CSN Login
Members Online: 8

You are here

Worried about cancer diagnosis

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Hello everyone, I'm new to the Cancer Survivor's Network forum and would like to start by giving many thanks to everyone here for the valuable information and support they provide to so many in need.

 About a month ago I noticed some blood in my stool and really didn't think too much about it. I noticed it a couple more times within a week.

 It worried me so I made an appointment with a gastroenterologist and set up an appointment for a colonoscopy. My colonoscopy is scheduled for Friday, May 18th.

 This is my first colonoscopy. I just turned 61 years old, don't smoke, don't drink, eat healthy and maybe 20 pounds overweight. I'm also very regular and have a bowel movement every morning within 5 or 10 minutes after rising from bed.

 A couple of days after scheduling my colonoscopy, about a week ago, I began feeling some fatigue and loss of appetite. I haven't experienced any abdominal pain or any other symptoms. Just some blood in stool maybe three times a week, some fatigue and loss of appetite.

 Needless to say, I'm worried sick I have colon cancer. My dad died of colon cancer 30 years ago at the age of 66.

 The thing I'm most worried about is that if I do have colon cancer, how far advanced is it? I know the colonoscopy, possible polyp removal, possible biopsy and pathology will begin to shine more light on my condition.

 From what I understand, further tests will establish the staging if they find cancer.

 Question: Is it possible to make a ballpark guess or estimate the stage of colon cancer based on my symptoms? It seems I would have abdominal pain or could feel it if a tumor had grown through the wall of my colon.

 I know it's not possible to make a completely accurate guess, just looking for a ballpark estimate if that's even possible.

 Sorry about the long post, thanks in advance, Lanny

 

 

Tunadog's picture
Tunadog
Posts: 233
Joined: Mar 2017

Until I had surgery I was told “in situ”, stage 4 stage 3, etc.

After LAR Surgery my Surgeon Staged me as a 2. No lymph involvement but micro cancer spread within abdominal cavity and NO spread to distant organs.

My Surgical Oncologist said that the diagnosis often changes when they open you up.

I wouldn’t worry now, you’ll have plenty of time to worry if you have cancer.

The colonoscopy should give you more information.

Good Luck

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you sir. I appreciate the experienced advice a lot.

Did you have any symptoms like mine before your diagnosis?

Tunadog's picture
Tunadog
Posts: 233
Joined: Mar 2017

I went to my regular doctor complaining of constapation. My doctor did a digital exam and indicated there was a large mass. He sent to a Gastroligist who took a look pressed on the tumor and said there's blood (cancer?) and scheduled a Colonoscopy. He did the Colonoscopy and took a snip to verify cancer. It came back negative. Had a surgeon take a sample (almost half) and it came back negative. Everyone was sure I had cancer but no proof. I was referred to a highly regarded Colorectal Surgeon, who conducted an Anal Ultrasound to determine where to take the biopsy.

It came back, positive. Bad news, good news. Got cancer, Got treatment 

Good Luck

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thanks again sir for sharing your experience.

Hope you're doing well.

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

Hi Larry, welcome to the forum! I wouldn't worry too much, seems that your symptoms sound mild and that you scheduled a colonoscopy pretty fast after you experienced your symptoms. I know waiting is the worst. Only way to be sure what stage you have is from the colonoscopy. Mean time I would suggest to eat soft food, no raw food, just in case if theres is a timor somewhere and any raw hard pieces of food might cause blockage.  Good luck on the 18th and keep us posted!

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you Lily, your advice makes me feel better.

I'll stick to soft foods and no raw foods like you said.

I'll be sure and post back after the test.

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 892
Joined: Apr 2017

As the others have said, diagnosis is difficult and a colonoscopy may provide information but not clarity.  Having been through the wringer, I would advise you to enjoy each day you have to the best of your ability whether you have a cancer diagnosis or not.  The sun still rises, the flowers still bloom, the children still play, you can still walk, and each of these things can give comfort and joy.

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Many thanks SandiaBuddy for your wise words.

I'm hoping my symptoms are being caused by something other than cancer.

Seems there needs to be more public awareness about getting screened early.

