Fear of Cancer ruining my life

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Hello everyone. Im Lucy, 24. I stumbled across this page after another one of my dates with good old 'dr google'. A bit

of background - Ive always had severe anxiety (to sum it up, basically Im scared of just about everything, although ironically not the common stuff people without anxiety fear like exam results etc) ever since I was an infant, its manifested itself in a wide array of ways over the years without a strong emphasis on health but more recently it has become a full on - what I can only descibe as sheer terror regarding cancer. Like everyone Ive always been 'aware' of cancer so to speak and for someone with anxiety to the extent of mine you'd think it would have always been a problem - no, that is until my Dad died of cancer 2 years ago and then my Grandma also got a terminal diagnosis. This has broken me to say the least. Every single day now I seem to live in perpetual terror and atleast 3 hours a day goes to googling symptoms and ending in hysteria and floods of tears. In the past month alone ive 'had' over 15 types. It sounds ridiculous and trust me I know but no amount of rationale seems to fight those demons. Any pain results in this cycle and it is truly ruining my life. I finally bit the bullet and got referred for cbt but the waiting list is huge and Im at a bit of a loss as to what to do in the mean time. I seem to be spiralling into my lowest ebb and I really cant deal with it at all anymore. I was just hoping for a friendly word or to from anyone who has similar issues or just has any ideas on what on earth I could do to sort myself out. To make matters worse I am absoloutly terrorfied of the doctors to the point I make myself physically ill everytime I go. Another delightful little idiotic character trait of mine. Isnt anxiety great?

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  • Posted

    Hi lucy i had to reply to you... exactly the same as i am. Im 29 two beautiful children and a fab partner. Mine started 2 and a half years ago with a SEVERE phobia of the C word, im litrally at the doctors every week with a different type of cancer... i do what you do and turn to dr google and my god does it bite me on the arse BIG TIME, like you i end up in floods of tears CONVINCED i have that illness. I think ive litrally had every type of "C" going, ive tried CBT twice and it hasnt worked for me... it works for some but not for others. I went to the doctors last week and asked her to refer me to gyne as im convinced ive got cervical or ovarian C... was in floods of tears and she said she would do it for my reassurance but didnt think i needed to be referred. She asked me to try meds (which i have avoided for 2 years) but as i cant keep carrying on like i have i agreed to try them and started them last thursday. Believe you are not on your own at all there is a lot of people like this, give CBT a shot and see how you do as it might work for you xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to me Nicola, I really appreciate it. Im genuinly so sorry to hear you suffer also sad I wouldnt wish it on anyone. You sound very much like me in the sense that you get convinced of multiple types simultaneously! I get some morbid comfort from the fact its highly unlikely Id have all the types and still be functioning so if I can be wrong about some I can be wrong about others too! I am very dubious of CBT, i find it very hard to believe someone else can convince me to think differently if Ive failed to for 24 years. Best of luck with your meds, I remain hesitant also but im starting to think if it will help then its worth it to make life a bit easier for us all, let me know how you get on smile xx

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    • Posted

      It is really hard but you will get there one way or another and CBT might just work for you. I really didnt want meds and refused them for two years... but theres only so much someone can take. When ive been convinced of a certain illness ive had full blown panic attacks which is awful as you know. It really is debilitating. In the past two years here is the cancers ive been convinced ive had...

      Ovarian

      Cervical

      Skin

      Throat

      Leukemia

      Lymphoma

      Brain tumor

      Bone

      Spinal

      Oral

      Stomach

      Bowel

      Breast

      Theres probably more but that is what ive thought ive had... its bloody awful it really is, i feel awful for believing that i have these things when there is people out there with it but as you know you get stuck in a vicious cycle of this hellish thinking and before you know it your mind is telling you that you have it. Google is not your friend at all so try to make an effort as hard as it is not to do it... im trying at the mo to not do it, my partner said if i keep doing it hes going to buy me a crap phone that i go on the internet with or he will get the internet cut off😕. You will be ok just see how CBT goes... xxxx

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    • Posted

      Yes, I can relate to all of those sad in the past month alone I have literally jumped from spinal, bowel, ovarian, breast, bone, eosphageal, throat, lymphoma, brain and thyroid. I can hear what a fool I sound but I do this terrible thing where I link my pains and convince myself its mets. Thats what I struggle with the most its the fear of secondaries cause thats what generally gets you and I go straight to that point without considering I could have any other problems like a rational person. And im so scared of bad news I avoid the doctors like the plague which is counterproductive! As desperate as it is I can understand with the phone, my partner always tries to stop me googling but when hes at work are my darkest days and I just spend all day in a state sad xxx

