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Thread: My First Colonoscopy Today-Not So Happy Results

  1. #1

    My First Colonoscopy Today-Not So Happy Results

    Well let me start by saying I'm 37 years young. Never sick, rarely a hospital stay. The only surgery I've experienced was to repair a torn bicep tendon. Today I received news that gave me an answer to why I've felt bowel discomfort and unexplained weight loss for 6 months. Unfortunately that news also feels like I was just hit straight between both eyes.

    As you can probably guess I've been diagnosed with colon cancer. Symptoms started in early March... cramping bowel movements, watery stool, mucus and sterrorea. At first I chalked it up to possible IBS, and job stress, and figured it would change. After a month I made an appointment with a local GI. He interviewed me for 5 minutes, shook his head condensendingly when I explained that I thought it was IBS like symptoms, and then told me to poop in a plastic bag so he could rule out parasites. Needless to say I didn't return, however my symptoms continued. In July I met with my regular doctor and received a refferal to another GI. This guy I immediately clicked with. He understood what I was going through and scheduled me for an Endoscopy for August. It came up negative. He suggested the Colonospcopy after I had learned through my mother that her half brother had colon cancer at 42 and survived (32 years ago). The new GI wasn't convinced that I was suffering from cancer (no blood in stool, no abdominal pain or swelling), still he wanted to rule it out.

    This AM I went through the proceedure expecting to hear another negative. Instead, he delivered the news that I had not one but TWO tumors (one lower descending 2cm the other at the junction between the ascecending and transverse). He looked a little shaken... At first I felt some validation... as if what I've been experiencing wasn't some manifistation of job stress or gluten allergy. Later as I began making plans for the rest of this week it started to set in... this is serious, more serious than IBS. I have an appointment for an abdominal CAT Scan tommorrow and possible surgery next Monday.

    I know this is a very treat able condition, yet I'm a little overwhelmed at the enormity of what I could be facing if they find out more in the coming CAT Scan. I'd love to hear from others what they went or are going through and how how long their recovery is. I currently work two jobs that I enjoy very much. I know my lifestyle will have to change some. Still I hope that this is less than what I percieve it to be. After all I have youth on my side... I don't feel in pain or particularly sick. How have you coped?

  2. #2
    Hello and welcome, I can't stay and post as much as I would like as am literally running out the door to help a friend, however ((((((((((hugs))))))))))) and I am sorry to hear of the tumors. There are many great people here who will be of help and can answer questions.

    I will be back online tomorrow and add what I can to help you.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight ................
    Total hysterectomy July 23 2008, mass in colon.
    Colonoscopy Aug 2008
    Rigid Sigmoidoscopy with a laparoscopic-assisted partial colectemy with enbloc small bowel resection Sep 2008
    Diagnosed: Stage IV Colon Cancer mets to lungs and liver. (T3,N2,M1,G2) KRAS Mutation
    Started chemotherapy: 09/14/09 Folfox-6/Avastin then Camptosar/Avastin & last Folfox-6/Avastin
    On Hospice, started 11/12/10
    Last PET scan: Oct 12th
    Most recent CEA Level: 09/27/10: 696.7 up from 08/16/10: 284.8

  3. #3
    think positive no matter what news you get(it always helps recovery) moms been through several of these and in her case they suggested surgery she never gives up! your doctors may feel the try to shrink approach first. Its sooo different with each individual-the only things that are the same -is all have the fear of the unknown,the seething hate for the disease, the determination to beat this evil bugger and care and compassion for others in the same predictament. You are on the right path keep posting and someone will eventually answer your questions.-read thrugh the different threads and it helps to let you know what you MAY(not for sure) expect with certain situations. Dont ever make any conclusions that THIS WILL HAPPEN ect-just keep an open mind and try what others have tried that works for them-it may work for you also-especially in keeping positive-sorry you have to experience this-but know the forum is here and altho not many respond because they are tired and going through alot of emotions them selve-know they are listening . prayers to you for a good outcome.

  4. #4
    Regular User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hi Grant, Sorry about the news. You will find alot of support and info here. Wish I had the foresight to find out about it before my surgery.

    As to how I dealt with the news, I took it pretty well. I'm a christian and have an eternal perspective. I wasnt thrilled and had I known what I was in for I would have been even less happy. But I knew for a fact that since I had received forgivness of my sins by accepting the price Jesus paid for them on the cross, I would either be with Him in Heaven or I would be cured. I was worried for my family. I am married and have 4 kids. So I basically asked folks to pray for my family, since it was obvious that they were having a harder time with it than me.

