Fell ill the last couple of weeks with stomach pain, bleeding, and other unpleasantries common with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Going in for a colonoscopy in the next two to check for cancer in the large intestine. Doctors have a hunch I've got it, but want to be sure so that if there is any, they can get it out before it spreads. Now that being sick is the new normal, I can't wish I wasn't sick anymore. But I do wish I don't have cancer, and that it's something that can be taken care of with medication, bed rest, and a short leave of absence at work (I've got hundreds of sick hours because I rarely call in). It's not just about the prospect of dying; I've always known this was a possibility and am prepared for one such eventuality. It's that I haven't been able to DO ANYTHING but lie in bed. When the gut funk hits, life gets put on hold, and there's clay samples to mail out, waxes to experiment with...It's frustrating when you have to play the waiting game with your own body and hope for permission from it to do what you enjoy. It would be nice to not just be a statistic and be able to make a difference/handprints in the cement, so to speak.

I had just moved recently and got a nice garage to shoot in with the perfect height for a stop-mo stage. Before moving in, I didn't even know about the garage and already wanted the place (the lady was nice and the house spoke to me), so that was an awesome bonus. Nothing I can do but keep looking forward to the day that I'll be able to play in there. The worst part is the gnawing upper GI pain that I don't have anything for. Tried Tums, Pepto, and Imodium AD. It's this ever-present burning, cramping. Walking around is agony. I don't think most people realize how many abdominal muscles we use to stabilize ourselves when walking).

Whether or not there is cancer in there, I'm looking at sulfa, steroids, and possible surgery. Also getting a social worker. I don't need a counseler for this. All I need is a way to tell my body that I'm not stressed out.  As silly as it sounds, this is an emotional disease and since getting impersonated on a forum I've been really hard on myself.

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Good luck, Don. I hope and pray that things will improve for you, and that you recover well enough to make those hand prints in the concrete you mentioned.

Best wishes Don. Hope you start to feel better and get this thing licked. Take care.

I hope you are feeling better soon Don.

Old Schooler- It was a figure of speech, but basically I think everyone wants to make their mark while they're on the planet. To not know if you have enough time to is scary.

Aaron- Thanks, man. I hope I live to see your film :) Looks excellent from what you've posted. Pro stuff. My favorite of your animations is still the ball falling, bouncing, and rolling down, down, down.


Tedco- Thank you. I like your wolf puppet!

Just remember Pete Peterson and O'bie on the black scorpion. I know what you mean though, I worry about the same thing, to a much lesser degree of course, and none of us know when we have to go, but, knock on wood, I still have my health. My concern is that I finish a project while I am still healthy and can possibly prosper from it. If I were in your position, I would feel the same way that you do about it, try to make that mark that says, " I was here ". And hopefully make the world just a little bit better for those that are still here, a positive influence. So, once again, good luck, I really hope that you are able to get things done before you have to go, but I really REALLY hope that you don't have to go for a good long time, and that you have a complete recovery. I wish you peace one way or the other.

Hey, on the lighter side, " race against the clock " is a great plot device, anyway!

Went to Urgent Care, came back with that damnable Sulfasalazine (it absolutely made me miserable before) and painkillers. I wish that drug would be replaced with one that doesn't have such horrendous side effects, but the doctor insists on it, and thinks that I'm too young to have colon cancer. This is the only thing, he says, that will calm my digestive tract and stop the diarrhea. Still doing the scope, which seems like a waste now. Why bother if the statistics and age indicators suggest it's not cancer? Seems like overkill. Thankfully, though, I qualified for assistance and an angel organization is paying for everything up to three months because I'm so poor despite having a job I've been at since 2002.

Just a quick update: I'm excused from work through...Whenever. "With good reason"...My face went numb while talking to the manager on the phone while lying on the floor. Yesterday, I fainted on my front steps with groceries in my arms. As embarrassing as it sounds, I have had several medical accidents at home (I really don't care, because nothing embarrrasses me and this is a "normal" part of having a digestive illness. It just sucks when it happens). Other than that, can't stand up all the way; can barely peel a banana. Don't feel sorry for me, just thought you should know what is going on. This site has been a major part of my life since 2004.

Anyway, my co-worker is on call to take me to the ER if things get worse. Thankfully, she is kind-hearted and lives only a few blocks away. At this point, there is no way I could get myself there.

Of course you should still do the scope, just to see what is going on in there. If you get the all clear as far as cancer is concerned, you are a step closer to discovering what the real cause is and what to treat it with. There might be other visible symptoms that show up on the scope, or there might be none, but it's worth looking. Sounds like you are having a really tough time of it, between the effects of whatever is wrong, and the side effects of the treatment, we can only hope it improves soon.

Thanks, Nick. 

Going back to the doctor tomorrow for another round of tests, hopefully some answer about the internal bleeding, some way to stop the stomach pain (because it's making me crazy-I can't sleep with it there). The goal is to get back to work within the week, but given how little improvement there has been, I have no idea how that will happen. The main thing is finding a way to quickly stop the symptoms. But how? I'm gulping down yoghurt, saltine crackers, applesauce, Gatorade, yoghurt with probiotics in it... Can't understand why stopping diarrhea and a stomach ache would be such a tall order. Both have been around for thousands of years. There's still not a shot we can get?

Don't know if this can help, but ask your doctor about sub-lingual b-12 pills. I take them because I'm naturally skinny and try to gain weight from time to time. If you're losing weight, it helps you absorb nutrition. Also vitamin D3 is a good over-all vitamin to take places that don't have a lot of sun. Both vitamins help you manage mental stress too which adds onto your physical symptoms.

Thanks, Marc. 

Well, surprisingly to me, colon cancer is not the biggest immediate concern. The doctor told me today that my iron is so low that he's worried I could have a heart attack. He said on the last blood draw a few days ago, I was on the verge of needing a blood transfusion.

Today, on the way home from the doctor I actually threw up. It was coming for awhile there over the past few days, but it finally couldn't wait anymore. If this is something foreign my body is trying to work out of its system, then vomiting might actually have been a good thing. 

Also, lost another 5 pounds, making the total lost over the past month 20. I'm normally about 165, and as of today I'm 145. Maybe not terribly underweight for my BMI, but a the rate I'm losing... Ever seen the movie "Thinner"? Dropping weight fast when you're not trying to is not good.

I don't remember the details of what's been explored over the years, but have the doctors considered celiac?

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