Cancer Hypochondria

I wish I could adequately explain how stupid I feel for having a case of cancer-hypochondria. Although not a real medical condition, it is when every little twinge or ache takes my brain immediately to a cancer recurrence.

When I share it with family and friends, I worry about how crazy I sound to them. I worry that they think I have finally lost my mind.

The finger pain I have been having has increased and now includes peripheral edema. My fingers are so swollen in the morning that I cannot even make a fist.

I emailed Mayo Clinic this morning and they are not sure what the cause is (and I told them of my knee pain that now requires ongoing pain medication). They noted that I am due to see them at the end of January but want me to begin the investigation in to a cause before that time so they can have either a few issues ruled out or a diagnosis and treatment plan.

My last echocardiogram showed that my heart function had been increasing so they are doubtful that is the issue.

I have noticed also lately that I have more swelling under my left arm. I just chalked it up to lymphedema as I had an axillary node disection when I had my mastectomy and they discovered my cancer had spread to a single lymph node. (I had an 8mm macro metastasis).

I am doing everything in my power to be over cancer and to get on with my life. Sure doesn’t look like this is an option beyond what I am already doing and my current worries and such.

This leads to end of life thoughts…I do not know why, it just does.

I want to die at home, with my family.

With the insurance I have, this will not be possible. How stupid is that? If my family lived in Minnesota, I would have the use of Hospice services. Because they are in Canada, I do not have that option.

I think I have been wondering more about this lately because of the amount of pain I have had. I would not want to be around anybody other than family when my pain needs to be controlled by a caregiver.

It also leads me to the realization that I need to make an end-of-life care plan. Just how many drugs do I want, what type of care do I want…those types of things.

Well, I just had to get this off my chest.


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