The biggest blunder I ever made........

coloCan
coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member
was not having a colonoscopy at an earlier time in my life BEFORE the irreversible damage began.....Whatever my lifestyle prior may have contributed to my diagnosis I feel most,if not all, of the responsibility for my condition rests upon myself ,crucially my refusal to do what I knew I should've done, esp since I already had 'roids and a polyp for years.......But just because I blame my own stupidity doesn't mean I wallow in it or allow myself to look backwards or waste time on "what ifs"........
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Comments

  • plh4gail
    plh4gail Member Posts: 1,238
    The thing about this thought
    The thing about this thought that now keeps entering my mind is about my kids. I didn't have any family history of colon cancer and I led the so called healthy life. So since I got the diagnosis and my onc told me my children (25 and 24) need to have their colonoscopy 10 years younger than I was at diagnosis....why only 10 years? I know it's not what they want to do or think about, but like you said coloCan...why wait for the damage? Look at the young people on here with this diagnosis. And I consider myself as young at 46, there are kids here in their 20's like my kids.

    Just thinking, Gail
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    i waste time on "what ifs"
    great post,

    I also had roids for years and a less than regular system that I attributed to all the pizza, takeaway and chinese food I would eat. Obviously I had a poly as well, that seemed to thrive on my diet and lifestyle.

    I like "what ifs" in moderation.

    so,
    what if we all live and make it. now thats a good "what if".
    what if this curse does not come back and kill me.
    we are all human and our lives are a fair bit more fragile than I realised before DX and all the reading.

    I don't want to cause another diet war but a small friendly battle could be fun. I got chemo coming up in over a day so will have a bit more time and the dex keeps me up. so here goes.

    looking at the slightly bigger picture my irreversible damage start when I become a fat lazy **** making lots of money working for big greedy companies like CISCO and the BANKS. We worked 16 hour days and had chips, biscuits and soft drinks on tap all day and night. Often we worked 7 days straight and we got paid $1000 US a day to work weekend shifts when I spent my weekends fixing routing and switching problems on some of your biggest air craft carriers and destroyers. It was fun, but the pressure was immense and the diet disgusting. Possibly the unhealthiest life but adrenaline keeps you going for years.

    I saw a i dietician back then and made some progress but fell off the health wagon and straight back into FAST FOOD like macdonalds.

    Not being really healthy then.
    Not having the resolve to stay healthy even about 14 years ago was clearly a mistake.

    I also regret not having a colonoscopy earlier, but now feel that being a bit too precious. what about heart disease ( the biggest killer ) and all the other health joys our wonderful western lifestyle uniquely bestows upon us.

    If have taken a little time to wallow in it, I have looked backwards and I felt it was time well spent for me to kind of process all the feelings and issues that this cancer has raised.

    Particularly now I consider what diet and life style for myself in the recovery phase and for the kids and my wife.

    On one hand the responsbility of my condition rests on my parents, government and society.

    I was not raised the "that a healthy mind and body should be your top priority" , basically the primary message was the standard greed is good and you better start making as much money as possible as soon as you can.

    the media and the government manipulate us easily, "like taking candy from a baby"
    why else does BIG FAST FOOD make such HUGE PROFITS and why is childhood obesity a huge issue here in Australia and around the western world.

    So I don't blame myself as I see my poor lifestyle reflecting the environment I was living in. The few healthy messages get overwelmed by all the other unhealthy messages we get in our modern lives.

    My biggest priority is to raise my kids as healthy as possible in mind, body and spirit in their formative years.

    yours in better dieting ( at least for today )
    pete
  • plh4gail
    plh4gail Member Posts: 1,238
    This is a good post like all
    This is a good post like all the others and we should have no "battles" against each other. Our battle should be against the monster we share. Let's just share our info to win in any way that we can manage for what works best with each of us.

    Gail
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    plh4gail said:

    This is a good post like all
    This is a good post like all the others and we should have no "battles" against each other. Our battle should be against the monster we share. Let's just share our info to win in any way that we can manage for what works best with each of us.

    Gail

    not even a tiny little friendly battle ?
    Hi Gail,

    So I promise no more diet posts today off to sleep.

    The little battle I foreshawoded was to be forte with ideas and arguments than personal.

    its just I wokeup at 2am and cannot get back to sleep and I thought this post either help me get back to sleep or keep me up. I have just stirred the pot a little.

    I agree completely "Let's just share our info to win in any way that we can manage for what works best with each of us."

