Welcome to Healing Well! It sounds as if you're in the right place. The symptoms you're describing are totally normal with GERD. I understand your anxiety issue. Many here have anxiety issues, so you're not alone. Do you know about the Anxiety Forum here at Healing Well? There are members here who visit both forums.
Anxiety can definitely increase your sensitivity to symptoms, but your symptoms are real. I've been on this forum for nearly four years, and you're not the first to be concerned about cancer, but cancer risks are EXTREMELY small. The symptoms you're describing are typical GERD symptoms, so try to relax. You can get treatment and improve your condition.
You probably will need testing, but really they're not bad. The barium swallow is nothing...very non-invasive. You swallow some chalky liquid that really doesn't even taste as bad as you'd expect. Sometimes they vary whatever it is you eat/drink, but it's a "nothing" test that provides very good information.
As x said, they can put you right out for the endoscopy, so you won't even know you're having it. No need to fear that! They'll make you sign a release that looks mighty scary, but like side effects of prescription medications, the odds of you having whatever thing they mention is extremely, extremely low. I've had 3 without a problem, and there are some here who've had even more. Don't worry.
There are several other tests they might want to do at some point, but cross that bridge when you come to it. We'll walk you through whatever it is you're planning on doing.
Sometimes we get to the point when we need to take PPIs always. When you went off the omeprazole, your symptoms returned, which means you should have stayed on them. Also, there are many other PPI options that your doctor can try, if the omeprazole isn't doing the trick.
This is the thing. The symptoms you're experiencing are upper GI related. I don't have anxiety, and I've experienced them. This is what I'd suggest. Write down the symptoms you're experiencing. The more specific (times, dates, symptom experienced, perhaps trigger foods that bother you) the better. I'm sure your GP is aware of your anxiety, and you don't want that to cover the very real discomforts you're experiencing. When you see your doctor, try very hard to stay calm and rational. The journal of your symptoms will help you with this. You need to take your symptoms seriously before your doctor can.
Your anxiety and your GI issues are two distinct problems. Try to separate them for your appointment with your GP. Calm, rational discussion of the stomach problems will ensure that your GP doesn't get the two issues mixed up, and can focus fully on the one you're visiting for.
That said, once you're done discussing the stomach problems, it would be wise to calmly state the way the health issues you're suffering with are affecting your anxiety. Hopefully he/she can adjust your medications at least until you get yourself feeling better. It is true that anxiety and stress can exacerbate your stomach problem, so I suspect your GP will want to help you with that as well.
Good luck with your appointment! Glad you've joined us. I'm sure others will be by soon to offer their own ideas and support.
Very best wishes,
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”
“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”