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A name for us.......


Andrea

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I am going for my physical on Fri and have an irriational fear that the dr will feel a lump somewhere. I have known allergies, take allergy shots, feel the post nasal drip, yet wonder if my slight cough is lung cancer.

We have had ongoing discussions where I know I am not the only mental one, and that I am quite normal. However, outsiders may not think we are normal.

I really do hate to use the term feeling mental or bipolar b/c those are REAL diseases and I don't want to demean them.

Any ideas for a name of our mental status that we can use to tell doctors? When Dr. Kim says "and Andrea, how have you been?", I will tell him that I have on and off heart fluttering, i have a mild cough, i have frequent migraines, I feel for lumps and bumps and he better do a thorough exam.

However, I am also going to have to explain that I suffer from _____, and ____ is the mystery. I was thinking "I am a cancer worry wart", "I suffer from cancerpolar disorder", or " I am suffering from canceritis" :)

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A quick word of advice -- I have found from past experience that by starting off a doctor's appt with the words "I know I am a hypocondriac" or "I am a worrywart"......leads the doctor to go into "humor the patient" mode and they don't always take you seriously.

Rather than approach your symptoms in an apologetic fashion, simply state them matter-of-factly and wait for the Doctor to respond! He may simply tell you your heart flutters and frequent headaches are merely stress, but give him ALL the facts first!

The last thing you want is the doctor brushing your symptoms off -- so don't do it for him! :roll:

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Andrea, I can relate to you. I went to my gyno for a check up and at the end I had to ask him, "Did you check my ovaries, do they feel ok?" I would have never asked that question before my Mom's cancer. I'm getting a little less paranoid with time. You gave me a chuckle!

I think it is paranoid canceritis. It takes over our lives.

Lyn

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You are 100% right Heather. I had that experience, in law school i was misdiagnosed with "stress, overweight" and put on antidepressants and was told that 40% of law students are on them. I was also told I was "crazy". Well I wasn't, I really did have a kideny infection and kidney stone which was misdiagnosed for a few months and made me pretty sick. My trick is that if I want a test and they won't do it, I say "please mark in my chart that you refused me a abdominal ct scan". That is how I finally got scanned and diagnosed when I was in the ER in such pain in lawschool, my dad said that to the dr :) Next thing you k now, zooom, there i went :)

This particular dr though is very "neurotic" himself. Some say a bit too neurotic and probably not the best for me. But I like being tested :)

I was sooooo high strung pre-cancer about work, I went there with chest pains and I was sent off for a stress test. This was 6 months ago.

Two years ago I had the slightest bleeding, which we all apparently get, but to be thorough he sent me to the gastro and I had a colonoscopy. It was just hemroids ;) I saw one drop of blood and panicked.

He had me get a brain ct scan for my headaches even though he felt they were "nothing".

He is insistent on yearly stool tests for everyone, even though I am only 31.

And I get yearly ultrasounds b/c my grandmother had ovarian cancer at age 82.

I asked about mamograms and he said I am too young and it would not show enough, but if it makes me feel better I can come in every 6 months for a breast exam :)

I am not sure if it is b/c he practices defensive medicine, or he himself is neurotic, or what. But I like it, I bet I can squeeze a chest CT scan out of him in another year! I had one Dec 2002 b/c there was an infiltrate on the lung shown on an abdominal ct scan for gallstones and it turned out to be nothing, so Dec 2004 sounds good to me for another chest scan :)

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Andrea, Lucie has asthma and allergies, and I continually have to remind her that those symptoms are normal for her. Even so, we always report same to the onc when we see him. I see nothing wrong with aggressive testing where lung cancer is concerned. Lucie always reports any changes, discomforts, pain, etc. and lets the onc consider that. I am always with her on those visits to be sure the communication is smooth both ways. Don

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Andrea, if you look up a post from me that was done sometime in the fall you will see a very similar post...I, too, suffer from awful allergies that have me coughing for months at a time, literally...and I, too, addressed this concern to my Dr.. I told him that I have, had, a father with lung cancer and my mom was Dx ovarian cancer last April, and that I do NOT suffer from 'it will never happen to me syndrome, but rather-I wouldn't be surprised if I got cancer, too, syndrome." He understood my concerns and did a through check up and went through MY medical history, concluding that, it is good to be thorough, but lets not put the cart before the horse...a new allergy med was tried, along with an antibiotic for sinus infection-and if those didn't work (they did) we'd be back to the drawing board...Now I am back with the cough-season change-and will be back to the doctor this week...I swear, when I read your post, I thought I had made it and logged in wrong :lol: .

My point is, it is normal to have CWD (cronic worry disease), about our loved ones, about us...but bottom line, as long as you stay on top of your own health and ask ALL the questions you need to-who cares what they think about your mental state-you have to look out for No. 1-it is YOUR health, YOUR body, and YOUR and THEIR (the doctors) JOB To listen and figure out what is going on...no LIP SERVICE ALLOWED!!!!

