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Scanxiety Question....


KatieB

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Now there is a good question...I have a CT coming up on 6/24.....and for some reason I'm extremely anxious about this one. I try and keep a open dialouge with my wife....let her know my fears....then I crack open the ativan bottle.

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I have a scan coming up in two weeks. Nothing helps my scanxiety. As you all know, I do not let my husband know ahead of time because he is a long distance truck driver and I fear his worrying and obsessing will cause him an accident. Plus, I wouldn't want to tell him bad news while he is driving on the road. I do have a couple of friends that I share the info with and they always try to "pick" me up!!!

Hugs - patti B.

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Another good question Katie. I have a similar response for either the waiting for test results or in getting over bad results. I have found the best source of comfort for either of those situations in the good friends I have found on this site. During both of those time periods we can have some very down moments and very scary thoughts. I can speak personally for my mind going a bit loopy during both. People here quite get it, have been through it and I have found can get you through just about anything. I also do not like to share those deepest scariest thoughts with my loved ones. Most of them just simply don't really get it and more importantly I don't think it is fair to them. Doesn't help with their ability to continue to think positively and quite frankly I don't think it does them any good to hear our deepest darkest.

I have also found that managing the receipt of those results can be very important. I ended up finding out my first set of results from others than my medical oncologist and that ended up being much more stressful in the end, waiting to finally go and see my med onc, because they are really the only ones that can interpret them correctly and tell you what is really going on. And don't ever ask, like I stupidly did, only once to arrange a phone call to get them. That ended up being a complete nightmare because the phone call ended up being that I needed to come in...and then I knew for sure it was bad! I also finally figured out that the written interpretation of results is often available earlier than my appt with med onc. So from now on, I will go and get them myself first and read and digest them. That for me, at least helps me get over the initial shock and then hopefully by the time I meet with med onc I can have a more productive appt and ask more intelligent questions in the time I have.

I don't think there is anyway to avoid this or get it out of your mind. But thank goodness for folks on this site as they can help to very much ease the burden.

Having said that, if there is anyone out there who has yet to meet someone to help them get through those periods, where quite frankly, you are in no mood at all to share anything publically, then I would be happy to try and help anybody though that. Because that is what we are all here for, to help others get through this.

Oh yeah..I have found that a bit of red wine does help maybe just a little!

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I find that the best thing I can do is try to control my environment. I take that week off work as a vacation week. That way, I don't have to deal with stress from work on top of the anxiety of an upcoming scan. I know not everyone can do that, but since I can, I've found it works well for me.

When I was going in every three months, I couldn't really do that, and I remember leaving work the day before my scan practically in tears over the doctor's appointment stress the next day.

My scan is in late May, so there is plenty to do around the house and yard at that time of the year. I stay busy, but it's at my pace and doing the things I want to do. A lot of people think I should work and stay busy, but again, they aren't the ones facing the scan.

I also keep Xanax handy. Didn't even take one this year, but just having it with me at all times made me more calm.

I also am able to spend some time with friends during that week, and that helps a lot, but mostly, just being able to control everything I do and who I keep around me during that time is my answer.

Cindy

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Not sure how I deal with it. I get nervous all the time. I try to keep my routine the same and sometimes ice cream and cookies help :) I also try to keep busy in the house when I am waiting for the phone to ring with results. Anything to make the time go faster!

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Unfortunately, nothing completely eases my anxiety. This last CT scan test time I was a wreck (emotionally) and I did reach out to someone here on the board and that helped tremendously. Just having someone who has "been there" and "gets it" was a relief as I actually thought what I was feeling was abnormal. I am learning that there is no such thing as "normal" when it comes to cancer.

I also, like Cindy, try to keep very busy. Friends, family and work help a great deal during the waking hours. Night time was the worst for me as I couldn't sleep.

I found lots of chocolate and wine seemed to help somewhat :) .

Linda

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I lost track of how many scans I have had. I usually get less than stellar results, but I am still alive and just don't think about the scans that much. I used to get copies of them and study them, but I don't do that any more either. I suppose if I had a series of NEDs, I would be more anxious, hoping that the run would continue.

