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MmeMulot 03-07-2006 11:13 AM

How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
WARNING: This post is about scary health problems, so if that triggers your own anxiety too much, you might should not read it.

I had a pelvic ultrasound last week because I've been having pelvic pain on the left side and some spotting. They found a corpus luteum cyst in the left ovary and a solid mass in the right ovary. The mass is 1.5 cm. The doctor says it most looks like a blood-filled endometrioma, but it could also be cancer. I'm 36 years old.

It was unexpected to find something in the right ovary, because all my pain has been on the left. They had me do the CA-125 blood test, which can be a marker for ovarian cancer, but the results aren't back yet. It's not a fool-proof test, as apparently any inflammation or something like endometriosis can also cause it to be high. I have an appointment on Monday with an oncology gynecologist for another opinion.

I am TERRIFIED of it being ovarian cancer. I know three people connected to work who have had ovarian cancer (one died in her 40s, one has a really bad prognosis, one seems to have beaten it), and so I know how deadly it is. The doctor said statistically my risk is low, but that's no guarantee. I know there's no way to know without having surgery and a biopsy, but I'm dreading the waiting and worrying. I have quite severe anxiety disorder and health anxiety, so I know I'll be a basket case for the next few weeks. I've barely been able to sleep or eat the past few days, even with taking a Klonipin. I guess I'm just looking for some support and good thoughts.

How do you deal with having health anxiety when there is something to actually have anxiety over???

V_dubgurl 03-07-2006 01:52 PM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
I have had ovarian cyst alot larger then that. My pain was also on the right side when the cyst was on the left. Thats not uncommon. Im sure you will be fine. I was scared to death with my cysts also being im only 25 and mine was the size of a grapefruit. Owwie and it ruptured inside of me. They will probably do a laproscopy to remove the cyst. Good luck and try and relax. I know its hard but things always happen for a reason. Keep that in mind!!

MmeMulot 03-07-2006 04:05 PM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
Thank you for your post [b]V_dubgurl[/b], it was good to hear your story. Interesting that your pain was on the opposite side, too!

V_dubgurl 03-07-2006 05:19 PM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
Your welcome!! :) Everything will be ok. Whatever happens just stay strong for yourself. I have had a friend with cervical cancer and she beat the odds. The most impotant part is to stay positive no matter how scary it is. Your brain actually listens to you! You ever notice when you tell your body your arm hurts it starts hurting. Its weird but it happens to me all the time. I guess its a little easier with an anxiety disorder. But the more you stay positive the better off you will be. I know it will be hard but try your best. We are all here for you!!

jkobeck 03-07-2006 05:33 PM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
I will tell you a story. My wife about 6 years ago went to planned parenthood for an exam. They inserted their hands into the vagina etc and the nurse felt what she said was a large mass. Next they call in a doctor who also feels around and says there is a large mass the size of a lemon near the ovary. They scarred the hell out of her, told her to go for an ultrasound fast and not to delay. We went for the ultrasound and nothing was there. the doctor said what they felt was her stool(fecal matter) that is in that area and he said it was a common errer with planned parenthood. But scarred the hell out of us for 2 weeks.

mim 03-07-2006 09:32 PM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
I have anxiety attacks also, and have been going through several unpleasant medical procedures and testing for a variety of problems. I finally realized after staying in a near state of silent panic that I either had to choose what I had to just hand over to God, and what I could reallistically deal with in the here and now while raising a teen on my own. It was making a concious decision and spiritually handing off to a higher power what I just could not take. Now don't get me wrong, I fight to not grab back all that worry out of habit! Focus on what you can do to help yourself find peace, and not on what you can't Just hang in there and take every day, just one at a time.
~Mim :wave:

CircusSquirrel 03-08-2006 04:42 AM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
I had a large "mass" on one of my ovaries. My gyn was really concerned about it, even though I wasn't. I had the CA-125 which was elevated, but it is really not a good test; it's not sensitive or specific enough. I also had an ultrasound and a CT. Tests showed that it was probably a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst, endometrioma, that sort of thing. At the time I was 27 and frequently had cysts. My gyn said the chances of cancer were very small, but she wanted to go in and take it out instead of waiting to see if it would resolve. I told her no way was I having surgery when this thing would probably disappear on its own in a couple of months. Long story short, two months later no sign of the large mass on repeat ultrasound or CT. You're still young for ovarian cancer, and it is likely that this is nothing. You'll get through this, you're stronger than you think.

MmeMulot 03-08-2006 11:57 AM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
Thank you all so much! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all taking the time to think about my problem. The Internet gets a bad rap sometimes, but it's a real Godsend talking to others who can relate to my fears and issues.

I'm trying to keep a firm grip on my anxiety and not let it spiral out of control, but there are definitely some really bad moments where I feel like I just can't deal with it all. I'm still waiting on the results of my CA-125 test -- should get that tomorrow or Friday. I am absolutely exhausted.

[b]CircusSquirriel[/b], can I ask how elevated your CA-125 levels were? I'm expecting mine to be elevated. Your story is ironic, because my gyn is the one who wants to wait through another cycle (that might change with the CA-125 results), and I'm the one freaking out and thinking about surgery immediately to find out if it's cancer or not. I'm not good with waiting.

MmeMulot 03-09-2006 09:04 AM

Re: How deal with health anxiety when real health issues?
I wanted to post an update. My CA-125 test results were normal, so that's a huge relief! It was 17.9, and below 35 is considered normal. It's not a complete "whew!" since the test does seem to be imprecise, but it certainly makes me feel better about things.

I still have an appt. with an oncologist gynecologist on Monday to get another opinion on how best to proceed.

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