Remember that wise teacher that you had as a kid that always put you at ease when they said "there are NO stupid questions, except the UNASKED one!!" Well, same goes for this situation, my friend. I will PM you my phone number, seems we have alot in common, and use it if you feel you need to...take care, deb

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Andrea,

I think once your life has been touched by cancer it is only natural to become a "cancer worrywart". I also think it is necessary to become very pro-active about your health and your care. You know your own body better than anyone - listen to it. I would much rather have a test and be told "it's nothing" then to sit and worry about it. I lost my voice for 6 weeks and was checked for throat cancer - nothing. Had an on-going headache for 4 weeks and had a brain scan - nothing - well nothing bad. My doctors have become used to my insistence. You have to take care of yourself and the stress from worry can be bad for you also.

Take care,

Nancy B

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Andrea,

Nancy B. is absolutely right....we have to be our own best advocates. By the way, our Nancy B. is another Southern California Girl, and one of the nicest people on the planet, (not to mention intelligent, kind, and concerned about others). She and I met for lunch one day last year, and I'm looking forward to meeting with her again.

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Andrea,

I can so relate to this. I smoked for 10 years and it scares the heck out of me. My mom has cancer, so I will too... I know this is irrational thinking but the cough I have had lately is bothering me. I would almost feel stupid go to into the doctor and say "I need a chest x-ray cuz my mom has lung cancer, four of my uncles died of cancer, my aunt died of cancer, and I have a cough". In fact I have been checking it to see if there is blood in it (not). I feel silly. :( So my dear, I know just what you are talking about and you are not alone!!

What was that name for us?? haha

Gayle

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I can relate to this subject. In a way I have found that my usual comfort with my general health has changed. I have found myself thinking "When I go for my next yearly appointment I need to ask about 'this' and 'that'." and then I think, "Oh great, now this doctor is going to think I am a total worry wort, maybe I should say nothing at all." So what I think I am going to do is make sure that my doctor "listens" ... she was really good last time so I might just let her know that this time too. I think it is a good idea to impress upon a doctor our family history and I am learning that they often need to be reminded of things.

You are definately not alone ... Hang in there.

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I worry about every twinge and tickle now - I feel silly and I don't even tell anyone, just keep thinking about it. I mean to go for a better physical "when things settle down" - but I am kind of afraid to go. What if something really is wrong. Even if it is something correctable, I have to be here for hubby, I can't go getting my shoulder fixed - or whatever it is. Who would drive? Etc.

My plan - I am going to a Nurse Practitioner, someone I respect and who cares. I am just going to lay it out. This feels tender, this feels a pinch, I am not in a position to do anything elective right now but could we do enough tests to be sure of what is going on? So at least I can look at options, if need be. I kind of feel like she will.

Isn't it strange, reality is what it always was, it is just our reaction to it that is so different now.

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Ndrea,

Katie, Deb and I always called it CWD...Chronic Worriers Disease... we have all been there. Its the shock of the cancer striking a loved one... the fear and woory of why, and how, connecting things and control...It is hard but some worry is essential too much can paralyze, try to manage it, Katie cleans closets, I like to jog or play board games when you feel you are getting overloaded practice turning your mind off... its not good to carry it at all times...it won't help but may make you sick so try to let God run the show and have some faith... I also pray and once I feel I can not do anymore to control the situation I give it to a higher power and pray for what is best.

Bless you,

Laurie

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Omigosh LAURIE! You remembered! It has been a while since I had extreme CWD...but of course I always have alittle CWD thinking and worrying about you guys.

Andrea- that was our name- us old-timers! CWD.

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I LOVE IT! I am CWD. Perfect! Thank you :):):):)

I had another slight neurotic moment yesterday because I am CWD. I had a tetanus shot on Fri at my physical, arm still hurts, is red. Well the armpit of that arm HURTS and I felt and MAJORLLY swollen lymph node and really tender. I said oh no, I have cancer, but I did not understand b/c Fri at the exam it was fine.

Brian said uh honey, it is from the tetanus shot, ssme arm and it hurts. The injfected a virus into your arm. Now I do remember from my research that cancer is a painless swelling normally and my whole arm on that side hurts, especially at injfection site. But that was not good enough for me.

One of my best friends is a doctor (he is the Beverly Hills botox man) and he was on line. I messaged him and yup, duh, stupuid tetanus shot :)

The good news is that my therapy. LCSC, is really helping because my episode of neurosis only lasted 5 minutes and I did not even research! :) I was so proud and made sure to point that out to my husband :)

Some may say that if I am curable, a cancer cure cannot be far behind ;)

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