Emma's Story

Hi everyone, thank you for I thought I'd tell you a little bit about myself and why I asked to join this group. 


I'm 35, I have 2 teenage children, I am recently separated, and I'm from Helston. My father died when I was 23 from bowel cancer. He was diagnosed at 39 and died at 42. No one told us that was young or that we should be monitored and in the days before the Internet I just grieved and moved on. Fast forward 10 years and I started getting lots of problems with my stomach. I told the doctor all about my dad and was still told I'd got IBS. I was never referred, I was put on Omeprazole and forgotten about. 3 times over a year I went, once with 'black poo' and twice because of the constant pain and diarrhoea. Finally in March this year I put my foot down and told them I wasn't leaving there without a referral. They very reluctantly referred me and eventually I ended up seeing DR Bebb at the Duchy. As soon as he heard about my dad he said 'why haven't we seen you sooner? 


Anyway, he arranged a colonoscopy to check for IBD. Two weeks later we're halfway through the test when the man doing it (can't remember his name) decides to stop the test and get Mr Bebb to do it himself the following week at Treliske.  He said there was no sign of IBD but he could see a couple of flat polyps that he couldn't remove there and then.  


So a couple of weeks later and I get to Treliske and apparently I'm just down for an exploratory colonoscopy not polyp removal and they said it would take about 20 minutes.  Well as soon as he got in there he started spotting them, there were loads! He went all the way round and removed the farthest away ones first, but told me he'd never get them all today. He removed 4 sessile polyps ranging from 8mm - 23mm and an 'ill defined abnormality'. After an hour and effectively 2 complete colonoscopies (he had to retrieve the largest one by removing the whole scope then going back in) we'd both had enough. He thought there were 7 or 8 left and I was booked in again. The pathology came back pre malignant on a couple, with the advice 'complete retrieval, no further treatment necessary .


I went on Friday and had the rest removed. It was a little traumatic! They took a further 11 polyps ranging from 3mm to 17mm. It took an hour and a half, and I had a bleeder that needed clipping. The gas pains afterwards were as bad as labour and they wouldn't let me go home :-(. I went in at 1.30 and they finally let me out about quarter to 7. They told me I need an upper GIscope,  small bowel imaging and genetic testing for AFAP. 


So that's me! I don't have cancer, but I can't say it hasn't been at the back of my mind for the last year or so. I was hoping this last appointment would be the end of the road but it looks like it may just be the beginning! 

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