Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Scanxiety, so you are back...

"Scanxiety" is no fun. For those of you who don't really know what it is, it is basically the fear of getting medicals tests (scans) and the potential results to follow.

Almost every person I have talked to who went through cancer gets this before their check ups. You may feel good, or not, but going into these tests it makes things, like life just a bit more difficult then you may want.

For me, particularly, my MRI scans really stress me out. Blood work doesn't bother me so much as I know my blood is still not great (you should see the bruise on my hand from just getting one vial of blood drawn on Monday!). These days, I know I have some scar tissue in my leg, I know it is harder than normal skin, and no matter what people say it "looks like" I really need the MRI results to tell me what is going on.

Every three months or so I get an MRI. I go in, lie in a room on a table, get injected with imaging agents, and wait about 45 minutes for the scan to be done on my leg and hip. The process itself isn't so bad, it is the week leading up to, and in many cases, the week after, waiting for results. This whole process leads to phantom symptoms, and unnecessary worry.

So many thoughts run through your head. I have been told if we don't call right away that is good. No emergency. But my mind will wander to maybe they haven't called because there is a big meeting of all my doctors to find out what treatment I need next. Or maybe, the exact opposite, just a quick look at my scans and Oh Eamonn is fine still goes through my oncologists head, I wonder if he is still going to the gym and then she goes back to work.Waiting waiting and more waiting, I am a natural worrier, always have been, and this makes things just harder is all. To be fair, they have always been great to me, I am not blaming the doctors or anything, it is just a stressful time is all.

So I go in this Monday for my next MRI scan, and of course I am concerned. I was in last week to get some parts of my leg inspected and the doctor didn't seem to concerned. That eased my mind for a day or two, but then I think The MRI is the real test. Even though I know I have some of the best oncologists in the world, and they wouldn't send me away with that message if they thought it was bad, it doesn't always do much to make me feel better.

It is enough sometimes to make you break, or feel very close to it. The joy of a clean scan is one of the greatest feelings in the world I have ever felt. The fear of what bad news would mean...I know what it would mean and I don't want to go back there. No one does. But I will continue to focus on the positive and keep thinking happy thoughts as best I can.

So here I am, having another nervous week or two. Another round of scanxiety. But I am hopeful that it will go as the others since I finished treatment.

A whole lot of unnecessary worry.

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