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Scared and anxious....

mtpat7
Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi everyone,
I came across this discusion board while I was researching some symptoms I've been having lately. I'm wondreing if some of you might offer your insight to me about this.
I'm a soon to be 47 yr old female. For about 2 months now, I've had some bloating, excess gas, abdominal pain or discomfort and blood in my stool on one occasion. The pain that I had experienced once was a sharp pain over my low abdominal area on the right side. After it stopped, I still have this "residual" ache in that area. The ache isn't horrible, but it reminds me that something isn't right in there.
My doctor did an abdominal ultrasound as well as a transvaginal one to check for any problems. Specifically, they were looking for signs of a burst ovarian cyst. They told me that they didn't see any signs of that at all.
I also had a DVT in my leg 4 months ago and I don't fit into any of the categories for why this would've happened. Although, they also say that a DVT could happen as a sign that you have cancer.
So...now I'm on the internet and getting more and more scared as I read up on colon cancer. Maybe I got a DVT because something else is going on inside of me that I don't know about yet. Same thing for most of my symptoms too.
On the other hand, maybe it was a burst ovarian cyst, and now....I'm making myself sick by reading too much into things.
I do have a colonoscopy scheduled in 3 weeks. The waiting is very hard.
So...I'm wondering if there is anythng in an ultrasound or bloodwork that would help to rule out colon cancer? Last week I had this bloodwork done: Comprehensive metabolic panel, CRP, lipid panel, CBC, differential & platelet count, Sed rate, INR, and a hepatitis panel. According to my doctor, everything looks really good. If I had colon cancer, wouldn't something like my hemoglobin or white cell count be off? And would anything show on an ultrasound at all?
At this point, I feel like I'm making myself sick by reading into my symptoms. I know that the only way to be sure is to have a colonoscopy done, which I am waiting for. But I'm also trying to find some reassurance that if it were anything bad, it would've given signs off earlier.
I know this is long, and I appreciate you reading it and offering any insight you can.
This discussion board is a lifesaver...for support and information. Thank you for your help.
Pat

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Pat: First of all, try not to assume anything. There are many reasons for the symptoms that you are having, however, it is an excellent first step to have a colonoscopy to rule out any possibility that it might be cancer. As for the blood test, I had been going to doctors for two years with leg pains and they did every blood test imaginable, and the cancer never showed up. There is one blood test, it is called a CEA test, that can tell if you have the proteins linked to cancer. However, even this test is not always a good indicator. Try not to spend the next three weeks worrying youself sick, because it won't change the outcome of the colonoscopy. Just pray, as I will, that it is not cancer. Monica

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

First off, welcome to most understanding, supportive and loving family you will find on the internet and NO QUESTION(s) are too small or too big.

When it comes to bloodwork, a tumor marker used and not always accurate, is a CEA test. Normal ranges are 0.5 - 3.0 and if you are a smoker I think it goes up to 5.0. But again this is a marker used by Onc Docs and is NOT always accurate.

Symptons I had before my tumor was removed:

a) Stomach bloating
b) Stomach pain
c) Weight loss
d) No appetite
e) Could not pass anything no matter what laxative I used including what the hospital gave me.

I am 42 years old and never had a colonscopy because studies indicated I was too young. My GI doc (I really like him, to) kept telling me to add more fiber to my diet because I always had a consitpation problem since I was a teenager.

What I am trying to tell you is get the colonscopy ASAP. Have the doctor put you on a cancellation list if possible. Tell them you don't want to wait 3 weeks.

Also, it could be other things. There are alot of things that can cause bloating, stomach pains, etc. AND PLEASE don't always believe what you read on the Internet. Reports, studies, etc are sometimes old and stats are not always accurate.

SENDING YOU HUGS. Keep your family here informed.

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

The waiting is hard - but remember, the chances are greater that you do NOT have colon cancer. But it is good that you are getting checked now and if you do have colorectal cancer you can catch it early. Remember always, the CRC is preventable, treatable and beatable!

Everyone has slightly different symptons of this cancer. I had none! Just by chance I had a blood test and was anemic. That is the only sign I had. Some folks have aches and pains, bloating, back pain, blood in stool - I did but it was called occult blood because it was not visable by just looking. So I am very fortunate that I found mine at Stage III.

Let us know how your tests come back and remember we are all here for you anytime.

Best wishes for a reat outcome!

