Worried I have pancreatic cancer...

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hello, first post here and am looking for any help available.  [Smile]  

Apologies for the length of the post but I wanted to be thorough. 

OK, so I have felt unwell since I had a tooth taken out which had infection after infection and resulted in about 6 antibiotic courses over 2 months. 

Around the same time, I thought I'd pulled a muscle whilst sleeping as I had that kind of pain in my left side (torso area) with a feeling of something under/behind the bottom of my left ribcage. The pulled muscle pain has subsided but the weird rib sensation has remained (I likened this feeling to the feeling you get when you are pregnant and the baby has a foot in your ribcage). 

Along with this my bowel movements have been a bit crazy with more diarrhea than normal and more of an urgency to go. Couple of times movement's have been eggy smelling but mostly OK. It can be normal for me not to go to the toilet for 3/4 days and I can have solid motions too. 

I have had sharp pains under ribcage area too but not always. My stomach/gut area in general feels like it has been turned inside out, like when you have been sick many times. Sometime on my left hand side it feels like something is twisting/pinching inside. 

All of the pains/sensations have been constant as in everyday but sometimes I can get in a position which alleviates the ribcage foot feeling. I am eating OK but not huge amounts but I think this is due to my anxiety. 

In the last couple of days (bearing in mind this has been going on overall for weeks), I have had period like pains in my lower abdomen and lower back and a discomfort/ache in my very upper right back in between my shoulder blade and spine. This feels like posture ache and like the muscle could be massaged out of a knot. 

My shoulders and upper arms have also been aching. 

Tests so far: 

Chest Xray - clear 

VQ Scan (for clots) - clear 

Blood tests (including FBC, LFT, U&E, Pancreas, Haemoglobin...that is all I can remember) - all clear 

Stool sample - clear 

Abdomincal Xray - clear 

I have seen a gastro consultant and he think this may be IBD, possibly Chron's. Due to have an abdominal ultrasound Thursday morning and colonoscopy Friday. 

Previous history of 2 perinanal abscesses which the consultant thought was 'interesting' as it is rare to get one let alone two for my age/gender/race etc. Apparently I should have had my colon checked after the second abscess but this never happened. 

I have been googling (I know I shouldn't) and have come across so may things that point to pancreatic cancer and I'm absolutely worried sick, more so about this diagnosis than another cancer as the survival rate is so poor. 

Does anyone have any experience of my symptoms or pancreatic cancer to comment? I would really appreciate some advice. 

Thank you in advance to any who reply X

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  • Posted

    I lost m fiancee (66) and my mother (83) to pancreatic cancer. He was unwell for a good two years, tummy swollen I would say for a year (I used to say it was like cuddling Pooh Bear). Had pain in mid front for long time gradually getting worse whch then went to the back again more middleish to right. I marched down to doctor who that far had done an xray and told him it was his bones and old age, take paracetamol. Next week saw two lovely consultants from Southampton (I was so thick about this I did not evn know what oncologists were). Had scans and blood tests (CT/MRI) all in the morning, in the afternoon told us he had approx 6 weeks.

    In mummy's case, she went to live in California with  my sister about six months after my Father died (dementia first followed by Prostate Cancer). They are vey thorough being more or less private as without insurance you are in trouble. At 50 you have a colonoscopy automatically. You do not mention endoscopy or colonoscopy? MRI/CT. Mummy had that followed by scan then CT. They saw a shadowish something behind the stomach, only tiny. Pancreatic is so hard to diagnose as they cannot see it without special scans at all and usually stage four by then. I think she had been very tired all the time, used to go to bed most afternoons for about two years before going to the U.S, feeling generally lethargic and poorly. This continued even as soon as she got to my sisters. She said no pain, tummy was a bit like William's had been, and her bowell movements were fairly regular and ok. Almost 12 months later, having had scans, MRI, every endoscopy under the sun including colon, then triple scans they said stage 2 to 3 in the pancreatic head. She had the op (which we did not want her to have, my feeling being best not to "wake" it up, like a spot don't pick at it), never got better and 2nd August passed away.

