Advice/Support

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winteriscoming
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:13 am

Advice/Support

Postby winteriscoming » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:42 am

Apologizing in advance for length, but I'm pretty nervous about what's been going on with my body lately.

I am a 28 year old female with no family history of CRC, or any cancer of that kind. I'm an avid runner and a teacher, and for the most part, don't get sick often. I haven't been sick once this year. About a week ago, I noticed a change in my bathroom habits - I didn't have the urge to have a bowel movement despite no lifestyle changes or dietary changes. I thought this may have been due to taking Plan B over President's Day weekend. I kept an eye on it, but was pretty concerned by last Wednesday and took milk of magnesia. Since Thursday, I have had some narrow stool that isn't normal for me. On Friday I went to an urgent care and the doctor was not concerned and sent me home with fiber and laxatives, which gave me diarrhea the rest of the day. Saturday I took one normal-ish bowel movement and the other was like narrow stool. This morning I had another incidence of narrow stool. I'm concerned because this is such a sudden change for me - I have pretty regular, (i guess decently sized) BM's and have never had any trouble or stomach issues.. I have no cramping, no bleeding, nothing else besides constipation. Does this even qualify as constipation since I am actually going? When I do try to go, it feels like something is blocking it, like I can't get everything out.

My fiance, parents, and friends think I'm totally ridiculous for even worrying about the possibility of CRC, but I've done so much googling and internet sleuthing that I can't shake the idea from my head. This has been totally out of the blue and sudden, and I can't think of any other reasons for it besides stress (which I admit needs to be taken care of as well) - I have a lot of anxiety in general. I made an appointment with a GI for Tuesday, but can I go in and request a colonoscopy immediately? How do you suggest handling the GI appointment, and making sure my concerns are taken seriously? I'm nervous about it, but tbh I'd rather just get a colonoscopy then stop worrying because the stress is starting to wear me down - I can't even focus on teaching or wedding planning or anything!

Thank you so much - I greatly appreciate it!

Caat55
Posts: 545
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Advice/Support

Postby Caat55 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:32 pm

I think you are taking a good first step. Peace of mind is very important to physical health.
Susan
55 y.o. Female
Dx 9/26/17 RC Stage 3
Completed 33 rad. tx, xeolda 12/8/17
MRI and PET 1/18 sign. regression
Surgery 1/31/18 Ileostomy, clean margins, no lymph node involved
Port 3/1/2018
Oxaliplatin and Xeloda start 3/22/18
Last Oxaliplatin 7/5/18, 5 rounds
CT NED 9/2018

KimT
Posts: 616
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:53 pm

Re: Advice/Support

Postby KimT » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:54 pm

Colon cancer does not develop so quickly as to affect the size of your stools in a matter of days. I think you are barking up the wrong tree. You might consider talking to someone about your anxiety. Best of luck.
2/10 dx colon cancer
right hemicolectomy 3/19/10
Stage 2a 0/43 nodes
Lynch syndrome
3/14/10 colon resection/ removal of metal clips
Nov 11 dx ovarian cancer

Lee
Posts: 5741
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Advice/Support

Postby Lee » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:42 pm

winteriscoming wrote:
. . . . but I've done so much googling and internet sleuthing that I can't shake the idea from my head. . .


Avoid Dr. Google. You can diagnose yourself with just about any disease with Dr. Google. A lot of the information regarding colon cancer out there is either out of date or just plain wrong. Hang around here is you need to vent or have concerns.

Colon cancer is a very slow growing cancer. It generally takes a polyp about 10 years to turn cancerous.

Yes, see the GI doc,explain your concerns. Your narrow stools could be caused my many things. Personally I don't think you have colon cancer, so try not to worry.

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!

User avatar
Maggie Nell
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 1:57 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Advice/Support

Postby Maggie Nell » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:33 am

winteriscoming wrote:
I can't even focus on teaching or wedding planning or anything!



Sure you're marrying the right guy, remember what happened to Lady Di :roll:
DX April 2015, @ 54
35mm poorly diff. tumour, incidental finding following emergency r. hemicolectomy
for ileo-colic intussusception.
Lymph nodes: 0/22
T3 N0 MX

User avatar
LeonW
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 4:59 pm
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Re: Advice/Support

Postby LeonW » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:10 am

Maggie Nell wrote: . . . remember what happened to Lady Di :roll:

Was Lady Di a teacher?
Dec 2012 CC (7 cm mass), 2 unresect liver mets, CEA 41.8 (MM @65yrs)
Jan 2013 colectomy @ spleen, 2/26 nodes IVa T3N1bM1a MSI-low
Feb-Aug - 1x Xelox-7x Xelox/Avastin, shrinkage from #3
Sept - 2x failed PV embolization
Oct 2013 - R liver resect 28 hosp days (delirium, liver failure, emboli, encephalopathy) pCR - no cancer cells
2014/15 - recovery; scopy finds polyp
2016 - new town, new life
June 2018 - 5 yr mark, 2 polyps
clean CTs and (1.3-1.4) CEAs: 4x2014, 6x2015-17, 1x2018; next June 2019

User avatar
O Stoma Mia
Posts: 1450
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

Re: Advice/Support

Postby O Stoma Mia » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:52 am

I posted this link on another thread, but I'll re-post it here, because I think it addresses some of your issues.

