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17 and Preparing For Diagnosis

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

Hey best community I've ever seen on the internet,

I'm 17 but I'm preparing to be diagnosed w/ some form of colon cancer. I got a FOBT kit today, but haven't gotten a colonoscopy yet. I've seen dark blood in my stool since last week, and have had abdominal discomfort so I'm preparing for the worst. I'm praying it'll be diagnosed "early," but who knows.

Anything I should know? This is a frightening experience, but from the threads I've been reading, it looks like it's not that hard to beat.

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Welcome to the forum! This is the best support group, where there is always someone here to answer you if they know the answers!

Wow, you're so young for this, my friends son is also 17, and just had his colonoscopy, and he didn't feel a thing, really, it's not that big of a deal, it looks scary, but it's quick, and they knock you out with some good drugs to keep you asleep during it, and you'll wake up in the recovery room not even remembering what was done, well I did at least anyway, lol.

First of all, BE POSITIVE, don't think it's the worse, when you don't know, this could be anything, Irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, don't work up a sweat yet until you find out what it is.

They will give you the prep kit, which will keep you on the toilet bowl pretty much till everything come up clear, I had to drink a gallon of this "Golightly" stuff the night before, and it was just plain nasty, I couldn't even get the last bit down, but they were still able to do it. Went to get the scopy done and once the put me out, it didn't feel like they did anything when I woke up, I didn't even have cramps or anything, all I wanted was food, since they didn't let you eat anything before the prep, and you can't eat till the colonscopy is done..

I will say the my friends son said it wasn't bad at all, and lucky he went, because he did have polyps in his colon, at age 17 as well, which they removed. He was having rectal bleeding as well, but he's ok now :)

Just have faith, and good luck on your colonscopy, I hope all goes well, and please come and hang for some support, I want to know what happens, ok??

Hugsss!!
~Donna

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Everything I have heard about on the crc issues have been bright red...I sincerely hope there is another answer besides this one. Good Luck to you........

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you everyone. I'm significantly younger than you guys, but I already feel welcomed into this family just by 3 replies. You don't even know, I was feeling so depressed and dreaded being diagnosed w/ cancer tonight, and then I read your responses. Uplifting, to say the least.

I am a hypochondriac - I definitely overreact to a lot of health related things. My symptoms could very well end up not being colon cancer, I just have an extremely harmful habit of thinking of the worst. I have heard that CC is often associated w/ bright red blood, so maybe (hopefully) I'm wrong. This could be the result of an ulcer or UC, if things turn out for the better. I do have a lot of rumbling going on this past week, and have had constipation/diarrhea, but I'm definitely starting to associate these with stress. I've been worried to death about my symptoms and today I relaxed a little bit and the digestive system relaxed with me. I don't know, I'm definitely going to get things checked up to be sure.

I'm scared to death of contracting stage 3+ colon cancer. It's simply too early to die for me. But you all are some of the most beautiful people I've ever met - your stories inspire me. I wish the best of the best of the best of the best to all you and what you're going through. God bless guys, and pray for me to stop worrying (and better yet, to not have colon cancer).

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

You are having the colonoscopy soon? I think that test in itself will give you the answers to question, "what exactly is going on inside my colon?" I am not sure of your details, but am curious why the thought of colon cancer? Again, not sure of your specifics and certainly I am not a doc, but ulcerative colitis is also a serious colon problem and has many similiar or the same issues that colon cancer does. I would also think because of your age, 17, that would be more likely than cancer. Yet, we all know that colon cancer can and does strike at any age, so it really is a good thing for you to have a colonoscopy to see exactly what is going on. And if indeed it is cancer, have no fear, it is indeed beatable and liveable. Best of luck in the upcoming days and keep us posted!

