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Thread: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

  1. #1

    Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    I've never posted before but have lurked for a number of years. A bit about me: Female, 44, overweight with long term hyperthyroidism (random, I know, as normally people who are hyper are underweight!) I had an emergency laparotomy 6 years ago due to a perforated bowel after a car accident. I've had IBS symptoms since being a teen.


    I've had health anxiety for as long as I can remember. My mum had HA. However, around 3 years ago, after convincing myself I had bone cancer after a bout of cellulitis (previously brain tumours, breast cancer, MS etc. etc.), I stepped away from Google and tried to rationalise my worries as much as possible.


    Then, about 12-18 months ago, it all started to go wrong...I started with a 'popping' sensation in my left abdomen. This happened when I bent over, moved suddenly, applied pressure to my abdomen. I could feel movement but I couldn't feel a mass as such - although I am overweight. There was definitely something, as when I pressed from the left side, I could feel internal movement. I could feel a weird sensation when laying in bed. I tried rationalising this as 'it could be scar tissue/adhesions'.


    I've basically buried my head in the sand and ignored it, thinking that it would go away. It hasn't. At one point, after losing a lot of weight (intentionally) it was popping about up to 10 x a day. I wasn't in any pain. I also convinced myself that if something is moving/palpable it's not an issue.


    Fast forward to early Oct and I was randomly feeling along my collarbone and I discovered a small lump along the left collarbone. I can honestly hold my hands up and say, I've never been one to feel for lymph nodes so I didn't know what it was. It's small (probably 0.5cm) - a little squishy - seems to change in size a bit. I've no idea how long it has been there. I wondered if it might be a lipoma (note, positive thinking!) so I Googled (bad move!) and discovered that it is probably my supraclavicular lymph node and that these are linked to problems in the abdomen. I had a panic and filled in an E-Consult and I was called to attend a follow up appointment in under a week.


    The GP appointment was great but due to COVID and hardly any other patients - so thorough. I was able to talk about every little niggle I was suffering with - pain shooting behind nasal passage, sciatica type pain plus the big hitters - the movement in the abdomen and the lump on my collarbone. I was in for 40 mins!!! The GP ordered bloods and an ultrasound. I've had the bloods but haven't rung for the results, as I'm so scared but I know that my GP surgery are excellent and if anything was out of range I'd have been told. I know I'm completely avoiding. The ultrasound has been an absolute pain - I haven't had it yet despite having BUPA! The hospital couldn't find my referral and then both my twins took it in turns to get COVID and I've been told that I must go 10 days from the date they stop quarantine to have my ultrasound.


    In the last two weeks, in particular, it has completely ramped up in terms of symptoms and my anxiety, I've been a complete wreck with the following symptoms:

    - Pain at night in left abdomen
    - Pressure under left rib as before
    - Pain in the lymph node
    - Middle/ lower and upper back pain
    - Sciatica as before
    - Head pain as before
    - IBS symptoms as always

    Yesterday and tonight, I've had a lighter coloured, floating poo and completely freaked out. I'm now massively worried that I have pancreatic cancer which is in my supraclavicular lymph node and therefore I'm a goner.

    I'm really really trying to have balanced thinking e.g. the movement in abdomen has been there for a long time, it could be scar tissue, the supraclavicular lymph node might not be even enlarged, it could have been caused by my Covid vaccinations, pancreatic cancer is rare at my age etc. but I'm struggling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Hi greeneyedgirl,

    I'm sorry you feel so anxious. My advice would be to do the ultrasound as soon as possible and talk to your GP. And of course avoid dr. Google at all costs!

    I can relate to how you feel. 10 weeks ago I used a lot of ibuprofen and since then I have some bad stomach issues. They were wrongly diagnosed as gastroentretitis, and I am now being diagnosed further. I did a gastroscopy that showed bile reflux and 2 days ago I did an ultrasound. Tomorrow I will find out what the results of the ultrasound are.

    A few weeks ago I made the same mistake as you: I googled my symptoms. Guess what it told me? Of course that the only possible outcome is cancer of pancreas/stomach/liver/spleen! The more I googled the more worried about cancer I became. Im still a bit uneasy from my symptoms but I am not panicking anymore. What helped me was reading this forum and joking about my anxiety with my friend. Do you think talking about your anxiety with someone close could help you too?



    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  3. #3

    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Quote Originally Posted by Iwant2bhealthy View Post
    Hi greeneyedgirl,

    I'm sorry you feel so anxious. My advice would be to do the ultrasound as soon as possible and talk to your GP. And of course avoid dr. Google at all costs!

    I can relate to how you feel. 10 weeks ago I used a lot of ibuprofen and since then I have some bad stomach issues. They were wrongly diagnosed as gastroentretitis, and I am now being diagnosed further. I did a gastroscopy that showed bile reflux and 2 days ago I did an ultrasound. Tomorrow I will find out what the results of the ultrasound are.

