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Scary test result, pain, menopause and huge anxiety (trigger warning c-----)

Souris

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Hello, everybody. I'm new here and I need help. I've been dealing with widespread body pain and fatigue for several months, ever since I stopped birth control pills in October and seem to be going into menopause. I thought I might have fibromyalgia so went to my doctor in January. She did blood tests and they showed I have low iron, a low white cell count and slightly high calcium levels (but a significant spike since my yearly physical in April -- my levels had been rock steady for many years, so this is definitely something noticeable). We ruled out the usual cause of high calcium, hyperparathyroidism, with a followup blood test. Other numbers, including thyroid and Vitamin D, were fine.

I Googled and discovered the other major cause of high blood calcium is cancer. My doctor doesn't seem particularly worried, but I'm convinced I have bone cancer, probably multiple myeloma. My anxiety has been through the roof since then. I've lost about five pounds in a few weeks, which could be another symptom. I know my stomach has been in such knots, I haven't been eating as much, but you also lose weight with cancer. I've been having new excruciating pains in my shin, like somebody is stabbing a knife into the bone over and over. I've never felt anything like it and it's awful and scary. I haven't injured it. I've forced myself to stop Googling. I was looking up all the cancer signs and how to deal with a terminal illness, which of course spiraled my anxiety even more.

My doctor referred me to an endocrinologist about the calcium level, but I couldn't get an appointment with anybody until APRIL 15!! I might die of anxiety before then! I do have a followup appointment with my regular doctor in two weeks, and I'm sure she'll retest my calcium, so I may know more then. She said she didn't think my result was a huge danger sign, but I'm worried she's missing the signs or not giving them enough attention, and by the time I see the endocrinologist, it will be even more advanced.

I've had health anxiety for years, but it's been pretty well controlled for quite awhile with Celexa. I know my hormones are probably contributing because of being all over the place with starting menopause, but that calcium level is scaring the heck out of me. It's really hard to function or concentrate on anything. Between the menopausal hot flashes and anxiety, I haven't slept through the night without waking up once or twice a night in weeks.

It's actually my birthday today, but all I can think about is how I have cancer and will probably die soon.
 

matisworried

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first of all, happy birthday and welcome to the board. also, sorry you're here.

as it sounds like you're already aware, it's important for folks like us to stay the heck off of the internet when it comes to our health and the things that concern us. webMD is not a doctor and google is no replacement for a medical degree. researching your health online will inevitably make your anxiety worse, which is seems like you've already experienced.

regarding your labs, as we age, things tend to fluctuate a bit more. fluctuation within normal range is nothing to worry about. whether you're on the low end of normal or the high end, all that matters is that you're within range. being slightly high or slightly low is also not something you should be overly concerned about. there are many minor and relatively benign things that can cause this. if you trust your doctor, you should trust their opinion that it's nothing to be overly-concerned about. doctors have a vested interest in keeping you alive. if there were any concerns, they would act on them. if there was true concern, your doctor would likely facilitate an earlier appointment with you but that isn't the case, likely because you're fine.

regarding your weight loss, you have solved your own mystery:


I know my stomach has been in such knots, I haven't been eating as much...
i've been down the road you're on. during one scare, i lost nearly 20 lbs in two weeks. for me, that was even more confirmation that i was dying because... "weight loss is a sign of cancer." the reality was that i wasn't eating much, wasn't drinking much, wasn't sleeping and couldn't sit still so the weight just fell off of me.

good luck with everything. please keep us posted!
 

Vandelsrock21

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Body's change over time i would bet you dont have cancer. Elevated calcium levels can be concerning for you but i would bet a diet change would help you with that. My calcium has been high go in a couple weeks later its normal. Good luck worrying will only make you feel alot worse.
 

Souris

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Thank you both! It’s hard to talk myself out of this. I can have a good few hours where I feel OKish for awhile, then I go back to extreme worry. I think I would be OK if not for that calcium level. Even with all my symptoms I could tell myself it’s just fibromyalgia or my hormones going crazy with menopause. I’ve had health scares before that turned out OK, but I always feel like it’s inevitable that one will be for real and super serious.
 