I haven't really thought about it until now.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi Lanny! Blood can be seen due to various reasons that are much less worrisome than colon cancer, hopefully you just have one of them. I had no symtoms at all and had stage three. Which they didn't stage until I'd had my surgery. I'm now stage four due to progression to my lung. Try not to worry. I had my husband get a colonoscopy done just because I was worried and he had a couple of polyls removed that were potentially pre cancerous. The worst part about the colonoscopy is the stuff you have to drink beforehand. It's not scary or embarassing. You lie on your side while they're doing it. I'd pictured myself face down or bent over or something and didn't like the idea of any of it.

My fingers are crossed for you that it's just a scare but remember that if it turns out to be bad news we're here for you.

Jan

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

You're very kind Jan. Thank you.

Sharing experiences helps me understand what's going on much better.

I hope your treatment is going well. [smile]

Woodytele
Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2017

SandiaBuddy is always on point.  You can’t worry about the worst case scenario, I hope your news is good and you have a minor problem. If not, you will battle just like the rest of us.  I have had so much happen to me in the past year, I appreciate every day now.  We are here for you if you get questions or need info.  

I hope your news is minor after the colonoscopy. 

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Woody - many thanks for your post. I'm hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

I'm sure I'll have many questions if the colonoscopy does reveal cancer.

Your positive outlook is to be admired.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4851
Joined: Jan 2013

It is hard to stage anything until Cancer is found and pathology is done. 

I know its hard - terribly hard - but try not to jump ahead of yourself. One step at a time.  If you find yourself with a Colorectal Cancer diagnosis, we're all here to answer your questions and help you onward. If you find out you've just got some irritated hemmeroids, we are here to celebrate with you, and send you on your way. 

I am sorry about your dad.  It does up your chances a little for sure. 

I know the 18th can't come around fast enough. Good luck!

Tru

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Many thanks for your advice and generosity Tru. You and the other members are very kind.

I already feel like a friend and I just came here for the first time yesterday.

I hope everything in your world is looking sunny.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6212
Joined: Feb 2009

Welcome to the boards but sorry you have to be here.  Mine started with blood in the stool, but not everyone has symptoms.  Staging can be the hardest to determine by just a symptom or two because blood can be caused by different reasons - not everything is cancer.  It's good that you are having a colonoscopy as that will tell a lot.  Please let us know how it goes and if you have any more questions. 

Kim

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Hello Kim, hope you're doing well.

I appreciate your kind post and support very much.

Yes, I'm eager to get the colonoscopy done whether the news is good or bad.

Your kind advice and the advice given by the other members here helps me stop worrying so much.

Thanks again [smile]

BRHMichigan's picture
BRHMichigan
Posts: 368
Joined: Jul 2017

I waited a long time with horrible symptoms. Just know you are doing the right thing by getting the colonoscopy done now. My children will be checked when they are 40, and sooner if they have any symptoms. I found the prep a little uncomfortable, but overall the test was no big deal. Best wishes for a good outcome for you!

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you for posting BRH. I want to thank you and the other members again for your valuable advice and making me feel like a friend.

According to the doctor, the most unpleasant part of the colonoscopy is the preparation.

He's asked me to drink three 10 oz. bottles of Magnesium Citrate spaced apart by several hours starting at 4pm the day before the test. Then administer two Fleet enemas spaced apart by an hour within 3 hours of coming to the hospital for my 6am test.

I've never done this before so I am a bit concerned...

Phoenix_66's picture
Phoenix_66
Posts: 118
Joined: Jun 2017

Welcome to the discussion boards. Like others here, I hope that your tests reveal no cancer but if it does we are all here to help you through it. I know this is easy to say and not do, but really don't worry until you know there is something to worry about. If it is cancer, your mental attitude and spirit are a large part of the battle.

As weird as this sounds, I consider having battled cancer to be a blessing rather than a curse. After all, there might not have been any symptoms and I would have died 11 years ago missing a lot of things in my family such as graduations, weddings, etc. Another positive thing to come out of this is the way I appreciate each and every day I have. 

Good luck on your results and keep s posted. 

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you sir. I can't express how much the advice and support of the members here means to me and I'm sure so many others.

It helps me stop worrying so much and I think just worrying itself can have negative effects on a person's health.

Your positive attitude and outlook is truly to be admired. The same for so many of the members of this board.

Hoping everything in your world is looking bright.  I'll be in touch.

Lanny

danker's picture
danker
Posts: 1187
Joined: Apr 2012

I was 77 when I had my first colonoscopy.  The only clue i had was occasional diarrhea.  Read my history for the results.  Soon to be 86, i've been NED for 8 years now.  Hope you have same results!!!