    A few weeks ago I made the same mistake as you: I googled my symptoms. Guess what it told me? Of course that the only possible outcome is cancer of pancreas/stomach/liver/spleen! The more I googled the more worried about cancer I became. Im still a bit uneasy from my symptoms but I am not panicking anymore. What helped me was reading this forum and joking about my anxiety with my friend. Do you think talking about your anxiety with someone close could help you too?



    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    Iwant2bhealthy - thank you for your reply. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through stomach issues. I hope that your ultrasound is ok and that you get the answers that you need and want. It is so horrible waiting.

    I know that Google is my absolute worst enemy. I have done everything in my power to avoid it until the last few weeks. However, I've definitely fallen down a rabbit hole again.
    I have spoken with my GP today, who was lovely, and has told me that my blood tests were all absolutely fine and she has prescribed me a beta blocker, which I have taken before with my hyperthyroidism, which will help with my anxiety. She has said that we are best waiting until 10th Dec for my ultrasound and I have a follow up appointment booked in with my GP. If I then need/want more investigation, it'll be a CT scan.

    Thank you again for your reply. I hope today goes ok for you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Hi greeneyedgirl,

    Well done! You took action and you talked to a professional. I hope you feel reassured and that it gave you the confidence to calmly wait for the test until the 10th. It's nearly there, so soon you'll know where your problems come from and even more likely where they don't come from.

    My ultrasound was perfectly fine! I thought it's strange because of all the symptoms I have but I accepted this outcome and I won't let my anxiety send me down the rabbit hole of googling again. I accept that I have a stomach issue which will take a few months to cure and I will care for myself as good as I can.

    Hope your ultrasound will come clear too, and that your symptoms will get better soon!

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  5. #5

    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Unfortunately, I'm feeling quite desperate today.

    Overnight - my pain in my abdomen has become much worse and not only is it in the upper left, it's also at the top of my stomach. I'm feeling nauseous with the pain and, no doubt, the anxiety and I have the feeling that I'm unable to swallow.

    I had avoided pressing on the area where I feel the pain and the movement (which now isn't happening incidentally) but I pressed deeply this morning and I felt a mass. I'm wondering if the mass is now too large to move. I think what I'm feeling combined with how I am feeling and the presence of the supraclavicular lymph node is a really depressing combination and I'm so worried.

  6. #6
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    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Sorry to hear that greeneyedgirl! :(
    If it's any consolation I can tell you my symptoms were exactly the same before they got better. Worsening of your pain at night is an extra indication of stomach issues... I have it too, and my endoscopy and ultrasound came back clean and I really don't have any other serious issues.
    To be honest I dont think you felt a mass under your fingers. Maybe it was an organ you felt under your fingers? Just for your piece of mind, do you think you could go to a doctor and check it out? It surely helped me to calm down.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  7. #7

    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Thanks Iwant2behealthy

    It's reassuring to know that you had worsening of pain at night but your endoscopy and ultrasound came back clean despite this.

    Last night my pain was so bad that I went to A&E and ended up at the GP out of hours surgery and then back in A&E again! The GP I saw couldn't feel the mass that I thought I'd felt and also couldn't feel any enlarged lymph node on my collarbone. I can feel a little bump along my collar bone but it's definitely gone down somewhat.

    She ended up suspecting that I may have had an entirely different condition (Abdominal Aortic Aneyrusm) and so I had to be assessed by a surgeon before they decided it wasn't that and I was sent on my way! I'm taking some positivity from her not finding those things but I'm still very worried. She did say that she wouldn't be able to feel a tumour on the pancreas due to its deep location so I've still got a question mark over this. My pain under my left rib is really hurting tonight.

  8. #8
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    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Quote Originally Posted by greeneyedgirl View Post
    Thanks Iwant2behealthy

    Last night my pain was so bad that I went to A&E and ended up at the GP out of hours surgery and then back in A&E again! The GP I saw couldn't feel the mass that I thought I'd felt and also couldn't feel any enlarged lymph node on my collarbone. I can feel a little bump along my collar bone but it's definitely gone down somewhat. [/COLOR][/FONT]
    I know how you felt. When my symptoms got worse I called the evening doctors helpline... Turns out that one of the major indication of a stomach problems is the fact that the pain gets better after you remain vertical for a few minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by greeneyedgirl View Post
    I'm taking some positivity from her not finding those things but I'm still very worried.
    Unfortunately that's how health anxiety works... We may get temporary reassurance but the underlying issue remains and it makes the physical condition worse. :(

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Jan 2018
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    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    Sounds like IBS to me. I get the same pain

  10. #10

    Re: Very scared - pancreatic cancer worries

    I really hope so stars1976.

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