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Here is something I am really struggling with right now--why do I think that every little thing is a sign of a big health problem and how can I make myself stop suspecting the worst all the time?

I guess I know why--I've been absolutely blindsided by cancer twice now--both times, I had no idea that I would be getting a cancer diagnosis--just had routine mammogram and got a phone call telling me there was a problem.

Then, just had routine chest x-ray and that led to all of this. Neither time did I have any symptoms.

But, back to my question--how have you all been able to settle down and enjoy remission, good health, NED, or feeling better? I am becoming a total hypochondriac. I don't want to go to the doc unnecessarily--I spend a lot of time going to all those people as it is, but I sure don't want to miss anything that could be curable if caught early.

What do you folks do?

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I don't have any answers for you since I am going through the same thing...

I am convinced that every ache or pain I have is a symptom of a met somewhere in my body. As the time passes between my scans, my paranoia gets worse until when I finally go, I am a bundle of nerves.

I don't even know if I am getting the right tests...my Onc has been giving me a chest xray..this time I have insisted on a CT. I had a bone scan and brain MRI back in August because I insisted but I have no idea what I am supposed to get regularly. Are those once a year or only if there is a need or what?? I seem to be under the self service plan here.

Maybe since we are in the same space this is exactly where we are supposed to be post surgery. I will shut up now and let people that actually have the answers you are looking for reply!! :roll::lol:

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As I see it, we have a choice -- we can choose to worry about every little thing and ruin whatever time we have or we can choose to enjoy what time we have, no matter what comes up. Also, Lucie and I play the mountain/molehill game. When something comes up, we decide if it is a mountain or a molehill (of course, down the line, with more info, one can change one's mind). If it is a normal every day life occurrence, we call it a molehill and treat it as such. If it is life threatening, then it is a mountain and we take steps to make it a molehill. Easy? No. But it gets easlier with practice. Don

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Well, my experience with the breast cancer was that the thing that made everything easier was pages turning on the calendar. In other words, the farther away it all was time-wise, the less I thought of it all and the more confident I was that the whole thing was over.

During that breast cancer time, someone who had been through it before me said that it was her experience that it would take 3 years before breast cancer was not the first thing I thought of in the morning and the last thing I thought of at night and the thing that kept me awake during the night.

I didn't get to three years before the lung thing came along and I have to say, that when the lung tumor popped up, breast cancer was not as big of an issue anymore.

I also have had chest x-rays every three months since surgery and no ct scans. Surgeon says that if anything suspicious shows on the chest x-ray, it will be investigated further. I always answer the same many, many questions about my health--all negative so far. When he asks if I have any pain, I say, sure--soreness, stiffness, etc. The next question he has is always, "Is the pain severe enough to take any type of prescription painkiller?" My answer is always no, so I believe that anything mets would be really painful, I guess. He is also stressing the importance of exercise to me all the time, and I am happy to say that I feel really well and can exercise a lot, which I think tells him something too.

They also said that they would much rather see me coming in complaining about not being able to lose weight that coming in with an unexplained weight loss, because that would tell them that something may be wrong.

Guess what I'm trying to say is that they know what questions to ask and what tests to do when appropriate. They sure didn't waste any time sending me for a PET last year and a pulmonary function test, so I know they aren't afraid to order tests.

I'm pretty comfortable with the plan so far, I just worry about it all constantly. I wish there was a way not to be so paranoid about health and I guess that is the part that is so frustrating. I do truly believe in the mountain/molehill thing, but getting myself to believe in molehills rather than mountains after being hit upside the head with a couple of mountains that were a complete surprise is tough.

Enough complaining from me today..........

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Hi---I can certainly relate---most of the time I am fine---until about 2 months between scan time---then I go in to panic mode---and everything then starts to hurt---from my knee to my head- to my feet---I am very very sure the cancer has returned---I also feel like if I don't worry, it will come back (as if worrying ever stopped anything) ---But I do not go to the Dr with my aches, I do not want to know until scan time---

then I start reading into everything---for example, I usually pick up my pictures from the radiologist to bring to the surgeon---(I then get a sneak peek of the report) this time they sent them---of course I thought the worst- I had to have something very bad for them to send them----then the surgeon's receptionist asked how I was feeling---I then think why is she asking that? but I was actually fine and like a miracle, all my other pains seemd to have faded.