    As for recovery you have youth on your side. If you dont work out you might condsider beginning a light fitness program. Radiation and chemo can beat you up. Surgery can take you down. If you are physically fit you will recover quicker.

    I was in the Hospital for about 4 weeks after surgery. I was discharged after the first 2 weeks. The doctors said I could eat anything so, I did, and ended up back in the hospital 2 days later, all blocked up. I began walking the day after my surgery and continued daliy walks but it was still 2 months before I really felt like doing anything.

    My family has been great in bearing with me and bearing me up in my new post op self. And even though I get discouraged sometimes I know God has the best in mind for me. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at [email protected]
    50 year old male
    Oct 2008 diagnosed w/Low Rectal Cancer
    Stage 3
    Mar.19 2009 AP Resection
    Oct. 23 2009 finished post op chemo (Xeloda)

  5. #5
    Thanks for the words of support. Today I had my first pelvic CAT Scan and Thursday I meet again with my GI to discuss surgery. I asked him when should we schedule this and he was adament... "You should have already had the surgery... it is this urgent."

    I really can't believe this is happening. I thought I was experiencing IBS. Although I've had discomfort while eating and digesting food I haven't been sick, anemic, weak, fatiqued or tired. In fact aside from the IBS symptoms I've felt pretty relaxed.

    I had a feeling the doctor would find something that would complicate a simple diagnosis or recovery.... just becuase my symptoms and frequency didn't match 100% any type of colital condition (including cancer). I know every case is differen't however I imagine I'll have surgery to remove both tumors asap (probably next week). I work in computer consulting and sales so my job is very involved. I contacted my employer today to let them know I'll need at least 2-3 weeks off (I have over 4 weeks of vacation/PT stockpiled). I also play in a band on weekends. I imagine that I'll be out for a few weeks at least dutring and after the surgery. I have a sub, but it's hard to predict how long I'll be out or when I'll be able to play again (I stand long periods).

    Any advice is appreciated... again I know everyone has a differen't diagnosis and recovery path. I don't even know what stage my cancer is, although juding from the urgency of my physician and the size of the tumors it's probably Stage III. My life is so busy and I'm hitting a brick wall. I'm just trying to brace to prepare for impact.

  6. #6
    Regular User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hi Grant, A good source of info is the Cancer Society, here is a link to help you figure out what stage your cancer is in.

    What they did with me was cut out the section of my digestive tract that had the cancer, and stitch it back together. It kinda disrupts how things flow and takes a bit for it to get back to normal. The surgery was done after 42 days of chemo and radiation.

    keep us posted.
    I'm praying for you

    50 year old male
    Oct 2008 diagnosed w/Low Rectal Cancer
    Stage 3
    Mar.19 2009 AP Resection
    Oct. 23 2009 finished post op chemo (Xeloda)

  7. #7

    It's always a shock to get this news.
    I am so sorry.

    But - everyone - even the Doctors - react differently. I would say you really do need to know the stage first. Sounds like it might even be stage 2 - do you know if lymph nodes are swollen or involved yet? That would make it 3 for sure.

    You will have to deal with things as they come along. ANd be prepared to be flexible. I was all gung ho when I was first diagnosed - oh I was going to work through it all, never miss a day and be the poster child for health through the long haul. It didn't happen that way - but having that kind of attitude does help as it keeps you strong mentally at least.

    I ended up learning how to be humble and taking help when offered.
    I told my employer I would only need maybe a week or two off with the chemo/radiation ( I also love my job) - it ended up being three weeks there. Then - after going back to work - my surgeries kept me out for much longer than I thought (complications, abscess, reversal of colostomy etc..) again - be flexible.

    also - this is your life - so others will have to sub for you when you need to take care of you. Make sure you put your health first before all these other things that seem important. They really aren't. You will learn this as you fight.

    I was never sick before I got diagnosed. I literally had filed maybe 3 sick days at work in 17 years - one day - went home from work and started bleeding. I had been feeling perfectly fine, it was a shock to find out I had cancer. Never smoked, don't drink, eat right and excercise - well - surprise! I guess in many ways I was lucky the tumor started bleeding, or I would never have known and might have been stage 4 by the time they found it.