    I don't think you have pancreatic, and the colon looks much more likely from all you say. Have you any cysts? My sister was first to get them from 6 years old, they run from my grandparents, over the years has had many ops often to remove cancerous, has 5 benign being monitored now. I had suspected Ovarian, large cyst, they took out both ovaries and cyst to be safest. Cyst was begnign. My daughter had one removed from her "tubes", my son his back. My Granny had breast cancer at 73, one removed. You do learn to know your own body, I can tell you I was in awfull pain with the Ovarian problem and had a hernia at the same time. Neither William nor my mother seemed to have any real pain till last knockings, that is always the problem in that there is no build up, no warnings until it is too far along. I am sure you don't have it so many things that don't connect up to that type of cancer compared to what I have seen, too much pain, bowels funny, all point to tummy to me. Have you done the bowel cancer check? I did last year and it came back fine, it was an NHS free check available to anyone, maybe only in my area. When I had the ovarian probs they did loads of checks, talked about Crohns, colon all sorts, but my cyst was hard to find apparently which is why it escaped for so long. I understand that colon, crohns etc are manageable so you need to concentrate on that now. I wish you all the best, I will keep my fingers crossed and I am sure you will be getting a result that you can manage and get your world back to how you want it to be. Big hugs, we all need one x Marcelle 

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    • Posted

      Hi Marcelle, thank you for taking the time to reply and I am truely sorry for your experiences.

      I do have a colonoscopy booked for this Friday and an ultrasound on Thursday.  I never get any pains etc for long periods so this has really shaken me.  I can't accept the way GP's in this county automatically put abdominal issues straight down to IBS as in my consultant's own words 'they can't know that until they have ruled out every other possibility as symptoms for IBS and other conditions are so alike'.  I have paid privately for my consulations and will pay privately for my diagnostics and treatment if needs be.  The wait on the NHS to see a gastro consultant is 1 year plus 6 months added on if you need a colonoscopy.  

      The pancreatic cancer has stuck in my head as it's such a hard to beat cancer and I've read about some who only have left sided pain etc.  This is why I'm jumping over the heads of the NHS and going solo for some answers.

      Big hug back to you Marcelle, you're right, we all need one.  I would acutally be happy to be diagnosed with Chron's or something similar; I am that worried about cancer.

      X

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  • Posted

    I am sure you will be ok, keep strong and try not to worry, sounds easy to say. Try and look at it like a hurdle, they come along and you get over them. It is the way I have got through and I have had a number of operations. We joke that the hospital is my second home. I have had more or less most treatment on the NHS and there has only been one consultant who let me down, the others are wonderfull. Speak up, ask questions, anything you do not understand then ask, everything. I am considering seeing how muh it costs for a BUPA womans complete check now but I do have confidence in my current consultants. I was surprised to hear how long it takes to get a consultant now on the NHS for your problems, mine started just over 10 years ago and were up to about four months depending on which type. It must be getting alot worse, not that anyone in the government would ever admit this. If you have the money it is amazing what a difference it makes to go private. However, having lived in Australia and with my knowledge and comparison of USA also, we still have the best in the world here, my mother said that too. If she had not been so far along she would have come home, just could not face the upheaval. Like I said, push, insist, make a nuisance of yourself, keep on and on till you get what you need. It works, I know as I have done it. I would not have dared to say or ask a single thing ten years ago, after my first op which was on my arm and was a real mess I tried to take the matter further. Me against a rubbish surgeon who had been suspended twice before, with the backing of the then CEO and NHS behind him. I wish there had been those claims people then to help, naturally I got nowhere. Funnily enough one rang me the other day and if it had not been too long since the op they were very sympathetic and certain that now if I had that problem they would definitley have been able to do alot for my case. But the past is the past, and as I say I have still three consultant surgeons who are smashing. One is so very highly thought of he is in high demand as a cancer surgeon, his registrars think so much of him, they call him The Boss, which is their sign of total respect. Sorry, rattling on, but like I said just keep pushing and keep strong, you will get there honestly you will. I will keep an eye out for any note of your progress. Good luck, you will be great.  When you worry, think of me and remind yourself you can get through, and you will. Take care x Marcelle 
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    • Posted

      Marcelle, you are amazing.  I feel calmer already just from reading your message.  You have been through such a lot and have a lovely disposition after all you have been through.  I honestly don't know how the NHS has managed to get as bad as this.  Paying privately is my only way of taking some control as the thought of waiting 1 year just to discuss my concerns is so scary. I keep finding new 'symptoms' but I really am stressed to the maximum and I don't know if stress is causing some of them.  I have little moments of pure clairty where I feel no panic and am totally at ease with whatever it may be but unfortunately these moments are usually followed by bouts of crying and panic.  All I can think of are my children being left without me and that is far more frightening than anything else in the world. I will just have to tough it out until my scans etc and hopefully the consultant can reassure me on Friday.  My poor mother has beared me constantly crying and outpouring my fears onto her this last month and I sometimes forget I am her baby and she is probably a bit scared too. 

