Hi, all. This is my first post.
A quick background about me ~ I'm a 41 year old female "health nut' & have been an avid exerciser for over 20 years.
About a year ago, I had an episode of bloody stool. I've battled constipation off & on as long as I can remember, and figured it was from a hemorrhoid (no other symptoms). It happened a few times, then stopped, then would happen again here & there.
In February, I changed careers. The off & on blood in stool issue surfaced again, and I chalked it up to stress (and again, irregularity & presumable hemorrhoid.) My dear, loving husband urged me to get it checked out, but I'm distrustful of doctors and the medical field in general, having watched my mom die a slow, painful death at the hands of them. It scarred me for life, to be sure.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, abdominal cramping started happening along with the blood in stool. Based on my symptoms (esp. lower left side pain), I thought it might be ulcerative colitis and last week met with a gastroenterologist, who at the time said he "didn't believe it was cancer" (because I HAD to ask, knowing he couldn't tell me during the initial exam), but scheduled the colonoscopy today to be sure and fully see what was going on.
For the past week, I was a nervous wreck. My husband kept telling me to stay positive & that it was probably something minor.
When the doc came in after the c-scope to talk to me, he said I had a 5 cm mass near the proximal end of my rectum, which he biopsied. I started crying, and he said not to worry yet, and that he had me scheduled to meet w/a colorectal surgeon (on 9/21) because the mass needs to be removed due to its size.
My discharge paperwork mentions in several places '5 cm mass of malignant appearance' so of course I'm freaking out. My husband and I have been having crying jags off and on all day. Not only do I have to have surgery (which I've come to accept), but the notion that it might be cancer is unthinkable.
I'm so scared and depressed right now. I want to have a positive outlook so that this bugger doesn't grow any larger, but I'm SCARED. And I want it out NOW. I have these awful visions of it getting to grapefruit-sized proportions in the meantime. Also, I can't find any info - should I exercise, like light walking, or yoga? Will activity make it grow? Spread?
I know I should calm down until the biopsy results are back (probably not until Monday, 9/14), but that's not easy to do. Also, I do not, DO NOT, want chemo. Surgery is one thing, chemo is another. I don't want to go that route.
Thanks to any and all who have read this long, rambling, self-indulgent post, especially if you can offer any insight or share any experiences.
42 yr. old female
Rectal cancer Stage 3C T3 N1 M0 - Sept 2015
28 rounds radiation w/Xeloda - Nov - Dec 2015
2/17/16 - Surgery to remove rectal tumor, lymph nodes (2/20+), ovaries & fallopian tubes, temp. ileostomy
3/28/16 - 9/26/16 -12 rounds FOLFOX w/full oxi
Ileo reversal 10/27/16; Port removed 12/1/16
Lung mets confirmed 2/6/17
March-May 2017 - brain mets; brain rad. 5/9-5/29/17