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freaked out - can i have it too?

sallyjoy
Posts: 102
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi all... I came to vent some fears of mine... So far, I have been only a caregiver to my hubby wh has stage 4 colon cancer. Befoer his diagnosis, I had sudden onset of panic attacks brought on initially from strange heart beats ... They did an ekg and other test and concluded it was esopagitis with anxiety. I have GERD (acid reflux).. So they did abdominal ultrasounds and endoscopy which showed nothing. I was on short term disability for a couple months till the panic subsided. 2 mo. later hubby was diagnosed... he had been complaining for quite a while of abdominal pain, gas bloating, etc. Evenbtually he had bouts of heartburn. In the last 2 weeks I have been consitpated and how now noticed bright red blood when i go to the bathroom and it is totally freaking me out! I figure it's just hemmroids, but after doing so much research here and online I know alot of people are misdiagnosed or think its nothing. I have my yearly ob/gyn visit next week and today after another bloody episode I finally made an appt. with the gastroenterologist. I am going to have it checked out but I am just kinda losing it. My hubby and I have had so many similar symptoms and with mine they only checked my upper GI so now i fear they should have checked my lower GI too. I try to tell myself it's just stress and all but I just worry anyway... It is hard for me to imagine what if I have it too. What are the odds. On the other hand I do have cancer in my family... Mom had kidney cancer, dad had prostate cancer, Great aunt had breast cancer... so I jst don't know what to think. Any advice? Prayers are always welcome too. :) I just had to vent cause keeping all this to myself the last 2 weeks has been quite a burden.... Thanks.
Sally Jo

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Sally Jo,

First, and most important, get to the gastroenterologist and get checked out. You must get answers first and not worry and speculate on the "what ifs". Then if you are diagnosed with colon cancer, you probably took the right steps and got it early.

How is your hubby?? How is he doing with his diagnosis?

Let us know how you and your husband are doing. This group of "semi-colons" are wonderful and supportive and we will be here for you.

God bless you.

Kerry

sallyjoy
Posts: 102
Joined: Apr 2004

Thanks for replying to my stressed out post :) I am going to my ob/gyn on Tues and the GI on wed. I know I have to have it checked - I'll just feel better once i know. I just cant deal with anything more serious right now. .. I'll let ya all know what I find out...

As for hubby... he's doing better this week. He jsut had round 2 of chemo (FOLFOX + Avastin) on Fri. Last round he got constipated, then diarheaa, then nausea, then mouth sores, but this time he just got really tired for a few days and a little nausea. he seems to feel pretty good today and tends to feel better and better until the next round then it'l be back to being tired and run down for few days, but he seems to be coping pretty good... hopefully the chemo will shrink or get rid of the met on his liver.. onc. says there a chance for cure so thats good news. We wont know when his next scan will be untill we see the onc again in a couple weeks. I think he gets his liver resected in July or August...

You know. I always loved my husband... but a couple years a go we almost decided to split (his decision - not mine) but we ended up staying together and we have had a better marriage since then than i ever thought possible. basically we had been taking each other for granted and not really paying attention to each other... then all this cancer stuff happened and I feel like I love him even more if that is possible... We talk more. We share more.. we love more.. I dont have the words to express it, but I sure am glad for it. We are pretty optimistic most days, but we have our down days too and can get pretty overwhelmed if we think too far ahead...
Well hugs to all for now and God Bless... Gotta go get some shuteye.
Sally Jo

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Sally Jo,

I know you are both going through so much right now. First, you need to get yourself checked out to have peace of mind and then tend to your hubby as he will need your support.

When I was diagnosed (17 months ago), my hubby and I too were in a situation where we didn't know where we would end up in our relationship. Sometimes this disease brings out the best and sometimes it brings out the worst in people. Right now we are just getting by, so I understand what you are saying. Be strong and let me know how you are doing.

Kerry

Galliano
Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2004

Dear Sally Jo
We really do have some things in common. You are right to be concerned, and good for you to not waste time and getting this checked out pronto. I'd be guessing that most of it is nerves. I may be an older version of you. I had my panic attacks in my mid-20's, before I had ever heard of them....That was scary times!! I don't have them any more (it's been years, as now I'm 52), but I'm aware that I'm THAT type of personality, so I try to pay more attention to my inner-thoughts than I did before. Like you, I am caregiver to hubby (who I'm getting more and more worried about every day....I won't get into that now). 15 mos. ago I finally went to get myself checked out (after seeing blood on tissue, mucho heartburn & gas, etc), & luckily colonoscopy & esophagus scope showed only GERD, hiatial hernia, bleeding internal hemmoroids, diverticulosis, and an ulcer. I felt extremely lucky. I try very hard to deal with these things so that they don't get worse; which as you understand I'm sure, is not an easy task. Before my hubby's recent surgery, I went to dr just to have him check my BP, as I've been border-line for a long time anyway, so he put me on BP meds. I understand completely your freak-out feelings!! I've never actually put this part of me into words before, as I've tried not to, but here it goes anyway.....what if I go from caregiver to cancer patient....who will be there for me??? If I lose my husband who I love soooo dearly, how could I possibly cope? How could I handle the whole house-load alone, which has been a challenge for me so far, how could I deal with a life-threatening disease without him to help me?? There....I've finally spoken one of my unspoken fears, & part of me feels a bit selfish for it. But I wanted you to know that you are not alone. Good luck to you, and try not to worry so much (yeah, right....talk is cheap I know). Let us know your results. May God bless you and your hubby, and I'll continue to pray and wish the best of luck and health for you both.
Pam