    Its just this diet stuff is really close to my heart. No punn intended. For the last few months I have gained a Kg or two each week. Every visit to the ONC, she says keep your weight under control or else. I am seeing her tomorrow and have skip breakfast hoping to have not gained anything. My ONC is cute, blonde and has a tough side. So I am wise to be a little apprehensive, she will probably smack me. My whole diet thing, is where most of my focus is at present with my treatment and its so frustrating the difference between hospital dieticians and naturopaths.

    I will jump on the scales now. I wonder how much weight I can loose between now and 12noon, thats 8 hours. I am going to wear really lite weight clothes and thongs rather than shoes. And empty my pockets into my chemo carry bag. This should keep me in her good books. I might even get a walk in this morning.

    hugs,
    Pete
  • plh4gail
    plh4gail Member Posts: 1,238

    not even a tiny little friendly battle ?
    Hi Gail,

    So I promise no more diet posts today off to sleep.

    The little battle I foreshawoded was to be forte with ideas and arguments than personal.

    its just I wokeup at 2am and cannot get back to sleep and I thought this post either help me get back to sleep or keep me up. I have just stirred the pot a little.

    I agree completely "Let's just share our info to win in any way that we can manage for what works best with each of us."

    Its just this diet stuff is really close to my heart. No punn intended. For the last few months I have gained a Kg or two each week. Every visit to the ONC, she says keep your weight under control or else. I am seeing her tomorrow and have skip breakfast hoping to have not gained anything. My ONC is cute, blonde and has a tough side. So I am wise to be a little apprehensive, she will probably smack me. My whole diet thing, is where most of my focus is at present with my treatment and its so frustrating the difference between hospital dieticians and naturopaths.

    I will jump on the scales now. I wonder how much weight I can loose between now and 12noon, thats 8 hours. I am going to wear really lite weight clothes and thongs rather than shoes. And empty my pockets into my chemo carry bag. This should keep me in her good books. I might even get a walk in this morning.

    hugs,
    Pete

    Pete...I have gained 10
    Pete...I have gained 10 pounds since beggining of Dec! I was down almost 20 from diagnosis though so I guess I need some gain. But 10??? so fast????....I'm with you on wanting to watch that :)

    Gail
  • coloCan
    coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member
    plh4gail said:

    Pete...I have gained 10
    Pete...I have gained 10 pounds since beggining of Dec! I was down almost 20 from diagnosis though so I guess I need some gain. But 10??? so fast????....I'm with you on wanting to watch that :)

    Gail

    Gail, if I had kids, I'd do everything I could to see that they
    do not follow in my buttsteps and to have a colonoscopy as early in life as possible just in case I've passed it along.....As I had already stopped tobacco and alcohol (tho not until after damage was done)and had been exercising for years until the tumor I didn't yet know about increasingly hindered my lifting, the only major area in my current life needing to be changed has to be my diet......I'm trying to abide by the current guidelines suggested by the parent .org of this site as well as those of the other .org and .gov sources of cancer info, such as aicr or nih as well as the various sites I've found in my readings.......I think I need to ramp up my exercising to workoff the excess pounds I've put around my midsection....(Pete, in my own way, I'm with you on eating/living healthier than we did before)
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    coloCan said:

    Gail, if I had kids, I'd do everything I could to see that they
    do not follow in my buttsteps and to have a colonoscopy as early in life as possible just in case I've passed it along.....As I had already stopped tobacco and alcohol (tho not until after damage was done)and had been exercising for years until the tumor I didn't yet know about increasingly hindered my lifting, the only major area in my current life needing to be changed has to be my diet......I'm trying to abide by the current guidelines suggested by the parent .org of this site as well as those of the other .org and .gov sources of cancer info, such as aicr or nih as well as the various sites I've found in my readings.......I think I need to ramp up my exercising to workoff the excess pounds I've put around my midsection....(Pete, in my own way, I'm with you on eating/living healthier than we did before)

    you mentioned lifting ?
    hi steve,

    are you a weight lifter ? I am planning to get into it.
    I won 6 months gym membership and have been saving it for the winter here.
    its good post steve and I just got a bit carried away with all the diet discussions I wanted to kind of explain my fat hogg background. I am with you as well in eating and living as long and as healthy as possible and I think they are related. And also blame is pointless. Acknowledging risk factors and being careful.

    all the best Pete
  • Sonia32
    Sonia32 Member Posts: 1,071

    you mentioned lifting ?
    hi steve,

    are you a weight lifter ? I am planning to get into it.
    I won 6 months gym membership and have been saving it for the winter here.
    its good post steve and I just got a bit carried away with all the diet discussions I wanted to kind of explain my fat hogg background. I am with you as well in eating and living as long and as healthy as possible and I think they are related. And also blame is pointless. Acknowledging risk factors and being careful.

    all the best Pete

    Why do some oncs worry about weight...
    ...and others don't? I know mine didn't.

