and sweet babies tonight. REMEMBER...They see your anxiety and absorb it like the little sponges they are. Don't do that to them. If you can't stop this negative thinking for your own sake, STOP IT for them...ok? HUGS

     
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    Old 04-15-2014, 03:16 PM   #5
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    I have an appt. with the GI next Monday, and I will definitely bring it all up to him. He knew I was very stressed the first time, and told me it will only aggravate my symptoms. You sound so much like my husband LOL...he has even threatened to take away my computer. You are absolutely right, my children also suffer, and I'm being selfish by not considering their feelings. I promise I will stop searching the internet and self-diagnosing. I appreciate your brutal honesty so much!! I guess I needed someone from the outside to make me realize how disruptive my obsessions have become. I'll post the outcome of my GI appt. next week. Take much care!

     
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    Old 04-15-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Hey Jas...If you're reading this, you're on the internet=) I'm nothing if not honest. I don't mean to come across as hard. It's just my survival mechanism. I believe in telling people the truth, then helping them deal with that truth if they need me to. Kudos on scheduling your Monday appointment. Waiting is always the worst! You're going to be fine. Focus on your Easter holiday with your family, and...ENJOY IT=)

    Last edited by mod85; 04-16-2014 at 03:26 PM.

     
    Old 04-17-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    jas, I am in the same boat. Have colonoscopy scheduled for coming Tuesday and am so scared to find out if it might be cancer. I have been on Prilosec since last June for reflux and gastritis. Also had unexplained abdominal pain followed by all sorts of tests including abdominal CT scan that was negative. Didn't have colonoscopy though. Have Had some relapses and recently increasing bouts with severe constipation with some diarrhea and pain ,bloating, feeling full, and lost some weight. Had some bleeding twice but also felt like could be hemorrhoids but who know. Somedays I feel really sick and some days are better. So having this test done to find out what is wrong. I am sure there are other things it could be but I am so scared of a cancer diagnosis I keep focusing on that, especially when I am not feeling well or have pain. I understand what you are going through. I have kids and it hurts to think what could happen. Will be thinking of you and hope all goes well with your test. Let us know how it goes. I think this can be a great place to find support when going through something like this and you feel so alone .

    Last edited by Administrator; 04-18-2014 at 07:13 AM.

     
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    Old 04-18-2014, 06:27 AM   #8
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing these issues. I am going to be scheduling my colonoscopy when I visit my GI doctor on Monday. I have also been having a lot of gas and bloating, all of which will not come out. It's been going on for over 3 days now. I have pretty much mostly diarrhea, but very small amounts. I'm scared too! Please know that you are absolutely not alone in this! What I do know, is that stress really messes with your digestive system, and I think that's why my suffering has increased. The stress makes it so you can't eat, sleep, or even function sometimes. You will be in my prayers and I hope all the very best for you. Hopefully soon, we will both be able to come back here and post good news, as to maybe offer someone going through the same thing, a bit of comfort. Enjoy your Easter holiday with your children...that's what I'm going to do...cook a nice dinner, dye eggs, and try to focus on everything else. If you ever need to talk, just send me a message...take care

    Last edited by Administrator; 04-18-2014 at 07:15 AM.

     
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    Old 04-18-2014, 08:40 AM   #9
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    So SORRY you're feeling such anxiety. I just don't know what more I can say. I'm taking a couple days off for myself to "reboot" with the holiday weekend, but I will check in if I can offer my support to y'all. My best advice is to absorb yourself in Easter activities to drown out your worries for a couple of days. HUGS=)

     
    Old 04-19-2014, 08:25 AM   #10
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Thank you both so much for your support. Trying to stay positive. Hugs.

     
    Old 04-21-2014, 07:06 AM   #11
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Hey Suz,

    Just checking in to see how you're feeling, and how your Easter Holiday went? I truly hope all is well. A little update from me, I ended up in the ER on Friday, with the inability to pass gas, or have a normal bowel movement. It became quite painful. Of course, this shot my anxiety through the roof, which turned my stomach into a ball of knots. They took blood, and did a CAT Scan...everything looked normal, the doctor couldn't even see any inflammation in my bowels/colon. I know the CAT scan is not a replacement for the colonoscopy, so I'm still scheduling that at my appointment today. Now, while I'm not trying to discard your symptoms, because I would never allow someone to do that to me...please understand that stress plays a HUGE role in your physical well-being, especially your stomach and digestion. I know it seems impossible, but it's very true, and I have been told this by several doctors. Easier said that done, right? I know how hard it is to try and remove yourself from your own thoughts...so I'm here for you, if you struggle. The ER doctor gave me a prescription for Ativan, because I was so scared in the hospital that they were going to find something terribly wrong, that my blood pressure shot up to 173/101 - they had to give me valium...so that is just one example of how stress and anxiety affects you physically. Like Dixie said in earlier posts, try to keep calm, especially for any kids you have at home. Mine were terrified when I went to the hospital because they could see my fear...and I felt absolutely devastated when I saw their little faces. My oldest son is even starting to ask if his gas smells "weird"....I know that's because of my behavior...The only comfort I can give you is that no matter what is or isn't wrong - your family is your reason to fight, and you will!!! Again, I'm here if you need to talk...tell me about your Easer? HUGS

