I had a very bad scare last month. I started experiencing ever-increasing symptoms, like I had last year. The particularly scary thing was that if the cancer returns within six months of chemo treatments ending, it means it does not respond to the chemo and the treatment options become much more limited. It was frightful to think that I might have to tell my parents about it and that I might die before them.
After about five days I made an appointment with the BC Cancer Agency and was able to get in to see them within a few days. Everything I told the doctor was taken seriously, and I could tell from the questions asked that perhaps things were very bad. However, I was sent for a CT scan (100 – 400 times the radiation of a regular x-ray), a chest x-ray and a blood test. The results were back within seven days – during which we were extremely worried and stressed. The results: No cancer! Wonderful!
The next step was to see what caused the problems, which subsided almost immediately after this. It appears to be IBS (irritably bowel syndrome), which is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning they can’t find anything actually wrong with you but they recognize something IS wrong. IBS is closely tied to stress and so it appears that I got into a vicious cycle of worrying and making things worse.
The lesson here is to be very aware of your body and don’t waste a second in getting things checked out if you experience OC symptoms at any time. The BC Cancer Agency is very supportive and if you don’t want to undergo a CT scan whenever you have suspicious symptoms, start with the Ca-125 blood test and see where your marker is.