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I know we've all talked about this before

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

but I still get unnerved when I see blood after a bowel movement. Remind me....assure me...many of you have experienced this I know! I'm almost 3 years out and have had a couple days now of bright blood...quite a bit in my opinion. I remember that they say this is normal due to the radation, but it still makes me naseauted!!!
Thanks All...Hope you are all holding strong!!!

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Sue

I agree - it's always unnerving to see blood, especially after all we've been through. Of course, it could be a hemorrhoid, or perhaps an anal fissure. Once those crack open, they can bleed until they heal up some.

Since it's "bright red" that leads me to think along these terms, instead of something more sinister.

Radiation is very hard on our lower areas and it was about 3 years for me and I was still having some occasional issues. Now, six years out, I don't see it as much.

I think you're ok, but you can always get your "colon" doctor or a good GI to confirm this. Nice to see you:) Glad you got your magazine and enjoyed the article.

-Craig

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Always love to hear back from you Craig!!!

Thanks! I feel better already :). Was wondering about the bright red. Forget about fissures....doesn't feel like a hemi.

How are YOU doing????

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes, I know the panicky feeling that comes with seeing blood with a BM. I'm over 2 years out now and I still have it from time to time, mostly brought on by a bout of constipation. Hard BM's can really make me bleed. This is all due to radiation proctitis, where the blood vessels are very close to the surface now, due to thinning of the lining of the anal canal. Anything passing by can bring on bleeding. This is how it was all explained to me by my rad onc (love that man!). So, with all of that said, I would play it safe and at least make a call to your doctor and let them know about this, especially if this is a new problem for you and not one previously experienced, or at least not for some time. I always go with the better safe than sorry rule when in doubt.

Other than this, I hope you are doing well and settled into your house and new job. It's great to see you back on here, but I'm sorry it's because of a new concern. I hope it all turns out to be something minor.

Martha

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

Finished treatment 2/28/2008 and still occasionally have bright red blood when having a harder than I should bm. Do have a small hemi and do have a chronic fissure. Usually, it's the fissure that's a problem. I take miralax once a day as well as a stool softener. My colorectal surgeon told me to keep the bm's soft. My radiation onc said the same thing about the radiation damage to the anal lining.

When I was diagnosed with my cancer, the blood was alot more and was darker in color. I'm calmer now when I see a little bit of blood than I was just out of treatment.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks Ladies

This is not new to me....but it comes on, then seems to go away for quite some time.
I have talked to my onc, surgeon, and gastro guy. Surgeon at one point said if next time he sees me there's blood in my stool, then he was going to send me for another colonoscopy, which he did, and it came back clear. Every exam seems OK....but you know how hard it is not to think it's back and they just aren't seeing anything!! The original seemed so hard for them to detect, I always worry that they're missing something!

IT's almost Friday Martha LOL!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

I know it's hard to relax about all of this stuff. Sorry you are having a little bout with this right now.

Yes, Friday is on the way! Mexican food, Margaritas, fun with the boys! I can't wait! I hope you have a great weekend!

Martha

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Well, I for one am glad you ladies brought this to our attention. I have not had any bout of this...yet...but at least if I should I know not to have a panic attack until I see my colo-rectal guy. From what I gather, this happens to us from time to time due to the treatment? Oh boy. Oh Martha, enjoy your margaritas! I sorely miss them. Hugs, Marilyne

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Well.....I'm doing the "easy ones twice"....LOL:)

I'm back in the middle of treatments again, very aggressive schedule since the last surgery...I'm up to my neck right now, but "I'm in it - to win it!"

We'll talk more soon....fissures sure is what this sounds like. But, you just never get used to it. It's because of what we all know gets us all crazy sometimes.

(((SUE)))

Big Hugs!
-Craig

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Back at ya Craig!!

You ARE a winner and you are always in my prayers!!!

Thanks so much for the info.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

craig, what stage was your's?? i like to hear that you are 6 years post . i am only 15 months post with pain, inflammation, mucous, and a little blood. scary but hopefully just radiation damage. thanks sephie

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Mine was colorectal cancer and was originally diagnosed as a IIb, as I recall. Once it metastasied, I went to Stage IV. I've had it go to my liver and have had mets to the lung twice.

And yes, I've been hard at this fighting all the way for almost 6.5 years - when I finish up this round of treatments, I will be at the 7-year mark! I still find that hard to believe, but I am still here and that is why I post.

