I won't go into my whole history, but for the last 4 months I've had much pelvic pain (inc. ER visit); I've been looked at by 1 U/S and 1 CT, which both said dermoid cyst and pelvic fluid; the U/S saw a small basically simple cyst on the other side. I'm awaiting the results of a 2nd U/S done Friday.
My problem is this: crippling anxiety. These are the 2 sides of my thinking, and I go back and forth uncontrollably between them.
rational me: both the 1st U/S and CT said mainly dermoid cyst, which is benign!
anxiety me: but maybe they're wrong! I'm sure the 2nd U/S will show something awful
rational: some free pelvic fluid is normal; I've read that many places (including here)
rational: at my age (35) a benign cause is far more likely
anxiety: people my age DO get OVCA! And most were told at 1st that they were "too young" for cancer, as I have been.
rational: my GYN isn't that concerned; she's an expert, I should listen to her
anxiety: I've read so many stories of "unconcerned" docs who basically ignored major problems
I spend HOURS on the Web reading everything possible about ovarian/gyn problems, and I even with that, I go between thinking, hey I need to be educated to take control of my health vs. I'm doing nothing but sending myself into panic state reading all these stories about people who ended up having cancer (even tho I KNOW they are a small minority).
Basically I'm posting this because I'd love to hear from other women who struggle with rational thought vs. crippling anxiety as they search for a d/x for their symptoms
Just like you, when I found out from my doctor that the ultrasound did not show the harmless fibroids they thought it was, I went crazy. I remember sitting in a parking lot that day and just crying and driving around the city aimlessly. That first phone call began the instructions in my file that said "do not call patient, call husband" because I did not hear anything after "hello, we have the results". I would say try not to worry (mine did come back completely clear and I am 33), but everyone told me that and it almost drove me nuts everytime I would hear that. But on the other side of it, I wish I hadn't worried as much as I did for the month going down to the surgery. I really did do a number on my body and mind with all of the worrying that month.
The one thing I would say is listen to the doctor. If she/he is not that worried or does not appear as worried, then that seemed to be a good indicator (at least for me). The surgical oncologist (yep that name freaked me out too) actually was the one that a month before the surgery said she couldn't tell me for sure, but that she would have been shocked if it was cancer. That did help a little. =)
Good luck! And try to listen to the girls on this board. They are a HUGE help! =)
I understand that feeling of not wanting to concern your family. You sound like you are the pillar of your family....which is what most of us women tend to be. So if it helps, come here to voice your concerns. It may not be the same as having someone in the room to comfort you and understand your feelings, but we are always here to listen, and can definitely relate.
I just received a call from the doctor and she is going to pull of of the test together to see more of what is going on... She did say that she hopes that I did start my period (almost three weeks late)because that may dissolve the cyst... From what I have read can a complex cyst dissolve..? she was talking about doing another US after I stop to see what is going on..? Is that normal..? She was also talking about putting me on bed rest..? what would that do..? I just do not understand any of this...
You betchya, if it makes you feel better, I too struggled with rational thought vs. crippling anxiety as I waited for my surgery, and the results. There are women here who have experienced both benign and more sinister outcomes ... we all support each other and we all know how you feel! We all felt like you do, honest!
Please try not to allow the anxiety to ruin your health!!! (easy to say I know). You really can make yourself feel awful, and quite possibly for no reason. Maybe try some relaxation techniques, a yoga class?? I am no magician, but reading what you wrote, it sounds like you will be OK....my doctor was kind of like yours, and it turned out benign.
Odd how we scare the pants off ourselves about this stuff, yet don't worry about driving down the road (far more deaths in car accidents!!!!)
Best wishes. Post anytime, we are always here!
I think the same way you do but I've added another element to my thinking that keeps the fear at bay. That's taking a more spiritual approach that to me is really superior to my analytical thinking. "If that be my fate then that be my fate." If I ask for his help, God will equip me with everything I need to fight the good fight. Just like he sends the "angel teachers" here on this sight to comfort others. My outlook is fear is faith in negative, power to the dark forces. It is a constant battle to tame that "beast within" but triumph and victory is possible! By seeking knowledge you are headed in the right direction. Know that many have knowledge, but few have wisom. So I pray for wisdom. Peace to all.
Thank you for the advise... It is just scary to even think of that word... I am not sure if I am as scared of that or just surgery it self... I am one that never is sick takes care of everything and everyone and now that I am not feeling good I am doing good to work and try to do as much as I can at home... I think that is what is concerning the family... So then I get up a act like nothing is wrong and am just dying inside... I know that they would understand but I just do not want to concern them until I know more...
