Swollen lymph nodes in neck, rectal bleeding, constipation, extremely anxious... Please help!

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Hey, this is my very first post and I'm extremely anxious about my symptoms so bare with me...

I'm 18 years old, female, have had hormonal problems and cysts in my breasts and ovaries before, no other major health complaints.

For a long while now I've been suffering from bloating and constipation. I've taken stool softeners and they helped for a while, later not so much. I get blood and mucus in my stool occasionally and feel sharp pain during bowel movements, sometimes afterwards too, it's really uncomfortable and throbbing. I have developed a skin tag on my anus and was completely sure that I have a fissure, but recently went to a proctoligist and found out that there's nothing there. No fissure, fistula or anything. The abdominal cramps, constipation and blood still continue.

As if that isn't enough, recently I've developed swollen lymph nodes on the sides of my neck and one under my jaw. They're painful, movable and quite small (around 0.5-0.6 cm), the doctor did an ultrasound and said that they look like normal, reactionary nodes, but it's been three weeks and they aren't going down.

Other symptoms I experience are shortness of breath, sometimes accompanied by increased heartbeat, occasional fatigue, sharp headache, sweating at night (no fever), mild pain in my arms and legs (muscles and joints), lower back pain and pain in my left side, along the ribs, but I'm aware that some of these can be caused by my constant stress.

I'm an extremely anxious person, but have been pretty calm so far. I've been telling myself that the constipation, resulting in bleeding, could be from the oral contraceptives I've been taking (I discontinued them about a week ago, abdominal cramps improved a little), my gynecologist even agreed with that. The lymph nodes might be a throat infection, my throat has been a little sore lately, I cough occasionally. All that calmness went away when my grandfather was diagnosed with colon cancerrecently. Since then I can't eat, can't sleep, no doctors can say what's wrong with me.

I have a blood test and a stool test scheduled for this week, but I don't know how to live with the anxiety until then. I can't stop googling and my symptoms match so many cancers... I'm scared. Help? Tips? Advice? Has anyone dealt with something like that?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    I had pains in my stomach and extreem tiredness and could not eat anything and i then convinced myself there was something serious wrong with me i lost a stone in weight i had a camera put down into my stomach and they said i had mild gastaritist i am on tablets now but i still get quiet bad has i also have ibs and fibralga.but i sometimes when i have an outbreak i think it is realy bad i think its because my mum died of cancer but believe me it nearly never anything realy bad
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    • Posted

      Yeah, I definitely have health anxiety, so my mind tends to jump to the worst conclusions. My small mantra is "common things are common". It's a hundred times more likely that I have something minor and common than cancer. It's just that so many symptoms have piled up and it's freaking me out... At this point I just want to get all the tests done and rule out cancer, then I'll calm down, but I was interested if anyone else had similar experiences. Thank you for replying!

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  • Posted

    Take everything one step at a time; you don’t have wait a long time for your tests since they are being done this week.  Try deep breathing exercises and stop googling your symptoms because you will only inflame your anxiety.  Google gives very general information but doesn’t concentrate on individual cases.  Anxiety can cause some of the symptoms you are having.  At 18, you are very young and cancer is very rare at your age.  There is no point in worrying about something that has not happened yet.  Remember, you have taken the first step by going to the doctor and having tests; this will provide you with the answers you need.

    I had severe health anxiety for three and half months before being diagnosed with IBS.  Googling did not help my anxiety at all.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I am trying to manage my anxiety. Some days are better than others, but if one of the symptoms flares up, I fall right back into worrying and googling, and sometimes have full-blown panic attacks. My doctor did point out that cancer, especially bowel cancer is rare among young people (colon cancer takes like 5-10 years to develop, right?), so I try not to worry, but whenever you look up something about digestive problems and swollen lymph nodes, google just gives you "CANCER" in big, red letters. You're right, I just need to wait for the tests.

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    • Posted

      Swollen lymph nodes can be signs of infection.  Try not to look up any of your symptoms; only your doctor can givecyou an accurate diagnosis.
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  • Posted

    Have you been tested for mono (epstein barr virus)? Your symptoms are in line with this virus..wishing you well!
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    • Posted

      I have not, actually! I had my blood and stool tests taken today, should get the results in a few days, up to a week. Would the doctors notice mono in my blood without specifically looking for it? I have read about the virus itself and have noticed that a lot of symptoms line up, but none of the doctors I've been to said anything about it. Doctors have been pretty frustrating in general, their responses range from "I don't know, you seem fine" to "Maybe get some tests done", nothing more.

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    • Posted

      Hi evelina, I do not believe the doctors would find this unless specifically testing for it..I do not have my paperwork in front of me so I need to get back to you to tell you exact tests but I would definately call your dr and ask to be tested for mono or epstein barr virus asap so you will know..surprised they haven't tested you already and maybe they have and you didn't show a current virus so they didn't tell you about it..so frustrating I know! Your symptoms sound like mono to me..I hope you can find out soon! Take care

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  • Posted

    Have you been tested for mono? Your symptoms sound in line with this virus..hope you feel better soon!
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  • Posted

    Okay, so a small update. My blood and stool test results came back. I'll go to the doctor on Wednesday to discuss them and decide what to do next, but basically my blood tests are normal, except for a very slight hemoglobin deficiency. The doctor told me on the phone that it's so small that there's nothing to worry about (she said 119, not that the number tells me anything... Help? Is that level already considered anemia?) And she also said that my stool tests weren't so good, but that it could be linked to constipation. She didn't go into more detail, so I've no idea what "not so good" means, I'll just wait for the appointment. Overall I'm pretty sure that I'll be sent for a colonoscopy, because blood and mucus in my stool still persist.

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  • Posted

    Well, interesting as your bloodwork was about the same as mine..I never had a stool test but I wish they would have done one! The stomach bloating, constipation, stool issues and stomach problems have been a big issue for me! They sent me for a an abdominal ultra sound (to look at gall bladder, etc..) it came back normal..I was sent to a GI dr and immediately had a colonoscopy and endoscopy..it was all ok with the exception of a small polyp which they removed..the checked for celiac disease and h pylori of which both can cause simular symptoms..but I had neither..so they are now wanting to do an abdominal CT scan but the doctor seems to think the virus (epstein barr) is most likely the culprit wreaking havoc on my body..😢. I hate you have to wait till Wednesday to get the explanation of stool sample..I will be very interested to hear what your doc has to say! I hope you specifically ask him to test you for Epstein Barr tho..in the mean time try not to worry! Take care of yourself and I'll be thinking of ya!

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