      I will update you asap.  Take care Marcelle X

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  • Posted

    We are all someone's baby. On only a couple of times when I was in so much pain I rang my mum, she was still local then. When her cancer was found the trouble is she remembered so clearly the day we found out about Bill - she had taken us to the hospital that day. So of course she talked to me all the time about it, not my sister who she was living with, she didn't think she could handle it! Handle it, what do you do when it is your mum who is telling you she is dying and all about it, I was out of my mind with worry. I guess because I always go around with a smile and laugh so no one really knows how I truly am, she seemed to think I could deal with having my mum, the one I looked up to for everything, giving me all the details. I did not really want to know at all thanks, I knew she was hiding it all from the rest of the family over there and after I got there and we talked my sister was really unhappy about being kept in the dark. Mummy passed away while I was on my way there, she knew I was coming though. My sis rang my two children (both adults now, but always babies to me), and told them but no way to tell anyone else, even my ex husband, I think she more or less threatened to murder them if they did. They all agreed if  had to get on the flight knowing I was too late it would have been horrid for me. I was so calm all the way there, I think deep down inside I knew. It is sad I have no one to talk to myself now, though my sister and I phone alot and I can tell her anything, she is very supportive that way. The same the other way around, we were brought up not to show or discuss thngs like that but I don't think that is a good thing. My mother was a bit like the Queen with the old stiff upper lip stuff, never show emotion. It took years of my son and I teaching her to hug let alone kiss hello or goodbye. My lovely Pops was totally different, even right at the end I would sort of launch myself into his room calling hello my Dad and he always said "give your Dad a kiss", bless him. My two are 40 and 37 now, I make a point of always saying love you on the phone, and my 7 year old Grandson. My very closest girl friends, and male too, we always hug and remind each other we love them. I think we need that reassurance, we should never ever be afraid of saying that. Mum never ever said it, then when she went to the States said so every single phone call! Your own might think you have gone potty if you suddenly start doing so, if you don't already, but it is a good feeling. I never did take up yoga but have been told it is a good idea and it helps calm when worry is overtaking you. I think it sounds like a good idea, I could do with a good calm down myself!! I would give you my number but not sure how we can do that without it being on a public site. Maybe there is some way the site could help fix that, we could drive each other to distraction merrily comparing scans etc. I am going to bed now, Currys are delivering tomorrow and of course never give a time so it could be 8 a.m or I wait until 6 p.m before they arrive, so annoying. Take care, I will keep an eye on the email to come up with your name if you have any probs just stick an email on! Take care, do try to get sleep, I find if I don't I gradually feel that the daytime suffers and it is like a big circle is't it, one long worryfart (Bill used that word, never heard it before but it makes you smile!). Night nite x Marcelle
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    • Posted

      It is hard not to burden your family, my eldest is upset as he's worried about me and my youngest is oblivious, thankfully.  I am usually the strong one and the advice giver but this time around it is my sibling who is offering the reassurances and she is a born worrier!  I get to the point where I am fed up of thinking about it, it's just always there in the back of your mind no matter what you try to do to occupy yourself.  I am constantly telling my kids especially the youngest how much I love them, we do say it a LOT in my family; it's so important for kids to know they're loved.  I will see if I can PM you on here but not sure myself if it's possible.  I hope your delivery has arrived already, mine usually are the last call.  I am loving the word worryfart and think I shall start using it :D.  X
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    • Posted

      They were here at ten past eight!! There was me thinking I would be stuck waiting. That will teach me. Over late now, been parcelling up an old friends birthday presents, might try Hermes thry could be cheaper than the Post Office. Hope u get a good night. I bought a new bed llast week and asked if they had any pillows that really do bounce back. I paid £49 which is alot but have paid £30 before and they lasted five minutes. This is sublime, I have been sleeping so well since I got it, like a bed it has a kind of spring thing and I swear it does not loose shape and is sooo comfey. I only needed one as am on my own so was rrally worth it. I think one of the cats id sprawled across at the moment, but will soon change that! Nite nite, take care, catch you soon x Marcelle
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    • Posted

      Oooh love nice pillows and my mother works in Dunelm smile  I had an ultrasound today which showed that my pancreas, liver, kidneys and all the other bits are fine.  I asked him how clearly he could see my pancreas as I've read that sometimes it can't be viewed clearly for gas or other reasons but he assured me the view was crystal clear as I am thin and there is no fat to penetrat to obscure the view.  This made me very relieved!  I am now on my prep for the colonoscopy tomorrow.  First glass of the first sachet (4 in total) and I am ready to vomit.  It's vile stuff.  I will keep you posted.  And I'm very glad your delivery came nice and early for you.  Enjoy more sleep on your pillows! x
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    • Posted

