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Pancolitis and Radiation Proctitis

Intro to why I am here

I am 8-1/2 years NED from treatment for anal cancer. The radiation and chemotherapy saved my life but left me with a myriad of health issues, including a fractured sacrum that sometimes impedes my walking outdoors, colon and right hip issues, urinary incontinence which breaks up my sleep at least twice a night, and, much more.

I had my 6th colonoscopy last week and was given a discharge diagnosis of (5) colon polyps, pancolitis, and radiation proctitis. Later this week when I call my surgeon for results of my biopsies, I'm going to ask her how in the world can I have 5-polyps now when, 5-1/2 years ago, that colonoscopy showed I had a clean colon. BTW, that was the first clean colon out of five colonoscopies I’ve had and I was so exhilarated I felt like I had won an Emmy. If I had smiled any wider, my ears would have adorned the top of my head like barrettes.

Now (this week) I am perturbed and ready for a major lifestyle change. Exercise, food and vitamin/mineral supplements is my choice for natural healthcare, especially, since I found out on my own that I also have acid reflux. That means I cannot eat fresh tomatoes, raw onions, black pepper, spicy foods, or chocolate. And I'm sure I will find other foods that are taboo for people like me. I have so many issues that I just discovered, so it looks like I’m going back to using myself as a human guinea pig so I can rule in or rule out what my body can endure.

I just started taking 1-peppermint oil capsule in the morning and I feel better: not great, but better. I also printed out Bristol Stool charts and I'm keeping track. My stools are improving. And I'm very happy about that. And I don't have crashing fatigue anymore. These peppermint oil capsules are working a miracle in my life. I feel it. They don't bother my acid reflux and they greatly help my IBD (that I originally thought was IBS).

Diet for promoting IBD health is basically the reason I went searching on the internet for a self-help group. I need feedback on the various diets out there for persons with digestive issues. I’m not so sure about the Mediterranean diet. And I don’t want to go Vegan. I can live without red meat. But I do need chicken.

I skimmed over some of the topics here and knew this group is where I should be. I am extending my hand and waving, "Hello" to everybody. Thank you for having me and I look forward to learning from each and every one of you. Warmest regards, with love. Carolyn

  1. Giving a big wave back to you! Wow, you beat anal cancer! You are one strong warrior and I applaud you for your strength and courage. Keep us posted with what your doctor says about the polyps. I'm interested to hear. Peppermint oil is a savior for me and I am happy to see if has helped you too. I find that eating lots of fish always makes me feel my best. I avoid gluten, corn, processed oils and foods, and dairy. I hope this helps some! Big hugs, Elizabeth (team member)

    1. Thank you for your interest, Elizabeth. The 5 polyps were hyper-plastic and not cancerous. The colon and rectum inflammatory diagnoses were a bit of a surprise. Those two along with finding a way to raise my low WBC and control acid reflux, should keep me busy in research while I plan a diet for life that will encompass all these health issues. And that is a challenge that can only be met by trial and error because my stomach and colon don't always agree. I do plan to add more fish to my diet and to avoid gluten. Thank you for listening. Hugs Carolyn

      1. So glad the polyps were hyper-plastic. For me, celery juice in the morning greatly helped my reflux. Maybe something to look into? It practically takes it away for me. I love having fish. It always makes my gut happy. Rooting for you and your improvement! Best, Elizabeth (team member)

    2. Thanks for this post, I'm about four years out of stage three bowel cancer treatment and had a polyp free colonoscopy six month ago. Like you, the treatment has had some unpleasant side effects, radiation colitis and mild dementia-like symptoms from the chemo. So many things that I cannot eat... I seem to live on grilled meat and potatoes. My surgeon told me red meat is poison so I stick to pork and chicken. Fruit, I can eat apples and bananas, no citrus. Virtually no salad except, strangely enough, cucumber. I'm planning on trying a new gastroenterologist, one in another hospital has been recommended by a friend.

      1. So great to see your last colonoscopy was polyp free. I hope you find new support in the new Gastroenterologist. Please keep us posted. Rooting for you always, Elizabeth (team member)

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