Knots In My Stomach

Stormy8281 Member Posts: 24
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1

I was diagnosed with BC on Christmas Eve. I've been through Biopsy, Lumpectomy, Echocardiogram, Muga, and am still waiting for the start of Chemotherapy. For the past several weeks, I have been suffering from terrible knots in my stomach. I know they are from stress, and I've had a lot of stress as I am sure all cancer patients go through. When I found out I had BC, I was totally numb, I didn't cry, didn't get hysterical, until now. Along with the knots in my stomach, both of my legs shake, my nerves feel like they have nerves, and I'm having nightmares.

The cancer center I'm going to is Hope Cancer Center for Women, in Asheville, North Carolina. I don't think I've met with the same person twice (except, of course,my doctor). The person, who explained 'everything you want to know about chemo, and were afraid to ask' (I'm being facious) told me to call her when I received all of my prescriptions so she could go over them with me. I called her, and asked her questions. She jumped my case, asking me if I remembered what we talked about in her office. I was shocked! I told her that after I was told I had breast cancer, everything else that was said to me has gone over my head. She then seemed to back off and said to just bring them with you when you come in for your first treatment.

Right now, I'm wondering if I should even go through the treatment. Not going through chemo seems a lot easier to deal with then all the side effects that one may or may not get, not to mention, kidney, lung, heart, etc. problems, or getting another kind of cancer later in life.

If any of these thoughts have affected you, please tell me I'm not crazy.

I have read almost all of the BC discussions, and am so happy to have found this group.

Thanks for 'listening.'



  • lynne502
    lynne502 Member Posts: 7
    Gale - you are not crazy. Everyone here has suffered from conflicting thoughts concerning treatment (my neighbor, who went through BC three years ago calls this "snakes in the brain")
    My 5 months of chemotherapy was actually the best part of my treatment so far. The side effects were very minimal - medical science has come a loooong way to help prevent bad side effects. I always referred to chemotherapy as "therapy" rather than "chemo". With three kids at home, it was the only time I could relax in an easy chair for hours at a time! The benefits of chemotherapy far outweigh the consequences of cancer coming back. The nurses compare chemotherapy to killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer. It is the most powerful tool you have to fight the cancer. Don't let cancer get you down - rise up and beat the heck out of it. You are a lot stronger than you think - the fact that you found this website shows that you are proactive in finding support. We'll all get through this - it may not be pretty but in the end we'll all be stronger because of it. Keep in touch.
  • The first oncologist I met with turned me off. So did the first chemo center nurse. (I could tell you stories!) So, I switched, even though I have to drive far to go to my new doctor (love her, she's great and I deserve it) and it sure is worth it! You will have enough on your hands healing without having to do it partnered with a doctor or staff that do not support you. Get a second opinion and keep in mind that your opinion of your doctor maybe the second opinion that you are shopping for, not just his/her opinion of your situation.
    Also, I am sure the stress hits us each uniquely but definitely hits us all. Even though we get different things from the menu, we all eat at that restaurant. Of course you are not crazy! I got some Ativan to help with anxiety. I don't take it often, but when I do, it helps. Ask your (next?) doctor about it. And don't let anyone discourage you quickly from a treatment! I am in the middle of chemo and despite tears, fears, aches and pains, am managing just fine. I am sure that soon, below my reply, will be the replies of many of your new friends giving you encouragement, advice and support. And we will continue to be here whenever you need us. You are going through a lot. You will continue to go through a lot. And you will get through it all.
    In short, yes, there are some jerky medical people out there. But there are some great ones too!
    Please check back in and let me know how you are doing.
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Hi Gale, no wonder you are in chaos. You are probably still stunned at the news and you've been through all those tests and it doesn't sound like you have any support. If you like your onc maybe talk to him about his support staff. Or perhaps like Joyce mentioned, seek another opinion/treatment center.

    I had problems with one of my nurses. It was too late to go elsewhere but it is important that they are sensitive to your position and not be a b##$#@ because you are not going to feel like fighting with her. I didn't but had to.

    I did not want to do chemo. For just about everything I've always leaned towards alternative medicine and scorned the medical system. I did not want to be part of it. I had seen and experienced too much to have any sort of faith in them. I had to do my own research and push and shove for tests I thought I should have. BUT....there is nothing out there that will give you the at least 80% survival and freedom of recurrance that the surgery,chemo, rads and antiestrogen regime can. If there is please let me know, because I resisted and put myself behind quite a bit.

    I do hope you can resolve the nurse relationship before you actually start. You know there are usually more than 1 nurse giving chemo, so let them know you don't want her and why.

    Hope this has helped and sorry you have to go throught this. The gals here are wonderful and as you will see some are living with permanent side effects. I felt the same way you do. Afraid of all the future potential problems. But I am glad I did it and you will be too once it's over. Dying from breast cancer is not pretty and is very painful. The whole thing sucks but you will get through it.

    Best wishes
  • manna1qd
    manna1qd Member Posts: 46
    May I share my poem (No Thank You) in Expressions Gallery or my page with you? I had so many bad experiences and dumb things said to me while going through this BC experience.

    I was a nervous wreck! My primary doctor gave me klonipin to take the edge off. I could sleep without my heart pounding in my ears! I also called Y-me, a help line 24/7 for support. I was diagnosed right before Christmas. I kept my feelings down to get through the holidays. My mastectomy was Janurary 2 and when I woke up - I let it all hang out!

    I really found little support from the professional community and in fact, they made it harder than it had to be. I had one visit with an oncologist and never went back she was so impersonal, thoughtless. I do not want to go to that hospital again because I had such a bad experience (and I love me surgeon).