    I had a really good Doc - who laid it out for me - he said early on - you will be fighting this for the next year. He was right - it was a good year of chemo/radiation - surgeries and more chemo and one year before I was done. Start asking questions. Make sure you get a good surgeon, one who is a specialist in colons. It makes a difference in the follow up and recovery.

    we will all be here reading your posts and rooting for you - so stay in touch and let us know how things are going -

    Rectal Cancer diagnosed Valentines Day 2008 - stage 3
    Finished 6 weeks of radiation and chemo 4/23/08
    Surgery to remove tumor - June 18th 2008
    Colostomy Reversal August 20th 2008
    Chemotherapy 5 months (Xeloda) finished Christmas 2008
    Local recurrence found May 2011
    Permanent colostomy and salvage APR surgery June 3rd 2011
    Stage 3C - 4 of 12 lymph nodes involved
    Finished 12 treatments of FOLFOX 6 - January 17th 2012 - Happy Dance!
    March 2012 - clean CAT Scan
    August 2012 - Cancer moves to stage 4
    CAT shows cancer cells implanted in pelvis/abdomen
    September - PET shows lung lesion 1.4 x 1 cm
    October - begin sessions of Folfiri.3 - Avastin, Irotecan, 5fu
    February 2013 - tumors shrinking, continuing biweekly chemo
    April 2013 finished all 12 Folfiri treatments, scan shows only lung lesions
    May - October Blessed chemo break!
    October 2013, scan shows more growth in pelvis and lungs
    Continue with biweekly Folfiri.3 - Avastin, Irotecan, leucovorin, 5fu
    April 2014 CAT scan shows tumors in liver
    June 2014 More tumor growth, stop Irinotecan cocktail after two years
    June 2014 Begin Regorafenib (Stivarga)

  8. #8
    You guys are all so awesome. I feel better already just reading these posts. I know a positive attitude is everything in this situation.

    Dulicmer Gal.. you and I are cut from the same mold. I am a workaholic... I am superman. I work hard and play hard. Constant motion. I try to accomodate and experience everything. regretfully I never managed to pencil in "my health" into my Day Timer... now, well I'm paying for it. I will take your advice and make sure to stay flexible. My health comes first. I'm planning to speak with my boss tommorow and HR department and ask them for that flexibility. My band 'substitute' is able to finish out the year if neccesary.

    I believe what is happening to me has everything to do with genetics. My mother had colon cancer... her half brother and now after discussing this situation with my mother, we both believe my Grandmother (who died from liver cancer in 1962). My mother said she had GI problems constantly and she drank every day to control the pain. Doctors told my mother (who was 16 at the time) that she died from liver cancer as a result of her alcoholism. I think it's safe to say that she had Colon cancer that eventually metastaticed into her liver.

    I'm curious to see that two of you recieved chemo/radiation before surgery? Is that common? I haven't talked with a specialist yet or a surgeon, just my GP and GI doctors, and both explained I'd probably have surgery ASAP first and then follow up with chemo/radiation. Both explained that colon cancer are surgical dieseases and the tumor needs removal first and foremost. Again everything is prelim right now. My appoint to go over C-scan results is Thursday and we'll be making an appointment with specialists at Sloan Kettering in NYC (60 mins away). I'll know more about everything on Thursday.

  9. #9
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I think one of the most important things to take from all the posts is knowing you are not alone. I am a 34 y/o male that had regular colonscopy every two years because of my ulcerative colitis. However this last one down in January showed a tumor in my lower colon the size of a lemon. Turns out to be stage IIIC. Their approach was 6 treatments of chemo, removal of my entire colon, 6 weeks of radiation, and now on 2 of 6 remaining chemo treatments. So far the cancer has not appeared anywhere else.

    I know you are shocked and confused right now. Those feelings are completely normal. I found it difficult to find anyone my age to talk to. I thought of cancer as "old people's" disease. And everyone in my cancer place appeared to be over 60.

    No matter what stage of cancer you are in remember: this is not a death sentence. Modern medicine is and has made great advances in cancer. Any statics they give you are just that. This does not determine your outcome. I would however start to prepare myself mentally for the possible side effects of chemo and radiation to come. Your mind is a powerful thing. Some people might tap into their religion to get them through this. I, however am not an overly religious person. I do believe in the power of the mind and spirit. Hopefully you have something that will give you strength.

    Ask lots of questions, get strength from your family and friends, and remember there are others out here

  10. #10
    Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Sorry to read what you are going through, one of the things that the Drs never tell you about is your diet, So check out on google..

    Sugar and cancer ( cancer loves sugar)

    Linseed oil and cancer

    Asparagus and cancer

    Veg and fruit and cancer

    Keep off processed foods, and limit red meat ,,,

    Take a good multi vitimin

    Take plenty of Vit C keep immune system strong..

    Make sure you drink lots of water every day...

    What cancer does is rob the body of the nutrients....

    Stay positive and know you have joined the journey of millions, and we are all helping, supporting, caring for each other..

    Best Wishes Rob


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