I completely understand what you are going through... I myself is going through that same thing... I am scared to death but then keep telling myself that everything has to be fine and I am just being a baby... I have been a very healthy person my complete life... I am almost 39 and the only time I have ever been in the hospital was to have my children... I think that I have been in the ER maybe twice... but these last few months have been hell... The pain in my abdomen has been awful... I have been to the doctor for it... Had two pelvic US... one in ER and one last Friday... 1st one shows a complex overian cyst on my right overy... Doc did a endomentrial biopsey two weeks ago with thoughts of Fiborids... ER doc said that my Uterois was clean so now what... I have been on pain meds that only take the edge off... I try and not talk to my family to much about this because it just scares them... My husband was actully sick the night after I was in the ER from being scared... My kids are a wreak... The are all big 19,17,15 so they understand a little... Sorry for going on and on but I really do not have anyone to talk to...
Okay, I struggled with the decision on whether to post or not because I don't want to add any stress to your thoughts. However, I think I want to say something to you as a woman who did get that dreaded diagnosis last year at age 35. Chances are definitely on your side that you have a benign condition. The stats do speak for themselves (although they are ever-changing) that a woman our age is far less likely to get a diagnosis of cancer than a lady who is a bit older. It is obviously a scary diagnosis no matter the age, and one for which you do not even want to have to prepare. But please realize that even if that tiny chance happens to come true, it is NOT the end of the world. There are so many women on this site who have gone through treatments and come out on the other side cancer-free. I can't candy coat it...yes, surgery and chemo suck. But you take that fighting spirit deep inside you and use it to it's fullest potential. No, I am not naive enough to say I'm glad it happened. That would be just plain silly. But it did, and I got through it. I found out nearly one year ago that I was in remission. Remission! What a lovely word! I had a support system around me that celebrated the successes with me, and offered me a shoulder to cry on when things were not so good. I feel lucky. That's right, I had cancer, and I feel lucky. Why? Because I had skillful doctors, wonderful friends, and a spirit that would not let cancer take me down for the count.
Again, let me say, I doubt yours will turn out to be anything sinister (Katie, I love that word...lol). But just know if the very minuscule chance happens that it comes out to be not so innocent, it is far from the worst thing that could happen. I hope I didn't say anything that will add any turmoil to your thought process, but I just hope you realize that should it happen, you CAN get through it.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please keep posting and let us know how things are going, and what you find out. There are a lot of women here who really care, and we will help as best we can. Easier said than done, but try to relax and enjoy the season. Best wishes to you.
There probably is a post somewhere out there in cyberspace, but it's been awhile, so I'll start from scratch.
I was in severe denial. I knew something was wrong, but you always think it will heal itself, I guess. I started suspecting something in March '05. I began to look VERY pregnant. I was losing weight in my arms and legs, but my abdomen was getting larger. I thought I just needed a good diet. As it progressed, I found I couldn't eat but a bite or two, and had indigestion all the time. I couldn't even brush my teeth without vomiting, because when I would bend over to rinse my mouth, everything sort of forced it's way out. Long about July, I noticed an umbilical hernia. I had my first vacation in 4 years planned for the end of the month, and I told myself I would wait until after vacation to see the doctor because I didn't want to ruin it. Got home and again found it easy to keep putting it off. Friday, August 5, I was at work, stood up, and nearly fainted. It's hard to explain the feeling that came over me, but I was exhausted, and felt funny (found out later it was my BP hitting the ceiling). I called my GP and made an appointment for the following Monday. He agreed that I did have an umbilical hernia, but they don't just happen, so somehing had to be going on to cause it. Everything in my abdomen was pushed up, so he thought it was my liver (it was in the wrong place). He ordered every blood test in the book, as well as a CT scan for two days later. Had the scan early in the morning, and the radiologist read it before I even left the department. He told me to go see my GP right away, and he was going to fax the results. When I got there, my doctor said it was an ovarian mass that was so large, they couldn't tell which ovary it was coming from. He made an appointment with my GYN, who I saw 5 days later. It just so happened he was leaving for a trip to China a few days later, and not wanting me to wait for more diagnostic tests, told me he would prefer to refer me to a hospital that dealt with that sort of thing all the time. He gave me a choice of two hospitals, and I chose Vanderbilt in Nashville (I live in Kentucky). He told me he could not determine cancer without a biopsy, and tried to reassure me, and I guess it worked. I didn't fear I had it. But the words "Gynocological Oncologist" did scare me. In the meantime, I had a CA 125, and it came back at 3053.
