I always have these dreams (or maybe I should call them nightmares), mostly in my sleep but a lot of times I have them while I’m awake too where I just sit and think about worst case scenarios for various situations, like what would happen if someone I loved were to die tragically, or if I got into a terrible car accident. It’s definitely an anxiety problem that I’m trying to work on but sometimes I just can’t help thinking about them.
[[Last night, I had this dream where I went to see my new GI doctor (I have an appointment set up the second week in July after my new insurance kicks in) and he wanted to do a colonoscopy. It’s been three years since my last one and I’m flaring now so naturally, being a new doctor to me, he wanted to see for himself what things were looking like. After the scope, he gave me the bad news that I had high grade dysplasia in my ascending colon and that I would need to have my colon removed. He said there’s no way of knowing but that it might have been caught sooner if my other doctors had done more than sigmoidoscopies all the time. Of course, I got really upset and told him I wasn’t ready for a full removal and requested just a resection which he claimed would be pointless seeing as I would just have to go get the rest removed later. I woke up before I found out what happened next.]]
This got me thinking; how often do you all get colonoscopies?
I’ve had ulcerative pancolitis for 9 years now, and I realize that my risk of cancer, while not definite, is higher than the norm, especially considering
I’m not great with med compliance,
I used to be a 2/pack a day smoker,
I eat red meat more frequently than I should in addition to eating very little fruits and veggies,
I exercise way less than I should, and
I have no knowledge of my family history (I was adopted and the records are closed).
So, I worry about it a lot and what freaks me out the most is that I don’t think I would even notice the warning signs until it was too late, because the early symptoms are usually the same as UC symptoms! According to some studies, just because I have pancolitis, I’ll be at 30% chance of getting cancer by the time I’m 39 years old.
With odds like that, even though it may be completely irrational to think this way, it would be make me feel a lot better if I at least had one colonoscopy a year. As much as I had the prep, I’d drink it every week if it meant catching cancer early. Am I worrying about this too much? I always thought after 8 years of disease you’re supposed to get one once a year anyway.
Also, if you don’t catch colon cancer at an early stage, it’s much less likely to be curable, even with a colectomy. So my overactive brain tells me that maybe it would be worth it in the long run to just get rid of the source before the cancer even has a chance to think about appearing. I mean, why wait until the last minute and risk dying [from colon cancer specifically; obviously we're all going to die from something eventually] even with the colostomy? It seems with all the troubles and risks and frustrations and worries, that it would just be safer to get rid of the darn thing before it’s too late.
Sometimes I think it’s these thoughts that are going to be the death of me instead though, hahah.
Sorry if I'm being to crazy or freaked anyone out!!
Female, 22, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; oste
openia in hip & lumbar region of the spine from long term prednisone use. Current Meds:
10mg Lexapro (for depression/social anxiety)
Digestive Advantage: Crohn's and Colitis formula (2 pills per day, started 5/14/08)