I REALLY NEED SOME ADVICE. I AM SO SCARED. PLEASE. I FEEL LIKE CRYING!colon cancer fear depression anxiety stress fatty liver stool changes medication side effects possible IBS crying
Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:23 AM
Hello everyone. Just a heads up, this is a pretty long post. I truly appreciate anyone who will take the time and read it because I am so terrified I am literally holding back the tears> I was crying my eyes out this morning.
A little background on myself. I am 32, I will be 33 December 22. At this time I was 31 and 210 pounds.
In February of 2015 I went to the doctor for a slight soreness in my upper left chest. It wasn't too bad, but I hadn't been to the doctor in about 6 years or so. I went to one of those walk in clinics as I did not have a primary doctor at the time. The doctor had me squeeze her hands which was making sure I was not having a heart attack or something. Then she did an EKG, which showed that I had an extra heartbeat and a possible left atrial enlargement, which they weren't concerned with and said it was probably because I was nervous which I am anytime I have to go to a doctor. The doctor then did a CBC (complete blood count). when the results came in the next day, my cholesterol was high, but not high enough to be on medication for. The doctor then asked me if I drink. I told her only some beers at night, no hard alcohol at all. She told me my liver enzymes were elevated. My AST was 124 and my ALT was 319. They decided to repeat the test, this time only doing a full liver panel including Hepatitis A, B, and C. They also looked at my GGTP. The next day when the results came back, my levels only went down a small amount. My AST was 116 and ALT 302. The normal range for ALT and AST is 40 or below. My GGTP came in at 150 which is high, it should be between 10-71. I was in tears because my grandmother on my mothers side, whom never drank in her life, died of a rare form of liver cancer, so I assumed I had that. The Hepatitis panel was negative except for Hepatitis A which they said I had at some point but didn't anymore. They said I could have gotten it from badly prepared food and that now I am immune to it.
The doctor then sent me for a CT Scan of the Abdomen and Pelvis. The results read for my liver "3cm indeterminate hypodense region consistent with diffuse fatty change. Recommend further characterization with MRI with and without Gadolinium." After The doctor told me what the results were, they referred me to a Gastroenterologist. Before I went to see the Gastroenterologist, I went to a top notch Cardiologist to have a work up done. He did his own EKG, Stress Test, ECHO, and Blood Pressure, and guess what? Everything came back normal. I showed him my blood work and scan results. He sent me for an MRI which he said is a more definitive test which can see a lot more. The results of the MRI were a fatty liver. This eased my mind for a bit, but at this point I am losing weight. I was down to around 190 pounds. I did change my diet immediately though. I immediately cut out red meat, pizza, cake, cookies, ice cream, and even though I wasn't a big drinker, alcohol as well. The cardiologist said that he thinks it was because of my diet. So that was it, I was diagnosed with a fatty liver and he said I was fine and what not. He told me I didn't really have to see a Gastroenterologist because when he sent me for the MRI, I asked him, "If I do the MRI, is that the end all be all?" His reply was "I think so". And this is the type of doctor that gets more scared than the patients do. His staff told me if he thought it was something serious, he would have you going all over the place. This did make me feel better for a little bit.
I made the mistake of doing research on weight loss and fatty liver and all of that. Somehow I came across to colon cancer. Now my moms father who was a drinker in his younger days, stopped drinking cold when I was about 4 years old. He unfortunately died of colon cancer at the age of 61. However my mom was tested for it and was negative, just a tiny non cancerous polyp was removed. So I went to go see a Gastroenterologist. I was in his office crying hysterically. He looked at all my blood work and felt and listened to my stomach as well as checked my blood pressure. Everything was normal. He also did a digital rectal exam which was negative for blood in the stool. I also told him about my CT Scan and MRI. I was concerned because on the CT Scan, for the kidneys it read "the kidneys are normal in size and shape and are symmetrical. There is no evidence of hydronephrosis. No renal calculi. 0.3 cm left renal midpole anterior cortical hypodensity too small to characterize." The Gastroenterologist said "its nothing". Again this was in March of 2015. So I asked him about my weight loss and he said it was fine. I also asked him about tiny black pepper like specks in my stool and he told me not to worry, "there's no blood no tumors just leave it alone.
So a month went by and I lost a bit more weight, My lowest was 183 pounds and people were asking me if I lost weight. So I decided to go and have my blood re-checked AGAIN. This time, there was a dramatic difference in the results. My AST was 56, ALT was 175, and GGTP was 88. My cholesterol panel was all normal. I am assuming this is because I crash dieted. At this point, I am convinced that I may have colon cancer. So I showed up at the Gastroenterologist's office and showed him the new blood work, as I am sitting there crying, I asked him "do I need a colonoscopy?" He said yeah you do. So I left there and consulted with my family. At this point I am such an emotional nervous wreck. So I found myself another doctor, and I showed him everything. He is incredible, so nice and calm. He said he thinks I am fine. His name is Dr. Villaruz.
