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Update - Do I dare ask?

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

So, went to my oncologist for my 6 month visit and was told I am woefully anemic...again.  He said that he is virtually certain that I am bleeding internally and is sending me for an endoscopy and colonoscopy this Friday.  I know if there is anything it will likely be a polyp or an ulcer both of which are very treatable.  Of course, however, with my history my mind immediately jumps to the irrational thought that it could be my cancer recurring.  I don't think that breast cancer goes to the colon with any regularity (or to the stomach).  Plus, I do have agita, and a pain exactly where they say you will if you have an ulcer sooooo.....well, of course I am in rationalization mode.  The next few days are going to be fun!  Ha, not so much.

Eh, I just wanted to get that off my chest to some ladies that understand. 

Best,

Clementine

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5261
Joined: Oct 2010

I hope all goes well..I have had over 20 coloscopies in past 20 yrs (annually and sometimes more) BUT I Have ulcertive colitis...

 

sorry to hear of your issues...thinking of you

 

Denise

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2119
Joined: Jun 2010

I hope you have something very treatable.  Hard not to worry.

Wishing you the best,

Doris

lintx's picture
lintx
Posts: 456
Joined: Sep 2012

 

I hold my breath at every appt, and I've only been at this a year.  I think it would be very easy for me to worry myself into an ulcer.  I hope for the best results for you, Clementine.  Let us know.  Hugs, Linda

Josie21
Posts: 338
Joined: Nov 2012

I am sorry you have to go through this Clementine.   I hope your tests reveal nothing more than an ulcer thaI is easily treatable or absolutely nothing wrong would be nice too.

Sending hugs and prayers your way,

Ginny

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8220
Joined: Aug 2009

I am there with you waiting .. praying, and sending positive vibes.  Please, know that we are here for you, ALWAYS!

 

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

I knew I could count on you all for some support and encouragement!  Funny, I never thought I would see the day that I am praying to have an ulcer.  Ha ha ha.  Cancer sure makes us do weird things.  Okay, here's to a day of not thinking about it.  Smile  Thanks a million, everyone.

Clem

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1836
Joined: Jul 2009

To Our Favorite Crazy Redhead,

I have no medical qualifications WHATsoever, but everything you've said seems to point to a "normal" gastrointestinal problem, such as an ulcer, gastritis, etc.  We hear from an awful lot of women on this board, and I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything about breast cancer metastisizing to the stomach or colon.

Please, please keep reminding yourself that those of us who've had breast cancer can still get plain ol' health problems like anybody else that have nothing at all to do with cancer -- most of the time, we don't even get to "blame" the cancer for them!

We'll be so thrilled to "celebrate" with you when you tell us you have an ulcer!  Yay, ulcer!

Smile Traci 

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

I know you are right, I know you are right, I know you are right, I know...wait!  I am actually typing this and not just repeating inside my head.  I'm thinking that maaaaybe the crazy redhead in me is part of the reason I am having this normal and treatable (lol!) problem.  Maaaaybe worrying and obsessing is welllll not the best way to go about this?  Okay, on Friday I say we c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e with a virtual margarita!  I love margaritas and I will want to get my crazy on with someone fun!  Laughing

PS (go ulcer...go ulcer...go ulcer)!

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

I'll have a margarita with you when we celebrate the good news that it was nothing serious. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

 

Dennis

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

You are definitely on my list of invitees.  I like them without salt.  Ha ha ha.

 

Clementine

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3914
Joined: Oct 2009

Just to give you a little hope.... Danny kept having a low hematocrit and was told that colon cancer had to be ruled out.  Colonoscopy and other tests normal.  Since he donates blood as often as allowed and since we have a diet low  in red meat, I added a regular multiviatmin with iron to our diet every other day.  End of problem.

Sending prayers that you have a simple, fixable problem!

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

I'm so hoping for something easily solvable (obviously).  I had some intravenous iron the other day and I'm told it will kick in in another week or so.  Then it is 4 more infusions of iron and I should be all set.  I am a vegetarian so that probably explains some of the iron issues and I have been somewhat anemic all of my life, but this time my iron levels were around what they were when I was on chemo.  Crazy so, on Friday it is a colonoscopy and endoscopy.  Now, in addition to hoping for an ulcer, I have added a polyp or diverticulitis of the menu of items I would rather have than a recurrence of my cancer (or a new cancer all together).  Of course, having nothing wrong wouldn't be a bad outcome either.  Thank you for sending your good vibes my way!

PS, love your profile photo.  So pretty!  Here in NYC the pigeons aren't quite so attractive.

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1836
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm SHOCKED to hear that New York City pigeons aren't as attractive as CC's backyard friends!

I'm sure there are some FABULOUS pigeons in some parts of San Francisco or West Hollywood who insist on looking that good...but I guess not in NYC!

Laughing Traci

 

 

sea60's picture
sea60
Posts: 2601
Joined: May 2010

when it comes to tests or going to the doctor to have something checked out. I recently put on my new patient info sheet that asks every question know to man if I have anxiety issues. I marked "YES! Everytime I have to come here!". The doctor thought it was funny but I meant it. Traci is right though, I had an ulcer years ago and those symptoms sound familiar. Praying for you sister that all will be fine!

