Can We Talk About Poop, Please?

TheLadySkye
TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member

For the past couple years, I've noticed a change in my stool.  It started out with a noticeable groove (not the musical kind) in the stool and have been getting flatter and flatter.  I had a colonscopy in 2012 which noted a hemorrhoid and some minor divertculosis and more fiber was suggested.  No polyps were found, and the doctor thought it was probably the hemorrhoid or the uterine fibroid I've had for awhile causing compression.  Yet my subsequent Google Fu and asking of other doctors has yielded mixed feedback on these explanations.  Some have said, yes that could cause it.  Some have said that would be very unlikely.

 

Flash forward to August 2013, I am hospitalized with a small bowel obstruction which ultimately led to my diagnosis of small intestine cancer.  Now I am wicked paranoid about obstructions, wonder if the colonoscopy could have missed something, or if there is another possible cause for these stool issues.  I do not have IBS or any other GI issue (because cancer is more than enough, dontcha know).  My primary doc suggested repeating the colonoscopy, which I plan on doing.  I have an appointment with the GI doc to discuss in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, I'm pretty nervous.  

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on alternate reasons for the stool issues?  Do I need to be worried my colon is rebelling now too?  Could the colonoscopy have missed something?  Is two years long enough for something that wasn't in the first colonoscopy to have advanced enough to be causing issues now?  Any insight would be appreciated.

Comments

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,791 Member
    Take a nice deep breath

    and relax.

    Our bodies go through a heap of changes when we have this dreaded cancer. 

    Did you have a bowel resection?  I say that because I have a decent grove running down my BM and it is caused by the staples that are 'floating' in my colon. 

    Hemeroids can cause a groove, and you can get them while going through treatment, especially radiation. 

    I remember talking to my GI about how fast cancer can grow back, and he told me that it would take years to get to a size that would cause a blockage. 

    Now, there are other issues, like scar tissue, which can cause blockage. 

    Definitely talk about your worries with your Doctor, but try to not worry as I honestly believe that too much stress can cause the body to react. Try to think that worrying won't change the outcome, therefore it is a waste of time. That has got me through a ton of stressful times. 

    Keep us updated. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    What has happened since Aug 2013

    What kind of treatment did you have?  Are you on any followup care...blood work, scans, radiation, chemo?

    If it is enough to concern you, then it is enough for you to get your doctors to do some investigative work, particularly since you have alread had a cancer diagnosis.

    Now is not the time to worry, but to be insistant that you have some diagnostic testing done.  Once you have the results you will then be able to either breathe a sigh of relief or know what you need to do.

    Wishing you the best,

    Marie who loves kitties

  • LindaK.
    LindaK. Member Posts: 506 Member
    Trubrit said:

    Take a nice deep breath

    and relax.

    Our bodies go through a heap of changes when we have this dreaded cancer. 

    Did you have a bowel resection?  I say that because I have a decent grove running down my BM and it is caused by the staples that are 'floating' in my colon. 

    Hemeroids can cause a groove, and you can get them while going through treatment, especially radiation. 

    I remember talking to my GI about how fast cancer can grow back, and he told me that it would take years to get to a size that would cause a blockage. 

    Now, there are other issues, like scar tissue, which can cause blockage. 

    Definitely talk about your worries with your Doctor, but try to not worry as I honestly believe that too much stress can cause the body to react. Try to think that worrying won't change the outcome, therefore it is a waste of time. That has got me through a ton of stressful times. 

    Keep us updated. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

    Get it checked out

    If you're feeling nervous about it, you need to have the colonoscopy and maybe even a ct or pet scan to follow up.  My husband was declared NED in August, 2013 and in November started having pains for 2 months until a blockage sent him to the hospital in January, where a large tumor was found in his intestines.  So, from August to January, a tumor the size of a fist grew and it was more cancer.  I don't say this to alarm anyone, but know it can happen.  He had a colonoscopy in December (which was clear) and the ct scan report only said "extreme amount of stool" so he was treated for 6 weeks for extreme constipation.  I believe the scan was misread.  I had been asking for a pet scan for months, old onc. blew me off time after time.  I think if he had a pet scan in December, it would have saved him much pain and discomfort.  I would think anytime any of our doctors are dealing with a cancer patient, they should not mess around with scans and tests, just do it.  New place we are going ordered a pet scan right away, no question.  Now he has 4 lymph nodes he is getting Folfiri to treat.

