I think my initial post may have been a bit too long and rambling on a variety of topics, so let's stick to the main one :)
For the past six months, I've had loose bowel movements almost every morning. I also can't tell if I'm seeing blood specks mixed in with my stool or if it's food particles. Sometimes I see red when I can't think of anything red I ate. It's normally bright red, but mixed in, although I usually have to look really hard to figure out if I'm seeing anything. It's definitely not "obvious" blood, but as anyone who has researched this knows, you don't necessarily see blood in colon cancer. I've also had a lot of random abdominal pain going on for a long time. My family doc had nothing much to say about it -- said to try changing diet to see if that eliminated the red and solidified the bowel movements. So, I went to the ER the day after I was sure I saw blood. The doc there felt my abdomen, checked my blood counts, checked my liver enzymes, and did an in-office fecal occult blood test. All negative. Of course, the internet says none of these tests prove anything either way. The doc must know this, because he still went ahead and referred me to get a colonoscopy. I'm in my early 30s, but my mom died of colon cancer when she was in her late 60s.
I just submitted a 3-day fecal occult blood test that I got from a clinic, and now I'm terrified of what the results will be. I know I can't change anything. If I have cancer, I have it, but I have already put my life on hold. All doctors have said it's very unlikely that I have it -- two of them even said they would bet money against it, but that doesn't help. These symptoms have been going on for six months, and I can't get a colonoscopy for another two at least. By then, I feel like I'm definitely dead. To me, any symptoms = stage iv (according to Dr. Google!). The only thing giving me a small amount of hope is I had one normal bowel movement this past week, but of course, it was followed by worse and more frequent loose movements, which in my mind is the constipation/loose stool alternating that you might get with a large tumor. Sigh. Too many stories on the internet of young people being misdiagnosed and ending up with late-stage disease.
I'm getting really terrible at being able to cope. Driving my husband insane. If anyone has any advice or comforting words, it would be greatly appreciated, and I hope to be able to do the same for others.