In the months after this, I was and still am so nervous. It got to be so much that leading up today, I have been to 5 Emergency Rooms, and Dr. Villaruz's office so many times, I literally lost count. They all have listened to my stomach and palpitated it and said everything felt and sounded normal. I ended up going to see a Psychiatrist. I asked him, "why would the Gastroenterologist tell me I need a colonoscopy when the blood work was better now. The Psychiatrist replied "he didn't know what else to say to you, your bloodwork does not indicate cancer at all." The psychiatrist put me on three different medications which are Lexapro, Seroquel, and Klonopin. I only saw the Psychiatrist for 2 sessions and spoke to him a few times on the phone. At one point, after telling me I had to make the trip to see him just to get a refill on my medication, that I was having somatic delusions which are the false belief that body is sick or diseased and that the only way to fix it is with medication. I disagrees with him and stopped seeing him. I am still taking the medication he prescribed me because I can't just abruptly stop taking it. I started seeing a Psychotherapist once a week and for a while it was going great. I was feeling much better. But then I noticed that my bowel habits were starting to change. I usually go only once in the morning when I wake up, but I started going occasionally a second time during the day at work. So I started seeing Dr. Villaruz like every week and he would always feel and listen to my stomach and tell me he can't feel anything. He also said its more likely than not that the CT or MRI I had would have picked up something. On my CT Scan I had it said for my bowel "no bowel obstruction or wall thickening". I asked him if he thinks I should have a colonoscopy and he said "no because the benefit doesn't outweigh the risk. The benefit is the likelihood of finding cancer and the risk is perforation of the colon and not waking up from the sedative. He did say these risks are low, but that doctors should not be doing tests on patients just to make them feel better, there should always be a reason and he said I don't have enough factors."
Fast forward to today, I am going at my usual time, but sometimes going a second time. Sometimes it looks thin and sometimes it looks really long. Today I woke up early and it was like a muddy consistency which made me break down into tears. I sometimes have a bad habit of using a lubricated finger to go into my rectum to see if there is stool in there. I usually feel a pocket of air and then some stool comes out and then I get super scared as to why I am going again. As far as my weight goes, I am back up to between 195-200 pounds. This is another thing that scared me because last week I weighed myself and I was 200.8 and now I am 196.8 or 195, When I use the lubricated finger I sometimes feel a small hard piece of stool that I manually remove. I usually have to use the finger to put the Preparation H on because of a hemorrhoid. Today as I said, it came about a half hour early and was like mud shooting out of me. No blood that I can see just brown mud.
Here are a list of the tests I have had.
2) Liver Panel Blood Test
3) Another CBC
4) CT Scan
6) Digital Rectal Exam
Wouldn't something have shown up? I am getting these weird on and off again pains. I have been to the hospital and to the doctors and they all say I am fine, but I just can't see how that is possible. I am so sacred that I have colon cancer and will leave my wife and almost 2 year old daughter behind. I just hope that its IBS. One day I could be constipated, the next day it can look normal, and then there is a day like today where it comes out like a muddy consistency. If it was cancer, my doctor said the weight loss and other symptoms would be dramatic to the point where my loved ones would notice and tell me to get to a doctor. He told me that I look fine. I am so scared. Its so embarassing to have to use your finger. I am hoping someone out there can shed some light on this and help me through this tough time as I will do for anyone that I can.
Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:29 AM
You can always get a second opinion from another doctor.
Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:34 PM
First of all I'm not a psychiatrist but I am a psychologist and as someone who suffers from these conditions I can tell you from personal experience that the mind and the body are very interrelated.
It sounds like your psychiatrist was attempting to treat some of your symptoms but not really listening to you. Unfortunately most have a habit of doing that.
I am going to agree with his medication recommendations as I have found this to be very helpful for me. Unfortunately because most of those medications he prescribed you are considered to be a controlled substance it often requires an office visit to obtain refills. don't take it as an offense it's just a protection for you and the physician
When my anxiety is out of whack I tend to perseverate on physical problems sometimes I make things worse for myself and become obsessive.
I find that when my anxiety and depression are properly treated by medication my physical preoccupations diminish allowing me to make better decisions. I always jump to the worst case scenario oh and it sounds like you might to
Recently I suffered from a few days of intense constipation and I also use my finger to dislodge the bowel movement. Looking back now that wasn't the wisest decision because it caused irritation and now I feel like I constantly have to go to the bathroom
If you Are willing will you consider a few of my suggestions?
1) find a psychiatrist that you have a good rapport with and listens to you they're hard to fine but they do exist
2)don't ignore your physical symptoms either I read a book called women's bodies women's wisdom that's been really insightful as women we know our bodies but our concerns are generally just dismissed.
3)it will take some effort but I encourage you to find a psychiatrist and physician possibly a specialist that understand the body and mind connection and how the two work together.
Lastly I feel that I am better able to make medical decisions and evaluate my health realistically when I am taking my medication as directed and have the proper dosage so please don't give up on medication anxiety can cause havoc on our digestive System. Don't give up follow your instincts but make sure you're taking care of your mental health so that you can make wise decisions that are not fear-based.
Best of luck
Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:50 PM
For Seroquel here is List of the common side effects
acid or sour stomach
decreased strength and energy
increased muscle tone
stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
stuffy or runny nose
For Clonopin The symptoms you are reporting do not appear to be related to the medication.
As someone who has taken all of these medications with the exception of Seroquel I can tell you that the side effects generally decrease in time usually after 30 days or six weeks
Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:46 AM
Thank you Nymeria! I appreciate your kind words. This morning was tough! I went at my usual time, but then I had to go again after I showered. I think it was because I wasn't completely finished the first time. I also lost 5 pounds over the last 2 weeks, but my wife says I am not eating as much. I guess its just a matter of trying to believe! I am so glad to actually talk to someone in the mental health profession like you!
- Nymeria1976 likes this
Posted 08 April 2018 - 06:59 AM