help! paranoid about every ache and pain

Hi all

I have to admit I’m struggling a little bit today. Despite being given a good overall prognosis by my consultant (after chemo, rads herceptin and tamoxifen) recently I’ve found myself dwelling on aches and pains and am almost convincing myself i have ovarian cancer as I have a dull nagging ache in my lower right side of abdomen… no matter how much I tell myself i haven’t, i can’t get it out of my mind. I haven’t exactly had regular bowel movements so it could well be that… and my BC nurse said that chemo drugs alter the tissue in the ovaries so that could be causing the ache. Has anyone else heard that? I am so scared though. I haven’t had a CT scan and they have no plans to give me one as they say i have primary breast cancer (1 lymph node grade 2) but how do they know that it isn’t everywhere else. I am sure I am worrying needlessly - i had a pain in my leg a few weeks ago and was convinced it was bone cancer but the pain has gone now. Should I mention this pain in my right side to my onc?? And I know I should just be keeping positive, but three chemos in and I find that keeping positive is sometimes hard!! I don’t know why I keep thinking the worst is going to happen when my onc was quite positive overall. I feel that if I don’t get a grip soon someone ought to give me really good slap!!

Yours, the hypochondriac (a.k.a. Carrie ) x

Hi Carrie

I have been browsing the forums since being dx in September 07 and have found it a great source of info and support - so thank you to all. I have just had on 03/01/08 FEC no 3 of 6 and, like you, I am experiencing a pain on the RHS of my abdomen. I went to see my GP on Monday and he could find nothing - it was not painful when pressed so he is arranging for me to have a scan ( In a couple of weeks!) However he advised me to talk to the onc when I see him this Friday so will let you know the outcome. I know exactly how you feel as prior to dx I have always been so healthy and not at all like a hypochondriac which I feel I am now! you are not alone in your feelings it is a natural thing to be.

Val

Hi Carrie

You are not paranoid just normal youre body has let you down big time letting this ‘C’ take over every wakeing moment, I know exactly what you mean I had a cough since my surgery 7 weeks ago and I convinced myself that I now had lung cancer even though the chest xray i had done before the surgery was clear.

As everyone else had said I think we will be cautious for a long time yet and believe that every ache bump bruise and lump is another cancer, I wish I knew how to combat it if i did i would bottle it and give a free sample to every lovely lady on this site.

Take care

GillMc xx

Hi Carrie and Val

It may help for you to talk through your fears and concerns with someone from our helpline. Here you are able to talk in confidence about your feelings with staff who are either breast care nurses or trained staff with experience of breast care issues. If you think this would help the line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 2pm. The number to call is free phone 0808 800 6000.

I hope this is of some help to you both.

Kind regards
Sam
BCC Facilitator

Hi Carrie, Dont be too hard on yourself, its perfectly natural to feel these thoughts, we all have I am sure at some point. I convinced myself of all kinds of things but I now know that the achy bones do come with the chemo, I like you was so worried but my oncologist reassured me. Mine seem to be worse when my blood count is dropping and then go O.K again. I would mention your concerns to your Oncologist, he will be able to advise and put your mind at rest, It is best to let him know your worries. Staying positive is very hard at times especially when you feel rough, but you will get through it im sure. I never dreamt I would be strong enough at times to do it, at at really low times felt like packing in, but I am now approaching my last one, when I felt awful I used to think well at least its doing its job and getting rid of the little beggars. The ladies on this site are so supportive and you always have someone to listen. I wish you all the best Carrie with your treatment, and I will be thinking of you. Please let us know how you get on.
Love and a big hug
Jillxxx

Hi Jillian,

I’ve been updating my info on the diagnosed christmas eve thread and have been told today I will need chemo. i’m scared as I’m a dot. whats it like chemo?

sukes

Hi Sukes
Sorry to hear that you need chemo, and its perfectly natural to be scared, I certainly was. But my first was not half as bad as I had imagined, the chemo unit nurses are lovely and do put you at your ease. Everyone is different re side effects etc, my second chemo I hardly had any at all and felt fine. You will have low days but then you spring back and are able to enjoy the good ones, Chemo is doable sukes, I am a real wimp, but something kicks in and you cope with it, once you get into your treatment, the worries and feeling scared will pass, honestly. I wish you well with your treatment and I am always here if you need any advice, just ask. I hope this has helped a little.Please keep in touch and let me know how you are getting on.
Take Care and I will be thinking of you
Lots of Love
JillX

Thank so much to you all for replying.

Val if you could let me know what your onc says tomorrow I’ll be very grateful adn also wish you lots of luck for your meeting.

Jillian - you are right about it being hard to stay positive when you feel rough, thank you so much for your support. hopefully I’ll get some reassurance soon. I hate living with this level of worry, it is constantly on my mind and is driving me crazy right now. I hate having dark thoughts as I used to be so positive and healthy!!

