Topic: IBC Anxiety

Forum: Not Diagnosed But Worried — For those who are experiencing symptoms or received concerning test results, but haven't been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Posted on: May 22, 2022 03:30AM - edited May 24, 2022 05:08PM by jazzing

Posted on: May 22, 2022 03:30AM - edited May 24, 2022 05:08PM by jazzing

jazzing wrote:

Hi, I'm new here. This post will be pretty long and I want to thank anyone who takes the time out of their day to read and reply.

I'm extremely anxious about my health. Just a few months ago I was 1000% sure I had a blood clot and just days to live. I didn't have a blood clot. I know because I went to the E.R. and then to my GP who both assured me I was fine and didn't have a blood clot. I still doubted them but.. I've gotten over that and moved on to a brand new, scarier condition: Inflammatory breast cancer. Just typing it makes me feel anxious.

A little over three weeks ago I noticed some "pores" around and on my areola (above the nipple, toward the line of demarcation between the areola and the breast skin). I have large breast and pores all over my them, but this particular patch looked deeper almost.

I immediately went into panic mode and made an appointment with my doctor. At the appointment she took a look and told me that nothing looked or felt out of the ordinary especially considering the size of my breast. She put me down for an ultrasound anyways. After this appointment I felt extremely relieved, to the point where I wasn't going to schedule the ultrasound. But still, I continued to aggressively check my breast until I inevitably found something else.

I did end up scheduling the ultra sound because I had another extreme wave anxiety, but the appointment is 3 weeks away. I'm deathly afraid l'Il experience worsening symptoms before then.

I'm a 22 year old black woman, with no history of breast cancer in my family. The only"symptoms" I'm having are (what I think looks like) a very small patch of peau d'orange - like maybe 7 little spots that I've been told (several times) look like pores/hair follicles. I have no pain, no redness, no soreness, no swelling, no heat, no inverted nipple, or swollen lymph node. My areola does feel slightly irritated sometimes but I figure it's because I'm constantly poking and prodding the skin. The skin on my right areola also feels a littlemore textured (wrinkled?) than that of the skin on my left, but I only notice this when I stimulate it.

I sometimes get random "pains" in my breast. It's not severe pain at all. It's closer to irritation really. It's last maybe 30 seconds (if that) then goes away. It's also sporadic. Like It'll happen randomly throughout the day, maybe 3-4 times a day. Some days It doesn't happen at all. The irritation moves and it's not always the same sensation, and again it's never severe. Barely even there. I think this is me being hyper aware of my breast and my anxiety manifesting weird sensations but I don't know for sure.

I've had my grandmother (a retired nurse) look at the skin several times, and she assured me it looked normal. My aunt looked at it as well and again assured me it was normal.

Another thing that really freaked me out is that this texture is on one breast. Which I, again, was told is normal. There's no stark difference between either boob, but I've been over analyzing them for years and I'm hyper aware of any changes. I know the likely hood of me having this disease is extremely low, but never zero. And every time I feel a weird sensation I panic.


This same area seems to be turning a bit pink. My skin tone in pretty warm so maybe it's the lighting or maybe it's because I can't seem to stop touching the area but I'm afraid I'm experiencing a real symptom and I'm only telling myself these things to pacify myself.

As I write this, I feel a little ridiculous, because everything points to me just being a hypochondriac, but I need some help. For the last three weeks I've been in this cycle of feeling like an idiot for thinking I have IBC to then feeling 100% sure I have IBC. My anxiety causes all sorts of weird symptoms and these symptoms make me want to google. Which only makes my anxiety worse, but it's so hard to resist the urge. I'm constantly touching/looking at my breast, looking for any changes and I'm terrified I'll find something. Every time I convince myself I'm fine, I feel some weird sensation and my anxiety is back like it never left.

It's coming up on a month since I first discovered these changes to my boob. If I had IBC would my symptoms have worsen by now? Is the pain/heat/redness from IBC more obvious and severe? How do I differentiate IBC pain from regular menstruation pain and weird anxiety pain? Has anyone else felt strange sensations in their breast that turned out to be nothing?

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this. I know it's long and I'm probably being ridiculous but I would really truly appreciate any advice, reassurance, or input. Again thank you and I really hope to hear from some of you.


(Update) 5/24/22

Hi again everyone! I really appreciate all thecomments, kind words, advice, and well wishes. In an attempt to quail my anxiety I've been trying to avoid the very words "breast cancer" so I'm sorry for not immediately responding to everyone individually.