    You aren't crazy. Don't stop doing what is best for you because you had that experience. Find people here and elsewhere who understand you and will help you through it (a local support group may help you). Keep at it and know that there are people in the profession that should not be. I hope you don't meet anymore. I think if you haven't had cancer or you haven't been a caretaker, you shouldn't be in that line of work unless you have a calling on your life. I made it through though and I am thriving in spite of it. And you can too! Persistence is a definite weapon is this battle. I also found a great oncologist and an office staff that seems happy to see me when I come and I was greeted by my first name. Even had free valet parking! That may sound dumb but I have never been treated so well at a hospital before.

    Glad you shared, Judi
  • MrsCM3
    MrsCM3 Member Posts: 4
    I can relate, Gale. My stress shows itself in my blood pressure & it gets really scarey 'cause it's a self perpetuating cycle. I had my first chemo session Tuesday, 12th and was feeling just fine when I went for a Neulasta shot yesterday but then had a blood pressure spike, flushed bright red & freaked out. Before I found out I had to have chemo my BP was in the 125/72 range, now it's pushing 190/89 range.

    I've always had a phobia about doctors/hospitals/medical personnel, so that's having an impact as well. So far (in one week's time) I've had to deal with three "situations." One was a double scheduling snafu (not my fault, but the woman on the phone made me feel like it was,) one was a minor glitch in scheduling (easily resolved,) and the third was a major snafu involving a prescription for something I'm highly allergic to. Lucky for me I always read the small print on the medicine containers.

    Seems like it's not enough to be assaulted by the disease itself, but we also have to take a crash course in All About Cancer 101 & watch out for every little thing. It does get a bit overwhelming. I'd love to just say "NO" and walk away from all this, so if you're crazy then I am also.

    But we're not crazy and we'll do what we must, even if we're kicking and screaming inside. I haven't been able to cry yet & I really need to.
  • mgm42
    mgm42 Member Posts: 491 Member
    Oh Gale, we truly are sisters. Your knots in your stomach are my cramps in my intestines resulting in diarhea - every time I have a test, an appointment or a treatment. Plus, I run a low grade fever for a few days before and after each meeting. So, I would think your knots are normal. As for the uncaring chemo nurse, speak with your surgeon. Tell her/him how you are feeling and how you were treated. I'm confident that she/he will have some suggestions for you including asking for a new chemo nurse or changing oncology centers. I felt that way about a doctor I had - so I changed. It's important that the nurses, doctors, staff, technicians, etc. who deal with us be able to commuicate comfortably and clearly and kindly with us. Afterall, YOU are doing all of the work - they are just enabling you to fight better and heal more fully. Please keep posting on this board. I know all of these gals, including me, will help you all we can. Hugs, Marilynn
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Gale. Dear, sweet warrior!

    Right now, ANYTHING is full of stress for you!!!! I am almost 2 years post-treatment, and I STILL remember it well!

    One thing to keep in mind, as well as all the advice you have gotten from the others here, is that, in the final analysis, this is all temporary. After treatment, you can get on with your life. Which is far BETTER than the alternative!

    I agree that you MUST have faith in your treatment team! YOU are the captain, after all. If you can find a different doc easily, well, consider will be with these people for at least 6 months, pretty nonstop. If not, consider going to your onc and stating, without complaining, what your experience with this nurse was....that is not right at all...SHAME on her!!!

    Find something to distract. Watch movies, go to lunch with a friend. Just remember that there are so many of us that have been thru this and survived, ready to go on with our lives!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
    As you can see from previous reply's, you are not crazy. This is all a process, a process for the lumpectomy, checking the heart, constant blood draws, etc....just waiting in the waiting room to have all the appointments/test is a process in itself. I had double chemo and glad I did. Do not allow a few nurses/doctors to turn you away from what you know your body needs. I think the advise to get a second opinion is in order because you do need to have a personal liking to the doctor and is a form of trust. The place you go for chemo should be warm and is what you pay for. We will always be here on your roller coaster ride. Take care and many prayers and HUGS. Angela
  • Stormy8281
    Stormy8281 Member Posts: 24
    Thank you all for your thoughts, suggestions, and prayers. You are all angels.

    Yesterday, I was called and told my treatments will start next Friday, 22nd. I will be having "a cocktail"( I wish!) of Adriamycin and Cytoxan the first round. Every two weeks for four treatments. Then I have another treatment with Taxotere. Another 4 treatments with three weeks in between. Then 6 weeks of radiation.

    You all have made me feel so much better with my thoughts.

    Every one of you have my prayers for long, long, healthy lives.

    Your new friend, Gale
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member

    Thank you all for your thoughts, suggestions, and prayers. You are all angels.

    Yesterday, I was called and told my treatments will start next Friday, 22nd. I will be having "a cocktail"( I wish!) of Adriamycin and Cytoxan the first round. Every two weeks for four treatments. Then I have another treatment with Taxotere. Another 4 treatments with three weeks in between. Then 6 weeks of radiation.

    You all have made me feel so much better with my thoughts.

    Every one of you have my prayers for long, long, healthy lives.

    Your new friend, Gale

    Your chemo sounds like the sort you would expect from a center that knows what it is doing. The close timing (2 weeks) makes it so they can give you a little less of the drugs but kill more bad cancer cells. It has something to do with cell life span and some mathematical research that was done in the last 5 or 6 years. I don't know if it helps, but my sister (a medical doctor by the way) tells me she goes to your center whenever she has a breast problem because they are SSSOOO much better than the local guys. Good luck!!!