    Now, your stool "style" may just be your new normal.  I hope everything checks out OK for you.

    Linda

  • RoseC
    RoseC Member Posts: 559
    Hi TheLadySkye

    I'm from the Anal Cancer board. Hi. Narrowing stools can be a symptom of anal cancer. Unfortunately, a colonoscopy does not usually examine the anal canal. I'm not suggesting you have anal cancer (not at all) but prior to having your next colonoscopy, ask if they will do an anoscopy as well. The anoscopy will examine the anal canal.

    I noticed on your 'About Me' page that you have recently had a CT scan - if the CT scan included the anal area, any irregularities should have been picked up. Also, anal cancer is usually, but not always, a squamous cell type and not adenocarcinoma (as you had). But it might put your mind at ease to go ahead and ask them to do the anoscopy.

    Rose

     

     

  • lilacbrroller
    lilacbrroller Member Posts: 412 Member
    RoseC said:

    Hi TheLadySkye

    I'm from the Anal Cancer board. Hi. Narrowing stools can be a symptom of anal cancer. Unfortunately, a colonoscopy does not usually examine the anal canal. I'm not suggesting you have anal cancer (not at all) but prior to having your next colonoscopy, ask if they will do an anoscopy as well. The anoscopy will examine the anal canal.

    I noticed on your 'About Me' page that you have recently had a CT scan - if the CT scan included the anal area, any irregularities should have been picked up. Also, anal cancer is usually, but not always, a squamous cell type and not adenocarcinoma (as you had). But it might put your mind at ease to go ahead and ask them to do the anoscopy.

    Rose

     

     

    Ribbon candy

    I've had that before - comes out like that old fashioned Christmas ribbon candy, but not always folded up.  (Yuk - why this kind of cancer??)! But the next day all is normal.  sometimes I get one of those "poop stones" (a hard gumball) that won't come out, and it usually causes the ribbon candy episodes.  (Think cookie press)

    If you poop ribbons consistently, then there may be cause for concern, but if it's occasional and follows bouts of constipation the it's probably related to a stuck stone or a hemmhoroid and I wouldn't worry about it. Try to make it into a rosette (kidding)

    our disease is so gross! Not for the squeamish.

     

  • TheLadySkye
    TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member
    Trubrit said:

    Take a nice deep breath

    and relax.

    Our bodies go through a heap of changes when we have this dreaded cancer. 

    Did you have a bowel resection?  I say that because I have a decent grove running down my BM and it is caused by the staples that are 'floating' in my colon. 

    Hemeroids can cause a groove, and you can get them while going through treatment, especially radiation. 

    I remember talking to my GI about how fast cancer can grow back, and he told me that it would take years to get to a size that would cause a blockage. 

    Now, there are other issues, like scar tissue, which can cause blockage. 

    Definitely talk about your worries with your Doctor, but try to not worry as I honestly believe that too much stress can cause the body to react. Try to think that worrying won't change the outcome, therefore it is a waste of time. That has got me through a ton of stressful times. 

    Keep us updated. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

    I did have a resection, though mine was in the small intestine, so I'm not sure that would have a marked impact on the stool.  Also, the groove was there before surgery, as was some degree of stool flattening, but that seems to only have gotten worse.  I did have pretty extreme contipation during chemo, so my doc thinks that may have enlarged the hemerrhoid I have.  I have received mixed feedback on whether such a thing would cause the groove or not.

    I see my GI doc (the one who first diagnosed me) in a couple weeks, and I will request a colonoscopy and an anoscopy.  I'm just trying to dial back the anxiety in the meantime :(

  • TheLadySkye
    TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member
    LindaK. said:

    Get it checked out

    If you're feeling nervous about it, you need to have the colonoscopy and maybe even a ct or pet scan to follow up.  My husband was declared NED in August, 2013 and in November started having pains for 2 months until a blockage sent him to the hospital in January, where a large tumor was found in his intestines.  So, from August to January, a tumor the size of a fist grew and it was more cancer.  I don't say this to alarm anyone, but know it can happen.  He had a colonoscopy in December (which was clear) and the ct scan report only said "extreme amount of stool" so he was treated for 6 weeks for extreme constipation.  I believe the scan was misread.  I had been asking for a pet scan for months, old onc. blew me off time after time.  I think if he had a pet scan in December, it would have saved him much pain and discomfort.  I would think anytime any of our doctors are dealing with a cancer patient, they should not mess around with scans and tests, just do it.  New place we are going ordered a pet scan right away, no question.  Now he has 4 lymph nodes he is getting Folfiri to treat.