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I am 55 and I still feel like Im 25.....Its all in the attitude. You are way to young to be a worrywart, although being health conscious is a good thing , don't take it to extreme...allow yourself to live and enjoy things. Im sure it is a simply hemmaroid or some type of bleeding ulcer or something simple. Learn at a very young age your at right now how to really appreciate what is around you. Most of us normally don't get this type of reality check until later on in life. Your getting it early, so be especially attentive to the small wonders in life, allow your body to grow and tell you when it needs to be checked out, and most of all stop worrying, it changes nothing but your outlook on life which right now should be full of things to keep your attention.......So live large, be kind, and when the Dr tells you that your fine, (and he will) then start at that moment enjoying life instead of trying to be Doogy Houser...Hopefully you understand this is all in fun....Thats how all of us "older folks" have our fun.....Good Luck my friend.......Clift

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

I've experienced all the anxiety in the world short of actually learning that I have cancer this past week, and it's been very overwhelming. I know that whatever comes out of this that my view of life will. not. be. the. same. I refuse to let it - now I've seen that life is too precious.

Once again thanks everyone for responding. Keep talking to me haha, it's really helping me relieve some stress. Praying for every single one of you tonight.

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Hello Jakesman, and welcome aboard! Wow, you really are young! You sound very mature for your age, which will be a big plus for you if you are facing this, or any other disease. I agree with Clift on the bleeding. The darker the blood, the higher up the GI tract the blood is coming from.

Donna is right, the colonscopy is no big deal, and i remember the entire procedure every time they do it. The hardest part is the prep before hand. If everyone realized that, i think more people would get it done, and the earlier they would get diagnosed.

There is another person on this board who got her colorectal cancer as young as you are. I can't remember what her stage was at the time, but she is still kicking ten years later. You're very right about the stress triggering symptoms. It happened with me before my diagnosis. Every time i stressed out, i got abdominal pains, and the bleeding increased.

Please let us all know when your scheduled colonscopy is so we can send our good vibes your way!

Hugs,
Krista

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

HI Jake, please calm down!

Dark blood in your stool could easily be from a bleeding ulcer in your stomach from all the worrying! Remember, 'A coward dies 1,000 deaths, a brave man dies but once.' Don't spend so much time dying (worrying about dying) that you don't LIVE! It's a waste of time.

Another thing, Stage III is NOT a death sentence. 50% of Stage III's are cured by surgery alone. Add in chemo, prayer, life changes, aspirin, exercise, Vit. D3, Calcium and no red meat and disease free survival chances soar!

As for Stage IV, www.colonclub.com has a story of a Stage IV who is alive and well 60 years later. Another gal is alive and well 11 years later. Both are cancer FREE.

I know colon cancer affects young people because there's a 7th grader in our tiny town who has it. It runs in her family.

Will you report back to us, please, after your colonoscopy? I have a feeling the news will be good. Meanwhile, I'll pray for your fear and your health.

Diane

Jimbob-'s picture
Jimbob-
Posts: 50
Joined: Jan 2008

I agree with what everyone else has said.

Make a copy of what Buzzard said and paste it on the mirror in your bathroom.

Read it everymorning when you are cleaning up.

Jimbob

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

A lot of people say that I'm mature for my age in some areas, but I can assure that I'm an absolutely baby when it comes to health. Just gotta tell myself to stop worrying.

Well I'm definitely experiencing some abdominal discomfort symptoms. I've woken up the past few days at around 6 in the morning feeling nauseas in the stomach, and I've had dirrhea/constipation for a few days now. I've had some loss of appetite too - can't really stomach breakfast. Sounds like an ulcer actually...

How fast does cancer spread? I might not be able to get a colonoscopy until 2 weeks or so.

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...could also be anything, don't think about the outcome, just hope for the best, and maybe it's something just simple.

Cancer doesn't spread too quickly think, shoot, some people found out they've had a tumor that was there for 7-10 years before they found out it was cancer.

I had no symptoms when I found out I had Stage 4 Colon cancer, with a tumor in my liver. I didn't even have blood in my stool, hemorrhoid problems, no tummy aches, or vomiting, nothing! I was working and doing theater with my kids, just feeling this "Little Hardness"
in my side and tummy, like a discomfort, which then led me to go to the hospital to make sure what it was, and they took the X-rays, and saw it was cancer, Stage 4!! I mean, where did Stage 1,2,3 go?? It was very scary. That hospital then transferred me to The James Cancer Research Center, where they accepted me, and I've been going there ever since. It's connected with Ohio State University Medical Center.

So, even with no symptoms, you could still be carrying cancer. I don't know how long I was walking around with it, since I rarely got sick.