      That stuff is revolting isn;t it, I remember it well! Yucky! Thnk of it as a very thorough, slightly weird detox! Good luck for the colonoscopy itself, the drink is by far the worst bit. One of the cats has found how comfortable my new pillow is and so tonight there will be ructions over who is having it to lay ther weary head - I intend to win, they get spoiled enough as it is without nicking my one and only lovely pillow sleep. Then it wlll be all hairey too bless em. Be thinking of you, take care and hope you don;t have to lose too much sleep by visits to the bathroom, it does wear off after a time, honest! Bye for now x Marcelle
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    • Posted

      Just a quick update :

      Colonoscopy clear, don't know all details as I see consultant next week to discuss but he did tell me he saw nothing sinister or inflamed. Whilst I am relieved, I still have no answers. I think the next thing is to check the small intestine via MRI with contrast if I remember rightly.

      I still have the pain but it gas eased off a lot. I am keeping a food and bowel movement diary too.

      X

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  • Posted

    Hello boogagirl cheesygrin^ I just want to wish you all here the best of luck on your journeys and my prayers are with all of you. I really needed to add something though for everyone to think about and it's food, what we put into our mouths has a dramatic effect on what our bodies do. Please do a search for pancreatic cancer raw food diet. There's a site called Chris Beat Cancer that has remarkable information there and it's food for thought. The Truth about Cancer, Cancer Truth are other excellent reference sites. God gave us everything on earth to heal ourselves with, He says so in the Bible cheesygrin^ (for those that don't believe in God, my apologies for that comment but, it's one that I truly believe) the only key really, is that we have to ingest it <3>
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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    so glad it sounds as though the colonoscopy went well, as you say it rather only gives you something else to be thinking about, if it isn't that then what could it be? An MRI is about the most intense scan you can have I believe, that really does show so much in depth. I have had 3, I think they are a real help for the consultant.I do tend to think about the food we eat too, that was a sensible remark by Sheryl, also any medication can have detrimental effect in some cases. It is true that we eat so differently to say the forties and fifties, all was cooked from scratch. When my two were younger they were day pupils at the same school and it took an hour to get to and then from on the bus. I was working and so was not home necessarly when they got in so would make dinners and pud, plate up so they could just ping it up, before I went to work. We did spenf hours in the kitchen then, I was brought up that the main meal was meat and two veg followed by pud and that was how we did it. The Xmas lunch took about a month of pre planning! Let me know how it goes wth the consultant, good luck with that and the MRI. The thing is with all the scans etc., it is being very thorough so somewhere along the line an answer must pop up, and you wll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have had a very good check up of your body.  Take care, I have to go and water the plants, patio garden with a million pots, some of them look positively geriatric where I have not had the chance to plant them out since I got them. The French Marigolds have no leaves, just stalks with a flower on top cos the slugs are about in droves. I reckon  could hear them chomping away at night if I stood outside for a while, they form an army out there to march on my plants. Bye for now, plant emergency rescue

    x Marcelle

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  • Posted

    How are you feeling now. Have all your test come back clean. I am having some of your issues but it more on both sides of my upper back. And in both rib cages and sternum. I get random light pains in with side of my belly button and either side under sternum area.my ear goes in and out sometimes and it because fuzzy. I have had extensive blood work upper GI and abdominal ultrasound which was clear I am very thin so he said he could see it all. Any thoughts
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    • Posted

      Hi Becka, I have a large cyst in the adrenal/peritoneal area.  It was missed on my first ultrasound (privately paid for) and picked up a week or so later on the NHS one (private isn't always better).  My pain has eased a lot now and I am being monitored with ct or mri scans regualry.  Funny you mention the comment about being thin as this is what the private consultant who scanned me and missed the large (7cm) cyst, said to me.  I would certainly get a second opinion.  Good luck! x
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    • Posted

      Hi just found this post, which fits me to a t. I have had an ultrasound recently, but what I am now wondering after reading your post is unfortunately as I am over weight could something have been missed? The lady pressed really hard and I thought she was going to break my ribs and then said all clear. But still having occasional left hand pain and sharp stinging behind belly button wondering if my fat was stopping it showing anything. I do have diverticular though and GERD so hoping it is that. Take care.
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