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Avatar universal

Scared and Depressed with news that I have rare deadly family cancer gene.

How can you deal with life knowing you have 40 to 70% lifetime risk of
developing deadly pancreatic cancer? Genes were identified for
hereditary pancreatitis which increases risk tremendously from
developing the deadly disease. My mother passed away at 49 and
grandfather around the same age.

I've been a hypochondriac my whole life, dealing with heath anxiety
issues. Visiting the various doctor over 30 times in 4 years. I
thought I had brain/neck/lung/testicular/liver/oral/skin cancer. All
came back negative. Now the new findings literally left me on the
floor crying for hours.

I am only 30 years old with a 4 month old boy who I adore. I can stand
the thought of leaving him behind and not being able to see him grow
up. I already suffer from extreme health anxiety which with new
findings that are now leaving me in a deep depression. I find even
hard to look at him without crying.

My life is slow and boring. The thought of laying in my death bed
regretting all the things I could have been or should have done to be
happy. I never live in the moment. My life consist of sitting around
working on websites all day.

Please someone help me with tips, words of wisdom or anything! To top
it off, I have the worst insurance for mental health, which is Kaiser.
Only group therapy is offered and you're able to see counselor once
every 6 weeks :(

Every article I read -- and I read many of them, all point to the
increased risk. It's on my mind all day and night. I cannot eat due to
my nerves. Even when I'm having a good time, it's still in back of my

You would think knowing this info would help diagnosing something
early, but it's unlikely. My dream come true would to live to be 90
like my other grandparents.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I am sorry that you are going through this right now.  I assume that you have checked out okay with your doctors.  What do they say about screening for it over the years?   Having said that, many of us here in this forum have become consumed with a health anxiety issue (or issues) at one point in time.  For me, it was concerns about heart health, but I believe we are all linked in that we obsess about it and it consumes us.

Throughout all of this, have you talked to a counselor about it?  For me, the main issue was about confronting my anxiety and learning to take steps to deal with it.  Knowledge is definitely power when it comes to working through something like this in my opinion....keep us posted!
480448 tn?1426952138
A screening is just that, and ALL it does is allow people to be on a heightened alert, and enables them to keep a closer eye on the situation with their doctor, it does NOT mean you will get pancreatic cancer, not at all.  

Even with an increased risk, you will not definitely get it, there is a good chance you won't.  If you think about it, the advancements that allow us to KNOW when we're at a higher risk for a certain disease are both a blessing and a curse.  While the idea of developing an illness with such high mortality rates is scary, anything could happen....you simply cannot stop living your life now, worrying about what may happen later.  The future is a mystery anyway.  You may live in fear and end up getting hit by a bus...you know?  

Obviously, from what you've said, you've had health anxiuety for a while.  I would strongly urge you to seek professional help for this...both in the form of therapy, and perhaps even medication to help control the symptoms.  If you think about it, it's almost ironic, you're SO afraid of dying down the line of pancreatic cancer, that you're not living NOW!  You're full of anxiety to the point where you aren't enjoying your life like you should.  That's why you need to get some help for this.  Even though you have every right to be concerned, you have taken the concern to an unhealthy level and it's affecting you negatively.

Also, STOP searching and reading about this.  THAT will fuel your anxiety something fierce.  Listen to what the doctors are telling you about what this all means...and go with what they are telling you...don't go on a searching mission, where all you will do is overload yourself with so much info that you're having a hard time sorting through and making sense of.  That will make you feel MUCH worse!

Hang in there...let us know how you're doing!
480448 tn?1426952138
One more comment:

My life is slow and boring. The thought of laying in my death bed
regretting all the things I could have been or should have done to be
happy. I never live in the moment. My life consist of sitting around
working on websites all day.

Can you see the irony in your statement here, versus your worry?  You're worried about lying on your death bed, full of regrets, yet you're not living NOW, and that's totally in your control.  YOU are the one who can change that (with some help).  For SURE you need to start really limiting your time spent on the computer, searching about this.  
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Arlington, VA
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Arlington, WA
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