You are young and are having bowel problems. Sometimes the doctors don't take young patients seriously when they complain about bowel problems. But there are some patterns of symptoms that are more indicative of cancer than others, and if the patient has these particular patterns, then they should probably press for a colonoscopy, but otherwise not.

If you read through the article in the link below you will find that the pattern that is most linked with early age onset CRC is: (1) a family history of CRC, plus (2) rectal bleeding for several months but not due to internal hemorrhoids, plus (3) several months of persistent stomach cramps not due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

In my opinion, you do not fall into this type of pattern, because you have not had these symptoms long enough. But you can read through the article and judge for yourself whether you fall in an "at risk" category at this point in time.

Patients need to be resolute in trying
to encourage their doctors not to
dismiss symptoms. The plight of many
of these younger individuals is they
keep getting written off for having
hemorrhoids as the cause of bleeding
or IBS as the cause of their abdominal
pain or change in bowel habits.
Patients need to speak with the providers
when symptoms persist or, in the case
of rectal bleeding, when no further
workup is ordered.
Ref: http://www.coloncancerchallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Endoeconomics_Uderstanding_Early_Age_Onset_CRC.pdf

Lee
Posts: 5741
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Advice/Support

Postby Lee » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:51 pm

LeonW wrote:
Maggie Nell wrote: . . . remember what happened to Lady Di :roll:

Was Lady Di a teacher?


Yes she was a preschool teacher prior to getting involved with Charles.

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!

jaybel
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:29 am
Location: California

Re: Advice/Support

Postby jaybel » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:36 am

Dont listen to anyone else but yourself. If you feel something is off and are concerned then go to the GI doctor, tell him everything and get the colonoscopy. its your life so be pro active when it comes to your health!

User avatar
LeonW
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 4:59 pm
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Re: Advice/Support

Postby LeonW » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:53 am

Sorry winteriscoming, for hijacking your thread. Thanks jaybel to get it back on track.
L
Dec 2012 CC (7 cm mass), 2 unresect liver mets, CEA 41.8 (MM @65yrs)
Jan 2013 colectomy @ spleen, 2/26 nodes IVa T3N1bM1a MSI-low
Feb-Aug - 1x Xelox-7x Xelox/Avastin, shrinkage from #3
Sept - 2x failed PV embolization
Oct 2013 - R liver resect 28 hosp days (delirium, liver failure, emboli, encephalopathy) pCR - no cancer cells
2014/15 - recovery; scopy finds polyp
2016 - new town, new life
June 2018 - 5 yr mark, 2 polyps
clean CTs and (1.3-1.4) CEAs: 4x2014, 6x2015-17, 1x2018; next June 2019

Utwo
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 10:14 am
Location: T.O.

Re: Advice/Support

Postby Utwo » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:37 pm

Thank you LeonW for reminding us that Lady Di was a teacher.
58 yo male at diagnosis: T1bN0M0, 0/15 nodes, low grade/moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma
03/2016 colonoscopy #1: 2 small polyps removed in left colon; CEA = 1.3
04/2016 colonoscopy #2: caecum sessile 3.5 cm polyp piecemeal removed with kind of clear margins
05/2016 "prophylactic" laparoscopic right hemicolectomy - bleeding, leak, infection
06/2017 CT scan, colonoscopy OK; CEA = 1.6
A lot of funny stuff discovered by CT scans in liver, kidney, lungs, arteries, gallbladder and a lymph node

winteriscoming
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:13 am

Re: Advice/Support

Postby winteriscoming » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:00 pm

Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments - I appreciate it! For an update - I went to the GI today and explained my symptoms and concerns. She told me she really didn't think I had a reason to be worried, and that she wasn't concerned. She noticed how anxious I was about it, and said if I wanted to do a colonoscopy she would do it. So, it is scheduled for next Wednesday. Hopefully for good results, and I'm grateful she didn't just brush me aside. As a question - are you able to return to work the day after the procedure? I was told yes by the GI, but a friend said to take the next day off as well.

Lee
Posts: 5741
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Advice/Support

Postby Lee » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:11 pm

winteriscoming wrote: . . . . As a question - are you able to return to work the day after the procedure? I was told yes by the GI, but a friend said to take the next day off as well.


The day of the procedure, no you can not return to work, or drive or make any important decision. Butt the next day, no problems. You can drive, can do just about everything. Are you a 100% the day after the procedure, maybe not 100%, but 96.9%. Or maybe I'm getting old. Sometimes OTC Motrin can effect me.

Yes it's okay to return to work the day after the scope.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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!

winteriscoming
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:13 am

Re: Advice/Support

Postby winteriscoming » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:46 pm

So I am scheduled to have my colonoscopy tomorrow at 2:30 PM. I was given the Ez2go prep kit. I started drinking the mix of polyethylene glycol/gatorade at 5 pm - did 4 8 oz glasses every 15 minutes and drank a bottle of magnesium sulfate at 8. So far, I have had no bowel movements. Is this common? Do laxatives take this long to go into effect?


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