Kerry

Slyster
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2006

mtpat7...Worrying won't change anything. I had stage 3 and I had the symptoms that I ignored. You are not ingnoring them. Kudos to you. I was plum scared of having a colonoscopy. Which after having one it was more of the anxiety than the test. When the doctor said cancer my attitude changed drastically. I said' Ok lets take care of it'...I had the surgery, I had the chemo ( which was not too bad, not good, but not bad) and I am an eight yr survivor. My advice to you would be do not anticipate the outcome of the colonsopy test. Just deal with the facts. Symptoms very in each person so don't collect them and come to a conclusion. Three weeks is not a lifetime. But if you worry about it it can become one. Take care and God Bless. The results will be what they will be and either way you will deal with it...

bjohnson
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2007

Diffently have the colonoscopy. you are not too young. I wish now that I had not put it off. I am facing CR surgery and it is very hard to be optomistic. But we will have to deal with whatever, The scope can show and remove polyps that can become cancer if left. This is the best prevention, catch it early. The thought of a colostomy for the rest of my life is very depressing but I will be alive to still enjoy the simplier things in life, love of family. Lots of the info from the site can be a bit scary, but is very helpful in understanding the disease and how to cope with life after dx and the situations that come. I too am scared and anxious. I have a great job and hope to return to it, but. I am a little older, 63, but work everyday and have been healthy and active, enjoying going and doing what I like with a wonderful wife, companion, friend for 45 years. Needless to say, I think my life is going to change. Email me anytime on this site.
May God bless and keep you,
Butch

mtpat7
Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2007

Thank you all so much for your insight and especially your prayers and good wishes. My first appointment for a colonoscopy was originally scheduled for May 29th. It was only after a lot of prodding that my Dr. wrote ASAP on the order, I've already waited 3 weeks, now I have 3 more to wait. Getting it any sooner is out of the question, even with being put on the waiting list. The list is months long now.
I do understand about not worrying and self diagnosing. It's just so incredibly hard not to. I'm trying to stay informed, but all the info is scaring me. I went through the same thing when I thought the pain could be from ovarian cancer. I was elated to find out from the ultrasound that everything looked good. It felt like I had a new lease on life. It's not that I make up the symptoms like a hypochondriac. It's just that when I read the symptoms, they always seem to point to something horrible. If I break it into pieces, maybe I had a cyst burst, coupled with hemorrhoids. And maybe the DVT was from some inactivity on my part. I can only hope and pray now.
I have been on this site as well as others for about a month now, though this is my first post here. I have to say, the welcome and outpouring of hope and prayers that I've received has been incredible. Even as I read this site weeks ago, I would say a silent prayer for all of you.....to help in your daily struggles, to have peace and calm, and to enjoy all that you have. Now, I am on the receiving end.
If I could ask one thing: please keep me in your prayers about my test results. My scope is set for Feb 21. I'm in Tucson, AZ and the Dr. is the head of the gastroenterology department. I hear that the scope itself is easy, it's the prep and the anxiety over the results that are hard.
One more question: has anyone been on Coumadin (blood thinner) and had to go off of it before surgery or having a scope? I have 2 differing opinions from doctors on how to do this so that I don't bleed during the scope. I'm on Coumadin due to a DVT.
Thank you all so much...I feel honored to be part of this board.
Pat

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Pat -

I know how scared you are, but try and avoid the "information" on the internet. Believe me - much of it is outdated, generalized, does not apply to the individual etc.

I'm sorry you have to wait 3 more weeks and I know you can't help worrying. But remember, most likely it is not colorectal cancer. And, if it is the earlier you catch it the better and you are getting checked, so you should be proud of that.

OK, I know this doesn't really keep you from worrying. But, in retropect, I have lost several weeks of good living to worrying about test results and I am determined to not do it anymore. All the worrying in the world doesn't affect the outcome, but it sure can affect your mental health.

Take care and I am wishing you the best results,
Betsy

Mickeyw
Posts: 28
Joined: Jan 2007

I as we all do, I know how frightening this is. I had a routine colonoscopy as part of annual checkup after much prodding from my wife on December 14, 2006. Doc found cancer. I had absolutely no symptoms. My tumor was in the area between the large and small intestine where the waste is still in a watery liquid state, thus no blockage. I had surgery Dec 20th, labroscopically, went home Christmas afternoon. I had my first chemo today. I will have 12 in all each 2 weeks covering a period of 6 months. The regimen is call FolFox. It is a mix of three treatments. I am totally amazed that I feel fine today, and better then i did for the past 4 or 5 days. Have not even laid down for a nap, and I love naps. I have yet to pick up any side effects including the cold sensitivity from the Oxiplatin. You can get through this. We will pray for you.
Mickey

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