One of my breast is a little achy but it's a far cry from intense pain. I recognize that this pain is nothing I haven't dealt with in the past and likely a result of hormone changes:fluctuations (if not another phantom pain brought on by anxiety). My health anxiety is still a day to day struggle and my consultations with Dr. Google happen more times in a day than I care to admit but I'm feeling way better than I have been in the last couple weeks.

There will always find something wrong with as long as I continue to let my health anxiety control my life so while I wait for my ultrasound I'll work harder on addressing that.

I'll be sure to update after I receive my ultrasounds results. Thanks again, everyone



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May 22, 2022 08:34AM alicebastable wrote:

Your doctor has seen it, your nurse grandmother has seen it, and you're scheduled for an ultrasound. Your breast is being taken care of. You seem to have major health anxiety, and I hope you get help for that or you'll go from one crisis to another and make your life miserable. Good luck.

Ignore treatment info (below) which is a BCO glitch. Do not enter personal information on this site since they grossly mishandled a data breach.
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May 22, 2022 12:29PM moderators wrote:

jazzing, welcome to BC.org. We're so very sorry to hear of your anxiety and concerns over your breast health. One of our members posted a topic under the Not Diagnosed forum that you may also like to check out and join the conversation. It's called topic: Anxiety

We are wishing you well with your upcoming appointment. Please keep us posted on what you learn. We hope you can stay calm until then. Let us know if we can help in anyway.

Warmly,

The Mods

To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
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May 22, 2022 06:43PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

It’s good that you recognize that you have extreme health anxiety. Now is the time to seek therapy for this so that it doesn’t continue to interfere with your life. As for your breasts, while it’s good to be aware , you’ve taken all the right steps in addressing your concerns. I do hope you address your health anxiety as you have a wonderful long life ahead of you. Oh, stay away from Dr. Google. If we could diagnose major illnesses from the internet then why would we need real doctors?

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 24, 2022 01:28AM blue22 wrote:

Hi Jazzy,

I am sorry for what you are going through!

You have an ultrasound scheduled, so for now you need to just relax and trust that they will be able to do their job. If the Dr. was worried, she would have stressed that you get the ultrasound earlier. When I had my Dr. examine my breast, her worry was obvious, and she stressed that I should not wait to get my mammogram/ultrasound, and even helped to expedite the scheduling when it was delayed.

I highly recommend you get some help for your anxiety. It will help you now, and if (unlikely) you end up having cancer, managing anxiety is one of the best and most important self care treatments you can do - and that YOU have control over. I am not trying to sound patronizing - I mean this kindly. Stress is the last thing that you need whether you are healthy or you have a serious illness.

Check out sources of meditation, mindfulness, yoga etc. All of these help.

Dx 1/2019, IBC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/15/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Dx 7/30/2019, IDC/IBC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 4/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/30/2019 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Dx 8/2019, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 10/8/2019 Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine)
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May 24, 2022 05:48AM - edited May 24, 2022 05:07PM by jazzing

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Jun 10, 2022 02:32PM - edited Jun 10, 2022 02:39PM by jazzing

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Jun 10, 2022 02:39PM - edited Jun 10, 2022 02:39PM by jazzing

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Jun 10, 2022 03:41PM jazzing wrote:

Hi again everyone! I want to thank all of you for your replies and apologize for my delayed response. My anxiety has been up and down (mostly up) and I've been trying to take a break from the internet as it always leads me down a rabbit hole in which I consult Dr. Google/WebMD/Reddit and then have an anxiety attack.

I'm not sure how to post individual responses to everyone and I'm not sure how if any of you have seen my little update back March so I'm going to address everyone here and hope you all see it and know how much I appreciate you guys for reading and responding to my original post.

I got the ultrasound done and the radiologist didn't see anything (a good sign!) She did see some thickening of the skin when it's agitated/touched but didn't seem concerned in the slightest. She suggested I see a breast doctor to give me some peace of mind and to truly rule out any issues.

I'm still a little anxious as I was hoping for a 100% clean bill of health, but I do feel a lot better. I've consulted 3 medical professionals (and will see be seeing a fourth and hopefully final) and they've all pretty much said the same thing: I'm not concerned and you shouldn't be either.

It's been over a month and I've had no new symptoms (another good sign) I recognize I'm a hypochondriac and I am in the process of seeking professional help. I'll be sure to update you all with the results of the biopsy and again want to thank everyone for reading my ridiculously long rant.

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