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you sir. I'm hoping for the best.

You must be quite strong to have made such a rapid recovery!

I'l be sure and post back after my colonoscopy next week.

Lanny

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4851
Joined: Jan 2013

Party on the forum for Danker coming up.

   Tru

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Happy Birthday Danker!

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 257
Joined: Jun 2017

 When I bled, it was like a stuck pig and scared the hell out of me. That was nearly a year ago.  I'm done with treatment now and looking ok.  Tumors will bleed and in a way that's good  since it presents the warning we need.  And like some of the others, blood tests, biopsys, and CEA were either inconclusive or indicated nothing.  The picture of a tumor was good enough to have me go the full monte on treatement.  After all, those things don't belong inside us. If it's light blood it could be an internal hemmorroid.  It's more likely that than cancer anyhow.  The stomach issues are probably your nerves acting up. I know mine did and it had nothing to do with the cancer. This isn't like it was 30 years ago.  As long as you do as you're told you'll come out of this fine.  

 Oh, one other thing.  When you go in for the colonoscopy, don't look around for the probe.  You'll be knocked out and won't feel a thing.  No sense giving yourself a reason to have nitemares.   

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you for the experienced advice darcher.

You're right, I'm beginning to realize how much worrying can affect a person's overall feeling and health.

Quite a few times over the past several days I've had moments of positive feelings that make me feel almost normal again.

Glad to hear you're doing well. And thanks for the tip about the probe [smile].

Lanny

FckCncr's picture
FckCncr
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2018

There's a dozen things your bleeding could be. It's hard not to worry I know. There's also no way in the world to guess what stage it could be if it were cancer. The important thing to remember is that even if it's a worst-case scnario, modern medicine is all over this and colorectal cancer is very survivable. Having been through 10 months of treatment I can also say that it wasn't as bad as when i was in your place, conjuring up all kinds of worst-case scenarios in my mind. Chances are it's not even cancer. And if it is you have a very good chance of getting through it. As my oncologist says, "You'll look back on this years later as a bump in the road.

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Many thanks, FckCncr.

The positive input and support you and the other members provide makes me feel much better.

All of you have made me feel like a friend when I haven't even been diagnosed yet.

Hope you're doing well.

Lanny

 

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Hello everyone, hope everything is looking on the bright side in each of your worlds.

Just wanted to write back with an update. 

My colonoscopy has been rescheduled for Thursday morning of this week.

I'll post again after my procedure.

Thanks, Lanny

 

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4851
Joined: Jan 2013

It will be over and done with, and hopefully you won't wait long for the results.  Often times the GI Doc will let you know at the procedure, at least mine did. 

Good luck!

Tru

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

I want to begin by thanking all the kind, caring folks here at CSN.

I feel like I've dodged a bullet.

My colonoscopy went well, of course the preparation was the worst part.

The doctor discovered that I have moderate diverticulosis, 3 polyps and internal hemorrhoids.

The report he gave my wife said two of the polyps were 0.5 cm in size and "sessile" which I think means there's no stalk. The third polyp was 1.0 cm in size and "penunculated" which I think means there is a stalk. It said he was able to remove the 3 polyps cleanly.

The report said all 3 polyps were "benign-looking" so that sounds good but I guess I'll have to wait until my follow up visit to know for sure these polyps aren't cancerous.

 

A great deal has happened since I first posted.

I learned that I've been poisoned by a contaminated Brita water filter pitcher that I bought brand new in April.

I grew extremely sick with severe nausea, loss of appetite, mounting fatigue and losing 20 pounds over the last 2 weeks. I feel certain going nuts with worry over a possible cancer diagnosis has been a big factor in my illness too.

My family doctor prescribed a medication called Zofran that has been like a miracle drug allowing me to get through the day without extreme distress.

After many tests including blood, urine, stool, ultrasound, etc. the doctor found that I have gall stones and will have to have my gall bladder removed as soon as possible.

I want to warn everyone to be extremely wary of these Brita water filter pitchers. The one I bought made both myself and my wife sick within days after drinking from it.

We followed the directions on setting the pitcher up carefully and the insertable filter was brand new. Fortunately my wife drinks a lot less water than I do and has already made a full recovery.

 

Again, I want to thank you all for your kind help and support. The information you provide here is invaluable.

The advice several of you gave me turned out to be right on the money. A thousand thanks.