Gill - thank you, you are right about the support on this board, it is so lovely to know it is there. I sometimes over-read though and scare myself witless! I have followed your other thread and I am so pleased you have won your case to have chemo. If it gives you peace of mind, it will be so worth it. I am on fourth one next week - it is not so bad so long as you are sensible, eat well, drink lots and sleep lots and ease up when you think you have a cold coming on or sore throat - get straight on antibiotics. The worst bit is the first 48 hours after chemo, then each day gets a little easier, it isn’t intolerable at all. I wish you lots of luck.

Carrie x

I have finished Chemo - it was rough but in the words of Sir Elton “I’m still standing”! On the rough days I triedto imagine that chemo was my friend doing it’s best to kill all the nasty rogue cells and I thought if I feel this rough the cancer hasn’t a mission!

Hang in there and be good to yourself. You will find strength you didn’t know you had.

Muddy

Hi, Sukes

Don’t be scared, really. Most of us here have had chemo and we’ve lived to tell the tale. As Jill said, the chemo nurses are wonderful and really will put you at ease. I just wanted to bring them all home with me!

I had to take steroids for a few days, along with anti-sickness tablets. They then gave me more anti-sickness tablets to take throughout the treatment as and when I needed them (Metoclopramide). As I’d never been a tablet-taker before the cancer, and been as fit as a butcher’s dog, I fought against taking “unnecessary” tablets, so I didn’t take the Metoclopramide and was sick, but I thought that was okay because chemo was all about being sick and losing your hair and feeling lousy. Next time I went for treatment, the nurse asked how I’d been and I told him I’d been sick and he said didn’t you take the tablets and I said no because chemo was all about being sick, and he said don’t be daft, take the tablets and you won’t be sick. So I took the tablets and I wasn’t sick!!

Sorry to ramble on - must be the tablets!!

You’ll be just fine, chuk.
xx

Hi
I have finished chemo and just started radio. Instead of worrying about the effect of the chemo and how I feel I have moved on to worryying about the effects of the radio! I think it is normal to worry! I was very low after chemo number 3 and found the time between that and number 4 very difficult. I think it is to do with being half way in terms of treatments but not really being half way in terms of time. Once you get to number 4 you will feel better I am sure. We are allowed to worry and feel down every now and again!

Hi Carrie

Just to let you know that I talked with my onc and explained my worries and fears. He examined me (found nothing) and said he felt it was more than likely to do with my digestive system and I must admit the dull ache has moved around a little, although in the same area - if that makes sense. I am glad my GP is arranging a scan as the onc did not offer. I see on some of the other discussions that cat scans and ultra sound scans seem to be offered - is this something I should query? I did have an MRI scan on my boobs only as I have lobular cancer which is difficult to detect and this scan also can be accurate on the size - initially they thought it was 1.2 cm but after the scan it was confirmed as 4.2 cm which was helpful to the surgeon before the WLE. Had no lymph node involement which was good.

On the chemo front the onc has suggested I cut out the the dexamethasone to stop the ‘jitters’ which were bad. Hope this works as so far no sickness. I will continue to take ondansetrom and metoclopramide.

Hope you are feeling a little more calm Carrie - it is good to have the support of all on this forum.

Take care.

Val

Hi val

Thanks so much for that, my pain seems to move around too, although it is still there, not so much a pain as a discomfort. i also have lots of wind too(!) so maybe it is digestive. also bcn said the ovarian tissue can become irritated with chemo drugs. my onc examined me today and he’s sending me for an ultrasound scan even though he couldn’t feel anything untowards. he said it was more to put my mind at rest. we shal see. hopefully nothing.

good luck to you and hope youre feeling good. carrie x

Hi Carrie

Same here re the pain/dull ache. No mention has been made to me re the ovary tissue though. I have spoken to other ladies who have ‘come through’ the treatment and they have experienced similar feelings to ours.

All being well will go for my 4th FEC on Thursday.

Let me know how you get on.

Good luck to you too and hope you get your scan quicker that I probably will!

Val

Hi Carrie,
Glad you spoke to your oncologist, and good that you are having the scan, it will put your mind at rest. Please let us know how you get on.
Take Care
Love
Jillx

Hi Val

Just wanted to let you know that i had a scan today and radiographer could find nothing at all!! i was so relieved. they checked kidneys, liver and ovaries and all looked ok. she thinks it might just be the chemo irritating the lining of the bowel.

just thought i’d let you know. carrie x

Hi Carrie

Thanks for letting me know - really pleased for you. Needless to say I’m still waiting for an appointment! I chased the surgery as I had not heard and the request was only sent off from them almost 2 weeks AFTER my docs appt. Will chase again tomorrow if I have not heard. This is despite my GP saying he would put an urgent request in. The pain has subsided but is still a niggle.

Survived FEC 4 but have been feeling a little down since - but think that is to be expected. Hope your chemo is managable - at least we are half way there now.

Take care

Val