Worried and in need of some insight...

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Mom2FourKiddos
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Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:51 pm

Hello everyone. I have been reading through posts here for the past 6 months looking for comfort and guidance while I've been seeing Dr after Dr. I do not, as of yet, have a colon cancer diagnosis but I fear that it's a possibility. I hope it's ok that I post here and ask some questions? I, in no means, mean to be insensitive and apologize if I come across that way at all. I am just scared right now and having such a hard time sleeping that I was hoping to gain a little peace. I do have an appointment on the 8th of this month with a gastroenterologist, so I'm not looking for a diagnosis here.
Let me start with my story and the date my life became a lot less worry free. In mid June, as I slid off one of my daughters beds after saying goodnight to her, I noticed a terrible pain inside my buttcheek. I reached down and felt a large lump that was painful and swollen. In the morning, I headed into the ER where I was diagnosed with a peri-anal abscess. All of my labs (CBC & CMP) came back normal. I was given a prescription of Augmentin 875-125mg for 10 days, twice a day and sent home to "wait and see what happens". The meds didn't touch it so I went in again and this time they did a CT scan with IV contrast. They ran labs again and all were still clear. The CT scan showed Lung bases are clear, no intestinal obstruction is present, no dilated loops of the bowel, no appendicitis or diverticulitis, a fat containing ubilical hernia is present, a subcentimeter cyst in the right renal parenchyma, a left sided cystic area of the uterine fundus, and it says there is no pathologic lymphadenopathy seen througout the exam. There impression was a right sided perianal sinus and probable ovarian cyst.
At this time, the Dr opted to send me home with another round of the same antibiotic to see if it would clear up the abscess. It did not. I went in an met with a general surgeon who told me it would need surgery and this is where it got really scary for me. I was diagnosed 10 year ago with hemmorhoids that currently bleed every 6 months or so only after straining. When I mentioned to him that I have rectal bleeding from time to time and asked him if the bleeding could actually have been from the abscess, he stopped and said very sternly that I needed a colonoscopy because he's seen 2 year olds with colon cancer before. And then went on to tell me that we needed to take care of the abscess first and deal with the rectal bleeding after this was resolved. He also sent me home with another round of antibiotics. This time was Flagyl 500mg 3 times a day and said we would operate if this medication didn't clear it up. It didn't.
SO I went in to the ER again with rectal bleeding and a very sore and inflamed abscess. Another CT scan was done at this time. This time the report said, Diverticula is noted in the colon, the visualized portions of the small bowel are normal, there is no lymphadenopathy, ill defined soft tissue in the right adnexa suggesting an ovarian mass, a 4.5x1.7cm collection of fluid/debris with gas suggestive of an abscess is located in the perianal area, The findings again were perianal abscess and diverticulosis.
The surgeon came in and operated on the abscess. I was sent home with a 2nd round of Flagyl and pain meds. And the abscess has now come back. It fills up, pops and drains and feels better for a short bit and goes through the same thing over and over. I am afraid it's developed a fistula. And I do know it'll need more scans and another surgery.
Here are my concerns and what I am dealing with now...I have TERRIBLE anxiety about all of this. I can't get out of my head that he suggested I may have cancer. It has taken FOREVER to get into a gastroenterologist and the appointment is almost here. I am scared. I don't sleep more than a few hours a night and wake up in full blown panic attacks. I am still bleeding rectally after straining. I have flat stools all the time now. They will change back once in a while, but only after I take metamucill or up my fiber a ton. Then it's right back. I have had 3 months of daily nagging dull pain in my right abdomen and flank area. Like a light cramp that will move around from under my rib cage, to mid ab area, to lower ab area. It will even ache around into my back. I have had no weight loss. On the contrary, I've gained weight recently. I am overweight and trying to work on it, but I am exhausted. This constant dull ache/cramp is a constant reminder that something is wrong. And I don't know what. I am so scared it's something sinister. I try to tell myself that my guts just hurt from all the medications they've given me, but I can't convince myself to calm my nerves. Can anyone please share their thoughts or tell me if this sounds like I should be worried? I would appreciate it so so much. I know this was terribly long winded, but I wanted to give the full background. Thank you for reading it all.

