Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crohn's Disease in my baby. : (

First of all, there are some new ACC sisters out there, proving this cancer, like all others, doesn't sleep. If you are a new reader, PLEASE read this blog in reverse, as most of the information related to my experience with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Breast is in the first 1/2 of the blog.

Secondly, since I am on what I call a 6 month reprieve of cancer worry (I pretty much only worry the month before my tests) I don't have much to say about this cancer business that I hope is part of my past ONLY. But I do have some things I want to document concerning the child who wishes not to be named since his buddies have found my posts in the, for my informed readers, just know we are talking about ANDREW, my twenty year old, usually healthy as a horse college athlete.

Well, our world sort of changed just prior to Thanksgiving when he emailed me from college to say his belly hurt and he was having some diarrhea issues--it had been going on for about a month. Because of Johnny's death, I automatically think CANCER but really didn't think it would be possible but wanted it checked out so I made him a doctor's appointment for when we got back from our cabin in the Upper Peninsula. Over Thanksgiving, I kept an eye on Rew and noticed he spent a lot of time in the bathroom after we ate. He also mentioned off and on about how he could feel food move by in his belly in a particular spot on the left side of his lower belly.
Monday's doctor appointment brought a diagnosis of some sort of upset stomach, but also blood in his fecal occult test. THAT FREAKED ME OUT. So I insisted on a referral to a GI. The very next night, Tuesday, we were in the emergency room where they did a CT scan and said Rew had a severely inflamed colon, and could have ulcerative colitis. They gave us some meds and said make sure you follow up with the GI. Then Saturday of that week, Rew was again in the ER with crazy bad dehydration and got 5 bags of fluid, much to the MD's surprise. Ok, so finally, the colonoscopy was this past Thursday and sure enough, they found little ulcers throughout his colon, prompting the diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. I learned that Crohn's is little punches of ulcers in various spots, where ulcerative colitis looks like someone took sandpaper and scraped the lining of your intestines. I feel guilty for being relieved it was Crohn's--no parent wants their child to have this disease--but I had horrible fears that Andrew would be one of those terrible stories of someone diagnosed so young with colon cancer. Thank heavens that is not the case.

He is doing much better already, but still has spots that hurt. We don't see the doctor again until January and his goal when he left us was remission, so that is what we are working on. Rew is trying to follow the recommended diet (avoid fresh fruits and veggies) and is taking his 9 pills a day to start healing. Lots of fluids, of course.

So now that we have answers, things are a bit calmer for now. One week left of school until vacation, which we all need. Looking forward to the holiday season and will continue to count our blessings.