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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, guys... You all know about my colon cancer phobia. I've beat that dead horse a million times.My doctor can schedule me for a colonoscopy in two months a a reduced rate. I'd have to come up with $800 down, which is a WHOLE lot of money to me. I was also supposed to be moving to another state next, so it would require time off work, a nine-hour drive back home, an overnight stay in a hotel, someone to take care of my daughter, and other such inconveniences and major expenses.My doctor doesn't think that I really need a colonoscopy, but she has figured out a way to get me scheduled for one just to put my mind at ease. She says that it "wouldn't hurt" to rule out another problem like diverticula, and she does acknowledge that I have red-flag symptoms of colon cancer but that my other obvious problems (IBS, hemorrhoids, reflux, anxiety) can explain all of them. I'll need to decide soon whether I want to schedule the colonoscopy or not. I'm taking a few new meds and trying more relaxation exercises, so-- with any luck-- my anxiety should be better by then anyway. So, if the primary purpose of doing all this would be to ease my mind, it may be unnecessary-- especially if I can get a grip on this stuff before it's time for the procedure.Suggestions? Should I go for it?(Before anyone says anything: No, I don't have insurance. No, I don't qualify for Medicaid. No, I can't get a colonoscopy for free. No, my local health department wouldn't offer it.)
 

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Is it possible you can give the new medicines and relaxation exercises a try for a while before you give the Doctor a yes or no answer.You never know what you are doing at the moment might help ease things a bit.Worth a try?
 

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To finally put your mind at ease, say yes. And then over the next 2 months if your symptoms improve, call and cancel. Most places are fine if you do it 48 hours to a week in advance.If symptoms improve in the next 2 months, you should be able to rest your mind a bit about it being colon cancer. Im not a specialist, but assume colon cancer symptoms never improve and only get worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I'll go ahead and schedule it. Maybe. I have until Monday to decide. I need to go ahead and give $100 beforehand, though.My pain is MUCH better over the last few days, but I'm on a constant round of laxatives. So maybe I'll be okay without it? I doubt that colon cancer pain would go away just because I'm pooping more... right?My doctor said last week that my bowels were starting to sound more normal.
 

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I remember being in the same situation as you, gi doc said he was happy to do it but I was scared of the thought of it. I said yes though so I could find out for sure whatnwas going on, and if hopefully nothing havemy mind put at rest. I would say the prep was the worse part, procedure was not fun but how would it be with haveing a tube put up your butt, lol, with the sedation it made it pass really quickly. All was clear and that has been a massive help for me - I can still get pain, sure, but I am then not stressing about what it is, makes it much easier to get on with your life.So my advice to you would be to have it if you are worried about other causes. Honestly it is not that bad, just stay relaxed. All the best
 

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If you have anxiety you have to look at will you get more anxious or relieve the anxiety.Sometimes finding the "all clear" isn't as relieving as people think it should be (and logically it should be) but sometimes the stress of the test and sometimes the disappointment of wanting to have something found when nothing is can make things worse. Also some people go into a spiral of "they missed it" even with more and more tests all showing it is functional.I don't know how your anxiety tends to run, but if you know things like this made you a lot worse in the past you may need to work on things so the logic of "there is no cancer, etc." will actually help calm you down.
 

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I understand a lot of what Kathleen is saying here... it would make more sense to solve the underlying anxiety and there is a chance even an all clear result will upset you, but on balance I am with Ippo.It sounds as if you are the kind of the person who needs to rule things out. The inconvenience of the day and finding $800 will only be short term, in the long term you will have the knowledge that you don't have cancer of the large colon.And as also stated, the prep is by far the worse bit..... Just make sure you have nothing planned for that day. Tell the family the bathroom is yours... And thank god for the invention of showers.Good luck and dont stress about the procedure. It is OK.... Weird, but OK. And kind of interesting!
 

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Generally getting the "all clear" can be helpful for most people.Some people find the "the tests say I'm normal" more stressful. Especially since for IBS they don't detect the types of abnormalities we have (that is changing as they are developing tests that actually look at what is physically wrong with IBSers rather than look for other diseases and things that have nothing to do with IBS. The how can I feel this sick if I'm totally healthy can be upsetting and stressful for some people. It is a matter of them not looking in the right place (like if you have water on the floor and you call a roofer who says there isn't a hole in the roof so there is no reason for the water. But, the pipes are leaking and you just didn't call the plumber to look at the pipes, that is a lot like the "rule other things out" tests they do on IBSers, none look for what is really wrong).I went through a series of sleep tests until they did the one that found the problem. The "how can I be normal when something is obviously so wrong thing" was hell for me, and I'm not all that prone to anxiety. It is why in some clinical studies they find the more tests an IBSer has the worse they get. It depends so much on how one uses the information and the process of getting the tests. That is why sometimes I don't advocate for all people to get as many tests as possible. If you already know you use medical tests in unhealthy ways then being a bit more careful with testing may be needed. Just sometimes people don't see how their health anxiety gets them into a bad cycle of more and more testing that finds less and less and makes them worse. I've run into a few people on here that hopefully have insurance that covered the million dollar diagnosis they have for IBS, and all they got was more stress that made the symptoms worse. Hopefully as tests come along that rule in IBS rather than just rule other things out we will be better able to tell when the testing should stop. Unfortunately if you really work on it you can always find another test (medical or psuedo-scientific) or a reason to redo all the tests you had. I just want people to know they have to try to figure out how to tell when they tip from "reasonable testing" to "vicious cycle" and where that line is varies and it is why I can't always say in every case that more testing always the right choice. Unfortunately it is really hard to know when the best stopping point for testing is for a lot of cases. Even if you know that 99.999% of the time you don't need any more tests you don't know who the one in a million is (and that is why one issue with modern medicine is over testing for all the wrong things as that one in a million will sue the doctors so we all pay for the thousands and thousands of uneeded tests just in case).
 

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Kathleen - I understand everything you say.With my colonoscopy the prep had only worked 95%, although the doctor said the images were still very conclusive.Still, I had to stop myself insisting on another one, just in case....It is a case of balance....
 
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