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Starting to feel like a hypochondriac - with real symptoms


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Old 06-29-2017, 04:45 AM   #1
Prairie Fairie
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Starting to feel like a hypochondriac - with real symptoms

Hi guys,
So I am a cancer survivor. I had ovarian cancer when I was 27. Stage 1A adenocarcinoma - they caught it early. After trying to treat symptoms myself OTC style, I finally saw the doc and they found a tumor the size of a baby. I had surgery only and they took appendix, omentum, right ovary, tube and pelvic lymph nodes. No chemo or radiation.

It's been 12 years since then. I had complications from the surgery resulting in total bowel obstruction caused by adhesion (scar tissue from cancer surgery) in 2014. I had put up with years of abdominal pain (even went gluten free at one point) because nobody could find the cause of my chronic inflammation. Before that, they scoped me and found esophagitis (never told me it was a concern - a newer PCP informed me about a year ago - that explained some of my symptoms). Also chronic gastritis of the non h.pylori kind. I avoid lettuce, can't eat much greasy food and found triphala (ayurvedic remedy) to assist with discomfort.

In the past month or two - shortly after a bout of Strep Throat and a round of antibiotics I started getting some pain under rib cage, to the right. Doc sent me for an xray as I had chest pain as well, but it wasn't heart pain. Xray did NOT show gall stones and liver and kidney appeared normal. Next step will be blood work, to rule out more basic things, I guess.

I've noticed last few days I'm having trouble swallowing. Dysphagia. It's come and gone in the last year or so - and I assume it's the esophagitis. But it appears to be getting worse and I suspect possible Barrets (sp?) esophagus developing. Apparently, that is the risk with esophagitis. Given that the only time I've had reflux or any kind of 'heart burn style pain' is either when I was pregnant or had ovarian cancer, I believe I do have legitimate cause for concern and probably need a scope. It feels like I have a tennis ball under my right rib right now, but the xray is clear. I had a small morsel of my daughter's cereal to see what it tasted like. When I say morsel, I mean two pieces of chex cereal (dry). It still feels like it's stuck in my throat an hour later.

Given my history and my ongoing issues, should I be feeling like I'm a hypochondriac (seriously - don't placate me), or should I get it followed it up? My only concern is if I do and they don't find anything, they'll say "IBS, GERD or something of that nature and the reality is yes it is irritated, yes it is gastric", but that doesn't tell me WHAT the cause is - it's just a label for "we don't know". I don't want them to find anything, but if they do, then I have an answer. I don't want to be a recipient of another adenocarcinoma, but my body proved 12 years ago it was capable. I exercise daily. I hardly drink. I do vape, but don't have a cough. I haven't smoked a combustible cigarette since Feb 2013 - my lungs are clear. My heart rhythm feels normal. My BP is still normal (sometimes low, but typically normal). I'm a healthy weight. Yes, I am carrying a bit of extra abdominal fat - so I couldn't rule out fatty liver issues. I have a sweet tooth - cancer likes sugar. I've been cutting back on my sugar lately, but not because of this...just trying to eat a bit better. The only 'fast food', I eat is pizza (home cooked) because I can't stomach much grease in terms of fries and I don't eat much in the way of red meat, or any meat. I would be a vegetarian, only I'm not the only person in this household.

The field of gastroenterology is extremely frustrating and obscure. They had to open me up to find out why my bowel had blocked as I wasn't viable for the pill cam even months before that happened. I'm pretty sure I'm not hypo, but sometimes I wonder. I have gotten past that point of "is that cancer?" every time something crops up - but being sensible, I am starting to wonder if something is brewing.

Two nights ago I dreamed I peed blood - who dreams about things like that? Seriously? Sorry if too graphic - my body is talking and I'm trying to listen. I'm just not sure when I'm over reacting because of the seriousness of what I could be dealing with and whether my history dictates how I interpret everything. When I was 27, I saw that the symptoms could be ovarian cancer, but I assumed I was too young. Even then, they said it was unlikely - but there was something in there (it was large enough to be seen). I don't want anything to get to the size I dealt with - the bloating (which I've had recently), the urgency to pee - had that too but it's different, suspected a UTI at one point, but dismissed as unlikely), the side affected is the side I don't have an ovary, so I'm not worried about O.C - but the esophagus is obviously having issue and GERD is not an answer for the pressure in the right rib area.

I'm sure by now my family thinks I over react - but am I when eventually they do find the issue - it just takes so freaking long and costs so much money. I can't afford to go down this road of retesting for symptoms that yield no cause or origin. Because without a diagnosis, I can't fix it or at least get a "okay, that's what's causing it". I'm not scared of cancer. I probably should be, but I'm not scared. Not to lessen the impact on cancer for anyone, but I'm more concerned about how it would affect my day-to-day life than anything. The costs, missing work...the more serious issues I won't talk about out of sensitivity and respect for others.

I had all the classic symptoms of OC - except for age. Now I think I may have the classic symptoms for E.C, although they're not constant - they come and go. Yesterday I was nauseated and I hadn't eaten. Kind of feeling helpless and over reacting. Sorry for the long post.

One more thing. Sometimes even drinking water hurts.
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Last edited by Prairie Fairie; 06-29-2017 at 04:48 AM.

 
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