What do you do when the anxiety strikes?
Sorry this is going to be another long moan, but sometimes it feels like this forum is the only place where people listen and understand how I feel.
Since diagnosis, I’ve turned into a real worrier about the slightest aches and pains and it can make me very anxious. But I don’t know where to go for answers or reassurance.
I’m currently 3 weeks post chemo/radiotherapy and 3 weeks from my next scan so there’s no regular contact to talk to. And I’m concerned about being seen to be a time waster.
When I had chest pains during the chemo, on 4 separate occasions I saw the duty oncologist, called 111 who sent the ambulance, ended up in A&E for 6 hours, and saw a locum GP who said there was nothing he could do. All the tests and obs were fine but I still had pains.
I finally saw my own GP who said the pain and tightness was caused by chest wall muscle inflammation/ infection. So now I know what it is I can deal with it and stop my heart racing by breathing exercises (although I can’t yet stop them coming on).
My latest concern is leg pains. I had the pains running down from my buttocks before diagnosis and tingling legs from the start of treatment, not helped by a heavy fall onto my backside after week 1. I think it’s nerve pain and sitting around too much, and two doctors have told me they don’t think it’s DVT. But that doesn’t stop me Googling symptoms or making myself anxious. I’ve mentioned it to my GP who said it will take time and given me stronger painkillers. The last two days it’s got worse with pain in my groins, calf and sole of foot but feels ok when walking. But I can’t keep calling 111 or going back to my GP.
I worry when I know something doesn’t feel right and I don’t know what it is. And sometimes I feel the doctors are fobbing me off and are fed up of my moaning (I know I would be!) but they might be missing something. I never used to be like this but the cancer diagnosis has really affected me - my husband hardly recognises the person I’ve become.
So I think I’ve got health anxiety. I’ve tried to get counselling but when I called my EAP they were all in a meeting and called back when I said I would be unavailable. I’ve been referred to the oncology psychology service but that takes 8 to 12 weeks for an appointment. But does counselling help when you want reassurance about symptoms? All the helplines also say that they can’t help medically.
We don’t have Maggies or similar centres locally and I’ve not found any convenient local groups,
Does anyone else feel the same way? What do you do when the anxiety strikes?