Hi. I have never posted before and I’ve wanted to for a long time. I have suffered with HA for at least 20 years (I’m 51) and I’ve done all kinds of therapy and take medication. I understand how to manage it but there are times when it can get the better of me. My sister (age 50) went to the hospital about a month ago because she was feeling terrible (and had been for weeks) and had continued to worsen. She thought she might have COVID. Turns out she has Stage IV colon cancer that had perforated her bowel and I’ve been a mess ever since. She’s out of the hospital, receiving chemo and seems to be adjusting well. I, however, am not doing so great. I’m terrified that I have it too. We have minimal cancer on both sides of our family, all after age 65 and all survived to old age. Never CC. There is no evidence that her cancer is hereditary.
She started to have symptoms about a year prior (blood in stool) and ignored it. She also had some GI issues she dismissed as IBS. I too suffer from IBS and have for many, many years. I have experienced any number of shapes, shades, sizes and consistency of stool over the years. I have always had unstable bowel habits. I don’t think I would know or recognize a “change in bowel habits”.
I am hypothyroid and see my GP regularly. All my bloodwork is fine. But, about 3-4 years ago I began having a mild, stitch like pain on my lower left side (pelvic region). Almost like a dull, pulling, stretch like sensation. It would come and go usually around my menstrual cycle. I dismissed it for this reason. I have not been to my OB/GYN since then (likely out of fear). It comes and goes, lasting about a week and never worsens. Sometimes I go months without it happening. It has started up in earnest since my sister’s diagnosis (still intermittent and mild).
I should have had my colonoscopy last year when I turned 50 and then COVID struck. I turned 51 in May and my sister turned 50 in April. Regardless, I now have my colonoscopy scheduled for next Thursday. Before now I would have been at average risk of CC and the timing for my first colonoscopy would be adequate. Now I have a first-degree relative with CC at a relatively young age and feel like my timing for the procedure is now way too late. All this to say that I’m terrified that all the symptoms I’ve had over the years and my sister’s diagnosis is confirmation that I have CC.