Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not for the Faint of Heart, Read at Your Own Risk

I’ve been silent because, frankly, what I have to say is unpleasant. The disease I’m suffering from is unpleasant. My existence is unpleasant. And despite the unpleasantness that has become my life, I’d like to think I have enough pride not to share it with the world. But I don’t, and I can only stay silent for so long.

I apologize now for the words that I will write, as they too will be unpleasant. I’m not one for bathroom talk. I don’t like to hear about people’s gastrointestinal “issues” and I don’t share my own. But under the unforeseeable circumstance that I’m afflicted with colon cancer, I figure my life is about to change, in more ways than one.

I have blood in my shit. Blood. In. My. Shit. This alone is cause for alarm. I’ve been on this earth for damn near twenty-three years and until a week and a half ago, I have NEVER had blood—not a trace—in my shit.

But that’s not all, I feel like I shit gravel. Fiery. Clumps. Of. Jagged. Gravel. I need not explain the trauma involved in this.

Oh, and depending on the day, I have diarrhea, or constipation, whichever is more inconvenient at the time. Lets just say this morning, as I repeatedly dashed from the shower to the toilet, (soaking wet in thirty degree temperatures), it wasn’t the latter.

All of the above, and the severe upper abdominal pain I’m suffering, are symptoms of colon cancer.

I don’t know what to do. I’m terrified.

I don’t dare go to the doctor. The last thing I want is to be sedated while a perfect stranger shoves a “long, flexible, tubular instrument about ½ inch in diameter” up my ass. Shitting fiery clumps of jagged gravel sounds like a day at the spa compared to that.

My doctor, (read WebMD), said hemorrhoids may also be the culprit. But just reading the four stages, see below, gives me diarrhea:

First degree: The hemorrhoid does not stick out from the anus.

Second degree: The hemorrhoid sticks out from the anus during a bowel movement but returns on its own to the anal canal afterward.

Third degree: The hemorrhoid sticks out from the anus during a bowel movement and does not return to the anal canal on its own. In this case you can push it inside the anus with your finger and then it will stay in.

Fourth degree: The hemorrhoid is always outside the anus and cannot be pushed into the anal canal.

I lost it at “you can push it inside the anus with your finger and then it will stay in.” WHAT THE FUCK!!! I want my innocence back.

But don’t think you’re in the clear, fifty percent of people encounter hemorrhoids in their lifetime.

This is the epitome of a no win situation. Shoot me now. I beg you.


Debaser said...

I have had blood in my shit, and it was not colon cancer. It wasn't hemmeroids, either. I did have pain in the upper stomach. What was it then? A peptic ulcer. Easy to treat these days, but if it's bleeding you gotta see a gastrointerologist. Leila, bleeding out of your ass calls for a doctor's visit. And you probably shouldn't assume the worst.

And, I guess I should admit this, but I have had hemorrhoids, too. At the young age of THIRTY. I had internal ones...not those really awful ones you describe. They didn't cause much bleeding and were the result of being constipated after anesthesia.

Again, go see the doctor and have this checked out. It's the only way to get're going to be freaking out until you know more.

Anonymous said...

You have such a wonderful way with words!
I suffered from ficticous colon cancer in 2004. It was just as unpleasant as you illustrate it to be. I followed up with the colonoscopy, which is the cheaper alternative to the colon cleanses all the stars pay top dollar for... ;)
Dr. WebMD is always so vivid and accurate. Although they forgot the Fifth degree: Hemorrhoids rapidly progess into ficticous colon cancer.
Hang in there. Chalk it up to the alcohol, pain killers, nicotine, caffeine, and burritos... At least that's what I did.. Worked well!

Nikole said...

I agree with Debaser about this warranting a doctor visit. Just be prepared to have your doctor tell you he is training and has residents shadowing him/her. You can always decline, but you'd be depriving them of a rich learning opportunity!

Leila V. said...

You being alive after a story like that gives me hope. I just can't bring myself to go to the doctor. I'm humiliated. But I know you're right, a doctor's visit is definitely warranted, (if only I could come up with a disguise).

You know it does seem to be worse after nights of heavy drinking and burritos, maybe it's a lifestyle change I need. Although if I'm gonna die in the next five years, I want a burrito and a beer in my hand.

You have a sick mind! Those "shadows" are going to be paying if they want to attend my ass raping. That's all I need is some sicko intern filming my colonoscopy with his cell phone and posting it on YouTube.

Sean said...

