Worried about cancer diagnosis

LannyP
LannyP Member Posts: 32

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

 

 

«13

Comments

  • Tunadog
    Tunadog Member Posts: 235
    I was told different stages..

    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

  • Lily Flower
    Lily Flower Member Posts: 256 Member
    Welcome!

    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!

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,272 Member
    Live now

    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
    LannyP Member Posts: 32
    Tunadog said:

    I was told different stages..

    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

    Thanks Tunadog

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

    Did you have any symptoms like mine before your diagnosis?

  • LannyP
    LannyP Member Posts: 32

    Welcome!

    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!

    Lily - thank you

    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.

  • LannyP
    LannyP Member Posts: 32

    Live now

    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.

    Wise words

    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
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478
    Hi Lanny! Blood can be seen

    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

  • Woodytele
    Woodytele Member Posts: 163
    I agree

    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. 

  • Tunadog
    Tunadog Member Posts: 235
    Tunadog said:

    I was told different stages..

    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

    No bleeding for me prior to diagnosis..

    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

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,643 Member
    Stages

    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

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    Welcome

    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

  • BRHMichigan
    BRHMichigan Member Posts: 368
    Glad you're acting fast

    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
    LannyP Member Posts: 32
    JanJan63 said:

    Hi Lanny! Blood can be seen

    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

    Thank you Jan

    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]

  • LannyP
    LannyP Member Posts: 32
    Woodytele said:

    I agree

    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. 

    Member's support means a great deal

    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.

  • LannyP
    LannyP Member Posts: 32
    Tunadog said:

    No bleeding for me prior to diagnosis..

    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

    Thanks again Tunadog

    Thanks again sir for sharing your experience.

    Hope you're doing well.

  • LannyP
    LannyP Member Posts: 32
    Trubrit said:

    Stages

    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

    Thanks for your generosity

    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.

  • LannyP
    LannyP Member Posts: 32

    Welcome

    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

    Hello Kim

    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]

  • LannyP
    LannyP Member Posts: 32

    Glad you're acting fast

    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!

    Appreciate it a lot BRH...

    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
    Phoenix_66 Member Posts: 118
    Welcome

    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
    LannyP Member Posts: 32

    Welcome

    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. 

    Phoenix - thank you

    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