The following week, I went to Nashville, and my surgeon took one look at my CT scan and scheduled me for surgery 5 days later. It would have been 3 days, but he couldn't get the bloodwork back in time. I think he suspected cancer because the mass was mostly solid, but again, you can't be sure until you have a biopsy. And yes, because of my age, it wasn't likely. I still didn't really think it was cancer. So, August 29, I had my surgery. That's the day Katrina hit New Orleans, and I will never forget sitting in pre-op watching it on CNN not knowing I had my own storm brewing on the inside. Surgery that was supposed to take about two hours lasted seven. I woke up in recovery at nearly 10:30 pm with my doctor at my side. He said it was cancer, and had spread to my large intestine, my omentum, my small intestine, and my diaphragm. No other major organ was involed, though, so I was staged at 3C. The mass itself was 44 cm (about 15 inches) at it's largest point, and everything they removed was about 40 lbs. Doctor said it was rare for someone my age, but I probably had PCOS, and it developed from there. He was able to remove about 99% of it in surgery, though, so that was pretty good odds.
I started chemo three weeks later. I had the standard 6 cycles of taxol and carboplatin spaced out every three weeks. The taxol was rough...gave me lots of bone and joint pain, and neuropathy as well. But that has since gone away, and I feel better than I have in a long time. Because of the advanced stage, I know there is a good possibility it will come back at some point in my life, but until that time, I will live life to the fullest, and not look back. I regret never having kids, but maybe it just wasn't meant for me to. I can't question anything that's happened, because it is not in my control. I am at peace, and although the nerves do kick up every now and then, I know I have to trust things will work out okay no matter what.
Thanks for your comforting words. I've reached the point where I know I'd have that "fighting spirit", people in place to assist, etc... to conquer cancer should that be my diagnosis. It's the unknown, waiting, etc... that appears to be as destructive in it's very own sinister way. But like I said earlier, I won't let forces like that win, because upon reflection, I feel like my entire life has prepared me to handle whatever crosses my path. (I'm typically considered shy, laid back, and agreeable by nature, so for me it is ironic and almost a foreign concept to consider myself a fighter but that is what is takes to battle disease.)
When I posted about my anxiety regarding cancer, I was thinking too that I hope I wasn't offending people who received a cancer diagnosis. I know that cancer isn't the end of the world or the end of life--you can take it on and overcome it.
gah_70, congrats on your remission! That's really great. Can you say more about how you received your diagnosis--what kind of symptoms and tests did you have, were the doctors reluctant to suspect it was cancer because of your age? (You may have already posted your story before and I just missed it--if you have you could just give me the link to that post).
Thanks and again congratulations on your clean bill of health!
Shellhall, how did your pain start? Did it start suddenly one day or come on gradually over days/weeks? Are you also seeing a GI dr. to investigate GI causes? I know you said you're normally very healthy so I was just wondering--not that I have any answers for you!
Like you, I've been very healthy my whole life--I'm so used to going to the DR for regular checkups and skipping out without a care because everything is fine and normal. I've NEVER had surgery or been under anesthesia (except for a more mild form when I had my wisdom teeth pulled). That's part of why thinking I could have a serious illness is so insane--but I imagine almost everyone who gets cancer, especially if they are not in the main at-risk groups, wouldn't have dreamt that could be the diagnosis.
Best of luck to you! I sincererely hope you can find ways to stay as relaxed as possible while you're getting tested--but do know you're NOT alone in your fear and stress! I'll be thinking of you---please post again as you know more about your condition.
Thank you... my pain came on gradually... but it just kept geting worse... Then I started to bleed after sex (not right after but the next day)I would just be walking or standing and there it was... Not a little but enough to make a big mess... that would go on for a day and then go away... Still pain all the time... so that is when I made the appt... Had the Biopsy done and was told to get an US and come back and see him after the first of the year because he was on vacation... Well a week after the biopsy I really had a bad day with pain so I tried to call the doc office to see if this was normal and no call back so hubby took me to the ER... That is when they did the test,US and told me that I had a complex cyst and a bladder infection (never hurt when I went to the bathroom)... That was almost a week ago... Just a got a call back from Doctor and said that when I had my first US that I had a simple cyst about the size of a walnut but now that is gone and that was probable where my pain is... She did say that my uterus was thick but that could of been from the time of the month that they did the biopsy... She said that there was nothing that she can do right now and if I am still in pain after I stop my period to go back to the ER... Does any of this sound like anything or is it just in my head...
thank you to everyone! Although I can't say I'm "glad" to hear other people have so much anxiety, it's comforting to know you're not alone and not "crazy."
