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My story

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Unlike @$$holes, everyone has one, but I was thinking that maybe it was for me to share mine:

First, despite the hat, I am not a cowboy. No, I am just some guy who sells wine and can read a spreadsheet.

I am 6'4" tall, and usually weigh in near 250lbs, so with the boots and the hat you could say I stand out in a crowd :)

My relationship with Miss C. began in late 2007, a month or so shy of my fiftieth birthday, when I decided to get my first colonoscopy. Simple, painless, and I was given an all clear from the GI.

As 2008 progressed, my job started to call for more travel, and in August I noticed some blood spotting while wiping in a hotel room in Houston. Quick stop at my GP when I got home and he sent me back to the GI, where I saw his PA:

"insurance won't pay for another colonoscopy this soon"

"Probably an internal hemorrhoid"

"this cancer is very slow growing, if we did not see it then, then it is not there"

Back to my life, just one that now included a little blood.

Summer 2009, even more travel (170,000 butt in seat airline miles) and things were getting itchy. GP gave me all kinds of creams and suppositories, and in October, sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon stripped me down, cleaned me up and shoved a size 16 shoe (kidding, it just felt that way) up my hole. He then had me get dressed and told me I had a very mild case of external hemorrhoids and that I should be using Desitin.

Just after Xmas, I started to run a fever, and was experiencing some pain in the left groin. Back to the GP and he came up with hernia. First week of 2010 and I saw a hernia doc, who told me the rapidly growing lump in my inguenal fold was not a hernia, but a lymph node and he gave me antibiotics.

Took those to no effect and back to the GP, where we tried three other types of antibiotics, each to no effect. Finally, late February, he sent me for a CT scan.

March was a busy month, so I was remiss in calling for my results, and felt that them not calling me could only mean there was nothing to discuss. Late in the month I had a particularly painful bout of sciatica, and went back to the GP for a torredal injection. Since I was there, the first thin I asked about was the CT. Well, he had to leave the room to get it, and when he came back said "I don't know what your plans are next week, but you should cancel them and get a colonoscopy". The scan showed a lump starting at my anus and crawling five inches back up my rectum.

On March 29th I was officially diagnosed with rectal cancer, and a week or so later staged at IV due to the spread to distant lymph nodes.

The rest is here somewhere, Folfox, avastin, radiation, surgery, a caring employer etc...

Good news/bad news I am still here.

Thank you everyone.

bruins1971's picture
Posts: 227
Joined: Nov 2010

Ya gotta love those doctors who so kindly misdiagnose things for months and years. Mine did me the same way telling me I had hemroids and IBS. I went along with it for a year or so before I switch to a new GP and she sent me for a colonoscopy and oops sorry your 38 with stage 4. Well at least I'm not in a pine box and do long as there are options and prayers I'll be here fighting and looking for a miracle.


Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Unfortumately this story about being misdiagnosed is all too common; I too was misdiagnosed until my second hospital stay with an abcess. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you are healing well.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3343
Joined: Jan 2010

Well you may not live on a ranch or herd cattle, but you must like the look!

Your story is one that should never have happened. You did all you could to catch it early.

We all talk about encouraging family and friends to get checked just in case, but from your story and those of others here it seems like we also need to work on the medical community and the insurance companies.

It is obvious from the number of members who have been diagnosed young that colorectal cancer is no longer an 'old person' disease. Seems like at the very least CEA check should be part of an annual check up and a first colonoscopy at a much younger age than 50.

I am also convinced that the insurance companies should include full coverage for both (no deductible or co-pay). Just think of the lives that could be saved and the medical costs that could be avoided if things were caught as 'simple' polups rather than waiting for growth to a tumor.

Thanks for sharing your story and I think all will agree that it is good news that you are still here.

Marie who loves kitties

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Yep, I like it. I like being a big guy, and the hat sets me apart in almost any crowd. Looks good with the top down on the cabriolet as well!

Now, if only I could wear boots or drive...


TMac52's picture
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2010

I was also mis-diagnosed I had a routine colonoscopy because of my age @ 51 I had a large polyp removed 11cm into the colon. it was not yet cancer. When I came to I was told all clean took out the polyp come see me in a year. OK sounds good a few months later blood didnt think anything of it since i was given the all clear. figured hemroids and lived with it for the next 4 months until it got so bad it scared me. my GP told me to schedule another colonoscopy. I went to the same doctor only this time he actually looked at my rectum, see last time he took out the polyp in the colon and never finished the exam. When I awoke he told me I had a 3cm cancer mass in the rectum. Welcome to the world of cancer i was diagnosed with stage 3 but after surgery I was told it was stage 1.
You would think that with 150,000 people a year being diagnosed with colorectal cancer a doctor doing a colonoscopy would take his freakin time and do a complete and thoro job. But he probably had 12 of em to do that morning at a price tag of $2500 each. I thought I was over the anger but reading your post and bobby's post and then reliving my night mare just pisses me off.