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    • Posted

      And like you i question doctors 🙈 i read the google s*** then believe it and tell the doctor what i have read... then when they try to reassure me i end up not believing them, and when i leave and get home il say to my partner "i need to make another appointment because i forgot to say this or that" its madness it really is. Reassurance used to work at the beginning from the doctors but slowly over 2 years its gotvto the point where i dont even trust the doctor. I cant watch medical dramas coz it makes me worse, cant watch soaps if they have someone with "C" in it, if i hear of some young people round my age with it straight away i think "oh my god thats going to happen to me". I hear someone mention symptoms and straight away i have them or have had them 😠 xx

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    • Posted

      Omg Nicola, I too have had all these cancers aswell as osophogeal and pancreatic. My partner has also threatened to have the Internet took out to stop me from googling. Hate been like this xx
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    • Posted

      Hiya lisa haha its bloody horrible isnt it😠... my partner is so supportive and has tried his best to understand me and support me but theres only so much someone can do to help, then i think we have to try and help ourselves, just remembered two more since the list... lung and osophogeal like you 🙈. I was that convinced a few months ago that i had throat cancer i got referred to ent for a camera up my nose and an ultrasound on my neck (shameful) but was convinced. I had a chest xray not long ago as i thought i had lung cancer... litrally burst into tears when they called me in to have the xray done as i was convinced i had it... felt so stupid, people dont understand how distressing it is, at least we all understand eachother on here and can offer support xxx😊

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    • Posted

      Yes just the other day I had an appt then came home convinced shed missed something because Id forgot to mention something! My partner pointed out shed examined me so she would have noticed herself but I get myself so wound up. Ah Lung I forgot that one! I always read the statistics but they mean nothing because people still get them which means I have no less chance than anyone else in my eyes! I totally understand about the xray fears, thats my biggest problem atm not going to the doctors cause I fear the results of tests sad Before I even go im 100% convinced in my mind its mets xx

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    • Posted

      Yes Nicola. It's nice to have support and know your not alone. I too have had chest x ray for suspected lung cancer,; abdominal and internal scan for suspected ovarian cancer. A mammogram and countless blood tests. I literally convince myself I have these illnesses. I've even thought I can't carry on like this and had suicide thoughts. Anxiety is a terrible illness, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Big hugs xxx

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    • Posted

      Totally understand you i really do and i feel for anyone that lives in a tortured mind like we all do... theres times where i try to think rationally but it doesnt work for long because i dont trust myself... so i go running to the doctor in a complete state of panic and floods of tears🙈. I think a lot of what is going on with us all is alls you hear about now is cancer... its on the news constantly, in the paper, in tv programmes, billboards, people talking about it, it is litrally EVERYWHERE😫... i mean every other bloody advert on the tv is a cancer advert... i turn them off or walk out the room because it just messes with my head and my mind goes into overdrive xxx

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    • Posted

      Hiya lisa i hope you dont mind me asking but i noticed that you put you are on paxil (paroxetine) ... ive finally gave in and accepted the meds last thursday, my doctor put me on the same as your on. I was worried about side effects but just had nausea for a few days and a bit of the poos🙈 sorry for tmi haha. Ive worried myself as ive read that this antidepressant has terrible withdrawls when coming off it... i know ive only just started it but i dont plan on being on it for a long time. Could you please tell your opinion and your experience with it??? Im on 20mg xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi nicola

      Paroxetine worked for me. Yes it can have quite bad withrdrawl symptoms so you should wean yourself off it gradually. Start by taking 1 every other day for a while and then 1 every 2 days etc. Do it gradually like that and you will be fine xx

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  • Posted

    I also have had severe health anxiety. Cancer is one of my greatest health fears. My mom died of leukaemia when I was 21 and my brother in law died of cancer in his early 40's. I have diagnosed myself with so many types of cancer, it's pathetic. I reach deeply into my faith in God and that helps me a lot. I also rarely google symptoms anymore. It's simply not worth it. Almost any off symptom one has could be a symptom of cancer according to Dr Google. I have wasted many a day that could've been so happy thinking I must have cancer. Please don't google. It's so harmful to those of us who have health anxiety.

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    • Posted

      Something to google that might help you would be symptoms of anxiety. There are comprehensive lists in which most likely you will find many symptoms you are experiencing.

      So sorry about your dad.

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    • Posted

      Im so sorry to hear about your mom and brother in law Sandra, I have some understanding of how tough that can be sad And yes you are completely right about google, I start out on an innocent quest of reassurance and then somehow end up in a puddle on the floor with 6 hideous diagnoses!

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