storkbat wrote:... I have not yet had a colonoscopy, but feel sure I will have one very soon.
I feel like all of this lines up perfectly with cancer and I am scared. If anyone has any words of advice, support or information, that would be very helpful at this time.
Thank you in advance
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear of your recent bowel problems, but it looks like you will start getting some answers soon on Monday, and then later on when you have lined up a colonoscopy.
The advice I have would be the following.
1~~ Start now by eating smaller meals and focus on low residue diets. This is because you will eventually need to have a bowel cleansing procedure before a colonoscopy, and the procedure will be much easier to handle if you don't have a lot of bulky, undigested foods inside to eliminate. When you are given the prescription for the colon-cleansing product, be sure that you follow the instructions and that you finish the complete procedure. The colon needs to be squeaky clean when the doctor is doing the colonoscopy.
2~~ Before the colonoscopy, try to control your anxiety without resorting to alcohol, anti-anxiety drugs, or mind-soothing herbal concoctions. This is because the colonoscopy procedure will probably use some sort of sedative, and if you have been on alcohol, anti-anxiety drugs, etc., then this can interact with the anaesthesia.
3~~ Whatever the situation, try to get the doctor to prescribe a set of baseline blood tests now that includes the CEA tumor marker test.
4~~ If the doctor finds anything suspicious during the colonoscopy, ask him/her in advance to take enough biopsy tissue samples to do all of the recommended tests. If a tumor is found, it needs to be tested for Microsatellite Instability (MSI) and maybe also for KRAS/NRAS/BRAF mutations.
5~~ Be sure to go to your Monday meeting with all of your medical history details accurately described. This includes the list of medications you currently take, as well as the list of any past surgeries or major illnesses you have had. Also, bring a chronological log of your recent bowel symptoms
for the past few weeks.
6~~ Be sure to ask questions about anything you don't understand, and take good notes.
7~~ For the colonoscopy procedure
, be sure to ask for a written report of the findings, including results of any biopsies.
8~~ If the report suggests a malignancy, then ask the doctor for a referral to a Board-Certified colorectal surgeon and to a Board-Certified Medical Oncologist.
That's all I can think of right now. Good luck on Monday !