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A Health Anxious Forum Lurker - 30M


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Firstly let me just begin this by saying that I have so much respect and compassion for anyone who is or has a friend/family member suffering from lung cancer. I've been a long term forum lurker here and I find the community both inspiring and comforting.

 

About myself. I'm a 30 year old Northern Irish male with a passion for football (soccer), gaming, cooking/baking, technology and travelling

 

I guess you could say that I came across this forum after reading references to it on Reddit a few months back and since then I've regularly been checking in

 

I don't currently have lung cancer myself so I feel a bit of a fraud posting here and if this isn't allowed then please lock my thread. I do have my own ongoing story to tell and I find that writing really helps with my anxiety so id like to apologise in advance for the wall of text I'm about to write. Not many people on other forums usually get through it, so I won't be offended if you read ahead. Also please do excuse me if it is insensitive for me to be posting here despite not formally having lung cancer... Ye

 

 

My backgrou

 

Im a 30 year old Caucasian male from the U

For about 8 years I've been smoking rolling tobacco (10 a day) and microdosing on cannabis (0.25 - 0.5g a day

I drink alcohol very infrequently and haven't really drunk more than 5 times a year for the past 6 years

I'm 6ft 4 and would say I'm defintley overweight

No underlying health conditions except for suspected kereteconus (reffered to NHS waiting list). Also have night eating syndrome for past 2 years causing me to wake up after 3-4 hours sleep 6/7 nights a week to eat

Family history of underactive thyroid, Arthritis and caeliac disease.

No extended family history of cancer

Suspected for a while that I could have diabetes. Was meant to have a test with gp in Jan 21 but they sent me to a and e for other symptoms and test was never performed

 

 

 

My Lung Story So Far (sorry if some is NS

 

Nov 19 - Was in Amsterdam took Viagra and experienced post coital hemoptysis. (Was more blood in mouth rather than knowingly coughing i

Nov 19 - Continued to get these episodes and noticing it in the mornings. Had a chest x-ray which came back clear and due to mental health issues was also prescribed anti depressants

Also prior to this I began to experience dry mouth in the morning and thick balls of mucus/phelgm which could be clear/clear with brown bits/mucus

 

Important Note - A news report came out in June 21 to say alot of x-rays in my hospital weren't analyses correctly at this date. Affected patients are getting letters and I'm yet to receive on

 

March 20 - Began to ease off my anti depressants and return to full time wor

 

January 21 - From November 19 through till now I was still experiencing blood in saliva mostly in the morning (but also during day/evenings at times) and anything from once a month to 3 or 4 times a week. The mucus would also still be present some morning

I also began to experience some heartburn like chest pains (3/10 pain). Spoke to doctor about all of the above and had blood tests, ECG and x-ray which were all normal.

Also noticed a slight wheeze on occasion too

 

Jan 21 (cont) - Was getting alot of health anxiety due to everything with hemoptysis pointing towards lung cancer. Tried to press my GP for more tests but he advised "I'm young fit and healthy with nothing to worry abou

 

March 21 - Still experiencing the above with the exception of chest pain which was just a one off incident over a few days in Januar

Called Dr again about my concerns and also mentioned the wheeze. The best way I could describe it would be a late Inspiratory squawk/squeek

Having done research on lung cancer and x-rays not detecting it I was pushing for a CT scan but he was relectunt to give me one.

Kept pushing on further calls and he caved in but asked for his honest professional opinion and he thought it wasn't required and that he was only booking it for my anxiety and how it was affecting me rather than my reported symptoms.

 

March 21 - With the above in mind and myself usually being quite rationale. I thought maybe it is just health anxiety which is worse from being cooped up in the house. I read some threads online about people having gingivitis (even though brushing doesn't start my blood in saliva) and thought maybe I need a dentist appointment first. Also thought that if this is all from "anxiety" then a CT scan is just going to make me more anxious in the future due to worrying about radiatio

 

April 21 - Had my dentist appointment and was told immediately that I have gingivitis which was a huge relief

 

May 21 - Had a few days with bad pelvis floor pain which was making it difficult for me to get out of bed but once up I was fine. Then began to experience what I can only describe as a 1/10 dull ache/discomfort in my mid back/left flank. The ache was very intermittent and seemed to be more noticeable when leaning forward from a standing positio

 

May 21 - Also got a call from an ENT who I explained my symptoms to (excluding back ache as call was before I noticed that trend) and he also came to the conclusion that I'm fine. Pushed him for at least a breathing test which he agreed t

 

