Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Anxiously Awaiting Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy Results

Anxiously Awaiting Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy Results

Posted by Lucky-Asparagus on Dec 4, 2020 9:00 pm

Hello everyone. I don't want to write out a novel for you all, but I do want to write out as many facts as I can, so please bear with me.

To start, let me say that I am a healthcare worker...a lab technician specifically. I have a pretty good understanding of the how the human body works and disease processes, etc. This may be to my detriment, as I am pretty sure that many of my physicians over the years have considered that I am a hypochondriac, when really, I just feel that I am either fortunate or unfortunate enough to know what could possibly be wrong with me when I experience symptoms.

It has only been in the last couple of years that my concerns about cancer started to really be something that I thought about. No concerned that I HAVE cancer, but that I will, eventually. The reason I say this is because my family history, frankly, is terrifying. To start, 3 grandparents died of colon cancer in their 60's/70's. My fourth grandparent had cancer, but died to hear disease first. On my maternal side, I had an Uncle who died of cancer (possibly stomach) at the age of 33, and in the past 3 years I have had three Aunt's diagnosed with cancer, two with breast cancer and one with Lymphoma. I also had two cousins diagnosed this past year with Lymphoma and breast cancer. On my paternal side, one Uncle lost a kidney to cancer and one of my cousins survived breast cancer in her 20's.

So...you can see with a family history like that, it is hard not to consider that cancer runs strongly in my genes. 

Anyhow, what really brings me here is that about 2.5 years ago, my iron deficiency (that I had for several years prior) finally turned into anemia. My hemobglobin started to drop over a course of a few months to the point that I was referred for a course of iron infusions before I became in need of a blood transfusion. The infusions worked well, I was no longer anemic. My GP has continued to monitor my iron and ferritin levels and over the last years, they have once again depleted. I have currently on week 4/5 of another round of iron infusions. Although my hemoglobin had not yet dropped significantly, I have experienced debilitating chronic fatigue over the past year and my GP had hoped that getting my iron and ferritin levels up would help. My ferritin was checked this week and is going up nicely, but my fatigue has not improved in the slightest. She is also concerned because after evaluating my diet, she feels that there is no explanation as to why my iron/ferritin levels are so unstable. 

I also have severe GERD. Being that my last gastroscopy was over 3 years ago and my last colonoscopy was over 9 years ago (both completely normal), she felt it was a good idea to refer me for both. 

I went this past Tuesday for my scopes and I am not entirely too sure what to think. On one hand, the pathology was not sent as urgent and the surgeon made no mention of any tumors or anything of significance, so that surely must be good news? However, during the colonoscopy, the doctor removed one polyp and made a comment to the nurse while taking a biopsy that "that is not the colon". During my gastroscopy, he removed what both he and the nurse stated was a large polyp. I was told to make a telephone appointment with him in 4 weeks time, so my initial thoughts are that everything must be okay if there in no hurry. But I can't help but be concerned by his comment when taking the biopsy.

Aside from the iron deficiency, I have had diarrhea or loose stools with urgency several times a day for the past several months. I have also experienced nausea occasionally off and on for the past several month and of course have severe fatigue that has gotten worse over the past year. The only time I have any bleeding from the rectum is when I get constipated (which I believe is due to an anal fissure that I have had for years). I have always had difficulty with bowel movements, though for years the difficulty was constipation...now  of course, it is diarrhea. 

With all of this information...I am aware that all I can do is wait for the pathology results to truly know anything. But are my experiences at all similar to anyone here? Can anyone give me reassurance and help to ease my anxiety? 

Re: Anxiously Awaiting Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy Results

Posted by Whitelilies on Dec 4, 2020 9:15 pm

Lucky-Asparagus‍ Hello and welcome to our caring site....we are here to listen and support and we care......
Knowledge is power.....and yes you have knowledge.....your field of work.
I am sorry to hear of all your family members, and cancer in their lives.
Please.....don't put the cart before the horse.
Waiting, these 4 weeks, is hard...we get it......but you need to "know" what they saw...what they found.....these reports take time...as you know......add covid into the mix, and it may take more time.....
Perhaps vacuum?
Perhaps mop all around?
Perhaps clean the pantry?
I know it is NOT exciting all around....but will help pass the time....and please laugh at my list!  Your place will be immaculate !
Wherever we are, on the cancer journey...we wait....for appts....for calls....for tests.....for test results....for scans....and so on.....we must "accept" waiting.

