Mass found on CT scan, going for an endoscopy and scared

Posted by klsmidwestmom @klsmidwestmom, Aug 15 9:16pm

Hello there,
I took myself to the er a few weeks ago because of a heart burn that was concerning to me, ct scan showed something in my esophagus. I also had some enlarged lymph nodes. The er doc said it could be inflammation or food, but the gastroenterologist is a little more concerned. My family doctor thinks it’s very unlikely that it’s a tumor, but either way, I’am absolutely terrified. I’m terrified of the endoscopy, as I have a horrible gag reflex, I’ve never been under sedation of any kind, and I have two more weeks to go before the procedure. I can’t stop obsessing about this whole situation, and I just don’t know if I can go through with the endoscopy. I’ve considered canceling it because of my fear. I have a lot of medical anxiety, I would rather do a barium X-ray (although I know they can’t biopsy a mass)

I’m caring for my father, my first grandchild is about to be born any day now, and my youngest is starting her senior year of HS, I’ve always been the one to take care of everyone, two grandmother’s, my father now, and I work in a nursing facility. I don’t really have the support of anyone encouraging me because I’am the one everyone comes too.

I guess I just want to know what symptoms you all experienced with esophageal cancer, how it was diagnosed (meaning what symptoms brought you to get a diagnosis) how your experience is with an endoscopy and what to expect, will I know right away if it’s a tumor and the doctor feels it could be cancer? How did you deal with the diagnosis, what do you do for severe anxiety when you can’t focus an anything and feel this terrible dreadful feeling deep in the pit of your stomach every day?

I hope this doesn’t sound a bit ridiculous not really knowing yet, but I would appreciate prayers and any advice right now. Thank you so much!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Esophageal Cancer group.

Don’t worry about the endoscopy because it’s really nothing because you’re knocked out. I’ve had 4 of them and never knew anything was down my throat. They give you a great drug to sleep.

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Thank you, I’ll try not too, it’s hard!

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@klsmidwestmom, oh my. My mind starts racing just reading your post. I can see that you are wearing the weight of the world on your shoulders. Breathe … in … out …
If we were sitting together rather than writing on this forum, the first thing I would do is to make you a nice cup of tea, get us comfortable on the patio furniture in the garden and take a minute to watch the butterfly flitting from flower to flower.

Now let's take one step at a time. Your doctors have found something that needs further investigation. Great! This is a good thing that it was detected and they're on top of it.

@riflemanz64 is right that you will be given comfortable sedatives first to relax and then to put you out so you won't feel a thing and your gag reflex won't be an issue.

You can get through this and you will. You have too many people who love you and who you want to care for and love back to not go through with the endoscopy. This is the step to take to stay healthy.

Don't put the cart before the horse as they say. I know you want to know more about symptoms people experience before being diagnosed with esophageal cancer, but it's too early to be thinking about that just yet. The endoscopy is just checking things out. It could be food, inflammation or something completely benign. IF it's not, you'll cross that bridge when it's time.

I know your anxiety is real. My words are easier for me to write than for you to do. I get that. But I'm here and so are many other members like @gingerw @loribmt @survivorsuz and others who have been there. We get it.

Now, would you like another cup of tea?

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@klsmidwestmom Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, and please do sit with us for a cuppa tea or coffee, or glass of lemonade. Would you like a cookie to go along with it?

I certainly understand the helpless feeling, not knowing what might be found. Getting yourself worked up won't help you relax, or sleep at night, does it? And you have these other people in your life to focus on, too, right? How can you get through the next couple of weeks, when all your energy and thoughts are on the upcoming procedure and what they might find…

Think about what made you investigate this in the first place. Something doesn't "feel right". That's not bad; it shows you know yourself well. Trust your gut. Trust your doctors. Please don't be doing the "Dr. Google" thing. The tests or procedures they will do for you will determine what is going on. I understand the idea to be prepared for the worst news, but you are worrying yourself too much. As @riflemanz64 said, you will be given a sedative for the endoscopy. Each step in the process is just that, a step.

Deep breath. And, again. We'll walk with you through this.
Ginger

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@colleenyoung

@klsmidwestmom, oh my. My mind starts racing just reading your post. I can see that you are wearing the weight of the world on your shoulders. Breathe … in … out …
If we were sitting together rather than writing on this forum, the first thing I would do is to make you a nice cup of tea, get us comfortable on the patio furniture in the garden and take a minute to watch the butterfly flitting from flower to flower.

Now let's take one step at a time. Your doctors have found something that needs further investigation. Great! This is a good thing that it was detected and they're on top of it.

@riflemanz64 is right that you will be given comfortable sedatives first to relax and then to put you out so you won't feel a thing and your gag reflex won't be an issue.

You can get through this and you will. You have too many people who love you and who you want to care for and love back to not go through with the endoscopy. This is the step to take to stay healthy.

Don't put the cart before the horse as they say. I know you want to know more about symptoms people experience before being diagnosed with esophageal cancer, but it's too early to be thinking about that just yet. The endoscopy is just checking things out. It could be food, inflammation or something completely benign. IF it's not, you'll cross that bridge when it's time.

I know your anxiety is real. My words are easier for me to write than for you to do. I get that. But I'm here and so are many other members like @gingerw @loribmt @survivorsuz and others who have been there. We get it.