Hugs,

Sylvia

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

Yes, Traci - it is true.  Our pigeons have let themselves go.  It's like they are rebelling against the fashionista reputation NYC has.  Sad really, they used to be the best looking pigeons around!  I am so sure your west cost pigeons are fab.  Everything out there is just...well..cleaner.  Smile

Thanks for the smile!

Clem

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Clementine,

I'm sorry, I don't know your hx and this may be not relevant to you but when I was anemic it was due to menstration.  (I had  recurring Hodgkins Lymphoma and breat cancer from my treatments.)

Also, I just started a plant based diet and have a question for you.  I was reading that our liver can store B12 for years but at some point going vegan or plant based you may need to supplemeny with B12.  I have a consult with a nutritionist at MSKCC but was wondering if you supplement.

Thank you and good luck!

Cathy 

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you so much for your post.  I no longer menstruate due to Tamoxifen, but I am, hormonally speaking, pre-menopausal.  

I never did any sort of supplement before very recently (last couple of months).  I thought that since I was so low in iron it couldn't hurt to take a B12 supplement.  My oncologist told me on Monday that he didn't think it was necessary (maybe because I am vegetarian and not vegan?).  I have been a vegetarian now for almost 25 years and aside from a history of being slightly anemic, have had no need for supplements or any sort of adverse effects.  

Good luck with your new diet!  If the nutritionist tells you anything of interest, I'd love to hear it.

 

All the best,

Clementine

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

I'll keep you posted!  I find all my specialist are so well versed on their speciality but not necessarily nutrition but I can't fault them for that. 

All the best to you too!

Cathy

New Flower
Posts: 3938
Joined: Aug 2009

Sending positive thoughts to your way

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

hoping your tests are good. I beleive it could be  what you eat being a vegetarian.I am too.I got bronchitis that lasted quite sometime.I ate but got run down.Ended up being low on B12, folic acid and vitmain D.I take vitamins now orally but was getting IV's with vitamins.That was a hassle going in every week and getting a IV. 

This reminds me I need some blood work.I think my last blood test was November.I need updated.

Age(66)  can make a difference in our health.We can become anemic and low on other vitamins the older we get. I think this is alot of my problem too.

Thoughts and Prayers to you.

Lynn Smith

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

You could be right (the internist did say to me today that diet could have something to do with it).  My endoscopy came back clean but the prep wasn't "sufficient" for a definitive result on my colonoscopy so I have to go for another one in about 2 weeks (omg, there isn't much dignity in all of this!).  So, while he didn't see anything glaring, he needs to take another look.  Then, he tells me if he can't find anything he will want me to swallow a little camera (cool!) so that they can see the entire intestine (apparently they can only see a few feet of it with the colonoscopy/endoscopy).  I am 43 now so I didn't think age related issues had gotten to me quite yet, but nevertheless, I am an attorney and rarely work less than 12 hour days and so all of that could be a contributing factor.  In any case, I wait until the next test.  Sigh - naturally I was hoping for an answer today and certainly hoping not to have to repeat the test, but at least anything glaring has been eliminated.  So, I'll DEFINITELY take that.  Am I rambling?  I think that I am rambling.  Sorry!

A big hug and thanks to all of you.  Your support truly does mean a lot.

Best,

Clementine

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1836
Joined: Jul 2009

The prep was not "sufficient"?  Oh my goodness, Clementine -- isn't that just a lovely blow to your dignity!  "Gee I'm  so sorry, my bowels and I will try to do better next time." Embarassed

I'm VERY glad to hear they've been able to rule out the really serious stuff, and expect to hear nothing but good news (or at least "sufficient" news Wink) after your next test!

Traci

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

Seriously, my guts really have to get their acts together!  Well they'll be sorry for slacking off after I complete the 2 day prep (or will I be the one who is sorry?).

Thanks, Traci - you always give me a good laugh!

Clementine

mom62
Posts: 600
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Clementine,

Sorry to hear you have to go back for the colonoscopy, that is horrible.  Just a question though, why does your doctor think you are bleeding internally, because you are anemic?  Are you Italian by chance?  I know there is a type of anemia that Italians can carry in their genes.  Maybe it is an ulcer, are they going to do a CT scan?  Just some questions to think about, sorry to make your brain thiink of these things.  I just did not know how low your count was.  I had a real problem when I had chemo.   I ended up having blood transfusions.  Here is hoping everything is fine with you!  Saying a prayer.

 

Terry

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you for your message!  I finished chemo about 2 1/2 years ago and even so my numbers are quite low.  My hemoglobin is 10.4 (normal is 12-15.5) and ferritin is 8 (normal is 18-160) and for this reason my doctor thinks that I am bleeding internally.  I am 100% Italian and I'll mention that to him the next time I see him, thank you!  Yes, they are looking for a possible ulcer.  If my second colonoscopy doesn't show anything they may want me to swallow a little camera so that they can see it travel through my entire GI track and see if it turns up anything.  Other than that, I guess it is just possible that after chemo my numbers never fully rebounded and the daily aspirin, vegetarianism, and other factors have all just added up to anemia.  I am hoping for that outcome. 

Thanks again, Terry.

Best,

Clementine

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