Pemba
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:52 am

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Pemba » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:13 am

It sound like the doctors are taking good care of you, both with the abscess and bleeding. It’s a good thing your seeing a GL soon :)

I’ve had abscess on my buttcheeks around 4-5 times, lucky they where close to the surface so I did not need surgery and most of them popped all by themselves. Unfortunately they can easily come back again. A abscess will always look for at way to the surface to empty themselves, so I guess it is possible to get a fistula BUT then you would notice more than just blood, because the insides of a abscess is like yellow/brown custard.

I stopped getting abscess when I started to eat healthily, I manly got them in my late teens and even though I was never overweighted I was not healthy.

The pain under your ribs can both be a symptom of to much stomach acid properly after all the pills, or stress tensions! It’s always a good idea to take probiotics after taking pills that kills of bacteria.
Age: 26
2017: 15mm Tubulovillous adenoma- Low grade dysplasi.
Next scopy: original 2020 probably 2018-19

Mom2FourKiddos
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Facebook Username: Cari Lewis

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:31 am

Thank you so much for your response. I wish I could just kick this anxiety. I do have a couple questions.

Having 2 CT scans with contrast both times, would it show cancer or polyps? Especially if it's at a point that it's changing the Calibur of my stool?

I do have visible skin tags and hemmorhoids, could this be the cause of bleeding only after straining hard? Or can straining cause a tumor to bleed a bit too? It always stops after a day or two.

Would my bloodwork show something wrong as they were all clear if it was something sinister?

Does the pain I'm describing sound familiar? Just a daily on and off mild ache/light pinching feeling in my right flank area?

I'm so sorry to bug anyone with this. I just don't know where else to turn. Google has scared me into hysteria so I'm trying not to look anything up there.

Mom2FourKiddos
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:17 pm
Facebook Username: Cari Lewis

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:50 am

And I forgot one more...I have bled like this for almost 10 years now. With Drs always saying, "if it doesn't stop after a couple days, you'll need a scope done" and it always stopped. When it would reoccur months later, same response. Would cancer bleed like this with no other symptoms for almost 10 years? I am so scared that it's possibly gone on this long and what they're going to find during my colonoscopy.

Lee
Posts: 5666
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Lee » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:12 pm

Hi and welcome. So sorry for all that has happened to you.

How old are you? Does colon cancer run in your family? I'm glad you are seeing a GI doctor. Make sure you get a colonoscopy. That will give a true diagnoses of what is going on. Anything else is just a speculation. Your symptoms could be cause my many things, cancer is just one possibility.

For what it's worth, I had no pain, yet many year prior my mother ended up in the ER with serious stomach pain and rectal bleeding. A colonoscopy was performed, no cancer, not even one polyp. Just a bad case of of diverticulosis.

Get it checked, butt try not to worry. Hope you get that abscess under control. Does not sound like a fun thing to have.

Keep us posted

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Mom2FourKiddos
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:17 pm
Facebook Username: Cari Lewis

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:26 pm

Lee wrote:Hi and welcome. So sorry for all that has happened to you.

How old are you? Does colon cancer run in your family? I'm glad you are seeing a GI doctor. Make sure you get a colonoscopy. That will give a true diagnoses of what is going on. Anything else is just a speculation. Your symptoms could be cause my many things, cancer is just one possibility.

For what it's worth, I had no pain, yet many year prior my mother ended up in the ER with serious stomach pain and rectal bleeding. A colonoscopy was performed, no cancer, not even one polyp. Just a bad case of of diverticulosis.

Get it checked, butt try not to worry. Hope you get that abscess under control. Does not sound like a fun thing to have.

Keep us posted

Lee


Thank you so much Lee. I am 40 years old and no family history of colon cancer whatsoever. I think my age and family history is why the Drs have been dismissive and not too worried. I'm in the "what if and I should have done this earlier" stage of worrying. I had no pain before all the meds and anxiety over this all. The past couple days has been a lot better in the pain department too. The pains have been very minimal and not as constant.