Now, would you like another cup of tea?

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This made my cry, thank you so much for the support, and the kind and caring message, it means more then you know. It’s settled me down for tonight, and yes, a cup of tea sounds amazing. Anything to relax and get some peace of mind right now. What are some things that I can do at night and during the day when my mind wants to run? Do you have any relaxation techniques that help you? Again, thank you so much!

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@gingerw

@klsmidwestmom Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, and please do sit with us for a cuppa tea or coffee, or glass of lemonade. Would you like a cookie to go along with it?

I certainly understand the helpless feeling, not knowing what might be found. Getting yourself worked up won't help you relax, or sleep at night, does it? And you have these other people in your life to focus on, too, right? How can you get through the next couple of weeks, when all your energy and thoughts are on the upcoming procedure and what they might find…

Think about what made you investigate this in the first place. Something doesn't "feel right". That's not bad; it shows you know yourself well. Trust your gut. Trust your doctors. Please don't be doing the "Dr. Google" thing. The tests or procedures they will do for you will determine what is going on. I understand the idea to be prepared for the worst news, but you are worrying yourself too much. As @riflemanz64 said, you will be given a sedative for the endoscopy. Each step in the process is just that, a step.

Deep breath. And, again. We'll walk with you through this.
Ginger

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Ginger,
Thank you, no, you are right, getting worked up hasn’t helped anything but has me run down physically and mentally. It’s been so difficult to focus on my work and family. And yes, I’ve been on Google every day, so maybe that’s my first thing that I need to stop. It’s so kind of you to say that you will be here for me, I’ve found a wonderful place here, I appreciate your kindness, it means so much. I was suppose to have my endoscopy on the 6th, but I got covid, and they have to wait until the 29th now, the waiting has been awful for me. If there is anything I can pray for you about or if you ever need anyone to chat with, I’m also here.

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@klsmidwestmom

Ginger,
Thank you, no, you are right, getting worked up hasn’t helped anything but has me run down physically and mentally. It’s been so difficult to focus on my work and family. And yes, I’ve been on Google every day, so maybe that’s my first thing that I need to stop. It’s so kind of you to say that you will be here for me, I’ve found a wonderful place here, I appreciate your kindness, it means so much. I was suppose to have my endoscopy on the 6th, but I got covid, and they have to wait until the 29th now, the waiting has been awful for me. If there is anything I can pray for you about or if you ever need anyone to chat with, I’m also here.

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@klsmidwestmom Your screen name indicates for me that you may be a couple hours ahead of where i am in Oregon. If so, I trust you have settled down for the evening. How to do that, how to distract yourself? Do you have a book you are reading? How about a quiet hobby? I crochet things for charity, and that will let me zone out. [my husband says usually I relax so much I fall asleep within a half-hour!] Or a coloring book to distract you? Purring ball of fur in your lap?

One thing that has helped me many times, is to write it out. Personally I do best with paper and pen, but many will journal in a word program on computer. The act of "getting it out of your system" gives anything less power, too. No one has to read it again, even you, if you choose not to. Try it!

Deep breath, in and out slowly, relax into it…
Ginger

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@klsmidwestmom
You have gotten some very good advice already, but I just want to add one distraction method that has helped me through many anxious medical times.
I still have an IPod(!) where I have different playlists. I will plug in my headset and pick one of my favorites and rest listening to the music and even doze off. This helped me through gallbladder surgery and most of all sailed me through chemo! Somehow, getting the music right into your head with headphones makes a big difference.
Endoscopy is a breeze- a nice nap!

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@riflemanz64

Don’t worry about the endoscopy because it’s really nothing because you’re knocked out. I’ve had 4 of them and never knew anything was down my throat. They give you a great drug to sleep.

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Yup!!!! It's a nice nap!!!!

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@klsmidwestmom

This made my cry, thank you so much for the support, and the kind and caring message, it means more then you know. It’s settled me down for tonight, and yes, a cup of tea sounds amazing. Anything to relax and get some peace of mind right now. What are some things that I can do at night and during the day when my mind wants to run? Do you have any relaxation techniques that help you? Again, thank you so much!

Jump to this post

I relearned how to crochet and now make / design sweaters & cardigans!!!! It has really helped me with the anxiety (before, during & even after treatment & surgery).
Many prayers,
Lori L.
(midwest,MN)

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Such great advice here from everyone. You are doing the right thing getting this checked out, if just for your peace of mind.
There’s nothing you can do at this moment so enjoy your family, your youngest’s first day of HS and loving on your dad. Remember to breathe and even meditate. Whatever you find relaxing, do lots of it.
We’re all here to share our experiences, when you’re at the next step.
In the meantime, sending you lots of loving light…

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@astaingegerdm

@klsmidwestmom
You have gotten some very good advice already, but I just want to add one distraction method that has helped me through many anxious medical times.
I still have an IPod(!) where I have different playlists. I will plug in my headset and pick one of my favorites and rest listening to the music and even doze off. This helped me through gallbladder surgery and most of all sailed me through chemo! Somehow, getting the music right into your head with headphones makes a big difference.
Endoscopy is a breeze- a nice nap!

Jump to this post

I love music, so yes, I need to turn to it during this time, thank you! Do you remember anything about the endoscopy? I’m just so terrified for it, I’ve never gone under sedation.

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