Jump to content

Does scan time ever get less nerve wracking?


MaryTD777

Recommended Posts

After surgery, or maybe even right before it, a plan ~ schedule of follow-up visits with scans was laid out. Every three months for the first year or so, then every six month and down to annual.

I was floating when at my first post op visit I was told that everything was so sunny and rosy that I wouldn't need to come for a scan for six months! I was sure that was the absolute best possible news available. When that scan was done, the next one was set for three months, and while it was a little disappointing that I was no longer feeling sunny & rosy, I was at least average and on track.

Then... then they saw a little node that came out of nowhere that needed to be watched, so next time was two months, and it doubled in size, two more months, no real change but let's stick with two months, but a PET scan this time. This time will be Thursday 1/24.

I actually catch myself just bursting into tears at the mention of it even tho I know tears are a waste of time & energy and won't change the results. The prior scans got me a lil edgy, but not crying. I have always tried to be suzy sunshine.

So, who has some miracle advise to get me thru the next few days without dehydrating via tears? Especially with my birthday being tomorrow (Sunday) I know I will be talking to and/or seeing lots of people and I want happy hugs, not mushy weepy ones.

Thanks & Happy Saturday!

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

scanxiety as we call it about tests and such is very common.. everyone goes through it differently.

think positive.. keep telling yourself going to get great scans and news... Sounds hard but really helps...

talk to god ... Under the stars at night or on a bright sunny day. get outside and bundle up for a while and go outside and unload to him.. he is always there listening. I used to go outside at night and talk to him in the summer time. tell him everything on your mind..

develop a mantra.. kind of an inner chant for your mind for while your getting scans done... best one we used was just, "die You little bugger, DIE!!!" or " Die cancer die..."

Hang in there and keep us posted when you et the results.. either way. we will be here to share in the great news....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only thing I've found that really helps me is Atavan. It's the only time I ever take it, but I do take it the day of and sometimes a few days before -- depending on how nervous I am. Other than that - I think Randy hit pretty much everything that helps me. I constantly try to psyche myself up - but sometimes that works better than other times. I think it's especially hard because those around us don't really understand how stressful "scanxiety" can be.

I know it's easier said than done - but letting it dampen your birthday won't change anything - it will just ruin your birthday and I thank cancer takes enough away from us. Have a Happy Birthday!! I will be thinking really positive thoughts for you on the 24th. Please keep us posted.

Diane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mary,

I totally understand how you feel. I am the queen of scanxiety, and I've never been able to quite master getting things under control leading up to scans/xrays/followups.

But, I found a lot of relief with Xanax, and I didn't live on it, but used it when I felt overwhelmed. If you need something to sleep, get your doctor to prescribe something, because lack of sleep just adds to anxiety.

I took time off work, which I found to help-less stress led to less anxiety overall. I stayed busy, though, during my time off because any distraction is good.

Except for meds, exercise if you can do it, and experience, I think it's just something that we survivors have to contend with.

And I agree with Diane-don't let this ruin your birthday today. This is a great distraction, just enjoy the people around you and celebrate the day. I know it's easier said than done, but I hope your day goes well, and Happy Birthday!

Cindy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Randy. I like the mantra idea. It prolly sounds crazy, but I don't pray for myself often, tho I have spoken to God at times. I just feel like prayers count more when they are for others. I readily ask for prayers, and say them for others. Kinda like references... you will give more weight to someone else telling you I am good at work than me tooting my own horn. Told ya it sounds crazy.

Diane, thank you. I agree that it might be easier if hubs could accept my being on edge instead of telling me to hush, relax, lean on him or any other sweet, but almost hurtful comments. I am not allowed to drive yet, so I can't even drive in either alone or at least driving so I have traffic on my mind instead of the potential for bad news. I do have a few sleeping pills left from the days before my first surgery... I think I will dig them out and have one Weds night. Thanks for the birthday wishes too. stepping into my 50th year on this orb... I never would have thought it :shock:

Cindy, thank you also for advise & birthday wishes. Sadly, I am still not allowed to do much more than walk since my screwy screws & rods surgery, and that just doesn't cut it right now. The best reason for me to walk would be a nice long one with about 25 lbs of cameras and binoculars spotting birds, but that's too much weight :( Hoping by next time.

Thanks all! I really am glad I found this place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really call it sayin prayers that is the thing. to me it is a conversation with the big guy... or Big Gal... Lol whichever you choose ... I am not religious but am spiritual by nature. dont attend church but say prayers daily for all my friends here... I use to have long talks with him before my wife passed and that was How I stumbled on that idea...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We need a "like" button on here ~ like on FB :-)

Sorry for "misquoting" you... I am not a church goer either, cuz I figure He (or she hehehee) is everywhere so why go be talking from the middle of a crowd when I can be alone in my room or by the pool LOL

Thanks 8)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Mary, I do hope that you managed to have a good time on your birthday. I have not written to you before mainly because I was a caregiver, not a patient, and I never know how relevant my experience may be to those that are going through this, rather than observing and supporting the person who has cancer. But your most recent post really touched me, since my husband went through two cancer diagnoses and treatment sequences while battling the monster. I don't know whether this works for patients, but my husband used to spend a lot of his down moments "visualizing" the cancer and telling it (sometimes aloud, sometimes in his head) that it would not win and he would beat it into the ground! Sometimes he accompanied his thoughts with some physical action too, like digging in the garden ("uprooting" the cancer) in the spring/summer and shovelling the snow ("pushing out" the cancer). it worked for him for 18 years before the second cancer (lung) took him away from us. He got copies of his CAT scans and PET scans so that he could visualise it clearly and have a picture of it in his head to concentrate on. So each time he had a scan done, he viewed it as an opportunity to get a better visualization, rather than worrying whether it was growing or stable or shrinking. You could try it ... it can't hurt and may help you to fight off the scanxiety.