The only thing is now that I have 1 yr between scans I do not have to start worrying till next January (lol)---(as if worrying ever stopped anything)----

but, I must say it really does get a little better with time--I do feel more convinced about it not reappearing then I did at the beginning

best wishes

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At one year out I was amazed I was still here.

Then I thought, now what?

I hadn't thought beyond that point.

I figured I'd better now.....

Second year was a lot better, although still tentative.

Managed to stay out of hospital with no pneumonia or bronchitic problems.

Still got resp infections several times.

By the end of the second year I was much more able to look forward and plan, however tentatively.

The third year was good. Feeling great about everything. would be nice if I had a spouse who adored me, but being a single mom with a job I can handle and a house I don't own isn't a bad place to be. I am actually anticipating the good things the future holds for me. Ifigure from here Ijust might make it.

Turning the pages of the calendar is the right idea. Time passes.

The hypochondria will pass. The feeling good, and that it's okay to feel good, will come.

God bless and keep us all,



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Yet another hypochondriac here...

Of course, my GP has told me that if I have ANY pains, chest congestion, depression, (the list goes on) to get in to see her! Everything starts gradual, sometimes you don't even notice what is going on (remember that pregnancy thing?)...it is better to scan for something that turns out to NOT be there than to NOT scan and have something growing...

After all, it's NOT like the boy who cried wolf when you've had the whole flippin' PACK breathing down your neck...

As Don said, I wouldn't WORRY about every little thing, but I would (and do) get them checked out. First step for me is leaving a message for the doctor's nurse with symptoms and leaving it up to the team (doctor and nurse) to let me know if it's something that needs to be checked. If they say no, I document what the symptoms were (and when) and then forget about it...


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Guest bucky

Wlcome to my hypocondriac club!!!. I was always probably one & now a little less, but any pain I have I don't think is age, I think is anew C. If i don't like what the onc said i go to my regular dr. Usually xr every 3 month,CT every 6 & I asked for a Pet. Hung in there & don't think to much. When I start feeling hypo I take a chill pill & start doing the most that i can do.

Take care & I'm sorry is ofull to feel this way,

You will be find, hve faith


Stage IB 03

Surgery 03

49 Yold

Native Argentina, living in Gso,NC

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, this is Karen. Dave is not necessarily early stage - he was limited stage SCLC when diagnosed, but it was about to spread . . . anyway, about your question - this is a good one. Dave finished chemo and lung radiation last summer and PCI last September. He's been NED since then. But he still doesn't have his energy back which is a constant reminder. We try really hard not to live each day thinking about the possibility of it returning, yet want to be aware of what is going on with both of us to catch anything early. I got diagnosed with a Stage II melanoma last summer and even though it was removed "in time" I am really paranoid about that. My surgeon is checking me every six months but I decided to also get a full body skin check by a good dermatologist. I'm hoping that will give me peace of mind from that. Dave's next scan is May 3 and if that one is clean, I am determined to accept that and quit thinking about it. I know he thinks about it all the time but doesn't talk about it.

I think we just have to be smart about getting checked and treated, and then go on and live our lives. Just use a fair amount of will power and not let it become part of your daily life.

God Bless,


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I too am nuts and I just thought about it, if I listed every symptom I have experienced in the past two months, I'd need a head to toe, inside and out exam :)

I am probably one of the only kooks who would love to get a bunch of testing done every 2 years for no reason. Like an abdominal, pelvic, brain and chest ct scan; pelvic ultrasound; colonoscopy; stress test; mamogram; and a PET to see if there are any hot spots waiting to rear their head. I think that should be standard health care :) I know the insurance companies would not agree :) And when I tell this to friends or doctors (in a social situation), they think I am extra nuts :)

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In reply to your "extreme cancer distress" and need for unnecessary tests, let me share something with you... I had a very stressful boss a year or so before diagnosis. VERY stressful situation and in March of 2002, I had some EXTREME chest pains and was sent to ER for tests - EKG, x-ray, etc. Nothing was found heartwise after a myoview stress test and I was put on anti-anxiety medication.

