Those with any 'intestinal' cancers: what were your symptoms?

wifeyOctober 23, 2006

I am not being taken seriously by my husband or doctor. I am 35 and have never had any health problems before, but one day 5 months ago I suddenly had severe abdominal pain and it hasn't let up since. I feel hungry and "full" both at the same time. I always feel as though I have to have a "movement" even right after I use the washroom. I always feel constipated, even when I'm not. I always feel as though I need to pass gas. I'm exhausted all the time: I have to sit down to brush my teeth and nearly collapse making the bed. I literally nod off while doing my cardio workout. I am just recovering from shingles and I don't believe for a second that the two illnesses are NOT related. My ulcer test came back negative, and while I haven't gone for the celiac test yet, I haven't noticed any improvement when I eliminated wheat or oats. Even water makes me sick. Any ideas?

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Have you been to a gastroentorolgist? It's time for an intensive exam of the intestinal tract from both ends. I really doubt that you have any sort of cancer, but you do sound as if you have some sort of blockage or inflamation. Not all doctors are qualified to make that sort of examination. Also, if you haven't had a GYN exam lately, get one of those too. Ovarian or uterine cysts can cause abdominal pain. Pelvic Inflamatory Diseae can cause a lot of problems in the same area too.

And frankly, if I were you, I would quit with that cardio workout until I felt better.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 10:16PM
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Hi wifey,
Are your periods normal?
Of course you should have all the tests run that you need to have, but I just want to tell you about my experience.
In l995 I had the flu really bad, and then pneumonia. I never really got my energy back again. A couple months later, I started having strange GI symptoms.......a little pain, with incredible fullness and tightness in my upper abdomen. I developed IBS, and GERD. Then I developed fibromyalgia, with sleeping problems, horrendous fatigue, thinking problems. I also began perimenopause, which added to the nightmare. I slept upright in a chair for 7 months because my adbomen was so full and tight, I felt I couldn't breath.
At various points, I really thought I had a fatal disease. I saw at least a dozen doctors and had tons of tests. All my tests were normal. Here it is 11 years later, and I'm feeling better, but still have GI problems, fatigue, etc.
I guess what I'm saying to you is that after you have some tests run (and agnespuffin is sure to have your ovaries checked out), you may feel like poop, but there may be nothing life-threatening involved.

I've come across alot of women who have incredible fatigue and GI problems as they go through perimenopause. I know you're only 35.....but sometimes it starts that early.
Never under-estimate the power of those female hormones!!

I think the Shingles really took it out of you, and it may take a few months to feel better. Those viruses can cause lots of problems.
Have you travelled anywhere, where you could have picked up something??
What kind of ulcer test did you have?
I'm having a flare-up of my IBS right now, and I can tell you that it feels horrible. It feels like my entire GI tract is swollen. I guess I'm telling you these things so that (after you have some tests that will probably be normal), you understand that there can be "functional" GI problems that won't show up on most tests.
Perhaps the shingles caused a problem for your GI tract.
Were you on antibiotics? I think you should start eating lots of yogurt, and taking a probiotic (acidophilus), and cut back on your sugars and carbs. It sounds like the flora in your GI tract might be overrun with the bad stuff.
Please try not to get too frightened. I know how easy it is to think that we have cancer, when we feel so bad.......but that's not usually what's going on.
Just go through some tests (and see your OB/GYN), and then I suggest you read up on conditions like IBS and fibromyalgia, and yeast over-growth. You may have to learn to customize your own treatment, in order to feel better. You might also keep a diary of the foods you eat and what sets you off. Good luck Wifey!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 7:03AM
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Thank you agnespuffin and catherinet, for your responses. I felt very alone when I originally posted. My boss is a kinesiologist, and say what you will about "alternative medicine" but she saw me lose my balance a few times and watched as I couldn't remember how to fold a piece of paper and finally said "Enough is enough, I'm going to muscle test you." This is a new job for me and I haven't told her anything about my health problems for fear of looking bad and worrying my boss will question my ability to do a good job. But she has a keen eye, and she saw something wasn't right. She barely touched me when she said, "Oh my god, your poor liver!" and "Your kidneys are shot". She described to me how I am feeling, and she was right on every point. She has put me on several high-potency vitamins (amino acids, digestive enzymes, raw liver something-or-other for my liver, iron, something called cellulase)and sent me home for a week of bed rest. After two days, I felt better than I had in months. She was very careful to explain to me that she was merely helping me with the symptoms and that I would have to be firm with my doctor about aggressively looking into what is causing my "malabsorption" of nutrients. Basically, she says, something is interfering with my body's ability to absorb nutrients, and my organs are slowly starving. She was alarmed that it appears to be affecting me neurologically.

My celiac test and CBC didn't show anything. Next step: barium enema or colonscopy. My stepfather, who survived colon cancer a few years ago and is quietly alarmed at how similar my symptoms are to his, told me to skip the barium enema/ultrasound, and go straight for the colonoscopy. We'll see...

Special thanks to you, catherinet, for telling your story. It makes me feel less alone in this struggle. I worry, though, because you still live with these symptoms on and off! I'm so sorry that you have to put up with that. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 10:57AM
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