I check out you guys site to see if I can offer anything - I know Sue and JoAnne and I stay in touch with them and see if there are any posts that I can help with.

Radiation damage did me in big time - combined with the rectal resect, and I was a very sick puppy for 2-years and had bleeding alot. They told me after the surgery, I'd never bleed again, LOL:)

But that was alot of trauma for my body to handle and it just took alot of time for the new bowel to relearn how to be - when you mess with Mother Nature's plumbing, you really can be in for it.

There were hemohrroids and anal fissures by the handful and those are what was bleeding. So, bright red is a better color than the dark red and indicated "fresh blood." You still never get used to it though, just always makes your mind wander to that dark place. But a scope can always get you some answers and let you know what you're up against too, so that's a good tool to utilize.

Well, it was good talking with you and nice to meet you:)

Take care, Sephie

-Craig

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

craig, You are amazing and I love your dog!!! thankyou for telling me your story. your body has been tortured and needs a break. hope it comes soon so you can heal. hem-roids and fissures are what can fool us and doctors regarding anal cancer. mine was misdiagnosed for almost a year with a doc doing anoscopes but the next doctor caught it. I get scoped now at MDA. good luck with the tx. you are still fighting strong. nice to meet you. sephie

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

hey, this site helps me sooooo much. I understand your fear. i think we will all have it forever. i am 15 months post and still have a small amt of blood every now and then. but i still have 3-5 BM's each day and can not seem to get them to combine in order to have fewer of them. the more BM's , the more pain and blood. seems that almost all of us have been misdiagnosed in the beginning--- my proctologist TOLD me he was checking for anal cancer because of Farrah but then he told me I was ok for over 9 months with me going to him every 2 weeks complaining of pain and blood. he even did a colonoscopy and said that I had nothing. then i finally got smart enough to get a 2nd opinion. took the 2nd doctor all of 15 seconds to see that i had cancer but he suggested biopsy first to check. I feel a bump now and have inflammation but they keep telling me that i am ok. but of course i am afraid that they are missing it. thanks sephie

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

Hi Sephie,

If you have a bump is it hard or soft. I know I have scar tissue, as I had my 6 month check up today and was told all thats left is scar tissue. I am 15 months and 2 weeks out of tx. The dr told me if there was a start of a cancer the tissue would be hard. Now your drs should know what their talking about, I don't know if they would do a biopsy for you. I hope you've expressed your concern to them and they are listening. Please keep us posted. Lori

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

I know Sephie. It's frustrating!! I think our doctors need to become more educated about this type of cancer, and all the after effects!!

Thanks for sharing your story.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

There is so much more that needs to be learned about this cancer, starting with the doctors! I am so sick of hearing about new people coming on the forums who were misdiagnosed, some of them for long periods of time. Some doctors seem to be ignorant of the fact that this disease even exists! My internist was so sure I had bleeding hemorrhoids--I can still hear her say "there it is!" as she was doing my rectal exam, then telling me it's "just a hemorrhoid and I'm writing you a prescription for some proctofoam." I'll never forget when she called me a few weeks later as I was lying in bed recovering from my port surgery earlier that day. She had just found out that I was diagnosed with CANCER!, not a hemorrhoid. I was too wiped out from the anesthesia to tell her how stupid she was. Needless to say, she's no longer my doctor.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

they have told me at MDA that all is ok for now. but i have a hard time trusting . seems to be scar tissue so i guess what i am feeling is a bump of scar tissue. i try to leave myself alone and not explore so much so that i can perhaps heal up more. i go back in march for another procto, CT, DRE . they do not do repeat Pet scans. i only had one before starting tx. i go for a cystoscope of bladder this wed. to see why hemoglobin and red bld. cells show up in my labs. they stick a camera up thru the urethra. not looking forward to that. hope there is no scar tissue up there from radiation. thanks

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

HAHAHA.....good job Martha! And I know you found a great one! I'm keeping that in mind, just in case.........................

