Some weeks ago I had my first annual CT scan to look for signs of new tumour growth and this week I had official confirmation in writing that the results showed nothing of concern. Big relief!
The slightly longer version of the story is that there was another shadow on my liver, so my scan had to be discussed at something called a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting (where all the experts from different fields gather together to discuss patients). But, the shadow was significantly smaller than last time and everyone was agreed that it is not a problem, but just something to monitor.
I was encouraged by the Macmillan nurse to ‘keep doing what you’re doing’, so it’s more blogging and drinking green tea for me! Here goes….
I’ve learned a new word: ‘Scanxiety’. It’s a good one, because it sums up what so many cancer patients feel each time we have scans (and people with other serious health conditions for that matter) – anxiety about scans.
I become an anxious wreck around scan times, but I’m finding good ways to cope with this. So, I thought I’d share a few of the helpful and unhelpful things that I’ve been learning. I hope these are useful to someone out there (click ‘show more’ to expand any of the points):
- Your mind is only capable of having one thought at a time. Show More
- Don’t Google it! Show More
- Prayer, meditation & worship. Show More
- Exercise. Show More
- Find others who really understand what you’re going through. Show More
- Blog! Show More
And, if you are trying to support someone you care about through scanxiety/cancer then here are a few things that I would recommend:
- Don’t forget the partners, spouses and families. Show More
- Send thoughtful gifts. Show More
- Don’t say “Don’t worry”. Show More
- Send thoughtful messages. Show More
- Pray.Show More
So, that’s all from me this time. It’s three CT scans down and, if everything stays positive, five to go!
P.S. I’ve been asked lots of times what it is like to live with no large intestine. Just to say, I’m working on that blog post….