    Now, your stool "style" may just be your new normal.  I hope everything checks out OK for you.

    Linda

    Scans and Such

    I just had a CT scan two weeks ago and everything came back clear.  However, since my tumor was in the small intestine, I'm not sure how much they look at the colon and other areas.  I know they pay special attention to the liver and lungs, but not sure about other areas.  I also don't know how well they can visualize the intestines on a contrast CT.  I know for the small bowel, it was darn near impossible :(

    I see my GI doc in a couple weeks and will be requesting a colonoscopy and anoscopy.  I'm just trying not to panic in the interim :(

  • TheLadySkye
    TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member

    What has happened since Aug 2013

    What kind of treatment did you have?  Are you on any followup care...blood work, scans, radiation, chemo?

    If it is enough to concern you, then it is enough for you to get your doctors to do some investigative work, particularly since you have alread had a cancer diagnosis.

    Now is not the time to worry, but to be insistant that you have some diagnostic testing done.  Once you have the results you will then be able to either breathe a sigh of relief or know what you need to do.

    Wishing you the best,

    Marie who loves kitties

    Stuffs Done

    I had a small bowel resection with clear margins, followed by 12 sessions of FOLFOX and bloodwork every chemo session.  Then labs and a contrast CT a couple weeks ago, all of which came back clear.  I will indeed be insisting on a colonoscopy and anoscopy when I see the GI doc in two weeks.  It's just worrisome in the interim.  Does that ever go away?  Anything that goes wrong lately, I tend to feel like OMG cancer!  :(

  • TheLadySkye
    TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member
    RoseC said:

    Hi TheLadySkye

    I'm from the Anal Cancer board. Hi. Narrowing stools can be a symptom of anal cancer. Unfortunately, a colonoscopy does not usually examine the anal canal. I'm not suggesting you have anal cancer (not at all) but prior to having your next colonoscopy, ask if they will do an anoscopy as well. The anoscopy will examine the anal canal.

    I noticed on your 'About Me' page that you have recently had a CT scan - if the CT scan included the anal area, any irregularities should have been picked up. Also, anal cancer is usually, but not always, a squamous cell type and not adenocarcinoma (as you had). But it might put your mind at ease to go ahead and ask them to do the anoscopy.

    Rose

     

     

    Thanks, Rose!  I'm not sure

    Thanks, Rose!  I'm not sure that they scanned that area.  I see the GI doc in two weeks, and I will make sure to request an anoscopy as well as a colonoscopy.  Thank you very much for your insights.  I hadn't considered that area should be examined too.

  • TheLadySkye
    TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member

    Ribbon candy

    I've had that before - comes out like that old fashioned Christmas ribbon candy, but not always folded up.  (Yuk - why this kind of cancer??)! But the next day all is normal.  sometimes I get one of those "poop stones" (a hard gumball) that won't come out, and it usually causes the ribbon candy episodes.  (Think cookie press)

    If you poop ribbons consistently, then there may be cause for concern, but if it's occasional and follows bouts of constipation the it's probably related to a stuck stone or a hemmhoroid and I wouldn't worry about it. Try to make it into a rosette (kidding)

    our disease is so gross! Not for the squeamish.

     

    Yeah.  It's definitely been

    Yeah.  It's definitely been challenging.  I officially have no modesty left.

  • RickMurtagh
    RickMurtagh Member Posts: 587 Member
    Can We Talk About Poop, Please?

    I LOVE this forum!  My wife has been trying to get me to stop talking about poop for years now.  I always say - ppl ask and inquiring minds need to know.  i hope the input here has been helpful.  sadly i don't have any real contribution to the discussion as i have ONLY a small intestine left and my outpust is almost always totally watery.

     

    best wishes,

    rick

  • TheLadySkye
    TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member

    Can We Talk About Poop, Please?

    I LOVE this forum!  My wife has been trying to get me to stop talking about poop for years now.  I always say - ppl ask and inquiring minds need to know.  i hope the input here has been helpful.  sadly i don't have any real contribution to the discussion as i have ONLY a small intestine left and my outpust is almost always totally watery.

     

    best wishes,

    rick

    Thanks, Rick!  And I totally

    Thanks, Rick!  And I totally get it.  It's a bummer when you have questions and the topic seems taboo :(