Yes, it is important that I share with you the symptoms of colon cancer. Now if you have a couple of the symptoms don't panic because most of them can be caused by things other than cancer. It is best to get regular screenings rather than rely on symptoms to alert you to the presence of a tumor. This is because colon cancer can grow for years before causing any symptoms. But, knowing what to look out for can't hurt. The sensible thing to do, is not to panic at all, phone your doctor and make an appointment, tell your doctor what symptoms you have and then leave it to your doctor to organize appropriate tests for you. If your doctor doesn't seem efficient in regards to testing you, be very firm and assertive and tell him that you would really appreciate having the tests done as you are quite concerned. Don't be bullied into not having tests, or talked out of it by being told what you want to hear. A lot of Doctors were trained a long time ago and they were taught that colon cancer really only presented in men over 50 years of age. NOT TRUE ANYMORE. Colon cancer, bowel cancer, rectal cancer, are all becoming more common in the Western World so it is something you need to keep in mind, it is also presenting in younger and younger people. Put it this way, I was around 33-34 when diagnosed and there are people presenting with it younger than I am and they are women.
By the way, if any doctor tells you that you should have regular screenings starting at age 50 then be alarmed and perhaps find a new doctor. The fact that I was only 33 when I got diagnosed proves that it can be found in people much younger than 50. It also used to be primarily men that got colorectal cancer, now it seems more and more women are being diagnosed with it. It really is a terrible form of cancer, it can develop from having pollops in the bowel, which are very common, however, if they are found early enough it is just a matter of scraping them and then coming back every year or so to check up and perhaps have the same procedure done. Unfortunately mine didn't get found for at least 12 months from the time symptoms were present because no-one believed that a woman my age could have that kind of cancer. In fact one of my doctors said to me and I quote "it will be a thousand other things before cancer." That's the trouble, the symptoms can be related to many other things and so if you present and you don't fit the neat little description medical practitioners have of what they thought was a 'typical' bowel cancer patient, then you get tested for everything but what you need testing for which is the one that can kill you, the one that is killing me (or trying it's darndest) as I type this to you. There isn't any point in my getting angry about it anymore because there is nothing I can do about the fact that they wasted one year of my life (giving an aggressive tumor 12 extra months to do its damage) not even bothering to do a colonoscopy just in case. I have been very angry at different stages don't get me wrong but you know what, it can't give me my life back, it can't give Jack back a Mother, it can't replace the years of hurt and pain and fear and surgery and chemo and radiation and not being well enough to take my baby to the park, I could go on and on but there is absolutely no use, it won't change a thing. What I can do is try and alert other people so perhaps someone else won't have to go through something as horrific as this has been for me. I really hope it does alert even just one person who may have been having some of these symptoms, if someone else can find it early then I will feel somewhat vindicated. Not completely, never that, but somewhat. The, I guess you'd say, ironic thing is, that if it's found early enough bowel cancer is quite easy to treat and you have a fantastic chance of survival.
Now, I think what I may do is just give you the link to a medical site where all the information you could possibly need is already set out for you, with great links and I think even some photographs for those of you that are not faint of heart. Here is the link:
There, I think this is the best way then you know that it is coming from professional sources and not just some woman (me) that has had symptoms that may or may not be the same as yours (if you have them of course and I hope you don't). I am still more than happy to discuss with anyone my thoughts and findings if they feel they would like to actually 'talk' to someone real who has had symptoms and even had them overlooked. As I said earlier in this post, please do not hesitate to email me or post in the comment section if you would like more information or to discuss it further with me.
Take care of yourselves and each other. (I think I may start my 'things I'm grateful for today' section at the end of each post again. I kind of just forgot about it with all the commotion of Hospice and the pain and I guess maybe I was forgetting to even be grateful at that point in time. So, on that note...
Things I am Grateful For Today..
I am still alive to be with my sons.
I have the most wonderful nurse in the world coming to see me this morning and I really, really need to talk to her.
I am able to be at home with my boys lately.
I have the best blog readers and Internet friends in the world. I have a roof over my head, food in the cupboard, heat, water and medical attention.