Don M

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I am having my 6-month, 2year scan today, two hours from now.

I have been extremely nervous about this one for some reason. Also, I hate the drive over Tampa Bay to Moffitt--it scares me senseless. Driving over the bridge on its own has me sweating buckets. Adding a scan to that on the other side, just makes me a basketcase.

Wish me luck. I'm leaving in about 10 minutes.

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I have one on 6/16. I usually get quiet. I isolate more. I spend more time in meditation and prayer as well as in the reading of the bible. I try to focus on everything I have done worthwhile since the diagnosis, and my desire to continue to try and do God's will. I don't ever remind anyone of the scan.

Gina & I talk and she helps me by listening and sharing my burden. I have had periods of time, where there has been very little or no anxiety between scans. But that was while I was enjoying NED. I try and stay positive...I keep looking up.

Joe B

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After Alan's 1st couple of scans and not being able to handle the anxiety I made sure to

make friends in high places. Alan's scan results are e-mail directly to my computer. Now

that his radiation oncologist has his own PET/CT scanner I am allowed in the back room as

the images come up and his Dr. explains what he sees to me. Now if I did not have all

this I would be pulling my hair out, loosing weight from the stress and putting caution tape around my desk to warn everyone I could snap at any minute :evil: . Thank goodness it doesn't come to that. :shock:

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I've gotten progressively more nervous as we have travelled this path.

The first two scans Larry got were excellent. But I wasn't worried, anyway. He looking and feeling so much better. Then, right after Thanksgiving last year, he got an excellent CAT, followed by a disturbing PET. We thought the doctor was even taken aback. He rescheduled the scans for late January. We were really hoping that the PET was wrong. They can be twitchy, you know.

Well, it came to pass that Larry had a seizure the same week he had the scans. We didn't even have the results when he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. That's when we found out he had major progression, including brain mets.

Our onc doc put him on a new chemo. He sailed through it. New scans. Lung stable, everything else worse. So, now we are on yet another new chemo and he had CyberKnife for some of the brain mets. We still have one or two chemo cycles to go before his next scans will be scheduled.

And I am already stressing over them. Larry doesn't seem to be, though. We probably won't talk about it until they are scheduled. Right now, I don't think the scans are on Larry's radar screen. But they are on mine.

Honestly, I am not a worrier by nature. But I am worried. And that worries me. :oops:

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I'm with scman and SandraL--this site, red wine and ativan. Funny but I don't think I've been thinking much about the one coming up in August but I've had three since diagnosis--one stable, one improved and one remission. In time I'm sure I'll start worrying that I'm "due" for a negative result. And if I finally get a bad result, I freak out forever after that. Then--this site, red wine and ativan. I do feel for people who have to wait for the results. That's where I would go nuts and even though I don't get them as they come up like that one lucky poster, I get them in an appointment with my oncololgist the same day the scan is done. Lifesaver!

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You guys are truely courageous. As I read your replies I am saying a prayer for each of you. Some of you are having scans soon and I am saying extra prayers for you to have positive news.

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I think of how stressed I was for the last scan that I had and the results were good. So I think to myself, I worried last time and I had good results so this time I am not going to put myself through that stress. Have to admit red wine and ativan help me through.

Carol

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Shopping is my vice!! I usually end up buying something for myself a day or two prior to my scan results. Although in the 4 + years in this journey I have had scans pretty close together (every 3 months or less) so I may need to find another vice soon.

I have a few times took a mini vacation on my own the weekend before to just relax and reflect on life while leaving the hubby and kids home.

I always try to remind myself that I am stronger than I was when I first started this lung cancer journey. No matter what the scans tell me, I know I am strong enough to handle what ever gets thrown at me.

Wendy

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For me, waiting the week to get the results is harder than the scan itself, but I suppose it is all part of the same "package". So far I have been blessed with positive results, but there is always a story out there of someone who has been in remission longer than you have, who experiences a recurrence. This past spring a dear friend with an earlier stage cancer than mine had a recurrence 7 years after her initial surgery. She had another lobectomy and seems to be doing well, but it's scary. I just kind of hunker down and try to enjoy that glass of red wine. :wink:

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