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

The surgeon that recommended Desitin put in my Power Port. When we told him about the dx, his response was:

"hmm, must of missed it"

That was it. Had I been armed I might have made a fatal judgement of error at that point...

hopeforcure49's picture
Posts: 111
Joined: Jan 2011

Sorry they did a pass the buck on you. It happens a lot. I don't think its fair. I was treated for 3 months for intestinal infection and hemorroids.My doctor took my own diagnosis and she did not even examen me in her office. I was diagnosed in Dec2009 right before Christmas. I'm sure you can imagine what kind of Christmas we had. Now I know that you should get a colonoscopy if you are having abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or anykind of bowel issues. It should not matter how old you are. But the insurance companies disagree. It sucks! I thought they were smart people, but you would think a colonoscopy would cost $2000-$3000, Well my insurance has paid close to $250,000.000 between surgeries and chemo. I could have had a colonoscopy every year since I turned 40 and it still wouldn't hit $30,000.00 I did have a rectal exam every year from my OB-gyn. But my colonoscopy was held for 6 months, because they were treating something that wasn't there. This makes me very angry. I'm now 49 still on chemo. Hope your feeling better from your surgery. Blessings from Lourdes

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

"hmmm, must of missed it"??? Hearing that would have made me want to rip his lips off. For goodness sakes, missing a cancer diagnosis isn't like, oooopsie, I missed my exit on the freeway. Sounds like it might be time for that doctor to apply for that management job at the local bowling alley - worst he could do is forget the disinfectant in the rental shoes. I've never heard of anyone losing their life to athlete's foot.

Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Buck,

55 yr.old woman suffering from unexplained anemia goes to family doctor. He refers her over to a well known gastroenterologist for colonoscopy and endoscopy.He runs an hour late, has 5 grumpy patients waiting for colonoscopy. 55 yr old woman is #2 on the list.Results...3 small benign polyps, come back in 3 years.No explanation of the cause of anemia..just take iron pills.

1 year and 2 weeks later woman is admitted to hospital through emergency.Surgeon orders a cat scan...oops! Calls in the gastro who did the colonoscopy the previous year who, after doing another colonoscopy, starts shaking in his boots.Woman hears him saying " How could I have missed something so big?" Yes, the tumor was in my surgeon's words " As large as his fist".

Woman turns 56 in hospital minus her ascending colon, ovaries, tubes, appendix ( and later loses her mind:)Hospital stay of 13 days and comes home with infected incision.

Hi Buck, my name is Pat and I was misdiagnosed too. The gastro has since retired...LOL.It makes me sick to read these stories of misdiagnosis, especially when it is sheer negligence that caused it.But it is what it is I guess...doesn't stop me from telling my story to anyone who will listen in hopes that they will be more alert to their own bodies, and if they know something isn't right get another opinion.

Good news: I am still here too. I insisted on no sedation when I had my first post surgery colonoscopy and made dayum sure that my new gastro did a complete job.Some folks thought that I was crazy for that but again, it is what it is and I am paranoid of doctors. Too bad, because I sure have to see a lot of them these days.

Best wishes to you Buck.

Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

That is a hell of a story and makes me angry. Unreal. I am glad you're still here. Sorry you have to be in this group but it's good to have you.


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TMac52's picture
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2010

Ive been lurking for awhile but saw this and had to reply!!!!!Thanks for bumping this thread back. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT !!!! Although I hate re-living this it's important for all to know how easy we can die because we trusted a doctor who was too freakin busy to do his job. My colorectal surgeon Dr Deborah Nagle wrote an article about gastro's doing a terrible job because they had patients lined up in the hallways. Some of these guys do 12-18 scopes before lunch (as was the case with my nimwit).
After reading her article I asked her to do my post-surgury,post chemo, colonoscopy she agreed and I will be having it VIA the stoma on April 14th. It's been a tough year for me and many of friends I have met here. I wish there were a way to get out this message LOUD AND CLEAR!!!! I know it's colorectal cancer awareness month (march) But I don't see enough hype to make a difference.
Love to you Gracie!!!!

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Didnt know March was Colorectal awareness month also. Urge all your friends to get a colonoscopy (as I have) and not to blame it on hot sauce to long like I did! lol.

Love2Cats's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Dec 2010

My doc told me the same thing too, an internal hemorrhoid.

I can't believe that your doc said "I must have missed something" YA THINK!? I mean I can understand that medical personnel have to become somewhat disconnected because otherwise it would be too stressful dealing with sick and dying people all the time. But, to say something so flippant, that is inexcusable in my book.

Thanks for sharing your story.


ngxbao's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2008

The doctor did a quick check and told me it was hemorrhoid. I was too young to have anything serious. However, he ordered a sigmoid for me. It was then that they found the cancer.

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