A little health update

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am still battling chest pains and stomach pain and this week has been particularly rough to work through. I called my doctor and got her to give me a referral for a gastroenterologist. I have my appointment next Tuesday. In the meantime I have been nauseated, had both upper and lower stomach pain, severe low back pain, and constipation. I am starting to get frustrated.

    Not only do I feel like crap, but despite some pretty heavy duty diet and exercise I am not losing any weight. I am contributing that to the fact that I still can't go to the bathroom. I really hope this new doctor I will be seeing will have the wisdom to perform the right tests on me and get to the bottom of what is wrong with me. I have read up on every type of imaginable cancer and I am convinced it is either some type of stomach cancer or ovarian cancer. I am especially high risk for ovarian cancer,and I have all the symptoms.

    I am trying not to freak out and expect the worst. In the meantime we have our Spring break next week and I have never before needed a break as badly as I do right now. I can't wait to get through tomorrow then have nine full days of rest. So that's where I'm at right now. I will keep y'all updated and a great big thank you to all of you who continue to support me.
     
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  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    CG, read up on gastric reflux instead. I think you'll find more in common there.

    You lose weight if you have cancer. You're awfully young for any kind of cancer and I'm betting you are just freaking yourself out about it, as I used to do..for it to end up being nothing big.
     
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm glad you finally got a referral to a Gastro. Dr.

    It's probably not cancer as weight loss is usually a symptom. The fact that you are constipated can be what is causing all your pain and just feeling yucky.

    I had cancer (lymphoma) 20 years ago and had to have major surgery which involved taking many biopsies from throughout my guts. Between that and all the radiation I received my gut has never been the same. I suffer from constipation constantly and if I don't address it daily it's not fun. I make sure I take a good probiotic and use plain psyllium husk as it doesn't have the sugar that Metamucil does. I also drink Senna tea each evening and make sure I drink plenty of water at least 1/2 gal a day. Also, artificial sweeteners are really bad for your gut.
    You might want to try a vegetable laxative to help get things moving along.

    There are many things that can be out of whack in your gut that are not cancer.

    Hoping you get to feeling better soon. Let us know how it goes. Enjoy your days off.
     
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  4. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I'll send good vibes your way CB. I understand that you must feel very worried, especially since this has lasted for a while and it doesn't sound like you have been "heard". Even if you have high anxiety, your doctor telling you not to worry is not going to make you feel better. I understand that. I don't know why some people have difficulty get the medical care they deserve. You may not get all your questions answered, but the least your providers could do is look at a few things and explain and communicate what they are thinking and explicitly why this is not a cancer. MWM is correct that when you have cancer you lose weight. You do deserve to feel well and to have your doctor figure out what's going on. I'm glad you got your referral. Keep us posted. :)
     
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  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What you have sounds a LOT more like the IBS that I and oddly enough both of my high school best friends have fought since our early teens. I have been there done that with these symptoms for over 3 decades now and they are not cancer. At one time or another, all 3 of us have had your exact symptoms and had to fight to regulate our guts.

    It is not likely to be cancer because you are not losing weight. Your dieting may actually be a major contributor to the problems, as can over exercising. I had about the most awful experience after an endoscopy and it took over 12 full MONTHS of what you are describing for my gut to rebound back to a sort of healthy normal. My doctor keeps asking me about a colonoscopy and I simply refuse. I would rather chew off my arm without any pain medications. MOST people don't react to endoscopies that way, but my doctor did a couple of things during the procedure that were not okay and which left me vulnerable to bacteria that he introduced by being a jerk and a penny pincher rather than using fully sterile equipment. So I had to spend months figuring out how to heal my gut from the bad bacteria he introduced.

    If I were you I would put myself on prevacid (OTC, available in generic as lansoprozole at Walmart), I would drink only filtered water (brita type filter or bottled), I would take a probiotic supplement and eat yogurt with live cultures. I would avoid artificial sweeteners like the PLAGUE (because they ARE, esp for your gut and for migraines) although stevia is okay.

