I have had a previous thread here which people were very good to me on, and very calming and reassuring which was great. I'm starting this thread as there have been some developments for me over the last two weeks and I am desperate to hear what people think as I honestly think, for the first time, that I'm close to a meltdown.
To try to explain this as quick as I can. I'm 28. I'm a massively anxious person, I have had health anxiety for about ten years and sometimes worse than others. Other kinds of anxiety too have pushed me to debilitating depression and suicidal thoughts but I have always recovered and am better all the time at doing so. My other thread explained my current fear of the very rare carcinoid syndrome. I have had tests and reassurance from 4 different doctors now that I am ok. In the uk I've had tests for a huge number of things. I've had complete blood counts, other blood tests, urine test, 24 hour urine test, stool sample tests and countless visits to two different GPs and everything comes back clear.
I'm out in America for work just now , here for another 6 weeks, and I'm utterly terrified. Over the late summer I tried to get better at dealing with my anxiety and move ahead with my life. I developed uncomfortable feelings in my stomach from mid august and tried to rationalise them. The symptoms are always there, sometimes worse than others. Here's the list
- discomfort/bloating/still hungry after every time I eat. Worse with certain foods.
- sometimes feeling like something stuck in the throat.
- burning in stomach and chest, sometimes very bad. Usually manageable.
- bubbling feeling under left ribs.
- lots of burping.
- most of the day I have a very tender stomach, can be sore to touch, feels uncomfortable almost like constant hunger pains.
- possibly slight problem swallowing sometimes but I think this is because I think about it quite a lot.
- And then around 3-4 weeks ago I started noticing difficulty getting a full breath, which lasts almost all day. Just that feeling of not getting a full satisfying breath. This leads me to attempt to yawn a lot but I often don't manage. The breathing thing seems worse when I'm sitting, when I've eaten and when my stomach feels a bit bloated or gnawing.
Please can someone tell me if they have had similar symptoms, or if it's even possible that this isn't what I think it is - stomach cancer.
I've been panicking the whole time I've been out here on this job. It's a brilliant job, exciting to be touring the USA, this is a good time of my life as I'm due to marry the love of my life in January. But the last 3 weeks have been terrifying and hellish. I've been to two separate medical centres over here and chatted to doctors, had chest X-rays done, had my heart listened to, blood pressure taken, and had a full abdominal ultrasound and been tested for h pylori. Everything has come back fine. I've been telling myself for weeks that it's lymphoma, or a lung clot or more of the carcinoid syndrome, but my head has finally settled on stomach cancer.
About 8 years ago I thought I had stomach cancer and my GP was also an expert in GI conditions told me I categorically did not have it, and that it would be a reflux issue. It eventually went away. I also had trouble getting a full breath in the past and was diagnosed with anxiety and told to lose some weight and get fit. But these symptoms are worse this time. There's this almost constant hunger and gnawing in my abdomen and I can feel that the breathing is related to this. The doctor I saw at the start of this week said I have to control my anxiety and calm down, and that I have a reflux problem, possible GERD, possible chronic gastritis and he gave me some medication for my stomach. He said I need to trust him, as I'll have to trust someone and that I seem an otherwise very healthy young man. I can't keep going for more and more tests and spending all my money.
My family have been so supportive and patient but are convinced I have nothing serious wrong and that it's a treatable gastric problem, and is being worsened by constant anxiety. My mum even went to see my GP back home again and explained she was worried about my anxiety levels, and explained my current symptoms and stomach cancer fears and my GP said I am really fine and she will help me with it all when I'm home in 6 weeks, it's all treatable and also I can start some counseling if I like. My GP and another doctor have all said breathing can be related to treatable gastric problems and made worse be anxiety.
For the past three weeks I've been convinced I'm going to die within a few months of stomach cancer and I miss my fiancée and family so much. I keep thinking that I shouldn't be out here away from them if I'm going to die soon, cos these days are all precious. I cry so much during the day and feel so anxious and full of horrible dark thoughts. I'm terrified of cancer and of dying, I don't want to leave the people I love. Yesterday I got to the point of being almost hysterical and feel like I can't handle it, like I have no strength left, I'm so full of despair.
Today I have calmed down and tried to rationalise as much as I can. But I'm still terrified that I'm not going to live to get married in January, or even until Christmas. I have read so many stories online about people being diagnosed with stomach cancer and dying weeks later. I know I'm very young for it, 28, but that doesn't mean it doesn't sometimes happen, and it's breaking my heart. I'm in the darkest place I've ever been. I don't want to die of course, and especially not before I have the chance to marry my beautiful fiancée.
I know a lot, if not all, my symptoms can be attributed to much more common illnesses like GERD, reflux, ulcer, chronic gastritis, hiatal hernia and so on, but I am so convinced. I actually said the other day to my mum on the phone that I know what this is, I know this is stomach cancer. I'm not a doctor so I know that sounds ridiculous, but I am lost.
My job out here is going well, it requires me to run around a lot, get very sweaty and is very energetic. I don't have problems doing this and it sometimes makes me breathing feel a little easier during it.
I know I certainly need some help with my head, I'm interested in seeing a psychiatrist. Even if I am right about the cancer, as I don't have a healthy way of dealing with things in my head, haven't for a long time.
Is anyone able to share their experiences, or shed some light? Being realistic, looking at the symptoms, is it even possible I'm wrong about the stomach cancer?
Thank you for taking the time to read this.