So the GI doc changed you over from the Crohn's column to UC? They are closely related, but actually UC is the lesser of the two. Neither is much fun to find out you have though. Try not to focus on any potential long term effects, such as colon cancer. An increased chance doesn't mean you'll get it. There are lots of people over on the ulcerative colitis board who have been living with UC for years, and no cancer. I think your doctor was just trying to let you know some of the things that COULD happen. When you feel up to it, take a gander over to the UC board. Really supportive people, and a lot of experience to help you learn to cope with UC.
It can really overwhelming when you get your first dx of UC. After my dx, I spent a couple of months worrying a great deal about my UC. Then I spent a year or so in denial, thinking to myself that they misdiagnosed me, and really I just had a sensitive stomach. I knew that soon enough they'd do another colonoscopy and find their mistake. Deep down I must've known they got it right, because I took the meds they prescribed me religilously. I'd advise you to do the same. For many people, finding the right med is the difference between feeling good and feeling not so good.
Michelle, I know that your new dx seems like you've been given a life sentence, but it really doesn't have to be. Once you get over the initial shock, you'll realize you can still have a life. A few adjustments in your life for sure, but nothing too drastic hopefully. One thing that coming to terms with UC did for me was help me to live a lot healthier. I eat better, drink alcohol way less, stay away from excess sweets, and actually feel better physically. It has been a blessing in disguise, although I wouldn't wish this blessing on anyone else! LOL
The most important thing is that you know that you have a disease, and now you can do what is needed to help yourself feel better. That has got to be better than not knowing and wondering what the heck is going on with your body. Hang in there. Check in every couple of days to let us know how you are doing. And don't forget to start taking your new meds. They'll help out.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ UC in May '06, had symptoms since '99
Meds & supplements: VSL#3, Lialda, Allegra, multi-vitamin, Wellbutrin XL, Prednisone, fluoxetine, Omega 3 caps, and vit B-12.