I should add too, I've also had ultrasounds done for my ovaries and uterus and just came back as normal cysts and a HIDA scan done for my gallbladder which my Dr thought could be causing the pain. When it came back normal. His response, "your guts just hate you. Stop worrying. A CT scan would have shown something going on if it was colon or rectal cancer so try not to worry"

But I've googled and read differently. So I'm just not sure.

Lee
Posts: 5666
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Lee » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:44 pm

Mom2FourKiddos wrote:Thank you so much Lee. I am 40 years old and no family history of colon cancer whatsoever. I think my age and family history is why the Drs have been dismissive and not too worried. I'm in the "what if and I should have done this earlier" stage of worrying. I had no pain before all the meds and anxiety over this all. The past couple days has been a lot better in the pain department too. The pains have been very minimal and not as constant.

I should add too, I've also had ultrasounds done for my ovaries and uterus and just came back as normal cysts and a HIDA scan done for my gallbladder which my Dr thought could be causing the pain. When it came back normal. His response, "your guts just hate you. Stop worrying. A CT scan would have shown something going on if it was colon or rectal cancer so try not to worry"

But I've googled and read differently. So I'm just not sure.


Yes, generally a CAT scan can pick up a tumor, butt. if the tumor is real small, it may not pick it up. Try and avoid Dr. Google, you can diagnoses yourself with anything with Dr. Google. Hang out here if you are seeking information. Since they mentioned diverticulosis, yes you should get a colonoscopy, just to confirm it.

Push for that colonoscopy just for piece of mind and confirmation of diverticulosis. Don't let them talk you out of it because of age. It your life and sometimes you've got to be your own advocate.

Keep us posted,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Mom2FourKiddos
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:17 pm
Facebook Username: Cari Lewis

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:15 pm

Lee, thank you. So very much. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone on this forum and am so grateful for such a wonderful resource. There is such a comfort that even if this is cancer for me, that I won't be alone. You all are hero warriors.
I am pushing for a colonoscopy for sure. I need to know either way. This in between is killing me.

Lee
Posts: 5666
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Lee » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:17 pm

Mom2FourKiddos wrote:

Having 2 CT scans with contrast both times, would it show cancer or polyps?

I do have visible skin tags and hemmorhoids, could this be the cause of bleeding only after straining hard? Or can straining cause a tumor to bleed a bit too? It always stops after a day or two.

Would my bloodwork show something wrong as they were all clear if it was something sinister?

Does the pain I'm describing sound familiar? Just a daily on and off mild ache/light pinching feeling in my right flank area?

I'm so sorry to bug anyone with this. I just don't know where else to turn. Google has scared me into hysteria so I'm trying not to look anything up there.


A CAT scan should pick up a tumor (unless it's small). I don't believe it can pick up a polyp unless it's a good size.

Hemorrhoids can cause bleeding especially if you are straining hard to pass a BM. By any chance notice any itchiness?

I have not comment about pain. Me I had no pain. None! Many years ago, my mother ended up in the ER with serious stomach pain and rectal bleeding. Colonoscopy was done, no cancer, not even one polyp, just a bad case of diverticulosis.

Hope this helps,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Lee
Posts: 5666
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Lee » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:28 pm

Mom2FourKiddos wrote:And I forgot one more...I have bled like this for almost 10 years now. With Drs always saying, "if it doesn't stop after a couple days, you'll need a scope done" and it always stopped. When it would reoccur months later, same response. Would cancer bleed like this with no other symptoms for almost 10 years? I am so scared that it's possibly gone on this long and what they're going to find during my colonoscopy.


If you have been bleeding off and on for 10 years now, and "IF" it was due to cancer, I believe they would have found a tumor with the CAT scan. Something is going on, that is why a colonoscopy is so important, but I believe your bleeding is due to something else. Remember cancer is just one possibility out of many. Hemorrhoids, Chrohn's Disease, IBS just to name a few.

Colon cancer is slow growing. When I was diagnosed, they figured mine had been growing for about 10+ years. I had no pain, thus I never had a CAT scan. If I did, I'm sure my tumor would have been seen on it. While it was only 5cm inside my colon, it was 8 by 11 cm outside my colon.

