Yes it was the day I had to go on the M2, M26. M25 to the Royal Marsden for my 2 month Scan. The weeks go so quickly and seem to get shorter and shorter.
I thought I would be able to put it all to the back of my mind.
My damaged lung would get better. It’s not the case.
I have this worry that it will come back as the Cancer gets clever and finds a way to come back and haunt, me.
I have buried myself in work, In asbestos safety in schools and buildings, worry about rules that are broken etc etc. But my own worries come back and my mind works overtime as the scan looms nearer and nearer.
I miss my friends that have passed, that I can’t talk to anymore. I have many new ones and I love them all but living with the outcome of all this mesothelioma is very hard.
Can you imagine having to live with friend,s being killed in a car accident week after week, its crucifying. Mesothelioma is a car crash. Asbestos is a killer.
This is where my survivor’s guilt comes in. It is a real thing very hard to bear.
We are coming to christmas and that is a time when we lose more, whether that’s because we have so much flu around I don’t know, but after 6 years I have noticed this fact.
Fogive my ramblings but as I have had to point out this week this is my blog, so I can out pour my feelings and thoughts.
I do bury myself in my work and thanks to my Medical team I’m still here to be able to. My neighbour said in tesco’s when I met him tonight, you’re so lucky.
Is it luck? is it fate, or is it that someone has mapped my life out. I would love to know.
Heather Von St James in the US said she dint think cancer sufferers shouldnt be called brave or fighters. I disagreed but really thinking about it maybe that’s a front I put up and inside I’m really a frightened old lady. I will shout out and look so brave, but it’s not really whats going on.
So I have had another scan and had to come away only to go back Wednesday for the result. scanxiety sets in and I have found this advice, Isnt it great that it is acknowledged as real Mesowarriors.
Binge watch episodes of your favorite TV show. Dig into a great book and get lost in the story. Go somewhere fun that you have never been before. Treat yourself to something that will keep your mind busy thinking about anything but those scan results.
2. Loud Music
Crank up the radio! Blast 80s music! Belt show tunes! It’s hard think about scans while reenacting scenes from Flashdance, and I challenge you to feel anxious while singing “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Trust me, this is some magical stress relief. The science behind it probably has something to do with endorphins, but I am too busy right now rockin’ out to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” to care.
3. Acknowledge It
When scan time is coming near, I feel like I need to wear a sign around my neck warning people that I am not responsible for the words that come out of my mouth. I get short with people and am likely to snap at them for no particular reason. Acknowledging what I am feeling and why can help to make it more manageable for myself and those around me.
4. Make Plans for the Worst Case Scenario
While I always hope to get great news, I find that sometimes I can lessen the panic by knowing what the plan will be if the scans are bad. Cancer makes you feel powerless and at the mercy of the disease. Having a plan in place can give back some of that lost feeling of control.
5. Spend Time with a Child
I’ve written before about the incredible ability that small children have to live in the moment. For them, all that matters is what’s happening right now: this game of Go Fish, these orange slices, this third reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Spend the afternoon with a little one and the worries will drift away for a few hours.
6. Pretend You Already Got Good Results
This is totally delusional, but sometimes I can trick myself into imagining that – hey, I already got the results, and they were great! Sure, it only lasts for a few seconds, but those few seconds are a lovely relief from the anxiety.
7. Know When and How You Will Get Your Results
My oncologist only gives the results in person, so I know I will not hear anything until our appointment on Tuesday. For me, knowing this is a relief (although waiting the weekend is a bit of a challenge!), so I don’t sit by the phone all weekend wondering if I am going to get a call. Discuss with your doctor how you will find out the results so that you don’t have the extra layer of anxiety, wondering when you will hear.
8. Help Someone Else Out
Sometimes, the best way to relieve your own stress is to help out someone else who is struggling. Help a neighbor, talk to a friend in need, shift the focus off of yourself for a while. It can be refreshing to worry about someone else for a change.
There are many different strategies for calming the mind, such as deep breathing, praying, positive visualization and physical relaxation strategies. And if those don’t work….
Let’s be frank, depression and anxiety are cancer’s annoying younger siblings who tag along and show up at the most inconvenient times. There is no shame in discussing these issues with your doctor and considering taking medication to help.
So, what about you? What are your best strategies for dealing with the dreaded scanxiety?
Tori Tomalia is many things: a mom, a wife, a theatre artist, a mediocre cook, a Buffy fan, a stinky cheese aficionado. She is also, unfortunately, a repeat visitor to Cancerland. Stay tuned for her continued adventures.
Blog: “A Lil Lytnin’ Strikes Lung Cancer” http://lil-lytnin.blogspot.com/
Hope that can help others in the same boat I feel better knowing some is feeling the same.
So Back in London tomorrow that will take my mind off of things.
I’m off to rev my broom stick up I have to fly across the moon tonight ha ha !!!
Happy Halloween enjoy trick or treat xx