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Thread: in a panic

  1. #1
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    in a panic

    I am probably not the first here to be in a panic but I am really scared right now. I had pretty bad diarrhea last Friday and didn't eat much all day - it was very watery and occurred multiple times. I was not hungry and felt pretty full that day and didn't want to eat. Since then, I have had soft stools, a light brown/tan color. I had one bowel movement yesterday and they have all been soft lately. Since Sunday, my appetite has been pretty normal but I have lost about 5lbs. I have been eating as I normall would with probably a few extra yogurts.

    I have also had a dull pain in my upper right back, should blade area for a few months at least. I work out, including pull ups, back exercises, so I assumed that was the cause but now I am not sure. The only time it has been painful would be when I would fall asleep slouched on my couch but other than that, I can just feel a very slight discomfort there and it is not constant but has not gone away.

    I am 40 years old and in pretty good health as far as I know. I am scared to death I have pancreatic cancer, or maybe something else but that is may main concern - I know I am on the young side but it is still possible. My light colored stools is what is scaring me the most along with the weight loss. I feel like if I don't keep eating I will keep losing more weight. My urine looks normal and no jaundice. My energy is normal and no stomach pains. I have had more gas then normal - the first day or 2 I burped a lot - but since then it has been flatulence - moreso when I am in bed at night, but also during the day. Overall, I feel pretty normal other than being very anxious about my symptoms and the above normal gas I have had.

    Of course Google has scared me to death. Reading about so many people finding out they have cancer when there are no or very few symptoms is scary. I have no history of any helath issues, no IBS or anything, not on any medication. I have high cholesterol but I am pretty active and I am about 5"10, 185ish.

    I plan to make a doctors appointment today but I am freaking out. I hope I am crazy but I am convinced something is very wrong.

  2. #2
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    Is this your first bout with anxiety concerning your health?

  3. #3
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    Yes - I am not normally very anxious, no anxiety attacks or anything. This has been on my mind every waking moment for the last few days.

  4. #4
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    You have a chance to stop this now. Otherwise you risk becoming trapped in a vortex you, and only you made. Your description and specific words you’re using are indicative of health anxiety. I did this to myself two months ago, and I’m struggling still. I sat with an oncologist yesterday and looked at a CT and was uneasy as he said “your pancreas looks fine”. What you’re doing is pointless, and potentially harmful to your mental health. Stop googling, and go to the doctor as planned. Is there an infinitesimal chance you have cancer? Of course. The doctor you see has a chance of having undiagnosed cancer somewhere. We all do. Where you are right now is where it starts. Let it go, and let it play out. I hope this helped. If not, tell me to shut up.

  5. #5
    Moderator Senior User IndyLou's Avatar
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    I hope you made your doctor's appointment, as you said. I think this will be the first step in getting you some much-needed help with your health and anxiety issue.

    If I'm to summarize your story, you're a 40 year-old person, and you recently had a bout of diarrhea and soft stools for a few days afterward; you work out, but you noticed that if you fall asleep, "slouched" on the couch, you sense some back pain. You also admit to not having any other major health history...but you immediate jump to pancreatic cancer as a concern?

    I'm a little older than you - in my early fifties. Let me tell you something, and it's not pleasant. Growing old kinda sucks in some ways. Our body has a way of reminding us that we're not in our twenties any longer. Exercise routines that wouldn't phase us in our youth now seem to generate lingering pains...crazy pains in muscles and joints. Spicy foods, some drinks, salads and fast food doesn't sit well with us; if we eat too close to bed, we seem more susceptible to GERD, and if we're not careful, we can generate some God-awful gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    By all means, if you have a genuine medical concern, see your doctor to discuss it. But there are so many other possible explanations for your immediate symptoms, I just don't understand why you would not only consider cancer as a cause, but you actually sought some validation from an online cancer forum.

    Why is that?