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

To those of us that have experienced cancer, im not sure how we can ever feel comfortable with our bodies like we did before being dx with cancer. Every pain, bump, site of blood, a change in our bodies that wasnt present before, abnormal lab test, and illness captures our attention and accelerates our heartbeat. Its like a flashback that never quite leaves, lurking in our shadows as it fades in and out. Personally, I juggle not only the threat of a 3rd cancer recurrance but another organ rejection of my pancreas, a relaspe of type 1 diabetes, progression of heart failure & surgery, and the emergence of a new long term complication from previous chemo treatments. Im 53 years old and the day I was dx with type 1 diabetes in Sept 1977 at the age of 20, nothing has ever been the same. I remind myself how fortunate I have been during my life, including the caring doctors, top medical care, a lovely wife, a 32 yr career in the business world, and the numerous opportunities to turn events of misfortune into focusing on helping others where disease has entered in their lives so rudely. Depressison scares the hell out of me and i refuse to let it be the next intruder to steal what every time I have remaining.

For everytime there is a human being that crosses our path within our lives, there is a moment to make a difference and offer kindess, compassion and understanding. I aspire to live for those moments. I love the members of CSN.

thank you

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

I agree that turning our misfortune into an opportunity to help others is the one blessing in disguise with cancer. And depression is not an option for me either. It runs in my family, but I refuse to go there! I love my 85-year old mother, however, I get really irritated with her when she starts complaining about her current status. She is very healthy, except for the fact that she has very poor balance and has had to begin using a cane or walker within the last year to get around. Other than that, everything is working great for her. She's never had a serious or life threatening disease. Me, on the other hand--I've dealt with a serious neurological disease at the age of 39 and then cancer at the age of 54--both potentially life altering or life threatening. I would have given anything to get to 85 with nothing more than a broken wrist! However, I still feel very fortunate. I'm still here, healthy for the moment, and living life!

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 520
Joined: Jul 2009

Who are your doctors at MDA? Mine are Dr. Eng (oncologist) Dr. Crane (radiologist) and Dr. Chang (Surgeon but I never had surgery). Dr. Chang does the DRE's, protoscopies, etc. I was getting them every 3 months but this last trip to Houston he told me I could do 6 months for his exams. I'm a little over a year post treatment. Dr. Eng still wants to see me every 3 months though. I had two small spots on perirectal lymph nodes so she is being cautious. My CT scans are every 6 months as well.

Liz

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

my MDA docs are overman for oncologist (whom i see every 6 months), delclos for radiologist, skibber for surgeon( I see him every 6 months) . i have a CT now only 1 time per year ( i am 15 months post tx)---I had procto last month--6 months prior he only did an anoscope but am scheduled for procto again in 6 months. the radiologist said that he was supposed to be seeing me every 3 months for the first 2 years but they have only been scheduling every 6 months -- i think that they did not schedule it correctly in the beginning and just caught the mistake last month. so I see radiology again in Dec. just for a DRE and look at the tissue. I wanted a CT earlier but i guess my oncologist knows what he is doing. I hope!!!! I still have lots of pain and inflammation on the left side of my anus.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

It is pretty amazing isn't it that we are able to function somewhat normally mentally, at all isn't it? If I cough, I fear lung cancer is back. if my stomach hurts, then surely it's my liver or stomach cancer, blood, anal cancer must be back..and then you barely get through one scan and it's time to stress out over another! But you know, somehow, I'm pretty damn happy on a daily basis!!!

AND I LOVE THIS:

For everytime there is a human being that crosses our path within our lives, there is a moment to make a difference and offer kindess, compassion and understanding. I aspire to live for those moments. I love the members of CSN.

CHEERS to you...and always wish you strength and wellness!! Thanks for being you and being here again!!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

I never would have believed that until I was diagnosed with the disease myself. It has taught me so many things: kindness, compassion, patience, tolerance, how to appreciate each and every day. I don't think I would have ever learned all of that without cancer. Granted, I would probably have chosen an easier way if given a choice, but cancer certainly got my attention! Not to mention all of the amazing people I've met because of it!

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

I hear you Martha! -- my doctor, when he found out I had cancer after the hemi surgery was shocked. I really think that most GP's and even general surgeons (both of them misdiagnosed me until after the surgery) either do not know what they are feeling in there or assume if a colonoscopy is done everything is okay (both of mine asked when the colonoscopy was that I had last and I said two years). With that they just figured okay, it's a hemi. Yah, right. I have not gone back to my GP since but he asks my sons and husband if I am okay and how am I feeling. My husband thinks since this happened, he's more diligent about everything now. Doesn't do me any good. I'm not even sure I want to go back to him, even though he's been on spot with everything else. Do I blame him for being ignorant about anal cancer? I don't know. Don't know how I feel about it but I have the feeling if I ever do see him again I'm going to tell him to make sure everyone in his practice is aware that this cancer exists, rare or not. On another note, my first 3 month scans are in two weeks and I'm starting to feel the building up of stress, anxiety and depression. At first I thought I was just overly tired but I think it's the anticipatory anxiety. Every little thing is annoying me or I burst into tears for the dumbest things. My friend Laine who had lung cancer just finished her 6 month scan and is NED so we had a celebration via email. Always good to hear such good news. She said she will relax now for a few months and then the anxiety and such starts again. This truly is a roller coaster ride!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

