I was diagnosed with UC 28 years ago when I was newly married and having given birth to my second child. I have been having annual colonoscopies for the past 12 years. Just over a week ago, I went for what I now consider to be routine follow up colonoscopy. The Doc came in to tell me that it did not go well! I had been symptom free prior for a couple of months. I am 62, female, retired in July. Doctor explained that she could not get scope to go more than a couple of inches in, removed polyps and was blocked by a stricture in my sigmoid colon!! She ordered a cat scan, blood work, and got me in to see a surgeon within the next couple of days. Bottom line is that I need to have my entire colon and rectum removed because I don’t have any healthy tissue there anywhere to allow for resection. He says I am a candidate for the j-pouch 2 step surgery. I am terrified!!!! Mostly concerned about, 1} good possibility of cancer/chemo and 2} life post o p.
Some more about background info:
I just retired this past July after 44 years in the banking industry. I am a mother, grandmother, sister and wife. My family means everything to me!! I love to garden, read and spend time with my grandchildren. I keep a lot inside. I worry more about everyone else than I do about myself. I thought I would “just deal” with my UC for the next 28 years as I have always done. Now that it’s come to this point I am trying hard to come to grips with what’s going to happen. I have so much I still want to accomplish in my life.
Colitis Symptoms and What’s Going on Down There:
Oddly enough, once I stopped working at the end of July, my usual symptoms seemed to calm down. There was less urgency, much less bleeding, fewer accidents!! I chalked that all up to less stress. When I went into have the colonoscopy last week I even told my Doctor how great I was doing! I thought maybe we could skip a year..Ha, to my surprise, just the opposite happened. She could not even get a pediatric scope to get past what she called “a stricture”. Now as I await my upcoming surgery I am actually somewhat constipated!! I forgot what that feels like!!!
My kids used to make fun of me having to know where every bathroom in the universe was located. I did a good job of making fun of it too. Never wanted anyone to worry about me. Over time, they realized how much work it all was for me to cope. Thankfully, I have a lot of sensitive and loving people in my life.
My husband is the LOVE of my life he is truly amazing. He worked for years caring for special needs adults so nothing that has happened to me really disgusts him. He is a special person and I am blessed to have him in my life. I know he is scared to death of losing me but he can’t say that because that just might make it real.
My son is a father of three and we are extremely close. His father was abusive towards me and has not been in our lives for 32 years. My husband has treated him like a son since he was four, but there is a much stronger bond there between my son and me. My son saved me from a life of abuse because I knew I had to survive for his sake. He is my HEART.
My daughter is the LIGHT of my life. She was born of love and was proof positive that love was a possibility in my life. She married a wonderful man 2 years ago and they are going to start a family soon. I have to a part of that! My grandchildren are the JOY in my life. I am so proud of each one!! My granddaughter will be 13 this week and her twin brothers are 11. My son is a great dad and their mother is like another daughter to me.
I have to believe that I am getting the best care possible and that my surgery will be successful so that I can continue my life with all the wonderful family and friends I am blessed with.
Medications / Supplements:
I have had great Doctors over the years and I have always talked very freely and openly with them. Two were men (both retired now) and most recently I have seen a woman (past 12 years). I have never had much success with medications, although I have to admit that when it comes to taking medications, I am my own worst enemy. I tend to try “to manage” without. Mostly I don’t like the side effects. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I have to believe that I am in God’s hands.
written by Judith K
submitted in the colitis venting area (add your story—here!)