Best wishes for controlling your concerns and for a good result of the scan too!

Jane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Katie! I feel prayer was a HUGE part in me getting thru the way I did and feel I can never get too much of it!!

Trawna/Jane Thanks so much!! The advise sounds great and I will keep it in mind next time I get "on edge". I will gladly listen to advise to ANY one who has been touched in any way. Please don't ever feel your words have any less value than someone who has this illness.

All, GREAT RESULTS!! No growin & no glowin!!

Basically doc said that the bits they were worried about are just under the 1 cm size needed to be seen by PET, but had it grown, it would have been big enough to "light up", so even tho they were too small for the PET to be definitive, it's due to the good news that it is too small.

Yeah, it gets to sound like double talk, but this time I followed it perfectly. Maybe cuz I wanted to?

Anyway, told to go live life and CT in April. MAYBE if they like that one, I can "graduate" to six months between scans. If only I could cross my fingers, I would LOL! I can do it now & then, just not this second. Sometimes it is SO silly that I let myself get PO'ed at the dumb things I lost.

Have a GREAT weekend! I know I will!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Mary,

I read that you enjoy walks. Where is your favorite place to walk? You totally had me with "25lbs of cameras". On days where you feel less than fantastic, maybe you could try a walk with a rolling backpack full of those cameras? :) Happy belated birthday by the way! Birthdays are so exciting!

Have you heard of the book named, "The Secret"? It was a big deal back when Oprah was on. It's a great book that promotes positive energy & really tells you how to change almost any circumstance. I can loan you mine if you like.

Mark 11:24

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Thanks Diane, Randy, Trawna & Cindy!

Cindy, never heard of the book and currently failing badly at reading the E version of The Cancer Survivors Companion. I just don't focus well anymore :-(

Thanks tho! My walks, which no longer exist either, are generally around a lake or near a reservoir, any place I can grab nature shots with a focus on birds, esp those in flight. HA HA I wrote "with a focus on" when mentioning my photos. :)

Going Thursday for my day o'docs. Actually a short one since I saw the neurosurgeon last week due to new stabbing pains. I am starting to REALLY dislike him. He should not have touched me if he was not used to carving bone that had been thru radiation. Grr.

Anyway, Thurs is just the pain gurus, a CT and the onc who will tell me what the CT says. I never know which med/onc I will see til someone walks in even tho I have an appt with one. The joys of a big center I suppose.

Odd thing is, no blood work this time ~ 1st time. I am using that as good news even tho I am clueless, I have had blood drawn with all image taking visits til this 1.

If you have more prayers hanging around, I would love a few.

Thanks & hugs & prayers back atcha!

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mary, I thought I'd let you know that I'm thinking of you on your "day o' docs" and hope that all goes well. My daughter and son-in-law are on their way here to hook my home wi-fi to Netflix, so I am looking forward to trying it out! I know what you mean about lack of concentration for reading ... I bought 4 e-books over Christmas, and have read about 50 pages of one of them! ~ another good reason for getting hooked up with inexpensive old movies on Netflix. I know it's not as good in Canada as in the USA re selection, but my daughter tells me she has a work-around for that. I'll let you know if it works well and if so you may find it helpful to watch some of the oldies-but-goodies for a while, instead of trying to build up your concentration for the e-books.

Hope there's nothing but good news for you today.

Jane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Katie, Sue, Diane, Trawna & Randy!! Still NED!! Go back 8/1 just before my 8/15 cancerversary @ 2 years :-)

Hate to be short, but it will come out anyway ~ it IS out on FB but I don't have you there. It will be VERY obvious at HOPE. I had a lovely w/e w/hubs ~ we went WAY up into NY State for a 40th anniv party and he knows I love birding, and there would be new birds there, so we stayed an extra day.... LOVELY! Birded all the way home, got to some local Eagles & their eaglets.... Got GREAT pix.... tripped on a stick, cradled the camera and landed on my face... top of my head & nose really. Hit so hard the blacktop gave my bangs a haircut!! Fixed my deviated septum and broke a finger... right pinky... right hand minus thumb, index and IQ finger is in a pretty purple cast (NOT) so typing is even MORE fun than it was before :(

No one wants lessons how to fix their nose that way... do they? ROFL

Anybody that DOES want to friend me on FB can find me in the HOPE alumni group, even tho this will be my 1st time.

Hugs & BIG thanks & hope to see some in 8ish days!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.