May 21 - Went for my breathing test but NHS told me to sit in waiting lounge for doctor. Wasn't seen for 45 mins and then nurse queried my appointment and told me her colleague sent me to wrong place. She took me for some breathing tests which were normal for my age/size/health bar wheezing slightly more than average on forced exhale

As I did my breathing tests later than scheduled, I never got to go through them with the doctor I was due to see. Nor did anyone listen to my lungs (or has done to date). Got a letter a few weeks later to say no further follow up required

 

May/June 21 - Began to keep an eye on my overall health alot more. And noticed some differences which I've maybe had for longer but not notice

 

More frequent urination which can also produce foam at times round the bowl or in the toilet. Not every time but notice some foam at least once a day which doesn't vanish quickl

Black specks in stool. Not every time but every few days. If I wasn't examining and monitoring my stools I don't think I'd notice it. Sometimes can be explained by fibre/seeds but I believe there is also some upper GI bleeding too

Frequent Stool Changes - Constipation and/or diahorhea. Occasionally oval shaped, sometimes soft/fatty, sometimes round and normal, sometimes constipated pebbles.

 

July 2

 

 - Noticed what I think are some episodes of shortness of breath however every time has been with physical exertion where I've had to climb 100 - 200 steps. Normalises itself after a minute of shallow breathing. For my size, sereditary lifestyle and smoking history I think that may be normal? And looking back I've had similar experiences in past few years with physical exertio

 

After improving my dental hygiene in April blood in saliva has been less noticeable and I've also not been looking for it as much. Noticed it again on maybe 5 separate days this month so far but have also been looking for it more. (Also still due a deep clean from dentist for my gingiviti

With regards to mucus/phelgm I still produce stuff most days but rather than it being in morning I usually notice a tickle on my throat during the day and clear my throat with a forced cough which on occasion produces mucus which is usually white/clear with brown bits/grey/clear

When I produce the phlegm/mucus I've been noticing a wheeze beforehand which sounds like it's from my trachea and this is when I clear my throat which clears the wheeze and sometimes produces the sticky mucusy stuff

The mid/left flank pain hasn't been as noticeable but began to notice a dull ache around my left shoulder which is also intermittent. Again a 1/10 pain wise and not something which I'd be concerned about if it wasn't for my history

With regards to my wheeze it very much either comes one of two ways

 Like a very high pitched late Inspiratory wheeze/squeek which sounds like it's around my trachea area or thereabouts. It used to mostly be a late short sound but recently I've noticed it to be a bit longer and earlier. Usually replicate it by doing a sharp gasp chest breath but as it's intermittent it's not always there. Sometimes over a week without being able to replicate it. Other times it happens 5 or 6 times in a day

Or like a pleural sound which is deeper as if there is rubbing (much less common maybe only noticed a handful of times)

To further describe my back pain. It's mostly left sided and been most noticeable in shoulder and mid back/flank. But also occasionally feel it in my upper left ribs below chest

Also began to notice another new symptom which I think is quite important. I noticed this a few months back but never researched it untill recently. Basically on both sides of my chest next to my moobs (breasts) and also below them at the top of my abdomen (to a lesser degree) I appear to have some spider veins (telangiectasia) or broken capillaries which are visible.

 

 

Conclusions/Questio

 

As you can see I've not consulted my GP since around April/May time. I know I should do and I'm only affecting myself by not doing it. But when you're regularly being dismissed and not taken seriously it really impacts you and makes you anxious about wasting the GPs time

Hemoptysis/Blood in sputum seems to be quite a serious symptom. If I've been experiencing this for nearly 2 years, surely you'd think if it was lung cancer that my symptoms would have progressed further by now and that I'd have even experienced some weight loss at least

I've searched these forums, the internet and Reddit quite alot about wheezing and the different sounds. And this is why I also asked my gp about listening to my lungs (to no avail) as this could be a clue. So I have no clue about the cause or location of mine

There are very few descriptive articles out there on back pain relating to lung cancer or they can also contradict alot. I guess everyone's experience is difference and no size fits all. But is a <1/10 pain which comes and goes a concern or likely to be lung related. Alot of articles mention it being worse when lying down. I don't experience mine at all when lying on my back

Reading through other forums about lung cancer nobody really ever discusses the GI/Bowel/Urinary symptoms I've listed so could I have something completely different wrong with me or could it just be a case of IBS along with a potential lung issue such as cancer

The foamy urine is my biggest worry now because I understand if can be proteinuria and I believe bone Mets can cause this. And maybe my back ache is a sign of progression to the bones and thus I've got foamy urine as a result. But again surely someone somewhere with lung cancer and bone Mets or even the online resources which describe symptoms. Surely one of them would list this?

