New and scared...

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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:39 pm

New and scared...

Postby JustMe0807 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:49 pm

Hi! I am a 38 year-old female who is falling apart. “Fit and healthy” has been part of my identity. And then this year, I have been in PT for back muscles, knee ligaments, and my pelvic floor. :(

And then there’s my undercarriage... In August, for no discernible reason, I developed hemorrhoids. I was asymptomatic aside from “feeling” they were there. My PCM sent me to a gastro. Gastro said- it happens. I have been less bothered by them in the past month. Then, I noticed a dime-sized bit of pink/red blood with wiping. The following week I had a lot of stomach pain that was very migratory in character. Back to the gastro who suggested a colonoscopy. He didn’t seem worried, per say, but said if I were his wife, that is what he would recommend. So, I am scheduled for one 12/10.

I am TERRIFIED of a bowel perforation. Female and slender ups the risk apparently? I am also terrified of something serious being wrong. My mother died during my birth, and my greatest fear is leaving my children. My paternal grandmother had colon cancer, but she was diagnosed stage one at 78 and died at 92 from complications of Alzheimer’s. Otherwise, no colon cancer in my family.

I would love to hear positive, non bowel perforation colonoscopy stories.

Posts: 651
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:53 pm

Re: New and scared...

Postby KimT » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:13 am

There are risks in any procedure. If you want o know what’s going on, you just have to suck it up and get the colonoscopy. Every one of us on this board that has been diagnosed with colon cancer had had at least one colonoscopy, most of us several. I’ve not heard of anybody suffering a bowel perforation.
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

Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: New and scared...

Postby Punky44 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:31 am

I think the benefit of ruling out colon cancer outweighs the risk.

Both myself and my mom are thin slender women and had zero complications from the procedure. It was honestly a breeze (although the prep the night before was...meh.)
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68)
10/1/18 DX with rectal cancer; CEA 17 at diagnosis
MRI/CT/PET puts staging at T3N2M0
Total neoadjuvant therapy:
8 rounds Folfox 11/5/18 - 2/11/19
Short course radiation 3/14/19 - 3/20/19
Robotically assisted laparoscopic LAR 3/21/19
Pathology report says yT2N0M0 with 0/38 nodes
CEA 4/23: 2.1

Me: 34, first colonoscopy 11/16/18—normal! Come back in 5 years.

Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:46 am

Re: New and scared...

Postby Jannine » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:46 am

I also was concerned about the risks, and put off having a colonoscopy longer than I should have. I'm 5'10" and normally weigh about 140, currently down to about 128 because of chemo. I had just participated in a 6k run (although I walked part of it) a week before my diagnosis. I had a near blockage so the colonoscopy didn't get very far in my case, but it is DEFINITELY worth getting if you have concerns. It's the only way to find out for sure what's going on in there. The risks are worth it, in my opinion.
DX: sigmoid colon cancer 5/2018. 48 F
laparoscopic sigmoid resection (24 cm removed); no stoma.
7.5cm adenocarcinoma -- mod. diff.
1 noncontiguous tumor deposit removed; 0/31 lymph nodes
T3 pN1c M0
5/18 before surgery, CEA 11.2
6/18 began FOLFOX
7/18: CEA 1.9; added neulasta post infusion
9/18: CEA 2.8
10/18: 25% chemo reduction
11/18: CEA 1.8

Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:28 pm

Re: New and scared...

Postby e_enyedy » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:12 pm

Look at it this way: exclude cancer or the very very low risk of some side effect?
77 yrs male (73 at Dx)
2/13 Dx Carcinoma, Sigmoid Colon
3/13 Sigmoid Colon Hemicolectomy,( 12"+)
3/13 Pathology Staging: T1N0M0; no follow-up chemo
5/15 Recurrence: in pre-sacral space -no other mets detected (Instantly became Stage IV)
5/15 Started 8 sessions of Folfox + Avastin
11/15 Finished chemo, PET/CT: NED
11/15 Started Xeloda+ Avastin every 3 weeks. Still Doing it.
Still NED -(Hope treatment keeps working)

Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: New and scared...

Postby zephyr » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:06 pm

Look at it this way:

Your chances of bowel perforation during a colonoscopy: about 1 in 1,750
Your chances of dying in a car accident: about 1 in 77

There's some sort of risk or trade off for everything you do. Everything. As risks go, this one's easy. If I could go back in time and be given the choice of having a colonoscopy every month in order to avoid being diagnosed with late-stage cancer, I would do it in a heartbeat.
Nov-2009 Early stage CRC found during routine colonoscopy
2010, 2011, 2014 Follow up colonoscopies, all clear
Jun-2016 CRC found during routine follow up colonoscopy, surgery, Stage 4, KRAS, MSS, inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016-May-2018 Folfox, 5FU & Avastin, 5FU, Folfiri & Cyramza
Aug/Sep-2018 YAG laser surgeries (Germany) on both lungs, 11 nodules (9 mets) removed
Nov-2018 clean CT scan
Mar-2019 New lung nodules
April-2019 Xeloda + Avastin

Posts: 3275
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Facebook Username: Riann Fletcher
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: New and scared...

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:58 pm

I agree with everyone that the benefits of colonoscopy outweigh the very small amount of risk. Good luck!
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
NED 12/21/18

Posts: 41
Joined: Sun May 27, 2018 12:41 pm

Re: New and scared...

Postby erins » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:04 pm

I’m also 38, and very small and skinny, and had no issues with my colonoscopy (well, other than what they found :wink: ). I asked about the risks, since I had known hemorrhoids and thought that’d make things riskier, buty my GI said it was extremely low risk. The only big tip she had was to be nice and hydrated, but that’s mostly due to the prep :)

Just follow the prep (folks here have lots of tips to make it easier), try to relax, and feel positive about being proactive about your health. Being healthy overall going in helps a lot in bouncing back from whatever comes your way. Keep us updated & beat of luck!
38 yr old female
Rectal bleeding for 1 month—>
5/4/18 colonoscopy found mass in sigmoid colon
5/21/18 LAR
stage 2a, 0/17 lymph, clean margins
T3N0M0 G1
LVI neg, PNI neg, MSS
9/21/18 CEA 0.8
11/16/18 CEA 0.8 & CT clear
12/7/18 iron infusion
2/1/18 iron improved, CEA stable.

Posts: 2296
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: New and scared...

Postby peanut_8 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:04 pm

Hi justme, welcome to Colon Talk.

I've been around here for quite a while, almost 5 years. So far, I've never heard of anyone getting a perforation from a colonoscopy. Hope that puts your mind at ease just a bit.

Most people seem to think the prep is the worst part of the procedure. There are several different solutions available to induce the clean-out phase. Some taste better than others.

Basically, you're going to be spending quite a bit of time on the toilet.

One suggestion to make things easier is to avoid high fiber foods a few days before the procedure.

I'm including a link with other tips to make the process easier, in case you're interested. Hopefully the more you know about the process the less nervous you'll be.

Best Wishes,
female, diagnosed Jan 14, RC stage 2a, age 56
April 14, 28 chemo/rad with Xeloda
June 14 adjuvant Xeloda 6 rounds
currently NED

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