Good luck to everyone. May all your days be sunny.

Lanny

SonicSedition's picture
SonicSedition
Posts: 30
Joined: May 2018

Hey Lanny, sorry to here about your issues, but at least you were spared the cancer diagnoses. I've been using a Brita pitcher for years. What did they determine was the issue? Mold? Cheap overseas contaminated filter?

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you sir.

I drank from the new pitcher for almost a month before my wife and I put two and two together that the pitcher was causing our severe illnesses. I also had moderate to severe pain in both shoulders upon waking in the morning and my wife had severe dental pain in all her teeth within a few days after beginning drinking from the pitcher.

I Googled "Brita water filter made me sick" and was met with hundreds of reports from individuals having severe GI problems after drinking from the Brita system. Two websites that had the most reports were consumeraffairs.com and a site called beatingupwind.com.

It is rather peculiar because like you, my wife and I had a similar Brita pitcher about 20 years ago, drank from it for several years and never had a problem. Can't help but think there may be cheap counterfeit knockoffs on the market now?

I stopped drinking from the pitcher on May 11th and now I'm finally beginning to get back to normal. My appetite is much better, the fatigue has lessened but I still have to take Zofran every 12 hours to combat nausea. I feel certain I was worrying myself sick about cancer too because after I got the colonoscopy report, it was like an emotional dam had broken. Several of the members here warned me not to worry so much and they were right.

We had the pitcher, filter and water tested at a reputable laboratory and the water test came back contaminated with bacteria and bacterial toxins. Apparently these filters also use silver particles in the filtration process and a defective filter could possibly release a toxic dose of silver into the water that's invisible to the naked eye. Of course silver is a heavy metal and we're suspicious this is what caused my shoulder pain and my wife's severe dental pain. The lab is still looking for evidence of silver contamination. We may have consumed it all.

Thank you again sir for posting. Hope you're doing well.

Lanny

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4851
Joined: Jan 2013

It's looking good for you to be Cancer clear.  Will post my special little man when you get back to us.

But I am sorry for all of your other problems. How awful to get poisoned by something you purchase to stay healthy.  That is awful!  I use a Shaklee water filter, and now I will be extra wary when I put in a new filter.   Goodness sakes, you just can't win, sometimes. 

I'm glad the Zofran worked. I took that during chemo, and it worked well for me, as well. 

Good luck with the upcoming surgery. I hope its keyhole, and easy recovery. 

May your days be sunny also. 

Tru

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Tru, your kindness is greatly appreciated. Thanks also for the positive prognosis.

My family doctor said the gallbladder removal should be keyhole and I hope so. Got an appointment to consult with the surgeon tomorrow morning.

Good luck to you also Tru, you're a jewel.

Lanny

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm so happy for you that you're not dealing with cancer. It's great to be proactive about any concerns and to get checked. Early detection is key. Congratulations!

Jan 

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Thank you so much for helping me.

I hope and pray you're doing well and your health gets better and better.

You deserve it. Smile

Warm regards, Lanny

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6212
Joined: Feb 2009

So glad to hear the good news about the colonoscopy but sorry about the Brita water filter.  Wow you have been through some major issues in the last several weeks.  Glad you got the scope done - you can breath a sigh of relief.  Go out and celebrate the great news - you deserve it.  If you need anything further from us in the future, we are always an open door.

Kim

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Yes, it's been rather tough but you wonderful folks here are the real troopers.

In only a few short days you've opened my eyes and for that I'm very grateful.

It's a good feeling to know that if I or any of my friends or family are in need they can come here.

The positive attitudes and fighting spirit that all of you have displayed is rare and to be truly admired.

Good luck to you always, Lanny

LannyP's picture
LannyP
Posts: 32
Joined: May 2018

Hello everyone,

I had a follow up visit with the gastroenterologist on Thursday and was very relieved to learn the polyp pathology came back negative.

I really can't express how kind and helpful each and every one of you have been.

I also hope more than anything that everyone's health is on the upswing and all your future days are positive.

God bless you all.

Lanny

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4851
Joined: Jan 2013

I think this part of a poem by  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow aptly describes our brief forum friendship.

'Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.'

I am happy that you are passing us by. A brief, intense for you, moment in your life shared with us. 

Fare-thee-well, Lanny; and may you future be bright and forever Cancer free.

Tru

 

Subscribe to Comments for "Worried about cancer diagnosis"