Souris

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I had told my gynecologist about my issue, and she's volunteered to see if an endocrinologist can see me sooner than April 15. She knows my history of health anxiety well, but now I'm scared that she looked at my test results and thinks I have cancer, unlike my primary care doctor. So I'm spiraling into fear and panic again.

I'm just so scared and miserable.
 

Vandelsrock21

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She is doing what you want her too do. Only reason she is looking ahead is because of your anxiety.
 

Scared1234

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I just posted about being concerned about multiple myeloma as well. I’ve been scared about many things since December and now this has popped up. I have had off and on pain in my hip and I have had rib pain. I’ve had rib pain before, but thought it was from having a rib out of place and/or reflux issues. Recently I’ve been worried about pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, bile duct cancer, and kidney cancer.
I went to the ER due to lower abdominal pains and it extended to my hip and groin. I was hoping it was just a stone. Blood in urine but no stones found on CT. Found several cysts on my kidneys.
Went to PCP and she referred me to urologist and I go on Thursday.
By chance tonight, I saw an ad on social media for multiple myeloma and I clicked on it. Never crossed my mind that I could have that! But I see rib pain and hip pain are common. I also had protein in my blood work but it was never mentioned as a concern. I am now COMPLETELY freaking out that all these pains might have been Multiple Myeloma all along! My WBC and RBC blood work was all fine. So were the other tests. But I have been reading there are 3 other blood tests that will test for MM. I don’t know if I should call my doctor and request my blood work to be done and add those tests? I had a CT done. Sounds like that might not pick up MM. SO scared!! I could handle kidney or bladder cancer. Those have a high cure rate. MM has no cure. I feel so doomed!
 

Souris

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I just posted about being concerned about multiple myeloma as well. I’ve been scared about many things since December and now this has popped up. I have had off and on pain in my hip and I have had rib pain. I’ve had rib pain before, but thought it was from having a rib out of place and/or reflux issues. Recently I’ve been worried about pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, bile duct cancer, and kidney cancer.
I went to the ER due to lower abdominal pains and it extended to my hip and groin. I was hoping it was just a stone. Blood in urine but no stones found on CT. Found several cysts on my kidneys.
Went to PCP and she referred me to urologist and I go on Thursday.
By chance tonight, I saw an ad on social media for multiple myeloma and I clicked on it. Never crossed my mind that I could have that! But I see rib pain and hip pain are common. I also had protein in my blood work but it was never mentioned as a concern. I am now COMPLETELY freaking out that all these pains might have been Multiple Myeloma all along! My WBC and RBC blood work was all fine. So were the other tests. But I have been reading there are 3 other blood tests that will test for MM. I don’t know if I should call my doctor and request my blood work to be done and add those tests? I had a CT done. Sounds like that might not pick up MM. SO scared!! I could handle kidney or bladder cancer. Those have a high cure rate. MM has no cure. I feel so doomed!
MM would have shown up on one of the many tests you’ve had. There would have been some indication for sure. You’re fine for that. Stop Googling. If you need further reassurance for your particular situation, maybe start your own thread so it’s specifically focused. I’m sorry we both have to deal with this.
 

Scared1234

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MM would have shown up on one of the many tests you’ve had. There would have been some indication for sure. You’re fine for that. Stop Googling. If you need further reassurance for your particular situation, maybe start your own thread so it’s specifically focused. I’m sorry we both have to deal with this.
Have you had any imaging done?
 

Scared1234

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Have you had any imaging done?
MM would have shown up on one of the many tests you’ve had. There would have been some indication for sure. You’re fine for that. Stop Googling. If you need further reassurance for your particular situation, maybe start your own thread so it’s specifically focused. I’m sorry we both have to deal with this.
I’m sorry for posting on your thread. I just wanted to let you know you weren’t the only one who was scared of MM and that I was feeling the same way. Sorry!!
 

