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Health anxiety spiralling(14 Posts)
I was recently diagnosed with womb cancer, a totally unexpected finding after some polyps were removed and it came as a real shock to me. Three weeks ago I had a total hysterectomy with my ovaries and cervix removed too. The results for the histology came back on Friday and it was the lowest grade and stage, as as my consultant said 'a good result'.
However, a routine chest X-ray before the op showed up what my consultant described as 'a very very tiny shadow on my shoulder'. Told me not to worry and that they see this stuff all the time. Whilst I was in hospital I had a repeat X-ray for a better look, but this has come back as inconclusive. I'm now booked in for a CT scan tomorrow. On Friday, again the consultant told me it was highly unlikely to be anything to worry about given the low grade and stage of my cancer and that it is in my shoulder. He mentioned something called a bone island. Stupidly I've googled and scared myself witless. I cannot allow myself to believe that it is nothing to worry about. I feel if I do, then if it is something nasty I won't have prepared myself for bad news even though rationally and statistically it's probably as the consultant has said. I'm clinging onto the thought that if it was something to worry about, they would have told me rather than be quite blase about it?
Because my original diagnosis was so unexpected I've convinced myself that the cancer has spread and that the Drs are lying to me when they say not to worry. I know this is irrational but I'm struggling. I want to cry a lot of the time, I've convinced myself that my shoulder hurts which makes me think that there is something in there. I've been to my GP about health anxiety before but they just gave me Valium and sent me on my way.
I'm not sure why I'm writing this, but it does help to write it all down
Couldn't read and run, I have no experience with cancer but I have plenty years experience with health anxiety so I can hand hold over that. You could try seeing your gp again and ask to start a continuous anxiety medication that you take every day instead of valium which I believe is a "as and when" type medicine for panic attacks.
The spiralling thoughts are exactly what I would be doing, as is the crying so I know how you feel. Try to do as many relaxing things as you possibly can, long baths with music playing, reading a book, get absorbed into a netflix show, meditate, slow paced walks with head phones in, pamper yourself with face masks, nail polish. This will not 100% get rid of the anxiety of course but it should help your body and muscles relax and occupy your mind so the bad thoughts become less until you can see your consultant again and get this confirmed.
Thank you for replying.
I had the CT scan but won't know the results until my follow up appointment which is 12 weeks post op, unless they find something unexpected. I'm going to be a bag of nerves all next week now in case the phone rings.
I think my GP will be my next port of call as I can't cope with the intrusive thoughts. The only time I get any relief is when I sleep, but as soon as I wake up I go into panic mode again. I have DH here but he thinks it will all be fine which I can't allow myself to believe.
12 weeks is a long time to wait for an answer and by that time you could have driven yourself entirely mad. Definitely speak to your GP and see how they can help you, you could even try Samaritans for someone to talk to or I am sure there are cancer support groups where you could talk to a professional over the phone or via email.
Just try and take it easy on yourself you've been through enough so don't bash yourself for not being able to control the thoughts.
Hi op. How are you feeling? I can completely sympathise, I have suffered with health anxiety in the past and am having another bout at the moment. I understand how it feels to only get relief from it when you’re asleep.
I wanted to just say that I promise you drs do not lie. If they think it’s nothing to worry about that’s what they say. They won’t reassure you if they themselves think it could be something serious.
I hope you’re ok
I had a scan for cancer myself last year after some abnormal blood tests. I was told it was a 12 week wait for results but after 2 weeks I rang the hospital and asked for the results of the scan to be sent to my gp and my gp had them in a few days. I was so anxious that I just couldn't wait for 12 weeks.
Maybe you could do the same ?
Thank you for your replies.
I'm feeling a bit better. I've tried to rationalise with myself over the last few days. As Flythedragons says, I keep telling myself that my consultant wouldn't have said it was anything to worry about if there was a chance it was, or at least that's what I hope. I'm still aching a lot, which my irrational brain was convincing me was something awful, but in actual fact is far more likely to be the surgical menopause kicking in.
I don't think I'll have to wait for 12 weeks. If it does turn out to be anything suspicious, I can't see them waiting to tell me. I will of course be on tenterhooks all next week if the phone rings though. If I don't get a call then I'm going to assume it's all fine.
I will be making an appointment with my GP though as I'm not dealing with the trauma of my diagnosis at all. Not sure what they'll suggest but at least I'll be able to talk to someone.
I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better. Keep reminding yourself that the drs WOULD tell you if they had concerns. I think it’s a good idea to get help with the trauma of your diagnosis, it must have been such a shock for you.
There is a mental health board here, you might be able to get support there for your health anxiety. I know how crippling it can be.
You’re doing all the right things, keep going.
Hi OP hope you are ok, what a worrying time for you. I'm sure they have just done this scan as a precaution but as someone else who suffers from HA, I totally get how unbearable the wait is. Nothing takes away the awful anxious feeling so as PP have said, maybe see your GP for some help with it. If they see how badly it is affecting you, they might possibly let you know your results sooner if they can chase for them.
In the mean time, cross off every day mentally this week. The more days that go by, the less likely there is to be anything amiss. I'm pretty sure they would be contacting you pronto if anything shows up. Stay strong my lovely, there are a lot of us here to lend a virtual ear
The hospital have just called. It's a enostosis (bone island) and totally benign. No follow ups needed. Relief is an understatement. Feel like I can start to get my life back and deal with the rest of it now.
Oh my goodness what a relief! It must have been hell for you these last few weeks. I think you deserve a stiff drink tonight (if you indulge).
I truly hope you recover from your major surgery and your health continues to improve. All the best
Thank you flygirl. I am having a glass or two of wine tonight. Finally I feel like I can relax. Think I'll sleep well tonight too.
Great news op, so happy for you! I hope your anxiety takes a hike now.