Spider veins is another symptom I don't see discussed. But again this could be related to liver disease which could also mean liver Mets as well as bone? But again surely others elsewhere would have discussed this symptom. And also I'd expect to have other signs of liver disease too by now. One theory is it could be heart related

The blood in saliva was first noticed after using Viagra. I've never seen blood come out of my mouth after a cough and the dentist did suggest gingivitis. But again I can't be certain that I don't have gingivitis plus something else. Could this maybe be heart related symptom? Similarly I've heard of cardiac asthma and stuff. Could all my symptoms be cardiac in nature possibly. My ECG did say abnormal s wave on it but apparently this wasn't a cause for concern at the time.

The Bowel related issues I doubt could be from lung cancer and may well just be something alongside a lung issue. I have however read of people having respiratory issues with Crohn's/UC so maybe I may have one of those

 

 

Long story short is that I'm absolutely terrified now. I've never been the type to go to GPs and tend to just work through any issues I have myself. It took alot for me to keep going back to my doctor and I felt like everytime he was very dismissive and only gave me 1 minute phone calls rather than listening to me. This in turn has lead me to just suffer in silence because I feel that nobody takes me seriously. And now I'm terrified that I could have this cancer or something else and I'm just sat here doing nothi

 

My one saving grace is the fact that my symptoms began near 2 years ago and that I also have some symptoms I haven't seen anyone else discuss here. So maybe there's a chance it is some autoimmune disorder or somethin

 

I think ultimately right now by biggest worry is not knowing what's wrong with me. If it is lung cancer, I've read enough online to know that it's not the same sentence it once was. There are more treatments available, there's alot of support out there and there are a load of people who have survived terminal diagnosis for many years. Plus I read that having a high BMI can make you more responsive to treatment, so being chubby will actually give me a slight advantage hah

 

 

I'm so sorry to post this all in this thread I really am. I know every single member on here has much more pressing concerns than what I have and that I'm probably being a drama queen. I don't expect anyone to read through or reply to this eithe

 

I guess I just wanted to firstly introduce myself and secondly write something for my own anxiety relief. I've not been discussing my symptoms with anyone in person so this is my way of just getting it all of my ches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t.r. a.g.ng.. ? ..... ns: . .:...s)n.1: .y.d:.. o.n.. n.  .y.t". s.k.e...t)FW):.. ...)K.nd:t.. . n person so this is my way of just getting it all of my chest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry if this came out formatted strangely. I typed it up on notepad on my phone and then copied and pasted it over.

I forgot to mention a few other things:

- Undigested food. I've noticed this more often in my stool recently but not every time. It just comes and goes. Also noticed some small red dots today for the first time which may be fresh blood but may still be food. I had some Goji berries for first time yesterday so could be this.

- My appetite has been fine throughout. Sometimes I don't eat as much during the day or eat very late but I think this is due to anxiety and also my night eating syndrome. If I was offered a takeaway now I'd bite your hand off and eat it.

- On two occasions these last few months I've noticed what looks like gallstones in my stool. Yellow balls about 5 times the size of sweetcorn with a yellow puss inside. 

- Recently I've noticed I've been clearing my throat more and sometimes it's dry and other times it has the mucus/phlegm. Is this a persistent cough? It's a very slight weak voluntary cough to clear my upper airways. I do it either because I've felt a wheeze or feel something in my throat but it's always voluntary. I would assume a persistent cough would be more an involuntary cough which occurs deeper? 

- And shortness of breath is another one I struggle with the definition of. As someone who doesn't do any intense exercise and only goes on a few dog walks a week and works at home sat down most of the day. And also an overweight smoker. Of course I'm going to get out of breath when going up alot of stairs? 

 

 

 

Aside from Lung Cancer the only other conditions I can think of which would cause such a wide array of symptoms are: 

- Heart failure/disease. Can affect multiple organs, cause the broken capillaries, cause wheeze/respiratory issues, cause hemoptysis (mine seemed to be initiated after trying viagara for first time).

- Gallstones complications. I know they can get lodged in bile ducts which can cause issues and affect the lungs. I don't get upper right abdominal pain though which is main symptom.

- Pancreas issues due to locations of the back pain and the undigested food. But get no pain after eating. 

- Autoimmune issues such as diabetes/caeliac/underactive thryoid/arthritis. I don't think any of these could be responsible for all those issues though.

- Hiatal Hernia which could cause some of my symptoms. Similarly GERD/LPR too. Would think I'd experience more nausea though which is something I've not experienced to date.

- Bowel issues which could explain a few things with stool and certain illnesses can affect respiratory too. But then doesn't explain the foamy urine for example or the spider veins.

