One of the horrible things about having a secondary cancer of an unknown primary (CUP), is that no one has any real idea where it started. Nothing showed up on a CT scan because it was probably smaller than 1 cm which is the smallest sized tumour that can show up on a scan.
So where was this tumour then?
My body may well have fought the Primary cancer off but been unable to cope with the Secondary.
Each CUP sufferer has a different diagnosis and it seems that no two people present in exactly the same way. That is why I have felt so isolated because there is no one else who I can identify with.
There are no answers to my questions and my searching mind.
It was only by having a biopsy of the Secondary Cancer (in my case a gland in the groin) that anyone had a realistic idea what type of cancer it was, though where it came from is still a mystery. The sample was studied under a microscope and the experts were able to recognise a few pointers. In my case, it appeared to be of Ovarian type.
However nothing showed up on the ovaries and the cancer appeared to be in the peritonium.
I responded to the treatment of Ovarian Cancer quite quickly and have been having 3 monthly checks ever since my chemotherapy ended in the second week of April, this year.
The problem is, that before my cancer was discovered, I was suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for many years. The symptoms of IBS can be similar to the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer but because I had IBS symptoms for so long, I assumed that it couldn't have been cancer related.
Well what is all this about, you may ask? The problem is, I have recently been suffering from the pain in the lower abdomen that I used to suffer from before cancer was even suspected. This has gone on for a short while and because I can't be sure which condition is which, I have had to ring my Oncology nurse to tell her what has happened. She has arranged for me to be seen this week and I dare say there will be scans to follow.
If *it* has returned again, then I am truly disappointed that I didn't get a longer remission. So I am pinning all my hopes on Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I never thought I would see the day when I wanted this condition as it really isn't pleasant.
Last week I was in considerable pain but the last few days have been pain free.
I guess only time will tell what is going on in my body but in the meantime, I am left with the usual uncertainty that is not easy to deal with. I guess it will always be like this for me now and I wonder if I will ever get used to it?