Due to some politics and having an ace up my sleeve, I got a transfer in June (and got married, too) and life was much, much smoother - in fact, as soon as the transfer took place, I stopped taking the anti-depressants... Flash ahead to November and pneumonia and the should-be-cleared-up x-ray...the little cloud that was seen? Well, that x-ray taken back in March was used as the benchmark - the cloud wasn't visible nine months earlier! I believe that was about the time my medical "team" began to think 'possible cancer' - and here I am, diagnosed early by sheer luck.

As for your post in another forum, you're not too young for a slam-o-gram if there is a questionable manual exam - I had my first one when I was 25. The next one I had was last fall, I'm now in the age group that has to have a squeeze every five years....and don't rush into one of THEM! LOL

Abdominal CTs involve drinking a concoction mixed up at the lab...has some possible side effects, one that wasn't listed was three days worth of diarrhea beginning about six hours after drinking the final dose....found out it would last up to three days when I called the lab back! Not looking forward to the next time one of THOSE comes up on my "to do" list...

I HATE needles and tests, but call immediately with respiratory issues, bone aches that continue longer than a normal too-much-exercise-in-too-short-of-time ache, headaches, etc.

Debi, my oncologist won't do any tests beyond chest x-ray, CT scan and blood tests unless he feels there is something else to look for. Don't panic! ;)

Back to vacation!


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Let's face it Becky, we will not let you take a vacation. We need you to bring us back to reality on an almost daily basis. Your work is never done :)

Thank you!

I do take everything seriously, if something is abnormal, I go to the dr. I'd rather know than not know. As one of my clients once said "I never want to hear the doctor say I should have come in with my symptoms earlier." It is one thing if you don't have any, but my philosophy is if there is an abnormality, get it checked :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought I was the only person who felt such a fear about any changes in my body. I have not have had my first 3 month post opertive check up and when they told me they would take only an -ray I insisted they do a CAT as well. If I could afford it I would have all the rest, bone, MRI, etc. done as well on a regular basis. I was also really surprised that MD Anderson (which is rated as the top Cancer Center in the US) did not utilize the "green light" bronchoscopy which can detect extremely small cancer cells in the bronchial area.

I was extremely lucky that my pulmanologist ordered a CAT scan last November when I had a persistent flue or bronchitis for several weeks. The x-ray they took a month later in preparation for the diagnosis and surgery still did not clearly show the nodule, CAT scan did a month and a half earlier.

I have had a really unusual event last summer: we sprayed insecticide in my study and the stuff went into a crack n a tile which allowd the stuff to stay in its liquid form for months (liquid insecticide is extremely poisenous) and by the time we figured out something was wrong I was developing an extreme allergic reaction to all chemicals. particularly petrochemicals. Eventually it got to the point where I could no longer live in my house or use any of the stuff in it unless it was completely washed. We ended up leaving the house and all furniture whiccch could not be cleaned (wood was one such thing since it is absorbed into the wood). Effectvely, we became homeless. It is at that point that I was first tentatively diagnosed with LC. We lived in a house that I felt was my dream house, in a town that I thought was paradise (Santa Fe, NM) and suddenly my whole world was gone.

As I sit here, writing in a hotel room, I am so unsure about anythingin my future. So I worry that the C will come back, that I will never have a home again and that I will never feel happy again. If my head hurts I think it has spread to my brain, if I have a bone ache I think it has gone to my bones and I don't know how to eveluate anythig normally. I did not have any particular symptoms to warn me about c, I just had a reaction to chemicals, including cleaning supplies, gas, perfumes and a thousend other things.

Will it ever get better? I can't even imagine it and when I try I fear i will jinx myself and something else bad will happen.

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