The Scanxiety is Real

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And it is no joke!

Yesterday I had a CT scan to make sure no signs of cancer have come back. This is only the second time doing post-cancer testing since I became a survivor again in October 2016.

Some people may think, you’ve been doing this for 8 years, doesn’t it get better/get used to it? For some people, that answer may be yes. Honestly for me that answer was yes after a few years cancer-free from my first cancer. However, the answer is NO since it feels like I am starting this all over again. Which technically I am. If you know my story well then you know that my second cancer was not secondary but primary to the lymphoma and the case was extremely rare. So in reality I am starting over again.

I am still a survivor from the lymphoma, and when my scans made it up to yearly my scanxiety definitely calmed down. But when the sarcoma came up, the scanxiety shot right back up. I’ve never heard of this term until my second cancer, where I was being more open and came in contact with many fighters and survivors via social media, and I love it!

This type of anxiety is much different than what we typically know as anxiety. And don’t get me wrong, no two people or cases or feelings are alike. But generally we understand with each other the feelings and worry that come up on scan days. This is anxiety that we get because of something we have already been through. Not anxiety about something coming up that we may get anxious about experiencing. This is anxiety concerning what we felt, seen, and struggled with before….will we ever have to do it again?

I did have my biggest fear happen…I did have to experience this again, and much worse/intense than the first. The second time came out of nowhere, so I do fear it can happen again at any time. And I do wonder if I can mentally/physically handle it again. Now I am not telling you this for sympathy, I’m just being honest that these thoughts do cross my mind, how could they not? For me, I KNOW these thoughts and scanxiety will calm down over time. But it is still so fresh, and it took me a few years before it eased up from my first cancer. You learn to cope with it, live with it, and learn from it. For me, I see it as an opportunity to appreciate each day and keep working towards my dreams. The fear of the unknown and the scanxiety will be there, but I am living with it and know that God has my life plan mapped out for me.

I am happy to say that I did just get a call from my nurse in my clinic to deliver GREAT news. Usually a call isn’t a good thing, but she wanted to let me know there was no signs of metastasized cancer. So my scanxiety is at ease for now…until my next scan haha 😉 I truly could not get through all this without you amazing supporters: family, friends, medical team, and people who don’t know me but show me love regardless. I am so blessed. Each day is a gift.

-Nicole

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