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Help - thinking I have cancer

(4 Posts)
purplejelly Thu 05-May-16 10:30:31

I'm really struggling at the moment with a combination of anxiety and health issues.

I have recently had a cystoscopy to check my bladder as I kept having microscopic blood in my urine with no infection present. It was clear. The doctor is going to arrange for a scan on my ovaries because it is sometimes caused by them apparently.

From spending the last month convinced I've got bladder cancer, I am now thinking I have ovarian cancer which has spread. I have an on and off pain in one side which has been there a few months. I've had pain in my stomach after eating certain foods which I cut out a few months ago and that seems to have stopped. I also now have some backache in my lower back and feel short of breath along with occasional pains in my lungs and upper back. I feel like there's something in my stomach when I lie down. This and the breathlessness came on since my cystoscopy. I am now convinced that my ovarian cancer has spread around my body and I can't stop thinking about how I don't think I'm going to survive and will have to leave my children and husband without me. This all sounds so silly now I've written it down. My husband says it's like living with the grim reaper.

I had a bout of the blood but no urine infection around 18 months ago. I was given an ultrasound at that point but nothing was found and things settled down after the scan. I also had a blood test around the same time for liver function, tumour markers and something else but they were all clear.
A few weeks ago, I had a pain in my stomach after a meal which I put down to indigestion. It lasted a couple of hours and I'm wondering if the tumour on my ovary burst and that's when it spread around my body. Now I'm getting the symptoms of the spread.

I am not good with hospitals and any operations or treatment would be a complete nightmare for me. A few years ago I had some CBT and a mindfulness course for my anxiety problem (just general at that point, not health-related). I thought I had got it under control but this new problem is pulling me under again. There is a history of cancer in my family (grandparent and great-grandparent) and I think this is partly what is freaking me out.
I have a doctors appointment booked for Monday. Does anyone have any advice in the meantime please? I know you can't diagnose me...

tobee Thu 05-May-16 16:11:10

Just wanted to say that I, and many others, have health anxiety too. It sounds like the anxiety treatment you've had has worked up to a point. I think it can be necessary to have a kind of anxiety treatment renewal over the years as anxiety can sometimes rear its ugly head in different guises.

When it comes to health anxiety specifically it can be a tricky process because you need to get the symptoms checked out and even if you're given the all clear your anxiety comes up with something else to concern you. If I were you I'd discuss at the appointment with your GP both your physical concerns and your anxiety. Then the GP should help you with a programme to treat this health anxiety.

Also, I have had to have treatments and operations in hospital which I was terrified about. On one occasion I took diazepam before and another time I was put on beta blockers for anxiety related fast heart rate to get me through a pre op assessment. In the end, I did better than I thought I would with the hospital stuff, which made me feel better about myself.

Spam88 Thu 05-May-16 18:54:53

Hi purplejelly, obviously none of us can diagnose you as you've said, but I just wanted to offer a bit of support smile For what it's worth, the way that tumours spread isn't anything as sudden as bursting, so that's not what that pain was that you felt. Just best to keep yourself distracted until your appointment. Could you try using some of the techniques you were taught in your previous treatment for anxiety?

purplejelly Thu 05-May-16 20:52:31

Thank you both. I've calmed down a bit now. Yes I agree I need to talk to the doctor about my anxiety as well as my other symptoms...

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