    It's definitely an answer you should discuss with your doctor.
    Age 52 Male
    early Feb, 2013 - Noticed almond-sized lump in shaving area, right side of neck. No other "classic" cancer symptoms
    late Feb, 2013 - Visited PCP for check-up, PCP advised as lymphoma. Did blood work, orders for CT-scan, referred to ENT
    3/7/13 - CT-scan inconclusive, endoscopy negative
    3/9/13 - FNA of neck mass
    3/14/13 - Received dx of squamous-cell carcinoma, unknown primary
    3/25/13 - CT-PET scan reveals no other active tumors
    3/26/13 - work/up for IMRT
    4/1/13 - W1, D1 of weekly cetuximab
    4/8/13 - W1, D1 of IMRT
    5/20/13 - complete 8 week regimen of weekly cetuximab
    5/24/13 - Complete 35-day regimen of daily IMRT
    mid-July 2013 - CT-PET scan reveals no active tumors, but shows necrotic tissue at site of original tumor
    early Sept 2013 - partial neck dissection to remove necrotic tissue. Assay shows no cancer present.
    Spring 2014 - No signs of cancer
    Spring 2015 - NED
    Spring 2016 - NED
    Spring 2017 - NED
    Spring 2018 - NED

  6. #6
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    Thank you for your replies. One main reason for panic is that I never have health issues, so now that something is different, it is worrisome - if I always had various issues, maybe it wouldn't be a big deal right now for me. I didn't just jump to pancreatic cancer, but the light color stools is what pointed me in that direction, along with some weight loss, gas and the back pain. I understand the back pain may be unrelated, but with the other symptoms I have - it is just something else that I mentioned. I know searching Google can be a very bad idea and can point just about any symptom to cancer, and it is probably possible to find a story of someone with any symptom that eventually turned out to be cancer. I don't mean any disrepect to the other people here - I do not normally freak out about health concerns but this has scared me. Hopefully it is just me getting old and I am fine if I just need to start getting use to it.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
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    Non of your symptoms are to be honest pointing in the direction of the big C and highly unlikely to be bowel cancer nor consistent with pancreatic cancer.
    Amazing what effect a bit of research on Google can produce.

    For a laugh, I put in some of my current symptoms, sadly according to the “wise diagnosis” of the internet I should have died by now.
    Im obviously astounded just how wrong given the dire predictions that I am still living.
    Back to reality, make the doctors appointment, get his or her opinion and hopefully with or without tests it is highly probable your anxiety may recede.
    good luck
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2, current 8.1
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+Marginal 4.
    Active surveillance continues.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 7/09
    November 1 Vats Wedge section pathology Glomulated previous infection
    no Cancer.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Motto
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  8. #8
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    I am going to the doctors today - I should have sooner but I have been so scared. I am beyond scared and terrified for my wife and small kids.

    The last week I have been having night sweats - not severe ones, but this is not something I have experienced before. I have also lost weight while continuing to eat normally - down a good 5-6 pounds in the last few weeks. I have also been urinating more than normal over the past few days to a week. I do drink a lot of water, but I always have, and the volume and frequency is noticeably more than normal for me. I am having bowel movements usually once a day but they are soft and light brown color and usually floating.
    My upper right back towards the inside has still been aching - not painful and not constant, but it has not gone away in a good 6 months.

    No pain or jaundice, my urine is clear.

    I hope I am wrong but it seems like everything points to it being cancer. I never have health issues so none of this is normal for me at all. I know Google searching symptoms can be a horrible idea. I don't know what I am looking for here, maybe it just helps me feel a little better to tell someone since I have been so stressed. I know the odds are lower for someone my age, but it does happen, and of course I have found every story on the internet about a younger person that got it that was in good shape and did everything right.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope I can report back with good news and I wish the best to anyone that is suffering with this terrible disease.

  9. #9
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Good for you for finally making that appointment and seeing a medical professional.

    With that said, you and you alone has convinced yourself you have cancer. That, as you have come to know, is not healthy. Google has convinced you not a medical professional.

    Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, which may or may not be correlated to each other, and if warranted, take further action in figuring our the source of your health concerns.

    We as you know, are not doctors and the odds are in your favor, despite what you think, that this is not cancer.



    Lisa

  10. #10
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    Any idea what your blood sugar level is? The abundant drinking/urinating plus weight loss might point to diabetes rather than cancer.

    You may want to ask your doctor, since you are going today.

    PBL

 

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