    You really need to get this fear of cancer out of your mind. I hope the doctor can lay your worries to rest because your odds of that are far lower than the odds of you having something like IBS which can be treated and controlled with proper diet (high in fiber is esp important) and with occasional use of medications.
     
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  6. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    My sons Dr put him on Phiilips or Mylanta a couple days or so( make sure all is out), then on polyethylene Glycol ( Miralax) twice a day to keep him regular because diet alone doesn't always work. Also as far as acid reflux could be, I have it, it actually went up to a higher issue.( waited to go to dr and didnt take pills like should of). You have anxiety right? So, maybe some of this panic attacks? My neighbor gets them and she says its like what your experiencing plus she cant breathe right during one. ( minus constipation issues) What about thyroid issues? My sister can exercise and eat right but still not lose, so they can check it out.

    But your doing great to continue to go get a good checking over and you will know for sure. Again, if I was there Id go with you! ( I am having all my appts soon too!!) So hang in there meanwhile, Im sure its something simple. You need to pamper yourself, even if its soaking in a bubble bath! :swimming:
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    CG, in my late twenties to early thirties I had IBS, as Susie says. Forgot about that. Stomach problems are very common in high strung people...the anxiety goes straight to the gut. I visited my gastro guy so often that when I finally quit going, the staff and himself probably threw a wild party, complete with booze and dancing. Along with the other fun things I was diagnosed with...mood disorder not otherwise specified, anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, I had this phobia of being sick. Don't let it go on too long. I'm so sorry I bothered poor Dr. Feelgood so often.

    Was your mom nervous about her health? I ask because when I was young, and felt ill my mother would overreact and I'd hear her crying on the phone to the doctor sometimes and it just amped up my fear. Yep, that didn't help.

    Also my brother has Crohn's Disease and he was really, seriously sick as a kid and I was, as they call it, susceptible/vulnerable. A psychiatrist explained that if somebody had, say, Crohn's, I'd feel the same symptoms, as I believed them to be. I remember working at a hospital and going home and imagining that I had all the diseases as the people I admitted. They didn't have good help for phobias back then, but they do have them now.

    Also check your medication. My medications literally wiped my hypochondria away. At one time, I think I would have had to have been restrained to have had surgery. A month ago, I had elective surgery and was not very nervous and am glad I had it done. I was not afraid of the biopsy results. I actually believed it was preventative and did not expect to be surprised with cancer.

    CG, you're such a nice young woman. Don't suffer with this fear. Definitely go to your gastro man, but also alert your psychiatrist to this because it is a phobia that is treatable.

    Big hugs. Good luck to you, but I don't think you'll need it...I think it will be minor...constipation is so commn for so many minor issues.
     
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  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am 61 and had a colonoscopy last Monday. FYI the prep was the worst part. I fully expected them to find 1,000 growths. I was growth free for the part they could access. I have had problems with constipation since I could remember. Low and behold the reason for not having a bm every day is due to an extra long colon. I too freak out about health issues, but I am of an age that $#!% happens......or not.
     
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  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CB-I can't help with the advice on reflux but I will say my daughter has had chronic constipation for her entire life. She drinks Miralex mixed into water daily and it helps tremendously unless she starts getting lazy and then she goes right back to being constipated.

    Pasajes-I had my colonoscopy last Monday too and agree that the prep was the worst!
     
  10. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I absolutely loved being knocked out. When they got through, I had to do part 2 which was a "virtual" colonoscopy that involved another iv to do a contrast, and having my colon blown up with air.....did I mention I was wide a wake and in pain? That part totally hoovered. If there are any growths in that part, I will get to have a third procedure. YEAH me.
     
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    CB - You seem like a dear, sweet, woman and I mean this in the nicest way - The only one convinced you have cancer is YOU. You have not had a single medical professional tell you that you have cancer. PLEASE try to relax and WAIT until an actual physician tells you that you even MIGHT have cancer before you start believing you do!:hugs:


    :rofl:

    I have been studiously avoiding a colonoscopy. #1 - they always have a terrible time waking me up from anesthesia and so I avoid it if possible. NOT looking forward to my upcoming hernia surgery. #2 - I just don't wanna!!! My doctor told me to have one at 50. Well when it was time for my physical last year, I got the nurse practitioner and when she mentioned it, I just said, "No. Don't want it." and unlike my doctor who would have insisted, she just gave up. ;) I expect at some point I won't be able to put it off any longer.
     
