Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Symptoms of Colon Cancer...

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.


  1. Hi lovely Jen

    Thanks for sharing this and for posting the link to symptoms. I'm going to take a copy with me to the doctor next time.

    Big hug,

  2. Hi Jen

    Thanks for the information. We all need to be aware of our bodies and be on the look out for any signs of trouble.


  3. Thanks so much, Jen! Great link, too... will check out how to get checked up on w/my doctor.

    Really happy you got to celebrate Mother's Day with your two lovely boys - how sweet they were with cards, presents and vegemite!

    Take good care... you're sounding great these days and it's so good to hear :-)

    Chat soon...
    Cate in Cal

  4. Thank you so much for posting this. It will help people. God bless you!

  5. Thank you Jen for this information. Your choice to not waste your time on anger any more is really admirable. You keep on amazing me. (BTW... if you do want to contact Jill Bolte Taylor, she does have an email address on her website. Go on!)

  6. I placed the link at the top of YOUR SPOT on my blog Beautiful. With an "Urging" for my folks to look at the site. You did a good thing with that bit of intervention Jen.

    I also placed your "grateful list" there.

    And I am ever so grateful for You, My Precious. Loving You is the natural state of my breathing cycle ... Inhale, Love Jen ... Exhale, Love Jen.

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  8. hi jen. i've spent the last four days in the hospital with intestinal issues and it made me realize how much you must be suffering. i've thought about you a lot since i fell ill last week. saying a prayer for you now from a place of deeper knowing.

  9. Thank you so much Jen for the post and all the info. My dr. has been after me to get a test and I just have put it off and put it off.

    Your post has made me see how important it is so I will be calling to set the appointment now.

    I want you to know I will keep you in my prayers. I had no idea you had cancer.

    You are very strong woman. I can learn a lesson from you!

    God bless you and yours.

  10. Hi Jen,
    THANK YOU for this post, and I will certainly talk to my doctor about getting tested. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

  11. I did check out the website and the symptoms link. Thanks for posting the article. It is better to know than be in the dark.

  12. i didn't mean to sign in as anonymous - Muneera :)
    hope you are doing well and enjoying what is hopefully a beautiful day.

  13. you are such a beautiful and caring woman, jeni. thank you for this post. it is most important information. i am so thrilled to see you found kris carrs blog to be inspirational!! she truly is a warrior and so are you! i am so proud of you for all the leaps you are making for better health. every little step counts, that is the true beauty of creating a clean body...each day your cells are being fed true enzymes..a tonic of caring and love. you are just beautiful to me and one courageous and inspiring woman.

    love to you today!

  14. Thank you for sharing that link with us Jen, I will definitly check it out.
    I love the idea of a 'things to be grateful for list', I know that top of minw would be having a wonderful person like you as my blogging friend ~ you are very special.
    Take care dear Jen,
    Love and hugs
    Tabitha XXX

  15. Jen, you are an angel to do this for all of us. I hope that our prayers can be a comfort to you, because you are surely a blessing to all.

  16. Oh, Jen...I am so happy to see your grateful posts! I can't even tell you how happy I am to read here...I had a "favorites" snafu and didn't realize you'd been posting lately! Anyway, your boy is so incredibly beautiful, as are you, and thank you so much for this post. I just know you are helping so many people in so many ways. You are amazing!! Wish I were your neighbor and I could come by and bring you some company and food and just talk. I adore you and think of you so often. Take care and look forward to hearing more from you soon.

  17. Thanks for the info Jen, got a nasty birthday with an "O" in it next week so I think its time to send the body in for an overhaul.
    I love your gratitude lists - I am grateful that you are here!

    K xx

  18. Jen - Thank you for being a resource, on this and so many things. I had a crazy dream last night that had to do with learning I was going to die within a few weeks, suddenly found myself making plans and preparations, and feeling sad that I wouldn't see my girls' faces when they were older. Woke up feeling jarred and quite alive.

    Love to you,

    xo J

  19. Jen,

    You are such an inspiration! It is so true, that although we as cancer patients cannot change the course of the diagnosis we have been given, we can help to prevent the furtherence of this disease by spreading the word.
    It amazes me how many people feel "awkward" when I tell them about my own diagnosis and subsequent treatments. It's not for a pity party, I just hope that one person may benefit from it.
    The best advice I can give (and have) anyone is to follow your intuition. Know your body and know when something doesn't seem right. Push, push and push further the doctors who will not listen....and they won't. Jen, you are so right when you say that if you don't fit into that exact little diagnosis box, they don't believe you. My cancer was diagnosed THREE times as a urinary tract infection by a general practictioner.....THREE times. And there was NO infection to be found...but he treated it as such.
    Jen, I wish you peace, love and harmony as you deal with the daily struggles of your condition. I know of many young women who also have been diagnosed with colon cancer at your age. It is prevalent and this step you are taking to educate is a blessing to all who read your blog.


  20. as always, you are an inspiration to many !!!

    and I love the "grateful" part of your makes me think how we should all take the time everyday to think about what we are grateful and thankful for !

  21. thank-you for being a voice of awareness about this.
    I love you dear one.

  22. It's silly, I know, but I just had to simply stick my head in and say "Hi Jen! I love You."

  23. Dear Jen,

    I just wanted to say hi and send some love your way.


  24. Hi, how are you today? Is it a beautiful weather day in Australia. How i wish i could visit. i'd love to see your beautiful country but afraid will probably never get to.
    sending love across the miles. here's making prayers for your health and for your family. regards to your family.

  25. God Bless You. Your story really touched my heart. I am sorry for you and so thankful that I found your story.
    Warmest Blessings