I wish I could just "shut off" my brain for a while and NOT think about it. I wonder if thinking about it constantly makes my physical symptoms WORSE, because I'm so hyperaware of every little twinge etc.
I actually had a complete panic breakdown in October and had to miss 2 days of work because I couldn't function. I called my mother and had her come here to the city I live in (she lives several hours away) because I literally thought I was dying. I'm kind of ashamed at how out of control I was. My GI dr. (I'm seeing both a GI dr. and a GYN because I don't know the root of my symptoms) prescribed me anxiety meds and suggested I see a therapist, which I am going to do.
I live in NYC so I already called Memorial Sloan-Kettering here and asked them if I could have my first surgery there, if surgery is deemed necessary, even if they don't know definitively if it's cancer. They said that was possible. That made me feel better: Even if it's a TINY chance it's cancer I could have my surgery in a place where they'd be totally equipped to handle it (my regular GYN specializes in urinary problems, not cancer, so I don't think I'd want her doing surgery).
when i had my vaginal ultrasound, the tech said it appeared that the pain on my right side was caused by a cyst that had ruptured. If it ruptured, the pain was not that bad. My appt. with the ultrasound specialist is on Monday, December 18 to review the mass on the left ovary. This appt. is at EVMS (Eastern Va. Medical School). Hopefully, he will be able to give me some answers before Christmas, because this is really getting to my nerves--the waiting and you just seem to think the worst.
Welcome and vent away. How else can we express this horrible frustration. For me at Trans/Vag US at gyn in Feb 2006 tech said tiny fibroid, CT later in month said "probably an ovarian cyst", then I went the Gastro route for they thought IBS. Currently I'm during the Urologist route. The pelvic US she did in the office 2 wks ago showed two large masses over both ovaries. She has ordered a trans/vag at her preferred imaging center and techs in her building, but that isn't until Jan. 9th. Feb. 9th will mark 1 year anniv. of the beqinning of my quest. I'm having a Cystocopy Thus. to rule out bladder cancer. But I really believe I finally found the right doctor to help and guide me. For those who don't know my history I had a dermoid rupture and cause peritonitis in my abdomen 8 years ago and have been problem free since Feb. last year. Doctors just look at me like I'm crazy when I express my concerns. I'm curious if there are any "rupture cases" out there on this sight. Apparently I have a lot of adhesions from the laparotomy and 2 c-sections.
I can completely understand what you are going through. In fact, you sound just like me. I am 51 years old, and have never have any major medical issues. Always have my regular check ups and try to keep myself in very good shape. Own my own company and am always on the go. I have been in this waiting game for approximately 1 month. Started to have sharp pains in my right side for approx. 2 weeks. I had my regular gyn appt. in May 2006, had a CA125 test in NOvember 2005 (it was a 6) but something still did not feel right. My regular dr. performed a blood test, urine test (found trace of blood in my urine, nothing to worry about they said) and scheduled me for a CT scan. Had the CT scan on November 7. Results came back as follows: we see nothing that is causing your pain on the right side; however, you do have a mass on your left ovary. You need to schedule an appt. with your gyn. My dr. called my gyn. and they scheduled me for vaginal ultrasound. I was so nervous and upset by this time I requested any cancellation they could get me. Went for the us and they told me my right ovary had fibroids, as well as my uterus. When they got to my left ovary, they said it also had fibroids, but there was also a 3cm mass on my ovary. My gyn was out of town until after Thanksgiving. She called me and said they just aren't quite sure what this mass is.
So they have scheduled me to see an ultrasound specialist, and depending on this diagnosis, she may then forward me on to a gyn/onc. When she said that, I immediately thought the worst. THis has been the worst time I have spent trying to deal with this. I am having trouble coping with all this and cannot wait until this is over. Sorry for the long story, but I needed to vent. THis is my first time on this site.
Quick question... did they put you on oral BC's? I NEVER had a problem with anxiety until the seasonale and the depo-provera. I'm still dealing with after-effects from those things. I had severe anxiety (like, would my house burn down because I wasn't home, kind of anxiety), and it was all caused by the hormones.
Just a thought...
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