This is a bit of a venting long post, Im very new to health anxiety but can in no way ever again think a person who suffers from it has an easy time, this has changed my life forever!!
I'm 24 and new to all of this, my anxiety is kicking in even now as I feel that even writing about my health anxiety will make it real and give me the disease Im petrified to get.
I'm not sure how this website works 100%, if its like a blog or anonymous support and comments?
But I need all the moment as I feel that my life for the past 2 months has been destroyed by my own self diagnosis of cancer and refusal to accept that the trained doctors and dermatoligists tell me I'm fine....'their years of training mean nothing, Im going to gt another opinion' which if you live in the UK like me, is a very difficult thing to do.
It started about 2 months ago when I notices some blue bruising on my right breast and a red rash, after googling the symptoms of IBC I realised I should calmly make a doc appt, and so did. I was expecting the usual 'its fine, go away' appt, but instead...she gave me an urgent 2 week referral to the NHS breast cancer screening in Bradford. OMG!! BAM it was real, I MUST have had a cancer for them to need to see me urgently!
My life became unbearable very quickly, spending my waking hours googling symptoms, diagnosis and treatment...applying the dismal prognosis outsomes to myself and preparing myself emotionally to say goodbye to my 2yo son and fiance. I spent the rest of my time feeling and studying my 'cancerous breast', crying and feeling a feeling of hopeless dread. My mum came to my appt with me, or as I saw it, my death sentence. I waited to be seen, put on a patients gown, the doctor examined me and said ...
'This is a blue vein at the surface or your skin and the rash is a skin condition, you should see a dermatologist about it'..... :O That was it?!!! Was he sure? He hadnt given me an Xray, I wasnt given an ultrasound??! No biopsy?!!! IM DYING AND HE DOESNT EVEN CARE.
Anyway, I went for icecream and eventually relented to my mums demands of 'listen to him, hes the expert!' and decided to convince myself that I DIDNT have breast cancer and the doctor was right, back to normality? I could sleep again?
Wrong, after deciding to go to the dermatologist about my skin condition, I decided to check up on the symptoms of skin cancer....just to be sure. I did as the melanoma awareness posters said
Check face, check body, check arms, check legs, palms of hands and feet.......check feet, is that a freckle? A freckle on the bottom of my foot that is very dark, irregular bordered, different colours?
YUP, and bring on the worst, longest panic attack I have ever experienced in my life! How long had it been there, it was definitely melanoma!! It had to be. I have used sunbeds alot in my life AND have spent months on end at my familys villa in turkey going many shades of red to dark brown.
and like that, like a tidal wave, came back the dread, the fear, the panic, the crying, the not eating, the sleepless nights, the constantly checking my body, my vitals, my lymph nodes. Constant googling, convincing myself I had metastatic melanoma ravaging my body....but this time it was worse. I have exams in 4 weeks...I decided they didnt matter because Im dying, I decided not to eat, because 'whats the point, Im dying'. My life became hell. It still is to be honest.
I was given a variety of different drugs by my doctor after having a mental breakdown during my appt and been given a referral to psychological therapys to help me cope, AND was given another 2 week urgent referral to the dermatologists for suspected skin cancer.
2 weeks of hell later, Im sick and nauseous from anti depressants and not sleeping, and after telling myself its metastatic melanoma, I go to my dermatologist, who asks me a few questions about my burning history and skin.
She asks me to strip to my underwear and then inspects the 'cancerous' lesion on the bottom of my foot, then has a quick look over the rest of my body. Once finished, she puts away her equipment and tells me she isnt going to biopsy the mole because she doesnt think it is a suspicious....and on comes another panic attack, I beg her to biopsy it because I wont be able to get off the anti depressants without knowing it isnt cancerous. She tells me she is going to get the head dermatologist for a second opiniong, and I wait in the room, head in hands thinking 'please cut it out'
She comes in, has a look and says 'oh thats lovely, no were not going to perform a biopsy, were not suspicious'
QUEUE MENTAL BREAKDOWN OF THE CENTURY, crying, screaming, snotting, pleading, begging, they had to get my mum in to calm me down, I just couldnt accept that this wasnt melanoma and could not accept their opinion, but they werent budging, they werent going to do a surgical diagnosis and the dermatologist then realised that I was having issues and started asking me what support Im getting. Im thinking 'I wouldnt need support if you would just cut it out'
That was a weeks ago, and I feel no better. My family are getting angry with me...Im looking for a private dermatologist, whilst waiting on another appt with the team I saw last week for in 3 months to make sure that the spot on my foot doesnt change, even though they told me they are only assessing it again for the sake of my sanity.
Does this get any easier, or is my life going to be this hell forever? Im convinced that although I MAY NOT have a deadly cancer now, that infact I will one day have it, and its a case of when. I experience phantom pains every day and am constantly looking at my skin and checking all different aspects of my body, I cant concentrate on anything else, and nobody seems to understand. I am so scared of getting cancer and dieing from cancer that I am no longer living my healthy life...and I cant help it.
Thankyou if you read this post, my head is seriously off this planet at the moment, how do people cope with this??