I know the stress that you are feeling right now with your scans coming up. It's really an anxious time and I never deal with that too well, so I won't attempt to give you advice. Just know that lots of us are thinking about you and keeping you in our prayers.

As for my old internist, I decided I was not going back to her as soon as I found out I had cancer. I know doctors make mistakes and she had tried to get me to get that first colonoscopy a couple of years before my diagnosis. I was just too stubborn. My fault. However, what really made me upset with her was that I went to her for rectal bleeding in June 08 and her only reason for insisting I get a colonoscopy at that time was because I hadn't had one yet--not because of the bleeding. She was pretty nonchalant about it because she was so sure I had a hemorrhoid that she did not stress getting the colonoscopy because of the bleeding. I think this is where so many doctors fall short--they are assuming that their diagnosis is correct and don't refer the patient to a specialist for confirmation by a more thorough exam. I have often thought of writing her a letter and telling her that my experience happens all the time and people are getting misdiagnosed way too often. Also, doctors need to know that colonoscopies are NOT the best exams for finding anal cancer--another misconception.

TJ30
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2010

It may save someones life! And even thou she may never see anyone else with anal cancer it is on the rise so she will keep a look out!

To others here who worry about recurrence there are some interesting websights that give insight on how to "stop making cancer". Websights such as stopmakingcancer.com, Phmiracleliving.com, cancerangel.com.

These concepts give a sense of control and hope. while going thru treatment or to prevent.

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

I so agree with you Martha...and TJ -- write your doctor a letter if you feel comfortable doing so...if your diagnosis and her finding out has not changed her (like it did my doctor - he's more aware now) maybe a letter will. I know the next time I see mine, he will get an earful (only because he truly listens - I was just naive and did not know about anal cancer at the time either.

A very heartfelt thank you for understanding what this is I'm going through and confirming that it's normal to feel this way. Honestly, the intense emotions that come and go kind of caught me off guard - not sure why as I've gone through with you and others having the same emotions. It's quite unnerving. All I can say is I cannot wait until November 8th or 11th...whichever one I will hear the results from.

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

They are part of the process. I do think we all need to be busy as we can at things we like or need to do and talk/write to each other, reassure each other, uplift as we can and ...
Live each day to its fullest. AND remember to eat well, exercise, rest.

This is a great board! Thanks all and

I hold us all in thoughts and prayers.

P

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

hey, my heart goes out to you and to us all because any pain or blood makes us so afraid. the bright red color is good. go to your doc. hugs to you sephie

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 520
Joined: Jul 2009

My GP saved my life. I called his office and asked for an appt. Told nurse I had seen a small amount of blood. She said, "come in now". After my GP talked to me he made an appointment on the spot with a colorectal doctor and sent me right over. At the time he said, "it's probably nothing, but I like to rule out things". Same day mass was detected and colonoscopy the next day. I thank God that my GP is so thorough. He's my hero! I had no pain, no bowel problems, no hemis, no weight loss - nothing except a small amount of blood four times over four weeks.

Liz

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

All the other docs who weren't as thorough as yours could learn something from him. It sounds like he practices medicine under the "do not assume" rule, as in do not assume that rectal bleeding is caused by hemorrhoids until that's been confirmed. Too bad there aren't more like him!

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

I am going through a round of bloody stools and diarrhea and worrying,too. I am putting a time box around it and if I go over, will call my PCP and colorectal guy.... BUT I have done this before and it always clears up - so far... Nearly three years out also.

I continue to hold us all in my thoughts and prayers.

Priscilla

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Yeah mine lasted a couple days and is gone, so I guess it's what Craig mentioned....fissure or something.
I have a scan and exam coming up in November so will discuss then....but they never seemed worried!! JUST ME :)!!

Prayers and positive energies for all!!!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

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