Worried I now have bowel cancer

Hello Everyone
Sorry to bother you all. Am really worried I may have bowel cancer. I’ve had high grade DCIS in 2001, and Paget’s disease of the breast in 2010. Had left mx in 2010. No further treatment needed.
I’ve had loose stools since Sunday, and even needed to change my bedding on Tuesday night - felt really ashamed about that. Spoke to MacMillan person on phone tonight, but it was just before they closed. They were lovely, but no time to say much, and they suggested I phone NHS Direct, but they’re only taking urgent calls, which mine isnt, as I have no pain or any other symptoms.
It’s the cancer thing raising its head again - feel dirty and embarrassed about loose stools, and just crying, crying with shame and worry just now.
My Dad’s had bowel cancer twice and also has had non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, all in last 4 yrs. I’ve had an awful day at work and put my notice in, and now face two days off which is good, but getting to end of tether with toilet problem. Wouldn’t be as brave as my Dad if I have bowel cancer.
Please help me with that cancer demon again - how do I stop presuming I’ve got cancer?
I think there’s a forum on the MacMillan site, but I am going out of my head just now, and want to write in this forum cos I know how to post, and that hopefully I will get replies.

Thanks, Shelley

Hi Shelley

I have just seen your post and wanted to send a hug to you. I can not advise re bowel cance rbut can sympathise with the thoughts going through your head I think everyone gets a little bit paranoid after a cancer dx and we think everything is cancer related. I would give your GP a call and get in to see him asap I am sure it will just be a virus or something as there are lots going round and hopefully he will give you something to settle things down. Please dont feel dirty and ashamed these things are beyond our control and you obviously have something that needs sorting out!
I am sure others will be along to give you more support and reassurance.
Jill x x

Thanks so much for your kind words - I’d got myself into a real state! I have really good GP’s, n will make an appt to see one of them. I feel calmer again now - well calmer than I did anyway! xx

Oh Shelley, what a day! There are loads of bugs going around, a friend of mine had the same thing happen she was mortified, next day she still wasn’t right but no accidents. Do get checked out though, anything to put your mind at rest, take care and hugs to you xx

Katy, thanks so much for telling me that, although I’m sorry your friend has been like that though. I’ve honestly not felt like it was a bug, as no other symptoms, but am now reassured by what you’ve written. Am going to leave it till next week, n see GP again. Part of me feels bit disappointed with myself that I’ve jumped the gun n thought it was cancer again, but I’m not gonna beat myself up, as I know from these forums that I’m not the only one that feels like that at times. It means a lot to have virtual hugs from people when you’re feeling down, and the reassurance n support on these forums is just priceless. Love to everyone, n hugs from me too! xxx

Shelley, I had what I would indelicately call a “wet fart” the other week in bed. I’d had a really stressful day, and had also eaten rather a lot of sugar-free chewing gum. Aspartame can cause some unfortunate side-effects.

But the worry because your family has had bowel cancer is REAL, and you should book an appointment with your GP (perhaps pop into the surgery to get a sample pot beforehand) so that you can be tested to put your mind at rest. I’m not for a minute suggesting that you DO have bowel cancer, but we’re not talking logic here. You’ve had a horrible time in your family and could do with some good stuff.


Hope you are feeling even better today Shelley xx

Oh Choccie, bless you for being your lovely caring down to earth self and saying it like it is. And thanks to you too Katy for asking how I am. My symptoms have seemed a lot better today - only “been” three times, and that was this morning - nothing since. I probably did panic yesterday - I’ve had a horrible time work-wise lately, n suffer from depression at times. I’m due for a review of my fluoxetine soon - been on it since last October, n might ask her to keep me on it just a couple of months longer. We were looking for me to come off it at the end of August. Life’s so lovely n precious, but it’s hard at times, even without our cancer experiences coming into the equation.

Do you remember that children’s book about the little girl, Pollyanna who saw good in everything n was so positive - wish I was more like her.
I’m going to call into my doctor’s on Monday and get a sample pot, n make an appt to see my doctor as well. And for now, I’m going to have something to eat - not felt like eating much lately. After that, will do some craft work n have an early night I think.
And now I feel like crying, thinking that I’m so glad I was able to post on here… thanks n love to everyone! xxx

I’m feeling so much better today - it’s a lovely feeling! I rang NHS Direct, and they said diarrhoea can last quite a while - I have no other symptoms, and they’ve reassured me about bowel cancer. They were lovely, and say that if the diarrhoea goes on for longer than two weeks, to see my doctor.

The nurse at NHS Direct was so lovely and down to earth, and said that if my problems worsened/changed, then to get in touch with them again straightaway.

Thanks for your support ladies - I’ve not been on here for ages, but will keep looking in - lots of love to everyone! xxx

Hurrah Shelley, fingers crossed that it just goes away, enjoy your weekend xx

Aww thanks Katy - you too! xxx

Shelley, a quick question for you. Are you also on Tamoxifen? If you are, then you ought to get your GP to swap to a different anti-d, as fluoxetine (Prozac) is known to reduce the effectiveness of Tamoxifen because of how the body metabolises it. Not an issue with aromatase inhibitors, as I understand it.

And if you aren’t ready to come off anti-depressants, don’t feel under any pressure to do so. I’m on them at the moment (have had 18 months from hell, and cancer has only been a small part of it) and there’s the added benefit of anti-d’s helping with hot flushes. So I will stay on them as long as I feel I need them.

When you do decide to stop, do so verry, verrrrrrry slowly. That way, you can judge your own mood to see if you’re ready. It might be that you reduce the daily dose by a quarter and stick with that for a month, then another reduction of a similar size, with another period of settling down. Our poor bodies have been through so much, we really don’t need further shocks, do we.

Thanks so much for your advice Choccie! No, I’m not on tamoxifen, n my doctor said if I had been, she’d have had to give me something different to fluoxetine. But, I’m really interested in what you say about coming off the fluoxetine slowly, cos I was on it about four years ago for a few months, and I think when I cut it down, I had to start taking it alternate days instead of every day. But this time, my GP says that there’s no research evidence nowadays to say it makes a lot of difference cutting down slowly, so she was planning to take me off it all at once.

My GP is excellent, n I know she won’t make me stop it altogether just like that if I don’t want to, so when the time comes, I’ll say I to come off it really slowly.

You’re right - our bodies HAVE been through a lot - thanks for yr advice, n I’ll have a chat with her, and tell her how I’ve been feeling. I know she’ll be supportive n work with me on what feels right for me.

Much love to you Choccie! xxx