I am on the colon cancer journey ....diagnosed at 56 (2018).......instead of sharing "Details"...I will hold ; I wish to wait, alongside you...for your results......it may be nothing!
So extra worry, extra stress is not good for your health/mental health.
Use this "time" to your advantage!.....take long walks.....call friends......watch Netflix......bake a gluten free cake.....(please don't google !)

I understand all your worries and emotions....I have them too......but right now.....await word from Dr (GI)....as to findings.

We are with you....you are not alone.

Regards
Whitelilies

Lillian

Re: Anxiously Awaiting Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy Results

Posted by Boby1511 on Dec 5, 2020 8:15 pm

Lucky-Asparagus‍ 
hi there.
I too had to wait 4 weeks for the pathology report. Gotta say that I was never anxious (then). I was certainly anxious after the results. But I had bad news. I would try to stay busy or get some "mood drugs" to help you along. You can't change the results and you can't hurry the pathology along as you know. If you do get a cancer diagnosis there will be little else on your mind for a long while. So I'd give yourself a break and put it to the back.
Wishing you all the best.

Re: Anxiously Awaiting Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy Results

Posted by Lucky-Asparagus on Dec 5, 2020 8:50 pm

Boby1511:
Lucky-Asparagus‍ 
hi there.
I too had to wait 4 weeks for the pathology report. Gotta say that I was never anxious (then). I was certainly anxious after the results. But I had bad news. I would try to stay busy or get some "mood drugs" to help you along. You can't change the results and you can't hurry the pathology along as you know. If you do get a cancer diagnosis there will be little else on your mind for a long while. So I'd give yourself a break and put it to the back.
Wishing you all the best.

Did you have any indication at the time of your colonoscopy that you might receive negative news? I have read about a lot of people who go in and the surgeon finds a very obvious tumour and they know that day that they are dealing with colon cancer in some degree. I haven’t heard a lot of stories similar to mine where only polyps and small biopsies were removed only to learn that they had cancer after the pathology came back. 

Re: Anxiously Awaiting Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy Results

Posted by Boby1511 on Dec 6, 2020 12:00 am

Lucky-Asparagus‍ 
I'm sorry if I left you with the wrong impression. I had a 28cm tumor removed by surgery. Although they were not calling it cancer before surgery. There were some indication it may be cancer...After surgery my surgeon indicated that it was likely cancer. He was an oncology surgeon. But said we would have to wait the 4 weeks for the pathology to know for sure. Although throughout my illness which began in Nov 2019 I was never very anxious. I waited the 4 weeks was told cancer, again I was not that anxious, they told me good margins and chemo would be for preventative measures.
I did however lose my mind a little hearing it was terminal cancer in July 2019 (recurrence). I have since gotten better mentally. My palliative care doc offered mood drugs but I have so far declined. I will likely need them once my tumor starts growing again. 

Your feelings are very valid. I feel your anxiety and fear.
I just wanted to suggest to refocus your thoughts and energy, to not be too hard on yourself. It could not be cancer. Stress can't be that good for your health. 

Cancer can have treatment options. My docs thought my chemo would do nothing, but it did stop the growth of my tumor and diminished the fluid down there. I have also survived a bout of ascites. I may even try radiation in Jan (haven't decided). Docs have also picked out my next chemo 🙁 (although I'm on the fence about trying chemo again).

So my story is not meant to alarm you. I had a large tumor by most surgeon's standards. I just wanted to stay we have no control of the outcome of these things, we also can't hurry along that pathology. Enjoy the time you have off of cancer. If it is cancer you will have enough stress filled days.

 

Re: Anxiously Awaiting Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy Results

Posted by Genny on Dec 30, 2020 11:18 am

Lucky-Asparagus so sorry to hear you are in such a situation.  You would think your symptoms would be enough to hurry the doctors to a diagnosis but they have to follow protocol and get those results!

I was wondering, did your GP ever give a reason for your low hemoglobin?  Mine is on the low side too and he is monitoring to make sure it doesn't get any lower as he thinks it could indicate  internal bleeding.  I'm going for another blood test today.

The waiting game is not a game.  It plays havoc with your mind and where it  goes to during the wait.  The only positive thing I can say is, isn't it amazing that we have all these tests that get us to a diagnosis?  Without them, there would be a lot more deaths to cancer.

Stay strong Lucky and I hope you don't have to wait much longer!