Sunday, 23 December 2007

2006 December 10th

The big P or the big C? Bowel Cancer
Current mood: scared
Category: Life

Well it's two months now since I started making several times daily trips to the loo - and bleeding from where the sun don't shine!

Dr No 1: - heres a sample bottle, we'll test for bugs, probably something you ate.....or a virus.

Results_ - nish. No campylobacter, no salmonella, no e-coli etc. Nothing.

Dr No2: - it's either something you ate or a virus. Drink lucozade and those pro-biotic yoghurt things.

Me: So I shouldn't worry about the constant bleeding and mucous then?

Dr No2: - you can worry all you like but I'm not going to do anything about it.

Hmm, try typing persistent diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, mucous, change in bowel habits into any search engine and every one of them says in a nutshell. GET IT CHECKED OUT, BLOOD IS RED FOR A REASON IT'S A WARNING.

Ok time for
Dr No3: - I think we should take a look, if you don't mind (mind, mind, you mean you're taking me seriously?) I'll get a chaperone.

It's not bleeding haemorrhoids - OK well I knew that, but nice to have it confirmed, there's no obvious signs of what the trouble is. I need to look further up, then if that still shows nothing we'll book you in for a proper look with a camera. I'm not looking for a tumour, but I'm looking for inflammatory bowel disease, or at least trying to eliminate it, you'll feel rubbish until we get you sorted out, but need to be sure before I can treat you.

Great, I don't feel like an idiot, a time waster, attention seeker or hypochondriac. He's a lovely man, also in my humble opinion a bloody decent doctor!

2 weeks later

Following a day of strict bland food and little of it, plain fish, boiled spuds OR bread and plain soup and jelly. Two self administered enemas later (oh what fun going from chemist to chemist clutching a prescription to find some in stock)

Dr No 3: Now it's very unlikely we'll find anything today but if not we can send you for a colonoscopy at the hospital........oh.....I can see a polyp........and it's bleeding.

Me: sobs silently, it's a tumour, it's a tumour.

Most of them are harmless, it's not on a stalk, need to get them all removed so no point wasting time with a barium x-ray (phew) I'll refer you, don't worry if I thought it looked obviously bad news I'd say so.

The nurse was lovely, took blood samples (not anaemia causing constant tiredness and dizziness) and Dr comes back in and very calmly manouvres conversation to music - as if he has all afternoon to chat to me. I leave feeling calmer, but only make it to my friend's house round the corner before panic sets in.

What if it's cancer? Most polyps are benign, even bleeding ones though they're uncommon. 30% of 50+ year olds have them (I'm 36). My diet is good, OK I drink and used to smoke, a lot, for many years. I don't excercise much now but used to walk miles, go to the gym, cycle. I'll started jogging again, when I'm not dizzy. I'm too young.

I see the surgeon who specialises in this area (gut stuff, nice) on Tuesday - more health questions no doubt but hopefully an idea of when I'll have the colonoscopy and if they're small enough, have the polyp(s) removed. If they're benign I should never get bowel cancer, it'll never spread to my lymph nodes or other internal organs and kill me quietly. My family will be checked regularly because of this. Whatever happens someone's life will undoubtedly be protected because I ignored two doctors.

Will keep you informed..........

Well things are "moving" along very fast, though if we're talking about my "movement" they're also pretty fast and frequent, small, multiple and bloody.

Surgeon said he's booked up for two months but wants to see me soon, i.e. in two days. That was today.

Breafast only, then nil by mouth after - arrived at 3.30pm - bp good, general health good. Undressed, enema administered followed by quick dart to the loo, followed by another (pink watery stuff) and then finally when everyone else had gone - I was tagged on to his surgery, it was my turn. Can pad this out later, but it's not a teeny weeny little bobble that can be snared off, but quite lumpy and sprawling (I was watching). I've emptied a few spoonfuls of blood into the toilet so far, as I bled quite a lot after they took biopsies. Hoping the CAT scan he's ordered will be in time to go through the lab results on 9th January. Expect next update then!

Posted by Lisa on Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 20:13

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