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Scared and need advice

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Old 02-21-2009, 06:46 PM   #1
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Scared and need advice

I was dx with GERD 2 yrs ago-sharp shooting chest pains were my sx. It took me over a yr on Aciphex to get it under control. My dad died of pancreatic cancer this past summer, PC is hereditary.

I have been having a squeezing pain under my left rib about an inch under my breast bone. I knwo the pancreas lies here so I worry. I have been back on Aciphex for 3 days and it has not helped.

Has anyone here with GERD had this pain in this location---about an inch under the breast bone and an inch left of the middle of the stomach?

Had an ultra sound of this area this summer and it was fine including the pancreas and other blood tests for the pancreas, none which is a good dx tool

Very scared so any feedback would be appreciated!

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:18 PM   #2
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Re: Scared and need advice

I haven't had pain there, but the longer I have reflux and the more I read, the more I'm convinced that everyone has different symptoms. There are still things that surprise me about what reflux does to the body. My reflux caused me extreme breathing problems. Who knew???

What I do know is that it takes time to see if the medication will work. I was on 4 different PPI's last summer. With each one, the doc made me stay on it for an entire month in order to get a good idea about how well it was actually working. Usually, it is about 2 weeks for it to take full effect. Even though you still have the pain, give the PPI time to kick in.

Have you also tried supplementing with Zantac or Gaviscon? I take the PPI's twice a day and I've found Gaviscon most helpful as a supplement to my routine. (Avoid the Strawberry-banana smoothie though...yuck.) Others really like the Zantac.

Old 02-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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Re: Scared and need advice

I have the pain you describe under the breast bone on the left and it is very scary, I have it for years and have never had an explanation, I have heartburn continuoulsy and am getting more and more frustrated as the time goes by.

Old 02-28-2009, 05:15 PM   #4
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Re: Scared and need advice

Well I got labs back and it shows a rise in my lipase which could mean pancreatitis (which 2 drs say no to as I have had it a couple wks vs acouple days), gallstones (had that ruled out w Usound) and pancreatic cancer. So I am of course having a fit thinking it is risen due to PC. Will have an EUS next week for a btr look. Exhausted, scared and tired of crying..

Old 02-28-2009, 05:34 PM   #5
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Re: Scared and need advice

Of course you have every right to be. Symptoms without a cause can be very scarey. Do you mind me asking how old you are an dif you take any other medication, specifically for reducing the worry over this? We all tend to think the worse...but the anxiety and worry can make things is a vicious cycle. I can relate as can probably many people reading these posts. Chances are, it is not cancer but me telling you that, I know, is of little help right now.......I know when your in the midst of the unknown that only a clean diagnosis will alleviate your worry. I went through a similar scenario in the last two months and had myself in such a state; I succumbed and went to the dr. and, although I didn't want to, told him I needed something to help me get through the waiting period. I have three kids and I absolutely HATE wasting every moment which I know is precious being preoccupied with the what if's. I started taking a very low dose of PAXIL (though there are other drugs as well) and within a few days I noticed the obsessing thoughts of things like what if this is cancer subsiding.......the brain chatter started to go away, and I was able to carry on life while waiting for the tests. Ironically, my other symptoms started to subside as well!!!! My tests all came back normal and I am starting to wean off the medication as I'd rather not be on "another" thing. It's not for everyone, but my point is, the worry and subsequent anxiety you are experiencing in your head and body is not helping the physical symptoms. I have read and listened a lot in the last year to books about "living in the moment" and am starting to slowly realize that what is, is, and what will be, will be.......absolutely no one knows what will happen tomorrow, or in the next minute, or if there will be a next minute, or hour, or day.......and we are amazing creatures that deal with extraordinary things, no matter what! It is really the unknown right now that is freaking you out. If medication is not your thing, then take good care of yourself, exercise to relieve some of this stress, drink lots of water, and try your hardest to stay pre=occupied. If you can, even try repeating things like "I am healthy" or "I am getting healthier" "I am going to be okay", etc to yourself every day and night and whenever you can. THe mind is a powerful tool and that is what is causing you to worry---see if you can't use some of that power to work for you instead of against you, as you await more tests.....

I know, easier said than done. I sincerely hope everything goes well for you and keep us posted.

Old 02-28-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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Re: Scared and need advice

Thanks so much for reaching out> I am 34...I know I am typically young for PC but I DO know people in their 30s dx with this.

So I went to the ER today to get some of the tests, I could not wait all wkend. I had my lipase re tested and its still slightly elevated. The dr (and my gi) both said pancreatitis does not present this way which scares me more> I asked if a rise in lipase could mean PC and she said yes. So she offered a ct scan but I said no due to radiation and I know its not the best tool ( I know people who had several ct and it was missed), so I opted for an ultra sound which my dr was going to have me do tues. I know these are not the best either, but I do know at least 2 people whose masses were found this way. Also I was told its a good imaging for thin people ( I weigh 105). So the US was clear-thank god. I am not out of the woods yet though.

So my GI has referred me to get a EUS--this is the best tool for PC, it does not miss the smallest tumor. Hopefully I can get this done next wk

I have my CA 19 and a CEA blood test to take Monday and I pray those are low (these are cancer markers) I had two ca 19 in the past...5 months ago it was slightly elevated and I was retested last month (to make sure it did not rise more) and it had dropped which should be good.

Thank you so much. You are right, we need to live in the moment and I need to think those thoughts over and over vs the negatives over and over. Thanks again for reaching out

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