Leila!!! I have hemorrhoids. I first got them at the tender age of 25. It was external and thrombosed! Look that up on WebMD. Very, very uncomfortable shit (pun intended). Anyways, the colorectal surgeon cut it out of my ass. Literally. That was the worst pain I've EVER felt in my life. Then it came back a year and a half later!!! This time, the same colorectal surgeon said "meh, drink more water, take some fiber, and eat more roughage). She didn't cut it out the second time. She said there's only so much vain she can cut out of someone's ass and if it comes back to go see her. I was pissed because I thought I'd have this thing the rest of my life. It went away the next day and hasn't visited me since. I take Konsil maybe once every couple months. Works like a charm. But anyway, let me reassure you that proctologists have the BEST bedside manner in medicine. My colorectal surgeon had the best deadpan delivery on Earth. She could be a stand-up comedienne if she wanted. Just her well placed "shit happens, right?" made me chuckle, knowing she'd seen my ass hole. Fear not. Go to the emergency room or your primary care provider and say you've got some fiendish 'roids and you'd like a referral to a ass doc. Then give your ass doc the full story. I promise you, they're sensitive and excellent to deal with.

Addie said...

I'm going to agree with everyone that you should go to the doctor. Just think, the doctor sees things like this every's their JOB! They will not be laughing at you. Think about how much better you'll feel knowing what's going on. We're all here for you...please keep us updated!

Ricky said...

leila you hinted at colon cancer in a previous post, and i commented on it with the name "dyingtoday".

i too am exactly where you are. i had blood in my crap 3 times in 3 weeks. i FREAK the F*&% out. bad.

i, however went to the doctor, despite my family/friends (i have no modesty) telling me its just hemroids. the doctor visit was NOT fun. without getting graphic, first it was fingers, then a clear tube...bleh it sucked. my doc didnt see any hemroids...i'll take be fine with hemroids...but she didnt find any...WTF ok WTF WTF WTF. thats what im saying to myself. she said it could be hemroids just up further than she can go, or it could be polyps from a certain type of colon cancer that presents in young adults thats agressive...i almost took a crap right on the table when she said that.

this was thurs oct 11. she scheduled a colonoscopy for oct 30th...the math ....more than two weeks away!! ITS BEEN MURDER. JUST SHEER MURDER waiting for the appointment...then i find out oct 30th i wont be getting a colonoscopy, just a consultation with the GI doc so i can then schedule the actual procedure...WHAT!!!!!! RIDICULOUS!!

anyway, i just wanted you to know that im right in the same boat with you. im having other wierd feelings that i can contribute right along with colon cancer...sometimes i feel like i have to crap but i dont really have too. and im sick to my stomach...but these things could also be my pure anxiety making things worse.

anyway, sorry for the long post. i just thought you would find some solace in the fact that someone else is in the exact same position. im 26 years old and ive NEVER had blood come out of that hole...EVER. I also think though that you should go to the doctor. for me, i dont care what they do or how they do long as when they're done i have the peace of mind that im least for a while.

if you want to talk more about it outside of your site, im cool with that. ricky at

Robert said...

Hi Leila,
You didn't mention the colour of the blood, but because you say it could be hemmerrhoids, I'm assuming it's bright red. In that case, you might have an anal fissure. This can happen at any age and usually sort themselves out in 1 - 2 weeks. A doctor can often detect a fissure without an internal examination.

Anonymous said...

A useful post on how much a non-event a colonoscopy is can be found here:

Anonymous said...

Hi Leila,

I'm a 29 year old girl and have had two colonoscopies and numerous male doctors sticking fingers where they don't belong. Anyway, I started out the same way you did and it scared the crap out of me, as bloody as it was. I DID NOT want to go to the doctor but it got so bad that I could no longer eat and going to the bathroom had become a tear inducing event. Finally my mother made me go to the doctor after I admitted to her that I was bleeding out my rear end. Needless to say, I waited too long. I had a colonoscopy and was put on a massive amount of steroids to fix the damage that had been done to my intestines from waiting so long. It's not my intention to scare you, but in this situation I think you should put your health before your modesty and/or fear.
Anyway, all this is just to let you know that you are not alone in your fear of colonoscopies and strangers having intimate knowledge of your insides. Especially male strangers (one of whom was very, very cute which made it worse and all the more weird).
So get thee to a doctor and get it over with!

Hope this helps.

Leila V. said...

Wow. I never expected such a open-armed response. I thought for sure that I'd scare everyone away with this post.

Your informed and thoughtful comments have made me realize I need to get my ass to a doctor, literally.

Sean said...

Yay!!!! High fives and hugs all. We should've taped this shit for ABC's after school specials.

Lacy H. said...

can I just say, these comments have been the most interesting you have had on your blog, ever, Vine. Ever. I love it.

Woolly said...

Well, I'm more of the "leave it a couple of weeks" view. I'd try some over the counter hemmerrhoid cream and see if it gets better.
2 weeks isn't that long even if it is something nasty, which it isn't. A fissure should have cleared by then.

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