Now if you're experiencing those symptoms, I would go to the ER and let them give you something for the discomfort, and make sure it's not a bleeding ulcer or something, but still go for that colonoscopy! You don't want diarrhea that long, try taking some Immodium-AD for tha, keep yourself dehydrated, the constipation could be cleared up with some Miralax, it's a powder I put in juice, it doesn't taste bad, I can't barely taste it at all, Losing weight quickly isn't a good thing, you have to eat and drink, I'd really see a doctor if you still have this for awhile.

Hang in there Jake, and just take care of yourself! no worrying till you know what it is, it could be maybe even a flu or virus you're getting. Are you running a temperature? any fever?

Hugssss!
~Donna

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

The symptoms are very mild right now. I'm still pretty normal, and the blood in the stool stopped today. I'm not running a fever and am sure I'm not sick in any way. But I definitely still plan on getting a colonoscopy. Still scared of cancer, but it seems from reading stories around the internet that it's beatable no matter what.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm curious about your parents. Have you talked to them about what's going on with you?

*hugs*
Gail

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

They do know, which is great because last week I was struggling with anxiety about this myself. I let them know a few days ago and it took a whole bunch of stress off my shoulders. They're not the least bit worried about it though, they think it's caused by stress and overreaction (which, I know part of it totally is). But then again, they haven't been researching colon cancer for like 4 hours a day (unhealthy, I know) for the past week. Good thing is they're totally behind me getting tested, so I think I'm good.

Man, good vibes flowing for me tonight. Dunno what it is, or if my fear will return tomorrow, but tonight, come what may. Come cancer, come whatever, but I'm ready for it. I'm gonna beat it, no question. I simply won't let it come between me and the purposeful life I have yet to live (if it really is cancer).

Any of you guys struggling out there tonight - I can't fully relate to you, but consider once again Lance Armstrong. He wouldn't let it take him, don't let this take you either. You. will. make. it. through.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Take your glass to the sink and fill it full to the top...so now you do not have the choice between it being half full or half empty. Now, live your life the same way......to the fullest... :)

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Take your glass to the sink and fill it full to the top...so now you do not have the choice between it being half full or half empty. Now, live your life the same way......to the fullest... :)

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Take your glass to the sink and fill it full to the top...so now you do not have the choice between it being half full or half empty. Now, live your life the same way......to the fullest... :)

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

Thanks again for all the support guys. You guys are experiencing things a trillion times worse than I am, yet you still take the time to reply.

Well, I found out the "dark blood" in my stool was actually the black, hard beans my mom always mixes in the rice she makes (whew), but I do remember seeing some bright red blood a few weeks back. Those symptoms have definitely disappeared, so I'm guessing it was a hemmorhoid, but am still planning on getting a colonoscopy.

I just turned in a fecal occult blood test today. Anyone know if this is accurate? If it turns back negative, should I go ahead and get a colonoscopy anyway?

You are all in my prayers.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I would assume that your parents will need to make that decision for you........You need to converse with them over this whole ordeal and I think I would go with their decision....

jakesman
Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2009

Well I feel like I'm obligated to give you all a quick update since you all poured so much heart into your responses to me.

I got a fecal occult blood test... and the results were all clear. Doc didn't order a colonoscopy after that so I never got one. I've continued to have slightly strange things going on in the stomach though (no pain at all, just a lot of growling and some soft stools) but I'm guessing it's IBS and/or the results of just pure anxiety, which I've been having so much lately. Not really sure if I should still get a colonoscopy or not - if I do, it'll be because I'm being such a hypochondriac about the situation.

Anyway, that's all. I continue to read what's going on in your posts - please keep up the good fight. You are all so inspiring to me. Thanks.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6147
Joined: Feb 2009

So glad that things are all clear and you are feeling better. Was wondering what ever happened with your tests. So glad that you came on the board to let us know you are doing well. Continue to read the boards and post as often as you wish. We love hearing for all.

Kim

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

..when the new people come back to post what ever happened, thanks Jake for coming back and letting us know about your results, If it was still bothering me, and you can't get your head around the colonoscopy, maybe you ought to get one just to get a piece of mind, and clear your head so you stop having some anxiety about it. I do know of a 17 year old who had a colonoscopy, and already had polyps, so you never know, I hope you don't, and hope you start feeling better soon!

Hugsss!
~Donna

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