I am in Australia and we also have a big media drive on Colorectal screening. I turned 60 last Dec (2016), and hadn’t done one of the do-it-yourself screening tests that the Govt send out at various intervals depending on your age.
I had already decided that I was going to do the test this year, not because of any family connection ( as I am adopted I don’t know anything about any family history on anything), but I just had a feeling inside that I should do it.
However when the free screening pack arrived in the mail I wasn’t able to do it as I had had a big change in bowel habits and my stools had become so difficult to do plus when I did eventually manage to go with copious amounts of natural laxatives, my stools were so tiny and ribbon like ( or looked like tiny thin short sausages-sorry for the vivid descriptions!), that I was unable to do it as the paper you place on top of the water in the toilet just Went straight to underwater the minute these weird stools hit the plastic backed paper.
A short amount of time passed ( a month or two at most), and by now I was also finding it difficult to pass urine!?
BTW, I also have end stage Emphysema and it takes about 1/2 hour of pushing until I feel like I’m going to black out and so little strength to push even the tiniest ones out and also have to literally bend in every direction possible on the toilet to do even a tiny amount of either stools or urine!
I had already made an appointment with a surgeon hoping to get a Colonoscopy after one day deciding to cover my fingers with an enema type gel ‘liquid’ (as I was absolutely certain I could feel this aweful weight bearing down so strongly on me as if I had half passed a stool and it was stuck half in /out.
With a sense of disgust yet desperation I did it and omg, I felt this horrid lump the size of a tennis ball coming from the right side of my rectum and pushing its way across my rectum!
No wonder I was feeling what I was, and doing stools the size and shape they were!
When my appointment day finally arrived the Surgeon asked me about my symptoms then proceeded to basically try and do what I had done but because he couldn’t get far enough in he came to the conclusion that I must be packed with stools and gave me the same medicine they give you to drink as they do to clean you out before having a colonoscopy and told me to return in another 2 weeks!
I did as asked, however by now this already heavy lump felt even heavier ( even after my ‘clean out’, plus when I tried to feel it again I could only get in as far as halfway up my index finger nail!!
I returned for my 2nd appointment and he asked me “Did it do it’s job?”. ‘Yes( I said), but then I found myself straight back to square one straight away!”
Again he said ” Let me feel what’s going on!), in a rather exhausperated manner and when he did begin to feel it I nearly cried out with pain (which ISN’T ME!), and kept telling him how much pain he was causing me and begging him to stop!!
He continued without a word and eventually stopped when he felt like he was done whilst I was left in tears and agonising pain. The worst pain 2nd only to actually giving birth to each of my 5 children!
This time, instead of doing what I had expected, (ie: organising a Coloniscopy and biopsy), he sent me for a CT Scan and some blood tests…?
I asked him what he had felt inside me. I He said that I had a large mass BUT HE WOULDN’T BE TREATING IT!!???
I was absolutely shocked, still in horrendous pain, and asked him with tears in my eyes why he wouldn’t treat it. (Oh, he also spoke as if it was a forgone conclusion that it was definitely a cancerous mass!)
As to the reason why he wouldn’t treat the mass, he made a sweeping gesture of his arm ( I had my portable oxygen on), towards me and then almost indignantly and very coldly said, “Well look at the state of you!”
By then I was extremely upset, in crazy pain and ANGRY, , so I said “Oh, so because I’m already dying of Emphysema I’m just not worth treating then huh??!
Because I’m going to die anyway why waste your time and Govt money on alleviating my Cancer, yes??!”
He calmly and definitively said, “Well, basically YES, that’s exactly why!!”
My GP has since received the results of my blood test which she hadn’t yet read so read whilst I was there and gasped and said, “Oh no Miranda you have stage 3 KIDNEY DISEASE!!!”
I said, What??? THIS on top of whatever the mass is??? She was flabbergasted and just couldn’t believe how I had been treated by the Surgeon, and said This is so so wrong Miranda!! … Well, I just wanted to say “DUH!” Lol but she was only expressing her own shock, but hearing her say the obvious like that tempted me ALMOST too much! Lol..
This Friday ( It’s now Thursday), I have to go back to this ‘wonderful’ surgeon for the results of the scan, but what I find strange is that the results were already complete and had been sent to my yet to be seen Palliative Care Doctor…? Oh well.
I had already made my first appointment with her a little while ago but March 17th was the earliest time I could get,but after calling them with all the latest ‘news!’ they are going to try and fit me in as quickly as possible somehow.
Soo ( my sincere apologies for the length of this post!!), at this point in time I have to wait another couple of days to see this Surgeon (with the worst bedside manner I’ve come across), for my results, for which he says he is not going to treat anyway!
That’s my (very long:/), story, but from my heart I’m asking EVERYONE WHO HASN’T ALREADY DONE SO TO PLEASE PLEASE GET TESTED AS EARLY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN and CONTINUE to GET TESTED IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE EVEN THE TINIEST BIT!!
Love and understanding,