- Kidney issues. These could explain the urine issues I've got and I believe kidney disease can also impact the lungs too. Then bowel issues could be separate and be IBS/IBD.

- Other autoimmune conditions. Goospastures syndrome, HHT and many more but don't think I tick the boxes for alof of these.

- Late onset cystic fibrosis. Again very unlikely but when I've googled some of my symptoms before I've came across CF forums listing some of my issues. The post cotial hemoptysis was the first one which lead me to it. And then stuff like the mucus production adds up too (I also see mucus in stools).

- Coming to think about it the foamy urine could potentially also be mucus related. Is there a disease which results in alot of mucus production. 

- Chronic Bronchitis is another possible explanation for the respiratory issues too.

 

 

As you can probably tell from my two posts now. I am defo suffering from a degree of healthy anxiety here. And I'm also doing myself no good by not consulting my GP recently due to past experiences. 

I can't help but think that maybe in my mind I think I do have lung cancer and im just grasping at straws trying to find something else or another condition to explain everything for me. 

However at same time I do feel of generally good health. I get up and work every day without fail and I stay up for 16 hours or most days without feeling tired. And with my first symptoms being noticed a couple of years ago, I would expect to be worse by now with LC being so aggressive. 

 

I'm really sorry once again for offloading all this on this forum. I just don't really have anywhere to turn and I need to verbalise all of this as my own coping mechanism.

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Hello, 

You certainly seem to be experiencing many physical and mental health issues. I really encourage you to schedule an appt with your:

  1. primary care doc
  2. mental health provider  
  3. you've taken much time to journal your daily symptoms and your PCP would be the go to source!
  4. Best wishes on your journey
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10 hours ago, Julia g said:

Hello, 

You certainly seem to be experiencing many physical and mental health issues. I really encourage you to schedule an appt with your:

  1. primary care doc
  2. mental health provider  
  3. you've taken much time to journal your daily symptoms and your PCP would be the go to source!
  4. Best wishes on your journey

Hi Julie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I pushed myself to call the doctor this morning and have just had a telephone consultation. It was quite frustrating again to begin with because when trying to go through my symptoms for the last few months I was met with "it doesn't sound like there's much wrong with you". I pushed on though and have managed to get an appointment at the surgery where they are going to run some tests for caeliac disease, liver function, underactive thyroid and maybe some other tests. 

 

What I explained was:

- Still experience blood in saliva sometimes. Also mentioned I was diagnosed with gingivitis. And that the blood never feels coughed up as I never see it after coughing like I would with mucus/phlegm. 

- Mentioned that I still produce mucus/phlegm most days especially in the morning. And that I experience wheezing at times which I believe to be mucus related because when I clear my throat it generally disappears. Also mentioned mucus is usually thick and white or clear with brown bits. 

- Mentioned the dull mid back/left flank pain which is intermittent and that I've not noticed as much recently.

- Mentioned the dull 1/10 left shoulder pain I've been experiencing.

- Also discussed that I've noticed foam in my urine and that my bowel habits/stool have consistently been changing recently. 

- Also mentioned the spider veins which I've noticed on sides of chest and upper abdomen.

 

Im still at a bit of a loss with regards to what is wrong with me. I read so many stories about people with advanced lung cancer with mild symptoms that it still lingers in the back of my mind as a possible cause. 

I just hope these blood tests may help identify a cause for some of my issues. I know something is wrong with me and the longer I go without an answer, the more damage and progression the illness will cause. Whatever it is I want to fight it as best I can.

 

Thank you for your support :)

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GawaMark,

Your posts are both lengthy and detailed.  As I was reading them I kept thinking that you really need to have a complete physical to determine if your symptoms are pathological or psychological or a mixture of both.  Then the task for your medical provider would be to determine the cause for any of the pathological and any necessary treatment to resolve those symptoms.  Now, it also seems that the physical symptoms (regardless of cause) are causing you great anxiety.  Once you get a handle on your physical health you will likely experience a reduction in your anxiety.  Resolving both the physical and anxiety-caused symptoms will provide you great relief.

I understand that you are in a heightened sense of awareness right now, but nothing you have described screams "lung cancer".  There could be multiple causes for your physical symptoms and what you need is a thorough physical with appropriate testing and diagnostics applied.  Then you will be able to sort out the physical from the anxiety-caused and begin to resolve them.

Adding a fear of lung cancer to your other concerns seems pretty premature right now.  Please get the proper medical reviews and tests and then come back and provide an update for us.  First, we'd like to know if you are okay and what the outcome of the testing was.  Secondly, if there is anything that we can help you with we'd have data to use in order to share our experiences appropriately.

Good luck with your testing.

Lou

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