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Anyone else "paranoid"?


kamataca

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I think that paranoid people don't realize they are paranoid, so I'm wondering if I am. I have lost 4 family members to cancer in the last 4 years (and another grandmother before that), so I have an underlying current of worry that it will happen to me, or my kids. It doesn't consume my life, but it is there.

Have I taken it too far, though? Case in point, my 13-year old daughter had a large mole on her back. It has changed size, shape, etc in the last year or so, so we took her to the dermatologist (seems like the responsible thing to do, right?). He told us it was not a problem now, but could maybe someday, possibly develop into a cancerous problem.

So the day after Christmas, my baby was in outpatient surgery, having that bad boy removed. She was less than thrilled, I will tell you. She was a trooper and made it through, but in the time before the dr. came in the room, while she was scared, she started crying a bit. I felt bad--I was the one who was so worried, and talked her into this.

So was I being overly aggressive, over something that would probably never have been a problem, or reasonable? I don't know. I just worry that this beast will keep rearing its ugly head in our family.

Do you guys worry about that?

Kelly

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First of all--I had the same kind of thing removed from two spots on my arm in the beginning of college. I don't think it's being paranoid. I think it's being proactive.

Second of all... I don't know if we're paranoid or if it's just that we have a bigger dose of reality than most people.

I sat down with my doctor last week to talk about family history. He was reassuring, but part of me also felt like I was being a pain in the rear. The most he could really tell me was that at 26 most of the diagnostic measure that could be taken for any of the (many) different kinds of cancer that have affected my family would have the potential to do more harm than good at this point, and still could miss detecting something.

I'm sure he found it bizarre (and paranoid tacked onto the end of a discussion about anti-depressants) that a 26 year old was sitting there asking what she should do to be proactive about her cancer risk. But how can I not ask those questions? Because of Mom. Because of folks I know here and elsewhere who had the crapshoot deal them the lousiest odds WAY TOO FREAKING YOUNG.

So I have no answers to your questions except if you're paranoid, I am too.... And what are we gonna do about it but continue to be proactive about it and occasionally be a pain in the butt in a doctor's office?

Give your daughter a hug from me, and tell her if I ever meet her I'll show her the tremendously ugly huge scar that I have on my arm from my 'excision.' I make up exciting stories about how I got that scar because it looks so grisly. ;)

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I worry about it all the time. I think it's simply normal after cancer is in your family and has disrupted/distroyed your life in such ways.

Being vigilent is a good thing. Keeping up with check ups and exams and living the best life you can is a good thing. It's only when your fear stops you from living..that it becomes "paranoid" or obsessive.

I think having the mole removed was a pre-emptive, proactive thing to do.

Now if you do a full body search nightly on your kids looking for "dangers", that's when I'd be worried about you.. :wink:

((hugs))

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I don't think you're being paranoid. I think you made a wise choice for your daughter.

Cancer has become prevalent in my family too. All different types. Paranoid? You tell me.

My sister has Stage IV throat cancer. One day we had a family gathering. My sister noticed that my husband's voice was very hoarse. She asked how long it had been that way. It had been a few weeks, but he wasn't feeling sick. She pulled me aside and told me that was her warning sign that she had cancer, but she ignored it for many months. I relayed this to my husband when we got home. He went to see an ENT. That was how we found out he had lung cancer.

No, I don't think we're paranoid. I think we need to look after ourselves and our loved ones a little more vigilantly than others.

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You know, I'm not paranoid at all. I know this may sound weird with what I've been through, but I'm not afraid of cancer or death. I lost my best friend and confidant to it.

Three years ago I feared it, but now I would almost welcome it. I would hate for anything to happen to my daughter though and I do need to stick around awhile for her.

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I am a worry wort too. After my mom was diagnosed I found all kinds of things wrong with me. From swollen lymph nodes to dark moles to shortness of breath. I went to the doctor for all of these things and broke down in a mess of tears each time. Turns out the lymph nodes and shortness of breath were nothing, or at least nothing that couldn't be explained by stress or anxiety. The moles, however, I did have biopsied and one came back dysplastic. I had to have it cut out to be sure it wouldn't turn cancerous. I am glad I had all these things checked out because otherwise I would sit and worry about it all the time. In my mind, you can never be too careful! I will always be pro-active with my health and with the health of my kids just as you are. I think you did the right thing!

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I have cancer in my family too, but I don't worry about it. I get my regular checks, but I figure you can't control everything in your future. My paternal grandmother died of leukemia in her early 40s. For some reason I always assumed I would too, but it wasn't really fear based. (I don't assume that anymore, by the way.)

However, I was a "head in the sand" person as far as symptoms go. I never dreamed Bill had lung cancer. I always assume the best scenario -- I think that's a type of fear that makes me do that. But it's not a good thing. Like "if I don't know about it, then it won't be real." I HOPE I won't be like that in the future with myself or my loved ones, but I don't know.

As for the mole -- can't hurt to take it off. Your worry was based on factual information. I think you did the right thing.

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Oh yeah, I had that discussion with my new doctor back in October. I had only seen him one other time but he knew Mom was sick. I started the conversation with "humor my paranoid side please". And he did. I agree it's not JUST paranoia but a heightened sense of what things could be and we have the gift of hindsight in our loved ones.

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Kelly,

You did the right thing.

I had a mole on one cheek, never

worried about it, till one Friday

night it got swollen and I noticed it,

never hurt at all.

Took till Monady to see a dermatologist

had it removed and it was precancerous,

lucky it was on my face. easy to see.

Paranoid you are not, just a good mother.

Jackie

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Such a relevant post.

With my first on the way, I am so worried something will happen to me before she is old enough to not need me.

I'm actually going to the Dr on Friday for a physical primarily because I am a little paranoid right now.

Re the mole, if it might be a problem someday, I would have had it lopped off now too. So I think you did the right thing.

I don't get the waiting thing.

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Thanks for your help, guys!

I feel a little better. As I change her bandages twice a day and see this ugly, swollen wound with 8 stitches, I feel bad...especially b/c it looks like she will have to miss her next volleyball tournament! We didn't know about it when we scheduled her app't, thinking the Christmas break would give her time to heal before school was back in session. She goes to the dr. the Friday before to have the stitches removed, and he may give her the green light.

She told her uncle the other day that she was a victim of a shark attack, so the dark humor of our family is kicking in. She said she would have to come up with good stories to tell people.

So maybe I'm proactive, and not paranoid. I like the sound of that better! :)

Kelly

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Paranoid?? I think not. Better safe than sorry.

After my Mom died a hideous death from ovarian cancer, I was told my risk was much higher for the same fate. I had one ovary taken at age 30, while having a hysterectomy for other reasons. That was all the doctor could justify for my age. Fast forward a few years to exploratory colon surgery and before the doc went in, I told him to yank the other ovary. That was when I was younger with young children to raise.

Now, I'm on the same page as Sheri, I could care less for myself and have no fear of dying. My kids are grown. I DO worry about genetics coming into play for my kids though and have to really watch myself to not make them paranoid. I try to throw out gentle reminders and, especially my daughter, yells at me to not make HER paranoid. Yeah, sure, she just had tests and a biopsy that turned out okay, but she was scared as all get out.

You did the right thing.

Welthy

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I am queen of worry wartness and would have done what you did also!!

I tortured my baby boy when he was 2 weeks, he had large bilateral swollen lymph nodes, but felt fine. The dr said we could wait or do a CBC. I of course said CBC. They could not get enough blood out of his heel, the poor baby got poked 4 times and was not happy.

I constantly worry about cancer lurking and am never truly a happy person b/c of it.

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