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Very scared

Hi everyone, i am a 23 year old male with an anxiety problem for the last couple of years. My father died from leukemia in 2013 and I’ve been very afraid of cancer ever since. I am not English, so sorry for my English. I’ll do my best.

In 2018, after my ex girlfriend and I broke up, I developed a slight cough. I still have it today, it’s nothing big but it’s there every day. When I sleep i don’t cough and when i cough it’s often a throat clearing sound. I often feel a slight tickle in my throat that makes me cough. However, i started noticing that my spit is light brownish every time. I always though it was because of the Coca Cola or food/coffee but I don’t think it is. Sometimes i cough hard on purpose to see if I have blood in my sputum, and sometimes I do have a little line of blood probably because I cough on purpose to see. I’ve had that little bit of blood maybe 2 times in a month and it’s always in the middle of the night. I’ve been to my GP a couple of times in the last few years, but because my blood was always good and my lungs sounded great, i was never referred for an xray. The symptoms were not worrying.

Also: around that same time (maybe a couple months later) in 2018, i started having bowel problems. A lot of changing toilet habits (diarrhea, strings, a lot of undigested pieces) and sometimes it was good for a long time. My GP at that time told me it was IBS and i settled with that. I’ve never seen blood in my toilet habits and I inspected it a lot because of my hypochondria haha. Sometimes I do see red bits in my stool but I can always relate it back to things I’ve eaten the day before like tomatoes. A change in diet made it better, and then i started eating less good things and ever since it is sometimes good and sometimes not. Also i have a lot of gas and my bowel makes a lot of noice combined with stinking farts.

With that all said, years i’ve been coughing slightly a little and i thought this could be a habit cough or a stress cough because it often would subside when i was relaxed and would come up when in a stressed period. A couple weeks ago I noticed a hard immovable painless lump on my neck and went in for an ultrasound. Nothing weird, it wasn’t even a reactive node, the ultrasound guy thought it could be a cervical rib. I also saw a weird spot on my body that has been removed by a dermatologist for my rest, turned out to be nothing.

Here comes the worst part: after two weeks of panicking a lot, not eating, not sleeping and reading cancer symptoms, last 4 weeks I developed a weird headache that is always present and i notice a slight weakness in my left arm and leg. I went to my GP, she did some vision/balance/reflex tests and told me she couldn’t see any difference between my left and right side of the body and told me it wasn’t something to worry about. Did another blood test and everything came back fine. Today I still have this “weaker feeling” on the left side. I can do everything it just feels slightly weaker. In these 4 weeks, the dull headache became less and is still present but doesn’t bother me because it is so subtle (sometimes the feeling gets a little worse but not for long). The feeling on my left side didn’t worsen.

I already convinced myself that i have lung cancer with brain mets, probably also colon cancer. Maybe the colon cancer is the primary tumor and the lungs are mets.

I try to give it less attention because my GP told me to but I’m afraid that if i ignore it i wake up with a seizure or suddenly die or whatever.

I’ve started therapy last two weeks ago for my anxiety. My GP referred me. My GP doesn’t see any reason for further scans and tells me that I should trust her as a doctor. She says getting a scan every time you feel something is an unworkable situation. She advices me to stay with the therapy and if the symptoms don’t get better after a while we can talk again. My therapist agrees and says that I shouldn’t underestimate the power of the mind and how it can affect the body. I am constantly in fear that I am ignoring something and that it turns out to be cancer with brain mets and i’ll die any moment.

Could you have colon cancer with lung mets for 3 years without for example a cough progressing or without having major bowel issues? Or could you have lung cancer with brain mets without the symptoms progressing? My GP says that is almost impossible also because I’m so young and such a cough that lingers for so long without progressing, shows that it’s nothing really serious. Could you give me your insights please?

  1. , thank you for your transparency and vulnerability in sharing your story with the community. I would strongly recommend you speak with your doctor/care team about some of these questions. Everyone's journey with lung cancer or any cancer is unique and can present different symptoms.

    I found these articles that I think might be helpful:

    I hope this helps!

    Kailah H, Team Member

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