Colon Cancer

One of my Cowdens peeps asked if I would blog about my colon cancer. I was not sure I wanted to or anyone would want to read about it.

My husband said if she wanted to know there would be others. So for Colon Cancer Month, my Cowden peeps,

my family,

my colon peeps at the Colon Club

this blog is for you.

To my brother Ron and my sister Beth if you skip this one I understand, and yes I learned my lesson. Love Tami

Colon Cancer

Labor Day weekend 2008, I broke my ankle in the parking lot at work. That was the last day I was able to work. While still in the boot for my ankle, I had heart failure problems.

The hear failure problems were bad enough that I was in the Cleveland

Clinic ICU. The ICU had  monitors I needed. While in the ICU I got a couple of visits from J telling me about Cowden’s Syndrome  that someone thought I might have.

The first visit  J measured my head talked about breast cancer,thyroid problems and PTEN genes. I listened. The next visit she  brought Dr. Eng with her. I asked lots of questions.

The odd thing to me was why would anyone want to study about me. I finally had the blood drawn and everyone left me alone.  When I started to feel better I realized I forgot to ask, how much does this test cost and who pays for it?

I went home with my heart failure issues under control, but crossing my figures about the bill.

My symptoms started out slow. I had cramping and belly pain. This pain got worse over time. After awhile an upset stomach seemed normal.

Horrible night sweats I had those to. When they first started I thought the night sweats were just more hot flashes. But the night sweats were so bad I had to change pajamas and move to the other bed.

Them after sweating so bad I would get bad chills. When I had every blanket on the bed and my teeth were still chattering I took my temperature. It was 103.7.

I also LOTS of bloating and loud stinky gas. The bloating and gas got so bad I made sure when I got on the treadmill I was around people with headsets on.

My house keeping started to slip because I was really really tired. Along about this time I found out if we committed to Weight Watchers for 15 weeks our insurance would give us a rebate on the cost.

That sounded good. So we started Weight Watchers. But I was not hungry. Food looked terrible. I would forget to eat at work. Most nights I put half a portion on my plate and only was able to eat half of that.

I lost weight but never tried. Since 2008 I have yet to count a point. I lost a little over 40 pounds and have kept it off.

  Irregular bowel movements, I had those too. Sometimes there was blood on the stool, other times there was blood on the tissue or bloody diarrhea.

I had rectal bleeding.  The rectal bleeding got really bad. I use to describe the toilet bowl has looking like red paint had been spilled in the toilet.There were time it was hard to get the rectal bleeding to stop.

 Then I would be fine for a couple of months. The rectal bleeding would start-up again.  A week or two would go by. I would look up  doctors again and get another appointment at least a month away.

All the doctors sent papers about what your symptoms are.  More rectal bleeding. Then everything would be fine for a while.

My ankle got better. I went to one session of ankle rehab. Then the worst back pain showed up. Pain so bad I could hardly move.

Pain so bad I was back in Cleveland Clinic. The pain ended up being a blood infection. The blood infection was treated with around the clock IV’s. I went home with a Pic Line.

 I had my one and only colonoscopy in the hospital. That’s where they found the colon cancer. At that time I  had a spot on my lungs and a spot on my liver. When all was said and done the live and lung spot disappeared before chemo.

So I was stage 3c. Please have your colonoscopy. Then do what the doctor says. So you do not end up with colon cancer. My doctor said you never want to jump from screening to treatment. I know first hand how right he is.

I found out at the pre-op visit for colon surgery I had Cowden’s Syndrome.

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