  12. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Lil, I did not have one at 50. I could not afford the deductible, and I did not have anyone to drive me.
     
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I have great insurance and Jabber...but I just don't wanna. :p
     
  14. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I totally get it. Would it be crude to say it was a pain in the @$$?
     
  15. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am actually hoping they do a colonoscopy. Yes I know the whole procedure is a pain in the butt (literally!) but it will help alleviate some of my fears. And my grandmother actually had colon cancer so it does run in my family. I am also hoping for an endoscopy. My upper stomach pain and nausea is getting super bad lately and the pain radiates to my chest which is VERY scary! Yesterday at work it felt like somebody was stabbing me through the heart with a very large knife and I was in pain for hours.

    If it wasn't for the cardiologist already telling me my heart is healthy, I would have left work and taken a trip to the ER for an EKG. That's how bad the pain was. I could be sitting on top of a huge ulcer and not know it. Next is a trip to the gyno for my annual exam and to get my ovaries checked. I have been battling ovarian cysts since my first pregnancy in my early twenties and the pain is back with a vengeance. In the meantime I am doing my best to stay away from those darned medical websites. Hypochondria and the internet is not a good mix!
     
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I loved being knocked out too! The doctor was a hoot! Ouch on the virtual one! I did not have to do that and they said I don't need another one for 10 more years at which time I'm extremely hopeful the prep will have changed. I heard they are working on a very tiny camera for people to swallow.

    Lil-I got out of it last year because I had a second shoulder surgery the day before the colonoscopy was scheduled but had to bite the bullet this year!

    CB-I had an endoscopy about 3 years ago-turned out I had Celiac's Disease even though my symptoms weren't the typical ones. Mine manifested as horrible, debilitating joint pain that would only show up at night.

    Another reason you might not be losing weight is if you are exercising a lot and eating too little your body will fight to hold on to what it has.
     
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am kind of anal (no pun intended) about making sure I'm in good shape, so I did have a colonscopy at 50. I wasn't scared. You don't feel anything; you take a nap :) I'd rather know and fix things than not know and, well...you know. It don't get fixed!
     
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Everyone I know who had cancer, lost weight, often rapidly. My father had stomach cancer and lost a lot of weight.

    I suspect I'm gluten sensitive. I lose very little to NO weight if I eat starchy carbs like bread, pasta or sugar. I'm ok with small amounts of rice, popcorn or potato. But, even those items can be a problem if I eat too much. It might help to observe closely anything your body "tells" you.

    Glad you will see the doctor.
     
  19. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    By the way just an FYI ovarian cancer is the only cancer where you GAIN weight instead of lose. Despite heavy diet and exercise I'm gaining weight. I also have constipation and lower stomach and back pain. I am having all the symptoms of ovarian cancer. I am already high risk. My grandmother had colon/rectal cancer and ovarian and colon cancer are closely related. I have already battled several large ovarian cysts which also greatly increases my risk for cancer. Right now I'm terrified. Ovarian cancer has a very low survival rate. I am terrified. More prayers needed!
     
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm sure if you say this, it is very possible. Maybe water weight in the belly? A good friend of ours, however, had ovarian cancer and lost a lot of weight. My mother and grandmother both died at age 49 of cancer and I'm in my fifties and, knock on wood, doing well other than Lupus and related issues. I did, however, feel a little tense at ages 48 and 49. But, in retrospect, I know my mother smoked and had a terrible diet. I'm unsure about her mother, but do know that both women were under a lot of stress. I feel so much better since I decided to take matters in my own hands by eating a very good diet and by either avoiding stress or learning how to manage it much better. These things have helped my overall health and happiness. It's great that you are seeing the doctors, this is wise and important. But, I agree with the others, there seems to be a certain high rate of anxiety and I hope if you aren't doing so already, you will consider seeing a therapist to help you attain better coping skills...for your overall better health and happiness.
     
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