sallyjoy
Posts: 102
Joined: Apr 2004

Wow... thanks. It is good to know I am not the only one thinking those same what ifs. I too wonder what would happen to me if it would be cancer... holy cow my family is so dependent on me right now who the heck would be able to take care of me or both of us. I am glad to know though, that they did not find any cancer with you! I know I have GERD. I don't have an ulcer and heartburn is controlled for now. Stools appear to be normal for the most part. I did have really strange colored ones during the panic attacks but the drs all seemed unconcerned by it - ie, possibly stress and/or meds they had me on and once the panic passed, they returned to normal til I got constipated last week. I really had to strain to go so I really hope thats all this is. I am trying to keep my water intake on the upside. I usually drink water all day long but if I dont have it beside me i dont drink it.. and with the first round of chemo I was pretty stressed cuz hubby had so many side effects the 1st go but this second time had not been as bad. But i haven't been drinkong as many fluids... Sometimes you dont know what to expect - I think thats like the worst - fear of the unknown as I am sure you all can relate to :) Thanks for being here for us and I will post again when I know what is going on... They say God doesn't give us more than we can handle so I hope he knows I cant handle more than a hemmoroid right now :) HUGS and prayers to everyone :)
Sally Jo

Tessyann's picture
Tessyann
Posts: 56
Joined: Apr 2004

Sally I would get checked out too ... but like Galliano said it might just be stress but better safe then sorry ... sometime caregivers put there own health on the back burner.
I too at one time suffered from panic attacks and extra beats in my heart... I learn not to fear them ... it would be when my heart would skip it send me right into one..I too suffer from Gerds maybe they need to do a study on panic/Gerds and the link between.
and like you and gall Ive been stressing again over my hubby... Ben and me too grew from his cancer together not apart...I think caregivers are a breed in them self... We threw away the keeping up with the Jones thing long ago... but knew a deeper inner love with the person we care for then those Jones could ever know..Ben and me been married 23 years now and 11 of it been with cancer. look at it this way good way to be a wanna be nurse... if you wanted too or not :)
Ive been thinking of you and keep you and your hubby in my prayer as he draws closer to his surgery. Ive just been so busy since Ben came home last Friday... hes got a nasty incision wound(aka big whole in incision) that needs cleaning and changing 3x a day..
But remember to take care of yourself sweety :)
Teresa

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Wow, some weighty thoughts here. Sally, it is so encouraging to hear that you have your appts set. Soon you'll have more info to help manage your emotions. This whole cancer thing is such a tough road at times. I'm now 3/4 way through my six months of chemo, and my husband has the same GI symptoms you describe. His tests, including a colonoscopy have all been negative; gives us a little chuckle to know that he's had problems with his gut for years, and I'm the one who develops colon cancer. It doesn't sound like you are at high risk for colon cancer, so I hope the tests confirm that for you.
How good that you and your husband have rediscovered your love for each other....see, some good things come out of lousy situations! It sounds like you have such internal strength that you will manage whatever the future brings.
Pam's worries are also pretty natural. I try not to dwell in that land of dread, but scary times bring up all kinds of scary thoughts. I have found breathing/relaxation exercises to help clear away some of the morbid worries, but I know they are just hiding under my bed at times!
Good luck with these upcoming appts; let us know how you are doing and hang in there.
Regards, Judy

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Sally Jo--all of the above and then some.
Gee--you know it is amazing that you brought up the subject re your concerns because the guys here have shown just how much carers also suffer--depression/anxiety etc.
As a matter of fact Jen has just been put thru a heart test(on a treadmill--stress test) and had bloods taken.
She suffers asthma and shortness of breath with extreme tiredness--put that together with menopause and bleeding and guess what?--worrying about herself having cancer.
We both spoke to the specialist and he now recommended/made appt. for ultrsounds of her heart.
The thing is--he puts all --or most--of her symptoms down to worry/stress--OVER ME!
The past 9 months has been a rough time for her and everything has been just too much--now we know what carers go thru!

Pam has voiced her feelings above--her difficult time dealing with Mikes cancer shows that all our closest carers suffer an incredible amount--and this has repurcussions on carers--and it effects their health--I guess we as survivors must take this on board.
I don't think Jen could imagine life without me because we are so much a part of each other--lets hope it never happens--but it has to prey on their minds as I know it does with all carers.
luv n huggs--kanga n Jen

oh--a rainbow coming your way!!!

littlejulie's picture
littlejulie
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Sally Jo,
I've been there - try to relax. About a week after my mothers diagnoses of stage 3 rectal cancer I had severe rectal bleeding that continued for a month! The toliet bowl was full of blood every time I went! I was SO constipated, had severe weight loss and had exteme fatigue. I went to the hosptial one morning because I was SO worried. The doctor examined me to discover I had 'fishers' - almost 'cuts' on my rectum. My doctor still referred me to a gastroenterologist since my mother has rectal cancer and my dad had prostate cancer 7 years ago. I'll be seeing the gastroenterologist end of june but am not going to worry. Stress can cause a HUGE toll on our bodies and the more we stress the worse it gets.
Take care Sally Jo - It won't hurt to get checked but it will hurt us to worry too much.

julie

sallyjoy
Posts: 102
Joined: Apr 2004

Hey there everyone... just wanted to say thanks for all your support :) I will be going to the drs as I mentioned and will let you all know of the results. The bleeding has subsided and I used some prep. H so i feel a little better. Just wanted to say thanks for being there for me to vent. HUGS :)
Sally Jo

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