Yucky question, lol, but have you thought about your colon lately?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yeah...I know. But around the Watercooler such subjects do come up occasionally and as you all know my life has been colon focused the past few months. Sigh.

    Simply because I care about the family I feel the need to share how important it is to think about how to avoid colon cancer. I've joined two Message Boards and, of course, have been reading alot. It honestly is downright scarey how many young men and women in their 20's and 30's have been diagnosed. The "average" suggested age for getting your first colonoscopy is 50. husband and I conformed and have gone every five years (yep, I messed up and went from 2006 to 2012 and have a problem). Yesterday a new woman posted on the Board that she had her first on her 50th birthday which was intended to provide a funny response when friends asked "what did you do for your birthday?" She had NO symptoms. They found stage #1 cancer...tho she had no family history, eats healthy, doesn't smoke etc. Chances are she will be fine but had she delayed the test the #1 could easily have grown to a dangerous number.

    I have no idea how a Mom is suppose to monitor an adult child. on the other hand it was heartbreaking to read of these young people who overlooked symptoms. I just want to give you guys a heads up. It's not a fun subject but really important. Hugs. DDD
     
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DDD, thank you. In my case, yes I have, but only because my paternal grandfather is a prostate cancer survivor as is father in law... husband gets to have his first colonoscopy this year, too. (bleah!)
     
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My paternal grandmother died from complications from stomach cancer. I have IBS. I had my first colonoscopy at 38. I'm supposed to get one every five to eight years (being mindful of symptoms) so I'm due within the next year or so. Oh joy!
     
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    They have pills available now so you don't have to drink that totally yucky stuff. It does make it less traumatic. DDD
     
  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Well, sad to say, the very idea of a colonostpy put me off having one. I should not have waited till I was 61 for my first, and that came about only because last Sept I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis - something that I think maybe its 50% of the population has, but a lot never has a problem with it. It develops when you don't have enough fiber in your diet, then you develop pockets (aka holes) in your colon because food just sits there for a while. Pain started in the lower left part of my abdomen - I thought I had a kidney infection, or maybe a cyst on my overy. I was back and forth to the doctor as I did have a kidney infection but it was because I had a blockage in my colon that was blocking my kidney from functioning, When I finally had to go have the colonostpy, it blew out one of those holes which was still infected, and the infection went into my abdomen, hense my emergency surgery in January where they removed not just a blockage, but a mass that affected my kidney- I lost my overies, tubes, appendex, my small colon, part of my bowel -thankfully it wasn't cancerous, but I almost died from the infection. I had to have another colonostpy in May for my re-section and to get rid of the colonostphy bag, and had to be sedated over the very idea. It turned out ok - found one polup that wasn't cancerous, but will have to have an annual one for another couple of years.

    Cancer runs in my family, my younger brother (54) and an aunt died from pancreatic cancer. I knew this but still blew it off as what DDD says, the very idea is "yucky" -but not having one is like playing russan roulette. I am on some diverticulitis boards, and am amazed by people in their late 20's early 30's that have this disease as well.

    So yucky or not, would urge everyone to just donate a day fasting and drinking that horrible "stuff" and get this test done-the end result of not having it is not good

    Marcie
     
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Marcie I'm so glad you were lucky...although it must have been hell going through all that. Your point is the scarey part and let's hope the family takes it to heart. Very very often there are no definitive indications that a major problem exists. Everyone "thinks" you have bloody stools or excruitiating pain. Even more frightening everyone believes that a trip to the Dr's provides "the" answer. I'm sure that on your Div. Board you frequently read of missed diagnoses (or is it "sis", lol) with dire results. I hope our family members don't delay. Hugs DDD
     
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you DDD and I agree this is such an important test. I had mine three years ago and he said since everything was ok I didn't needd to repeat it for ten years. I guess that's,wrongheaded on your experience.husband gets one every three years because he had polyps.

    Nancy
     
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Another thing 50% of the population has is H. Pylori in their system. I will now forever test positive for it. In order to find out if there are active lesions I have to have another endoscopy. I need to make another appointment with the GI doctor because I was so sick I simply forgot that appointment. Yeah..not good. Im sure they will want me to do the colonoscopy. I guess I can do that since I know now what the endo was like as long as they put me out again. I will ask for the pills though. Drinking that Go Lightly was simply nasty and I think my motility is really slow.

