Colonoscopy Fears.

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The latest tests to discover why I am so anemic are on Monday. I had a phone call yesterday to say there had been a cancellation appointment that was being offered to me. I of course said yes, to get it over and done with! Today I received all the information regarding the appointment.

I am now worried!

I will be having a colonoscopy. For those that don’t know what that is, it is a camera going up your bum to have a look at what is going on in my intestines. The procedure itself seems pretty straight forward. I will be given a sedative so while I may be aware of what is going on, I will not really be with it enough to feel the discomfort of it all.

So why have they suggested this for me. There are a couple of reasons. It is known I have polyps in my stomach. These were discovered when I went through tests last year and I had an endoscopy. They took samples from them and there was no evidence of anything untoward about them. Apparently they are common with people who have gastric problems. I accepted they were there and haven’t given them much thought since that day. The thinking is that because I have them in my upper track, then they might also be in my lower tract. My GP thinks that if they are there, then it could be that there might be a bleeder which is causing my anemia. It makes sense to me!

The other reason they have decided to check this out, is because of my family history. My Dad died when he was in his mid sixtys from liver cancer which was a secondary cancer from bowel cancer. When he was diagnosed, he was told his liver was so badly damaged, they would imagine he had been unwell for up to 20 years without knowing it. This would have meant he became ill at about the age I am now. While family history is taken into account of deaths from cancer, it is usually only with young deaths – this is what my GP tells me, but because my Dad had been thought to be ill for so many years before it was discovered, it needs investigating.

This is what worries me.

My Dad was always well. He cycled every day. He took little alcohol, and hadn’t smoked since he was in his early 20’s. He loved apples and would happily eat 2 or 3 every day, but he hated veg with a passion and all he would eat was peas, but it was only every a small spoonful!!! So, he was a healthy person, and therefore as massive shock when he was diagnosed and died just a few months later.

I suppose I am lucky as because of what happened with my Dad, it flagged as something to be investigated when I presented with my symptoms. It is scary though. I think since it was mentioned, and I was referred to the hospital for the procedure, I have stayed positive. I totally believe in the idea of there is no point worrying about things until you really need to. However, getting the phone call yesterday, and the letter with instructions today, it brings it home to me. I have so many what ifs in my head. I have to push them to the side as I don’t want the boys to pick up on my sad mood. there is no point letting them worry about something that will come back as being another box ticking exercise in finding why my bloods are playing up!

As I read my instructions for the weekend, I did find the positive – you know I always like to look for that silver lining. I must have a restricted diet over the weekend. This means I have to give a miss to Hubbys Mums birthday tea on Saturday!!! I don’t think I could sit in a restaurant and not be able to eat what I felt like! Over the weekend, I am not allowed to eat anything that might take a while to go through my system, so in other words, I have to eat things that usually we would be saying aren’t good for you – white bread – no whole grain, white rice, no veggies, no fruit. I will be living on poached eggs on toast I think!!! I have special powders to take to clear me out, Sunday evening and Monday morning. Monday I am only allowed water or clear liquids. It says I have to drink a lot of water for the 48 hours before the procedure. My second silver lining is this has to be good for my diet!!!!

If any polyps are found they will take biopsies.   My GP tells me that if there are any of the type that could develop as cancerous, they take up to 10 years to actually turn nasty, so anything they find can be dealt with.    Anything they find will be discussed with me afterwards – the literature suggests having someone with you during the discussion because of being dopey due to the sedative – like anything could make me more dopey than I usually am!!!   If they find anything dodgy, it will take a couple of weeks for the results to come through.

So I am scared about what might be said, but I don’t feel unwell so I think that has to be a positive. I will worry until it is all over and done with. I will then be back at the doctors as she continues to come up with ideas about why they can’t find a reason for my anemia!

In the mean time, I don’t think we should be embarrassed to talk about our bums and our toileting. We all poo, it’s not something to be ashamed of. If you see anything different about your poo or any blood in it, go straight to see your doctor. Don’t be embarrassed, just do it as it could save your life!

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