    If tomorrow something shows up in my scan, I'm going to blame depression and divorce! lol
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030
    Sonia32 said:

    Why do some oncs worry about weight...
    ...and others don't? I know mine didn't.

    If tomorrow something shows up in my scan, I'm going to blame depression and divorce! lol

    Weight gain shows thatbyou
    Weight gain shows thatbyou are taking in more calories then you are burning. Meaning little or no excercise. I am not working now, but I must have burned a lot if calories at work! I am a bit over weight, my ONC knows my diet so he just said don't overdo the carbs, and to get off my butt, yes, he said that!
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375
    Interesting discussion
    Good start on this topic, Steve! I find it interesting that people blame themselves, but then, we all come from different circumstances and backgrounds so I guess our perspectives are all going to be different.

    I am not a goody-two shoes by any stretch of the imagination, but I have never been a drinker. I'm trying desperately to appreciate wine , because I love the idea of going out with a friend for a chat over a glass of wine. Or going out for dinner and having a glass of wine with dinner... but I am sooo not knowledgeable about wines, it will be a very slow process with me. I just plain have never liked the taste of alcohol, so any alcoholic drinks I have, they have to be disguised in fancy drinks so I can't taste the alcohol... sort of defeats the purpose, no?

    My diet/lifestyle/environment was the typical 50s/60s high carb, make the food dollar stretch. But it wasn't just our family... that WAS the diet back then and no one thought anything of it. My father hated anything that resembled a fruit/veggie... so my mother had a heck of a time trying to get us to eat them. I mean, if Dad didn't have to eat them, why did we? He is now 86 years old, healthy as a horse, has all his faculties together, self-taught himself everything he needs to use on the internet (does his stock trading, etc. on his computer now)... and basically has not eaten a fruit or vegetable in his life. Doesn't make sense, does it?

    As for a colonoscopy... when they did find my tumour (I was 52 years old), they said that the tumour was at least 10 years old. So had I had a colonoscopy in my early 40s, we would have found it at the polyp stage, snipped it out and I would be none the wiser of what would have happened had I not had the colonoscopy. But in my 40s, I had never even heard the term "colonoscopy". How can I blame myself for not having had one earlier when I didn't even know they existed. The first time I heard the term was when I was 50 and a co-worker was taking the day off because he was getting one. I asked him what it was and why the heck he was getting one? He said that his family had a history of polyps so it was more a preventative thing. Well, it was news to me because this was a procedure I had never heard about... and since I had no sign of pain or discomfort, it never dawned on me to ask my doctor if I should get one.

    When they did find the tumour... which was large, had perforated the intestinal wall and had been growing for at least 10 years... I was shocked. How come there had been no signs it was there before we found it? Fast forward until after the recovery period from the surgery, my surgeon then wanted to do a colonoscopy to make sure that there were no other polyps/growths. This was my first colonoscopy... AFTER the surgical removal of the malignant tumour. The colonoscopy showed everything totally clean. Not even any little benign polyps. I was unlucky to have had ONE polyp that left unattended, grew and grew and became malignant. So my Stage IV cancer is all based on one rogue polyp that didn't get nipped early in it's growth period because I had no idea what a colonoscopy was and I was under 50 so no one suggested going for a colonoscopy just for the heck of it. And no, there is no history of colon cancer in my family.

    Call it bad luck, but I just can't blame myself for not doing something I knew nothing about. I can't blame diet/lifestyle because I happen to have one rogue polyp that was left unattended because I was not "old enough" to get the "Have a colonoscopy once you hit 50". One rogue polyp has changed my life, turned my world upside down. I can blame diet for a lot of things (weight gain, not being able to lose weight), I can blame lifestyle for laziness, lack of exercise, being way too content so not having to suffer to get a roof over my head or food on the table. I feel I live a very rich life even though I am not wealthy (in $$$)... but I am so wealthy in friends, support and being able to do all the things I love to do and able to retire early so I CAN do all the things I love to do.

    But do I blame myself because I didn't catch that rogue polyp? No... I didn't even know what a polyp was, so how could I have been on the lookout for it? And I seriously can not say that my diet (which was high in carbs) was responsible for creating ONE LOWLY polyp that happened to turn malignant ;)

    Cheryl
  • coloCan
    coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member
    Nana b said:

    Weight gain shows thatbyou
    Weight gain shows thatbyou are taking in more calories then you are burning. Meaning little or no excercise. I am not working now, but I must have burned a lot if calories at work! I am a bit over weight, my ONC knows my diet so he just said don't overdo the carbs, and to get off my butt, yes, he said that!

