Ovarian Cancer Community
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Avatar universal

rational me vs. anxiety me--is anyone else like this??

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)
anxiety: fluid=cancer!

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
22 Responses
167426 tn?1254089835
getting a CA 125 blood test  might relieve some of the anxiety. it is not always realible  but it does show a raised level most of the time in OVCA.
Avatar universal
Thanks--I may ask my dr for the CA-125.

I know this is a forum primarily for people who have been diagnosed with cancer--thanks for letting me vent for a minute about my fear and anxiety even though I haven't received a diagnosis.

I wish everyone here the best--your stories and knowledge are really inspiring.
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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! =)

Avatar universal

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...

107366 tn?1305683975
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.  

Avatar universal
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.)
Avatar universal
Thank you for your words!

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!
Avatar universal
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...
107366 tn?1305683975
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.

Gail :)
Avatar universal
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).

Thank you again to everyone!!
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