Hypochondria refers to excessive preoccupancy or worry about having a serious illness. This debilitating condition is the result of an inaccurate perception of the body’s condition despite the absence of an actual medical condition.
I wouldn't necessarily say that definition applies to me. First of all, even though I blog about it Every.Single.Day. I wouldn't say I'm "preoccupied" with my serious illness. Considering I did actually have cancer in my body, I wouldn't say there was an absence of a medical condition. And I think I'm incredibly aware of my body's condition after everything I've been through, so no "inaccurate perception" here. However, going back to Wikipedia:
Hypochondriacs become unduly alarmed about any physical symptoms they detect, no matter how minor the symptom may be, and are convinced that they have or are about to be diagnosed with a serious illness.
I can relate to this. After a cancer diagnosis, it's hard not to think anything that goes wrong or feels "off" has something to do with cancer. For the last couple of weeks I've had pain in my elbows. I've never had pain in my elbows in my life. Thanks to my incessant research, I know that one of the more common places for breast cancer to metastasize is bone. Therefore I do not like feeling pain or anything unusual in a joint or bone. My left eye waters constantly. The eye doctor told me it was allergies. In just one eye? Knowing that there was cancer in the lymph nodes on my left side, my mind goes crazy thinking maybe there's something messed up in the tear ducts on that side as well. The likelihood that my watery eye has anything to do with cancer is probably nil, but tell my mind that. Speaking of minds....another common place for breast cancer to sneak away to is the brain. I get a lot of headaches, some of them really bad. You get the idea.
Given that I am BRCA 2+ which means my risk of not only breast cancer but also others like ovarian, pancreas and skin cancer is increased, I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to find the balance between being vigilant and venturing into hypochondria. If anyone who has had cancer figures out how to do this, please let me in on the secret!