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Hello everyone. My name is Mike. I am 32 years old and from New York. I have posted here before and everyone I had the pleasure of talking to was so helpful. I find myself in a panic again and so therefore I hope nobody minds my very lengthy post.

At the end of February 2015, just over a year and a half ago, I went to the doctors for this dull chest pain. This was a walk-in clinic, but to me, that doesn't mean the doctors are bad, maybe not specialists. Anyway, at this time, my worst fear was that I was having a heart attack which as it turns out I was not. The doctor did a basic exam and an EKG which showed "possible left atrial enlargement" and a slight arrhythmia, she attributed these to me being nervous which I absolutely was!!! She then ordered a CBC. The next day I go the results, my cholesterol was high, but not high enough to be on medicine for. What scared me is that the doctor said my liver enzymes were elevated. Once I heard this, my panic went through the roof because my grandmother on my mom's side died of a rare liver cancer at age 65 or 66. The doctor then repeated the liver panel portion of the CBC, except this time included Hepatitis A, B, and C. The next day I got the results and the liver enzymes were still high, maybe a smudge lower. Everything else was fine. She then asked me if I drank. I told her never any hard alcohol, just some beers after work. I did explain to her that my diet was not good. For example, at this time I was 210 lbs and am 5'11. I would eat junk for lunch, come home eat the cold left overs from the night before, plus that nights dinner, ice cream, and the beers. Well this would explain why the CT Scan they sent me for said I had a fatty liver. NOT cancer. So that was one weight off of my shoulders. In terms of anxiety and depression, this was only the calm before the storm.

After getting the CT Scan results, the walk in clinic gave me a referral to a Gastroenterologist. Before I went to see one, I went to a top notch Cardiologist in my area because with the men on my dads side of the family, there is a history of heart disease. I brought my CT Scan and labs from the walk in clinic with me. The Cardiologist did his own EKG, ECHO Cardiogram, and stress test. All of this came back normal. After he reviewed my lab results and CT Scan, he said he wanted me to go for an MRI to ensure that there were no masses on my liver. This is the type of doctor that gets more scared than the patients do as his nurses say, but he told me that it would be incredibly rare for me to have liver cancer. So I go for the MRI. Two days later his assistant calls me and said my MRI was clear aside from the fatty liver. Again for a brief while I was relieved. A month later I went for another round of blood work and my cholesterol was all normal and my liver enzymes went down dramatically.

From this point I drastically and dramatically changed how I eat. I immediately cut out red meat, pizza, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and even though it was not too excessive, I cut out beer too. This caused me to go from 210 lbs to around 185 lbs (which is still technically over weight). The weight loss sent me into a panic because I noticed toilet changes too. I never paid attention to my bowel habits until no so I don't know what they were. After changing my diet, I would go once in the morning, and then an hour later I would go again and it would go on like this for up to 4 times at this pattern. I am now convinced that I have colon cancer. My grandfather on my moms side died of it at 61 and I actually had an old boss who died of it at 35. My mom was negative for it. She only had 1 small benign polyp, she is 49 now. This caused me such distress, I have been to the emergency room 5 times and my owns doctor literally more times than I can count. When I had the CT Scan it said for my bowel "no bowel obstruction or wall thickening" and the MRI which can see more than a CT Scan showed that my bowel was clear. I ultimately did go to a Gastroenterologist and I was literally drying at his desk in fear I have cancer and am going to die and not see my two year old grow up. He told me to follow him into an exam room where he felt and listened to my stomach and then did a digital rectal exam which was negative for blood. This calmed me for a bit but not for long. I turned to Psychotherapy and it didn't work out at first. I then went to see a Psychiatrist who put me on 20mg of Lexapro once at bedtime, 150mg of Seroquel at bedtime, and .5mg of Klonopin 4 times a day including once at bedtime. This helped for a bit but it only masked the problem. It came to a point where the Psychiatrist wouldn't refill the medicine without me coming to see him for him to tell me in my face he is refilling it. He told me and I quote "you are having delusions and the only way to fix it is with medicine". From that point on I started going to Psychotherapy every Friday. For a while I was doing great! I even went on a cruise recently and didn't panic at all.

All in all, I had the following tests over the past year and a half..

1) 2 labs including 2 liver panels

2) CT Scan of the Abdomen and Pelvis with and without Contract

3) MRI with and without Gadolinium

4) Digital Rectal Exam

5) 5 Emergency Room visits

6) More trips to my primary doctor than I can literally count (phone calls to him too)

Fast forward to today, I would usually have 1 bowel movement 1 time when I woke up in the morning. For the past few weeks, I have been having extras. When I get to work, I would feel an urge to go and sometimes it would come out darker than normal. Sometimes it would have tiny black pepper like specks in it and sometimes it would have a small amount of mucus. Today, it came out in tiny hard lumpy pieces that a part of it was a lighter shade of brown mixed in with the darker shade and I noticed some mucus which my wife says is from pushing. I have been crying so bad that today I had to take a Klonopin while at work to calm down and I hadn't had to do that forever. Every time I go to my doctor, he listens to and thoroughly examines my stomach for tumors and masses but always says he doesn't feel or hear anything. I asked him if I should have a colonoscopy and he said no because the benefits of finding cancer don't outweigh the small risks of the procedure and he also said its wrong to do tests on someone just to make them feel better and that there should always be a reason. He said the if I go to the toilet at a time I don't usually go or if I go a bit more frequently is normal. I mean he is the professional, I should trust him. Lately for the past couple of months, I have been introducing some of my old foods back into my life like soda, cookies, ice cream, wings and burgers. I was told its ok to eat these things but not in excess. Needless to say I am back over 200 lbs. My fears of colon cancer are still there. Everyday this week I went to the bathroom more than once and on some occasions, I had to manually remove the stool with my right middle finger. I know its gross but when I would do that I would feel air and then some stool at the very top and I would have to dig and push until I got it out. This has sent me into such a panic! I am so scared I am going to die and not see my 2 year old grow up. Everyone is telling me its because of how I am now eating but I can't see it. I woke up feeling scared and slightly nauseous , but when I got to work and took a pill, I calmed down. Here at work, I gave my 2 week resignation notice to go onto another job, so that has been stressing me out, but everything is getting to me. Could what I am experiencing be IBS or something much worse like colon cancer? I am so scared! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. If I can support anyone in any way, please respond to this or send me an email to [email protected]

Thank you all!

98 Posts
Hey, I was pretty much in the same shoes that you were. I had to do basically 180 degrees twist in my life and it has helped me tremendously. I have finally started eating healthy and I still eat to this point, I'm fit - not overweight/not skinny, I managed to put quite a lot of muscle and I feel so much better. Seriously, people tend to drown into despair after having hard time served to them by life - struggling with IBS etc. - I was one of those people, but just because other people can life a different, simpler life, doesn't mean that you are entitled to as well. Life is pretty random, diseases are random, deaths are random, you can't impact anything and you gotta realize that life is not fair and start worrying about yourself and improving your life's comfort as much as you can. So for some losing weight and getting on a clean diet, but trust me - living full of remorse with worsening IBS condition is much harder and more painful than your lack of pizza every day will ever be.

Great post Mike by the way!
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