     
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    Old 04-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #12
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Thank you so much for checking in today Jas and providing your update. I REALLY need some support today! I am glad you had some testing done -but not that you had to go to the ER been there done that!-and that all looks good so far. Did they have any ideas what could be causing your pain or symptoms? Glad you are going through with the colonoscopy and your appointment. I was supposed to have my colonoscopy tomorrow but was very anxious about the prep since I have continued to have a lot of pain and loose stools so I spoke with the on call doctor today-office is closed for Patriots Day-and his recommendation was to wait and be examined in the ER or my dr office tomorrow and possibly have a CT scan first to rule out any obstruction or diverticulitis before going through with the prep and procedure, especially since no one has examined me since these more troubling symptoms started. I was hoping it would get better but instead seems worse or the same. I'm going to try to wait it out until tomorrow and go to the ER only if I absolutely need to, it takes so long and is so stressful as I'm sure you know! But now I have to wait even longer to find out what is wrong and that is making me crazy! I'm so tired of being in pain and waiting and worrying. I know stress can cause all types of problems so I try to stay calm but I don't know how can stress and worry cause all this pain and upset? I feel it more on my left side much of the time. Easter yesterday was nice after the morning when I felt a little better. Just hung out at home with my kids and husband and it was nice to be together and have a quiet day at home. But now I just want to get on with this! I understand your stress at the ER so well, worrying that they will find something bad... I had one last July when I was diagnosed with reflux and I was beyond myself with worry(had Ativan also), though at that time nothing was found. I hope it is that way again this time, but then what could be causing all this pain and problems!! So frustrating and depressing! How was your Easter? Are you feeling any better now? So sorry for the super long post!! Thank you again for reaching out, was thinking of you and hoping you were ok. Lots of hugs to you too, we will get through this!

     
    Old 04-21-2014, 10:45 AM   #13
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    I'm doing OK, finally was able to pass some gas, and have very loose stool that looks partially undigested. I hate that I'm so obsessed about checking my poop! I know it's easier said that done..."Oh, occupy yourself with this, occupy yourself with that"...yeah, doesn't work...so I am right in the same boat with you! If your pain is bad enough, please don't hesitate to go to the ER...I know it's always a long process, but it may put you at enough ease to get you through to the next phase. How does the Ativan work for you? I still seem to get breakthrough anxiety with it...I'm glad you had a nice quiet Easter with your family, and I'm sure, like me, you were still internally plagued by stress and fear...just glad you got through it. The Doc at the ER said that at least 40% of ALL abdominal pain they see, goes undiagnosed. I have really been trying to stay away from Dr. Google, as every real doctor I've seen has told me it can be absolutely debilitating, because the worst case always pops up first. There are so many symptoms that over lap with Cancer, even the common cold, ya know? I keep trying to tell myself that I fit IBS-D exactly! I also read that a spastic colon acts in such a way that it ping-pongs your stools back and forth inside of you, before it finally comes out, causing all sorts of different sized and shaped stools, even changing consistency. I am going to my GI appt. in a couple of hours, and if I have the nerve, will schedule my colonoscopy. I feel for certain, that it's the only thing that will put me at 100% ease. I just have to do it, and face whatever awaits me. It's terrible to live life so proactively, isn't it? So afraid of dying, that I'm not really living Keep me posted if you do go to the ER, I wish all the best for you...and again, any support you need, I'm here

    Last edited by Jas; 04-21-2014 at 10:46 AM.

     
    Old 04-21-2014, 12:06 PM   #14
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Good luck at your appointment. Let me know how it goes. I think having the colonoscopy is still a good idea too. I had a whole bunch of tests last year and that is the one I did not have and regret it now. The not knowing is the hardest and thinking about all it might be and the ramifications of each. I have not taken Ativan for awhile so can't remember if I had breakthrough anxiety. I think I remember it helping a lot at first then not so much, your body might adjust to it ?over time. It was helpful though. I am thinking of taking some today or tonight since I have a few leftover and has not expired, especially since I have not slept very well at all the last few days. I agree it is a difficult place to be, this in between place, and GI issues are known for being difficult to diagnose. Ugh.i feel as you do, I should just try to keep busy, but when you feel "yuck" it sure is hard. I am here for you too, any time you need to talk or need support. Hope all goes well.

     
    Old 04-22-2014, 08:05 AM   #15
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    Re: 35 y/o scared to death I have colon cancer

    Hi Jas,
    I hope you are well today. I have a ct scan in a few hours and am hoping they do not find anything serious. Very anxious. Did your appointment go ok?

     
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