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Advice? Pointers on what else I could maybe do?


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Hi there. I've posted on one other forum before, after building up the strength to do so because it's almost like if I venture onto a forum like this then it makes things real - which of course is nonsense but somehow my addled brain makes me think that way!

Brief intro. I'm a 40 yo man with 2 young girls. Since mid-March, toward the end of a covid isolation period (in which I was pretty much symptom free bar some loss of smell toward the end) I've had consistent abdominal pain. Initially down my right flank, sometimes with a 'pinging' feeling in my right shoulder. The pain was initially like a kind of squeezing feeling, and quite incapacitating without ever being a 10 out of 10 (probably an 8 at its worst). Whilst all this was happening, I also noticed that my stools floated. But, truth be told I think they have for a very long time - years maybe, I just don't know. I've always known to look for blood but never for floating stool. However, as Dr Google has taken me down some avenues I'd rather not have discovered, I've of course since come to discover that floating stools (which have very recently become a bit more 'odorous' shall we say :-( ) mean that I may be about to find out the worst possible news.

When covid isolation ended, I went to my GP who had a feel of my tummy and ordered blood tests which was the first time I've ever had blood taken for anything (at the time I was concerned about my liver because of the right shoulder pain). I also mentioned a strange taste in my mouth that I had had at around about the time the pains started at the end of covid isolation - initially a kind of metallic taste, that then changed to a bitter one, that has on occasion gone a bit salty almost. Mostly bitter. Anyway, bloods came back normal. Because they came back normal, when I called my GP again she told me she could refer me to have an ultrasound but they wouldn't be able to make it an urgent referral because blood was normal. Fair enough, but pain and discomfort still continues... so I ask for check of pancreas (google had taken me there by this point) and for diabetes. Both come back normal. So I ask for two stool checks - H-Pylori and blood, again both normal.

Pain by this point has migrated a little bit - still at right flank a bit but also under ribs, on both sides at times, and also at times it has felt like I've had a feeling of pressure just to the left of my spine in middle of my back. I had noticed that I had dropped a bit of weight, not that I have much to lose, to about 10 st. However as I've been drinking a protein shake and attempting to make sure I'm eating well that has rebounded a bit and I'm now about 10st 10lb (hopefully my scales work...!). My stools 'look' normal in terms of colour. Albeit I think there are times when they are a bit 'shiny' or 'wet-looking' (weird how you have to find ways to try and describe these things eh?!). 

Back to my GP last week after another set of bloods came back normal (they wanted to compare with the previous set as they'd never been done before (still awaiting results from a Coeliac test which can take a bit longer apparently)), and she reiterates that she doesn't think there is anything too untoward but the ultrasound which is now booked for next week will help next steps - i.e it finds something in abdomen or not. If not, then referral to gastro doctors, if so... well...

My question to anyone who may be able to listen; is there anything else I could/should have done or be doing? I'm trying not to get too upset but finding things very difficult when I think of my lovely wife and my girls (the eldest of whom turned 7 this week). I saw a case on Healthtalk of the lady who runs Pancreatic Cancer Action and her case seems to mirror mine a bit - albeit as yet I've not had it confirmed - with pain, bloods being normal etc. Prior to my ultrasound, and even post ultrasound, can anyone offer any suggestions about things to look for/questions to ask?

I'm so sorry to post this when I haven't been given absolute confirmation. I just don't know what else to try and do and when I think of my family think I need to serve them best by at least having asked questions of those who may be best placed to know.

With many thanks, and best wishes.







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Hi irnbru1980,

Well done for summoning the strength to post - I understand it can feel nerve-racking, and as you say make things feel real, but if you have questions that are worrying you then it's good you're looking for answers. I can imagine it might be an anxious time for you as you wait for next week's ultrasound. 

I know there are others in the community in a similar position to you who may hopefully respond, but in the meantime I wanted to mention our Support Line. If you have questions about symptoms or tests, our wonderful specialist nurses are there to listen and offer information and support. You can call 0808 801 0707 or send an email here: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/support-for-you/contact-a-nurse.

Do let us know how you get on next week if you feel able.

Very best wishes,

Ellie at Pancreatic Cancer UK

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