    In Dec I hooked up a 42 inch TV in my room......exercise took
    a tumble as i started watching too much TV (never into TV much except during Tx when too sick to do anything else)during snowy winter. I also need to be careful exercising with TV on; never do it watching Laurel&Hardy or anything else that might make you laugh as you can seriously hurt yourself ...

    As for weights, my overriding concern now is: no injury to stoma therefore I only use bodyweight or dumbbells, no more barbells,tri or curling bars,etc as I feel safer dong DBs and bodyweight (no science behind this decision,just my feelings) with the objective being to get as strong as possible for whatever else might happen; no longer interested in size/def, tho that will/has returned to some extent...I'll never get back the strength I had as I no longer do real heavy stuff like deadlifts and bentover rows,nor do I attempt personal "records"......My lungs are also declining abit tho last breathing test indicated no noticeable further deterioration than what my COPD had already done....(For a while I thought tumor was causing recent weight gain til I saw onc past Fri so You're right,Ms Nana,my intake is exceeding the calories burnt moving around)So, with that as my incentive, its time to get off my **** and play with my dumbbells........steve
  • ketziah35
    ketziah35 Member Posts: 1,145
    As I read this, I pushed
    As I read this, I pushed away from the corn bread and fried chicken I have prepared to eat. It reminds me that I have to work on my weight before I follow my mother's cancer plight and parents' diabetes.
  • Love2Cats
    Love2Cats Member Posts: 127
    What I try to do
    When I was buying a business long ago, my father and my partner kept saying "Aren't you scared, you are risking everything by doing this" I used to tell them that "I have no time to think about how I am going to fail, I only have time to think about how I am going to make this business succeed".

    This is how I try to think about things in life. When I start to think "what if", I tell myself that I have plenty of things that I need to do, that will affect the quality of my life now, so I need to focus on those things instead. I tell myself thinking of those things is a waste of my time. (Please do not think that I am saying that this is the only way to think, it is of course not, it is just my way of kicking my own butt, so I don't let myself become depressed)

    You see I have bipolar disease, and if I let my brain run away with negative thoughts, I get majorly depressed, and then I have trouble functioning. Finding out I had cancer, actually snapped me out of a deep depression. I became so worried/obsessed about my wife and cats, that other people told me to stop worrying about them, and worry more about myself, but that is just not in my nature. I am the breadwinner, and without me, things will be harder for them financially, and I am the emotionally stronger one too.

    Please don't blame yourself for your condition, let that anger drive towards things that will benefit you and your family. Stressing yourself out, is just adding fuel to the flames.

    PS ColoCan I love your very informative posts. I always look forward to them

    Sandy
  • Buckwirth
    Buckwirth Member Posts: 1,258
    Doing it right, still came out wrong
    I thought I was being good.  I had my colonoscopy six months shy of my 50th birthday, and all came up clean.  One year and two months later I was back at the GI with blood in my stool.  The PA said that since my last test was clean, there was no way that this was cancer, and my insurance would probably not pay for another colonoscopy so soon.  She then said I probably had an internal hemorrhoid.

    So, no treatment for another year, then the pain started.  GP said hemorrhoids.  When it was getting hard to bear he sent me to a surgeon.  He took a real good look (whatever he stuck in there, it felt very large) and recommended Desitin.

    In January of '10 I had a fever and groin pain.  This time the GP thought it was a hernia.  In-between seeing him and the hernia doc my inguenal lymph node blew up like a balloon.  So now it was an infection.

    Four rounds of antibiotics later, off for a CT. That was the last week of February.  No calls and a busy month for me, so it was three weeks later when I threw my back and went back in.  Asked about the CT.  The GP had to leave the room to get it, and when he came back he told me to cancel whatever plans I had and get a colonoscopy.

    So, even doing everything right, the outcome can be bad.
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    Can't worry about the past
    You can't wallow in what ifs. I know that I ignored symptoms and ended up having colon cancer. It was kind of strange that I actually had symptoms, because I was diagnosed at Stage 1. But it took sort of a 2 x 4 to get me to have myself checked. I had "diarrhea" and looked in the toilet and saw a bowl of blood. YIKES!

    We can't do anything about the past, but we sure can work on the future. My way of doing that is to work with Relay For Life and try to spread the word about having colonoscopies. And I am trying (not really well sometimes) to exercise and lose weight to take care of myself.

    I was lucky in that my cancer was found early, but I been left with fear and worry, not to mention a chronic pain condition that makes me hurt every day of my life.