    This summer has shown me I dont want to take anything for granted with my gut.
     
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good idea to get checked, Janet. I was knocked out and had the endoscopy and the colonoscopy at the same time. I was afraid of the endoscopy but I had NO memory of either exam. Yeah, drugs. LOL DDD
     
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would be afraid of both!
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hound Dog, they totally put you out for the colonosopy. It was a very easy test...I slept through it :) It's not something to be afraid of. Please have one and don't be afraid. We will hold your hand, cyber-wise, that is :)
     
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    About 12 years ago I had my first one- at age 34. At first I had to go every 5 years, but then that changed to every three years once they found a few polyps. The dr. just changed it to every 2 years after finding a 4mm thing that came back fine after a biopsy in June. I always wonder what would have happened if I never went, and now those polyps were huge or worse. Serioulsy ladies, take your health in your own hands.

    Also, I take those pills, you don't have to drink any of that nasty liquid. Just water with those pills. It's not that bad. My sister in law just had one today, she is in her early 40's. The reason was her father died of colon cancer, nothing was wrong.
     
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey I want those pills to help anyway...lol. With all the pain pills I take, those pills would help things along. What are the names of them? Not reglan is it? I take those anyway.

    What kills me about the whole testing thing is you cant drink anything the day of. Im sorry, I smoke and I cant smoke without drinking at least a little bit of diet coke...lol.
     
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Schedule "the procedure" for first thing in the AM. You have to check into the outpatient center or the hospital an hour or so before the scheduled time. If I remember correctly you can brush your teeth and take required AM pills so you are not going to be "dry" for long. I can't remember the name but I think there is only one Rx pill at my pharmacy so just make a call and ask your drug store.

    by the way, lol, since I'm being such a smarty pants today. I'm using the Walgreens brand of Nictorette tablets with success....not with happiness...but success. I bought the lowest dose (around $20 bucks) and I break them in half. When I feel the need I suck one of those things. I think I've made it seven months now.

    Don't you just hate a "know it all". :) DDD
     
  15. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Those pills are a perscriptions, like the exact thing you have drink but in a pill form. They are huge and you take like 4 at a time every 15 minutes for 6 times. And then you do the same thing in like 6 hours. You do have to drink a lot of water in between each set of pills- but I would take that any day over drinking that yucky stuff.
     
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Amen! :) DDD
     
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD good for you, seven months YAY!!!!!!

    Nancy
     
  18. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    I was given a third option besides the yucky liquid and the pills. I was told I could take four Dulcolax and then Miralax mixed with Gatorade, several eight-ounce glasses downed over the course of several hours. I've used that combination the last two times and it hasn't been all that bad.
     
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I had to take pills and drink two different kinds of yucky stuff. ACK! I did have my lower GI this year, and was told to come back in 10 years.

    The lower GI is the best tool, but people are reluctant to do it and insurance probably won't pay for it if you are under 50 and don't have very real symptoms. They'd more than likely fight it. There's also the option of using a FIT test, which can be done at home and costs only $8. They should be done annually. Regular screening with the FIT kit drastically reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is a hard sell the first time you get it done. I can't imagine that I'll be anxious to make that appointment in 10 years. I'll probably coordinate with my doctor for an alternative test.

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/05/10/healthwatch-8-alternative-to-colonoscopy/
     
  20. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    DDD,

    Thank you for the reminder. I had to have a colonoscopy about 13 years ago because of some bleeding. Luckily the results were negative. I was told to have the procedure repeated in 10 years. It's now been 13 years - I need to make an appointment!

    After husband had his heart attack I stopped taking care of my health, concentrated on his - However, it's been over 3 years since his heart attack, we finally have excellent health insurance paid for by his employer (a first!!), and I have no excuse for neglecting my health.

    Thanks for telling us about the pill that can be substituted for that horrible drink. I hit the jackpot when I had to take it - I was lucky enough to receive some from a defective batch. I got a phone call from the pharmacy a day after the procedure to tell me not to use it, to bring it back and exchange it. Too late, lol... I guess it worked alright because the gastro doctor didn't say anything to me except that the results were fine.

    Thanks again for this wake-up call! SFR
     
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