Hope this helps,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Mom2FourKiddos
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:17 pm
Facebook Username: Cari Lewis

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:29 pm

Yes, it is itchy. And painful when I go. After four children, my bowels have not been the same since. My OB put me on Zofran for morning sickness with my kiddos back in 2009 and it blocked up my bowels horribly. They haven't ever been the same. They just don't seem to function like they used to. And I have prolapsed hemmorhoids. Which is why I never thought twice about the occasional bleeding. Until the surgeon said what he said.

Mom2FourKiddos
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:17 pm
Facebook Username: Cari Lewis

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:28 pm

Lee wrote:
Mom2FourKiddos wrote:And I forgot one more...I have bled like this for almost 10 years now. With Drs always saying, "if it doesn't stop after a couple days, you'll need a scope done" and it always stopped. When it would reoccur months later, same response. Would cancer bleed like this with no other symptoms for almost 10 years? I am so scared that it's possibly gone on this long and what they're going to find during my colonoscopy.


If you have been bleeding off and on for 10 years now, and "IF" it was due to cancer, I believe they would have found a tumor with the CAT scan. Something is going on, that is why a colonoscopy is so important, but I believe your bleeding is due to something else. Remember cancer is just one possibility out of many. Hemorrhoids, Chrohn's Disease, IBS just to name a few.

Colon cancer is slow growing. When I was diagnosed, they figured mine had been growing for about 10+ years. I had no pain, thus I never had a CAT scan. If I did, I'm sure my tumor would have been seen on it. While it was only 5cm inside my colon, it was 8 by 11 cm outside my colon.

Hope this helps,

Lee


Oh my goodness! I'm not sure what constitutes a large tumor but that sounds big. I'm so glad you're doing well now!!! I really appreciate all the time you've spent talking to me about this. You have put my mind at ease quite a bit. :D

Mom2FourKiddos
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:17 pm
Facebook Username: Cari Lewis

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby Mom2FourKiddos » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:39 am

Update: I saw the gastroenterologist yesterday and left with more questions than answers. He never did an examination, on anything. Just ask questions and told me basically that it could be anything and I need a colonoscopy. Which I figured would be the case. But his answer to every one of my questions was, "I'm not in the business of guessing". And the statements he did make contradicted any Dr I've previously seen.

I asked him if it was possible to see colon cancer on a CT scan if it was large enough since I did start bleeding and was diagnosed with hemmorhoids in 2008. His response was, no probably not. I then asked him if it was possible for cancer to grow as long as I have had issues with bleeding from my backside, he told me no, you would be dead by now. Which I have had bleeding issues off and on for the past 10 years. But then turned around and told me that it could possibly be this and his best guess is that if it is cancer, that it has only been growing for the past 4 or 5 years. Which I found interesting because in my mind, that's a guess on his part correct? Which he previously stated he wasn't in the business of guessing. He was very rushed. Gave me a limp handshake and left quickly. I say there kind of stunned until the nurse came in and asked me to come sit in another waiting room. And then I was ushered to a desk to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. When I tried to make the appointment for the colonoscopy, the woman behind the desk was very agitated because the doctor had already left for the day right after seeing me, and didn't finish any of the paperwork that he needed to for me to schedule my procedure. I feel like this was a huge waste of time and left me extremely uneasy and full of anxiety. I have not slept all night and just feel absolutely sick to my stomach. I have found another doctor and have made an appointment for the 31st of this month. I read a lot of reviews this time and I'm hoping to finally gain some peace of mind about what this could be. I haven't slept since June.

DarknessEmbraced
Posts: 3113
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Facebook Username: Riann Fletcher
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Worried and in need of some insight...

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:25 pm

I'm sorry you're going through this and I hope your appointment with the new GI will go well!*hugs* I hope you get answers soon!
Diagnosed 10/28/14, age 36
Colon Resection 11/20/14, LAR (no illeo)
Stage 2a colon cancer, T3NOMO
Lymph-vascular invasion undetermined
0/22 lymph nodes
No chemo, no radiation
Clear Colonoscopy 04/29/15
NED 10/20/15
Ischemic Colitis 01/21/16
NED 11/10/16
CT Scan moved up due to high CEA 08/21/17
NED 09/25/17


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