Scared1234

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What is making you so worried about MM? Your calcium level?
Surely other blood work would be out of whack too? Did you pcp seem concerned that MM was a possibility? My friends keep telling me that if the doctor was worried, it would have been mentioned. I’m not quite ready to accept that though!
What is making you so worried about MM? Your calcium level?
Surely other blood work would be out of whack too? Did you pcp seem concerned that MM was a possibility?
Do you have the pain all the time? Or only when you’re thinking about it? Have you asked for any of the blood work to be done that checks for MM? I know I haven’t, but my friends keep telling me that if the doctor was worried, it would have been mentioned. I’m not quite ready to accept that though!
It’s so hard to know what is anxiety and what is more serious!
 

Souris

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Having a really hard time. Been having constant bone pain in my front shin that I know is the calcium leeching into my blood. Nothing makes it feel better. It hurts all the time. My mind is 100% sure I have cancer and will die soon. Nothing else fits with my symptoms and blood work. Still waiting on a hopefully sooner endo appointment; I got a notice they’re working on it. I just don’t know how I will be able to handle this. I can hardly sleep or eat.
 

Worriedmama

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Having a really hard time. Been having constant bone pain in my front shin that I know is the calcium leeching into my blood. Nothing makes it feel better. It hurts all the time. My mind is 100% sure I have cancer and will die soon. Nothing else fits with my symptoms and blood work. Still waiting on a hopefully sooner endo appointment; I got a notice they’re working on it. I just don’t know how I will be able to handle this. I can hardly sleep or eat.
My endo has a np that I can get appt with right away if needed. See if an np is an option. The one in my office is super knowledgeable.
 

Izthewiz

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My wife had the same issues when she went off birth control .
Its nothing to be worried sick about.
If you need to get your red blood count up
Eat more beef that will get your red blood count up.
Skip the iron pills bad on the system.
Seems everyone is afraid of cancer.
Just something to give you peace
If your medical doctor isn't concerned you're most likely fine.
I was in your place 2 weeks ago thinking I had cancer went to specialist and told me after looking at all my scans you're fine.
Let go of the extreme thinking you most likely dont have cancer.
 

Scared1234

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I understand! I asked my dr if she could run more blood work to re-check my elevated protein levels. She did that yesterday, and all of my blood work is just fine now. Maybe you could ask for new labs and see if your calcium level has dropped since the last time. If so, then maybe you can have some peace while you wait for your endo appointment. I hope they get you in sooner!
 

Souris

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I was actually able to get in to see an endocrinologist today because of a cancellation, and he was pretty reassuring. My regular doctor thought the usual benign hyperparathyroid condition was ruled out by the previous blood work, but the endo said he wouldn't take it off the table yet. Even though that level was in the normal range, with high calcium levels, he said he would expect that hormone to be lower than it was. Also, he thought my calcium level wasn't quite as high as it seemed, because it can be driven up by raised albumin level (a blood protein that can be raised by dehydration), which mine also was. He pointed out some blood measurements that would be some of the "danger signs" of cancer, and my levels there were fine.

So I still don't know anything definite and am waiting on results of more blood work we did today to see what other tests I may need, but he did make me feel better. For now, anyway!
 

JustMe

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I was actually able to get in to see an endocrinologist today because of a cancellation, and he was pretty reassuring. My regular doctor thought the usual benign hyperparathyroid condition was ruled out by the previous blood work, but the endo said he wouldn't take it off the table yet. Even though that level was in the normal range, with high calcium levels, he said he would expect that hormone to be lower than it was. Also, he thought my calcium level wasn't quite as high as it seemed, because it can be driven up by raised albumin level (a blood protein that can be raised by dehydration), which mine also was. He pointed out some blood measurements that would be some of the "danger signs" of cancer, and my levels there were fine.

So I still don't know anything definite and am waiting on results of more blood work we did today to see what other tests I may need, but he did make me feel better. For now, anyway!
That sounds pretty reassuring! I'm glad you were able to get in to see him sooner.
 
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