    *Hugs*
    Gail
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030
    tootsie1 said:

    Can't worry about the past
    You can't wallow in what ifs. I know that I ignored symptoms and ended up having colon cancer. It was kind of strange that I actually had symptoms, because I was diagnosed at Stage 1. But it took sort of a 2 x 4 to get me to have myself checked. I had "diarrhea" and looked in the toilet and saw a bowl of blood. YIKES!

    We can't do anything about the past, but we sure can work on the future. My way of doing that is to work with Relay For Life and try to spread the word about having colonoscopies. And I am trying (not really well sometimes) to exercise and lose weight to take care of myself.

    I was lucky in that my cancer was found early, but I been left with fear and worry, not to mention a chronic pain condition that makes me hurt every day of my life.

    *Hugs*
    Gail

    I had a colonoscopy 5 years
    I had a colonoscopy 5 years before my DX and they didn't find anything, ONC thinks they missed it. So here I am stage !V. My primary care doctor kept telling me it was gas and I kept arguing finally got my referral for another colonoscopy 3 months later. I should have listened to my sister and gone to the emergency room, maybe it wouldn't of made it to my liver.


    But, oh well!
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375
    An interesting quote that seems appropriate
    The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered "Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

    Cheryl
  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    When I was diagnosed
    (after much mis-diagnosis) I was shocked. I said to the surgeon who diagnosed me,"I have never smoked one cigarette, had any illegal drugs,I hardly drink alcohol, I have really tried to live a good life". He said to me "Anne, you are just unlucky + there are very bad people who will never get cancer. I remind mysellf of his words whenever I start to go down the blame road. Other words that have stuck to me were from the surgeon who was going to do by resection. He said, "keep telling yourself failure is not an option". I do. A social worker I met said they are often surprised at who the long term survivors are. I want to surprise everyone. It is too easy to blame ourselves, our diet, etc. but no-one knows for sure. I actually had a double barium contrast which purpose was to detect cancer in 2005. Results were clean, except for diverticulosis + hemmorhoids. When I visited my family doctor several times before my diagnosis, she told me to eat more metamucil + it probably was hemmoroids. She told me she could not "justify sending me for a colonoscopy, given I had the clean barium enema 3 1/2 years prior. Try to look forward, not back.
  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624
    Gave Up
    I gave up beating myself over what signs I missed a while back. Sure, it comes to mind, the should of's, but I quit whipping myself over it.
    I'm just going for today, for tomorrow, for next year, screw yesterday.
    Winter Marie
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    Buckwirth said:

    Doing it right, still came out wrong
    I thought I was being good.  I had my colonoscopy six months shy of my 50th birthday, and all came up clean.  One year and two months later I was back at the GI with blood in my stool.  The PA said that since my last test was clean, there was no way that this was cancer, and my insurance would probably not pay for another colonoscopy so soon.  She then said I probably had an internal hemorrhoid.

    So, no treatment for another year, then the pain started.  GP said hemorrhoids.  When it was getting hard to bear he sent me to a surgeon.  He took a real good look (whatever he stuck in there, it felt very large) and recommended Desitin.

    In January of '10 I had a fever and groin pain.  This time the GP thought it was a hernia.  In-between seeing him and the hernia doc my inguenal lymph node blew up like a balloon.  So now it was an infection.

    Four rounds of antibiotics later, off for a CT. That was the last week of February.  No calls and a busy month for me, so it was three weeks later when I threw my back and went back in.  Asked about the CT.  The GP had to leave the room to get it, and when he came back he told me to cancel whatever plans I had and get a colonoscopy.

    So, even doing everything right, the outcome can be bad.

    this story sux
    blake,

    I did not know your dx background before.

    Our insurance's are so different. I appreciate mine more after hearing your story.

    I had blood one day, GP the next.

    Insisted on colonoscopy, GP relented after some pushing on my side.

    six days later officially joined the semi colons.

    what a difference between countries and insurances, and I know you US guys have many strong points over us in treatments. all our systems have pluses and minuses.

    at least if we are aware of them we can manage the issues as well as we can.

    it just sux when you see the difference with people you care about.

    sorry you got such a slow DX. I know of a few of these types of cockups. My friends sister inlaw died at 33, she pestered her doctors for 18 months about pain down below, she only survived 3 months after dx and left 2 kids. In someways our medical systems have lots of room for improvement.

    I believe the discussions we have here, helps us be the best patients we can be, certainly more informed and possibly more demanding. To be honest I think that why we have no effective real life bowel cancer support groups around here. Just my opinion.

    Pete