do i have cancer or another serious illness or is it anxiety?

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Hi I am a 23 year old male. I had a thoracotomy done on my right lung 5 months ago and it caused my to have bad health anxiety and occasional panic attacks. I also have a lump on my right rib that is messing with my head. I cant even do the things I used to anymore. Its ruining my life. I used to feel like a terminator and now i feel like im being terminated lol.

I have had this lump on my right rib for about 6 years or so. It has now gone flat and it feels different, I also have these two lumps in my lower left back which the docs say are lipomas but i get these weird feelings and pains in my lower left back and front and my the left side of my stomac slightly sticks out more than the right when im bloated, I have also been constipated for a month now. This really worries me because i have also been losing weight (5/6kg maybe more) since last year but i also changed my diet slightly because of acid reflux and I used to lift weights and excercise alot, so im not sure if thats the cause. I feel dizzy and tired all the time. My dizziness goes away whenever i am driving, jogging or lying down. I also cant sit without leaning on something and I cant stand for long periods of time, I feel like a old person but im only 23! I told the doc this but he said its an Exostosis and its harmless, but it did not show up on the x ray but it did on the ultrasound, no biopsy was done, I asked him it was causing me to lose weight and he said no but sent me for a thyroid test which came back fine. I also told two other GP's about this and they said its all anxiety. They did have a carefree look on their faces though lol. Should i trust them? Am I worrying for nothing? Why is are they so confident its harmless because i feel like im messed up and its getting worse everyday...

Is this cancer or some other illness that is making me feel like this or is it just bad anxiety and stress?

Any help would be much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    I wanted to reply because I wanted you to know that somebody out there has listened.  I am not a medic but have learned a few things over the years.  It sounds like your doctors have been thorough by sending you for scans, x-rays and blood tests.  Some people are just prone to their glands and other body parts being a bit swollen.  I would try to take some comfort from the fact that all tests since your operation have come back clear.  Anxiety is also well known for making people lose weight.  I personally would try to book a double appointment with your GP and take a list of questions that you have, this means that he won't have to rush your appointment.  They need to take your anxieties seriously, because it is having a big effect on your daily life.  Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lillypad. Thanks for the response. But if I go back to him he is just going to tell me the same thing again. I think I need to go to another doctor or something. I'm kind of in a pickle. So I'm not really sure about what to do. The way I see it is I have these options:

      - go to the doctor again

      - go to a different doctor

      - start taking anti depressants and hope it cures everything

      - go to the hospital for the lumps. Which are cause of all of this

      - drink myself to sleep everyday

      Just kidding about the last one. Lol

      What would you do?

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    • Posted

      Hi diego,

      Sorry I didn't reply sooner, I did try but my computer locked me out - typical!

      I hope you managed to relax enough to enjoy Christmas day.

      Right, what would I do in your position?  I think that you seem reluctant to see your normal GP.  I also think that seeing a different GP is a good idea, I would still try to book a double appointment so that you don't feel so rushed.  If the doctor thinks you need anti depressants, it might be a good idea to give them a try.  They won't cure your concern regarding your thoughts of might having cancer, but they will help you to be less anxious after a few weeks.  I wouldn't go to the hospital, I would see what the different GP has to say, he might refer you to assure you that all tests have been done.  

      Alcohol - bad idea, but a glass or two over Christmas is pretty much mandatory!  Sorry, just trying to return the humour.

      I hope this helps.  

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    • Posted

      Lol thanks alot. I want to take the medication but I'm kind of reluctant because I don't like taking pills and I feel like passing out all the time. I have also been getting these chest pains that I had before and now they're back. I actually went to the hospital for this

      about a month ago and they did an EKG and x ray. But I'm paranoid because after the first time I had the tests on my heart the gp said that it still doesn't mean its not heart disease which confused me because I thought that they would've tested for that. This is also affecting my appetite and I'm still losing weight. I I'm worried that the medication will affect my heart or make me pass out.

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    • Posted

      Like I said, I am not a medic but I do suffer from panic attacks, and the symptoms you are describing could fit into that category.  The symptoms are very real and often come out of the blue.  What your doctor said about your results sounds like a stupid flippant remark, without any offence, it sounds like you are reading more into that than you should.  Medication such as anti depressants will take quite a while to build up enough levels in your system before you start to feel any better, they won't make you pass out.  I would consider asking for medication for anxiety, these work a lot quicker and are useful if you take one just as a panic attack starts.  I know you don't like the thought of medication but for me personally if I was having your symptoms, thoughts and worries, I would think that I haven't got anything to lose by trying something.  You could maybe instead try a herbal remedy, if you went into a health food shop, the staff are usually trained in what remedy to use in particular situations.  I just wish I could try and help more, but I don't know what else to say.  

      I hope that something I have said can be of some help to you.  confused

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  • Posted

    Diego, I'm a former nurse and would be interested as to why you had the thoracotomy. It's not as if it's a common operation after all.

    Otherwise, I'd reiterate what Lillypad is saying - don't worry too much about yourself. The fact that your symptoms disappear when you're driving or especially jogging suggests to me that there's nothing fundamentally wrong.

    But why did you have the thoracotomy? It's a major op which isn't performed for no reason.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that, Diego. That was bad luck. Unfortunately, some people have a genetic predisposition to spontaneous pneumothorax. Sometimes it's because the chest cavity is unusually long and narrow. A friend of mine has had several episodes and tells me it runs in her family.

      Glad to hear you're still jogging. However, it's best to avoid vigorous exercise outside in very cold weather. This is one of the things that can trigger a pneumothorax in susceptible people. Otherwise, try to stop worrying about yourself - understandable though it is, given the scary time you've been through - and start enjoying life. Where I'm sitting right now, it's an unexpectedly bright, sunny Christmas morning - against all the predictions of the weather forecasters. I'm an old lady, so statistically don't have much longer to go anyway but I'm going to enjoy every minute of this day!

      Good luck!


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