Sign in to follow this  
bedcat

Extreme fear, unable to believe that I don't have pancreatic cancer

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

My problems started almost three months ago when I woke up in the middle of the night with bad nausea and it triggered a panic attack. Since then, I've been struggling with digestive problems like upper abdominal pain, nausea, burping, and loss of appetite. I mostly don't enjoy food anymore and only eat because I'm afraid of losing weight. I'm also experiencing some upper back pain that comes and goes. Usually, the abdominal pain and back pain isn't severe, it's just bothersome and "there" and never seems to go away completely. It's never been severe enough that I've needed to go to the ER, but I have made numerous trips to my GP. Through Google, which I know is terrible but I can't help it, I've convinced myself I have pancreatic cancer. My anxiety is severe, and has impacted my life hugely in the last couple of months to the point where I have had to take a leave of absence from work. I'm also very depressed. I take 100mg of Zoloft a day which I don't think has been working at all, and Ativan when the anxiety gets so bad that I can't handle the horrible feelings anymore (I only have three left and I don't think my doctor is going to give me more which is causing me to worry more.) I'm trying so hard to hide this terrible anxiety from my children (13 and 11) but I know they sense something is totally off with me. I've had an ultrasound of my abdomen which has been normal, as well as numerous normal blood and urine tests, but I've read that ultrasound can miss pancreatic cancer. My doctor is reluctant to give me further tests like a CT scan because of all my normal results. I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday and I'm going to ask again for more tests, and I also have an appointment with a psychotherapist on Tuesday. I'm fully aware that my anxiety may be making my symptoms worse, but that doesn't help with the fear of pancreatic cancer. I've had bad health anxiety in the past, but nothing like this. It's truly ruining my life, and I can't even remember what it was like to feel normal. I'm just all around terrified. I wondered if anyone had any advice or words of reassurance.

Thanks for reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those symptoms are quite vague and can be anxiety or something much less worrisome than pc. I had upper back discomfort (like you, bothersome but not painful) and mine was reflux, possibly due to stress. I took prilosec for a month and it went away. Didn’t come back after stopping meds and I’ve been more careful about what I eat. Has your doc mentioned reflux or gastritis or anything like that? The one person I know that had pc there was not a doubt that something was seriously wrong. Your symptoms don’t point to that. If you had pc I believe something in your blood work would have been way off. Your doc knows what to look for as well, and you need to trust that if they don’t want to do further testing then that is good. You already know that using Google to diagnose is bad. It doesn’t tell the whole story, you see a list of symptoms and say “I have some of those, maybe I have XYZ” but the way you present with those symptoms is not indicative of pc. For example, many on here have been worried about ALS because of twitching. But twitching in ALS doesn’t present until after muscle death which means not only would you twitch but you would be unable to use that muscle for anything. But they search twitching and see ALS and the fear begins.

I would talk to your doc about your anxiety meds if you feel they aren’t working. Also if you haven’t tried therapy it can be very helpful for changing your thought process and helping to stop the what if’s from taking you down that slippery slope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate your reply more than I can say! My doctor prescribed a proton pump inhibitor for possible reflux and I've been taking it for a few weeks and I think it may have helped a bit? It's hard to say, I don't feel nauseated as much and my appetite has improved somewhat but I still have the nagging upper abdominal pain and back pain. What I don't get is why these symptoms seemed to come on so suddenly - I have had some indigestion in the past but only very intermittently but then in October, it just seemed to come out of nowhere - some days are better than others but it always comes back. I'm 43 so fairly young for pancreatic cancer but it's not out of the realm of possibility. I've never smoked and I'm a non-drinker but telling myself logical facts over and over doesn't seem to help much. I am starting therapy next week so I'm hopeful that will help me. 

Thank you again for taking the time to reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here, my symptoms started out of nowhere and continued every day for a month. Finally went to doc and she said probably reflux. It may be you need a different ppi, I took Prilosec after Pepcid didn’t work. Tums didn’t really touch it either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again. I just found this forum and am finding some comfort in reading the posts. I just wish the temporary reassurance would last. I'll have short periods of time where I'll feel confident that I don't have anything life-threatening but the worry always comes back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it will try to get back into your head but the more you tell it NO before you start with the what if’s, the faster you will be able to get over your fear. Talk to your anxiety like it’s a person ad tell it where to go. It may take days or even weeks but keep telling yourself none of the doctors are concerned and you shouldn’t be either. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My half uncle had pancreatic cancer at 85. He had sudden severe abdominal pain and went to the ER, where he was diagnosed, He went to the ER in January 2013 and passed away in August 2013. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MARC, thanks for replying and really sorry to hear about your half uncle. I think that's what scares me the most about pancreatic cancer, how fast and deadly it is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this