Hypochondria.. another fun side effect of cancer


So, I’m done with cancer, but is cancer done with me?  On Thanksgiving night I pulled an abdominal muscle.  The pain went all the way through to my back. I knew I pulled a muscle. I felt it.   For the next 10 days I would feel the pain if I stretched or turned the wrong way. It would sometimes be worse in my upper abdomen, sometimes in my back or rib cage.  It would stop me in my tracks at times and a deep breath could bring me to tears. There’s not a whole lot that can be done for a pulled muscle so I never tried to get in to see my doctor.  I just suffered silently (ha!!).    Okay in the interest of full disclosure I may or may not have mentioned to my family that I should probably go to the ER, if I screamed suddenly they should just ignore me, and that I likely had a few cracked ribs, but I’d probably be okay.   They got off easy… I was treating myself to much more dire internal commentary.  What was that tearing feeling?  An abdominal aneurysm?  Wait.. is my liver enlarged?  If I do have a cracked rib.. why?  Bone mets?  Am I being paranoid?  Wouldn’t a brain lesion cause paranoia?  I also was sure I had gall bladder disease and maybe biliary colic (what’s biliary colic?.. I have no idea but it sounds impressive).

As of  today, I think I will probably pull through. I can only feel the pain if I force it.  I’m sure I’ll pull another muscle with all these crazy contortions I’m putting myself through to see if I can reproduce the pain proving it was indeed a pulled muscle versus needing immediate surgery for some kind of internal injury.

p.s.. hypochondria is a recognized medical condition.  So I’m only a little crazy.




  1. Lee Asbell · December 3, 2012

    Cannot tell you how many times in the last 14 years I have had the same or similar scenarios running through my head! Cancer…the gift that keeps on giving.


  2. glimpsejoy · December 3, 2012

    OMGosh! How true!!!! You’ve nailed it, girl! Can’t seem to get the sniffles without the big C rearing its ugly head and taunting my mind with visions of chemo and radiation! Yes, Lee, it is the gift that keeps on giving…much to our dismay.


    • mainelyhopeful · December 4, 2012

      I have to stop saying “I never get sick (I really don’t) I get cancer”.


  3. tinajuvonen · December 3, 2012

    I love and relate to you TOTALLY!


  4. rachaelsladylumps · December 3, 2012

    This is perfect! I did the same exact thing with pulling a muscle the other day in my chest area….and forgot all about it the next day until I felt it again and I instantly thought my cancer spread to my lungs! Agggghhhhh, maybe in 20 years we won’t think these things anymore? 🙂


    • mainelyhopeful · December 4, 2012

      Maybe.. of course in 20 years I’ll have lots of other compaints I’m sure 😉


  5. Scorchy · December 4, 2012

    This is so true! Well done!


  6. insahmity · December 4, 2012

    I’ve read it takes a while to trust your body (which has already betrayed you once!) again-


  7. Pingback: Groan, ow, why now? | My cancer journey
  8. Tracy · December 5, 2012

    Hello Susan, Ive nominated you for an award, because you’re truly inspirational to me and I love the graphic in your sidebar which I’ve followed every day since discovering your blog 🙂 http://wp.me/p2MIsj-hI


  9. Cancer in My Thirties · December 11, 2012

    Excellent! It’s the serious stuff we think about with a big dose of humor mixed in there (to make us feel less crazy!). Thanks for doing such a great job of putting our thoughts and fears into words. 🙂
    I hope you are feeling better!


  10. Trina Schilling · December 19, 2012

    Nice job sounds like all of us warriors can relate to this sentiment. Not to mention the anxiety when it is time for an MRI or a mammogram. I heard it 3 times; “you have breast cancer”. Hearing those words again is what I fear most. (Tales of Three Time Breast Cancer Warrior on WordPress).


    • mainelyhopeful · December 19, 2012

      Once was enough for me. I would like to say I can’t even imagine, but …


  11. kymlucas · December 22, 2012

    So true, so true. I’m so afraid I’ll miss some symptom that will turn out to be cancer coming back, but equally afraid I’ll turn into a paranoid mess. Lee got it right above: “cancer, the gift that keeps on giving.”


  12. The Presents of Presence · December 31, 2012

    I get this so much…it subsides as time goes by…glad it’s just a pulled muscle. As I’ve learned ~ wait to worry ~ although truth be known, I’m a worrier too! xo Hugs to you


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