Cancer Scan Anxiety
Health & Wellness,  My Breast Cancer Journey

Cancer Scan Anxiety – Do I Really Want to Know?

Cancer Scan AnxietyCancer scans are a standard part of the cancer journey. Tests done to determine the cancers location and whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body.

Prior to my first cancer diagnosis, I had never been in an MRI or PET scan machine, and somewhere along the way I had developed a somewhat irrational fear of the MRI machine. Maybe it’s the loud noises the machine makes, or the fact that your body is slid into a tube. I’ve never been one to identify as claustrophobic, but just the mear thought of these machines made me want to run screaming in the other direction. I know I can’t be alone in this, and no matter how many cancer scans I have had, my opinion of these machines hasn’t changed all that much.

Cancer Scan Time:

Since my diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer in July 2020, there has been a barrage of chemo, radiation and daily medications designed to get a handle on the cancer. A mere five months ago my liver was in crisis, and while blood work was showing that my treatments were having a positive impact on the cancer, an MRI and PET scan were needed to know exactly where things stood in my battle with this evil B***H called cancer.

Before I knew it, December 14th, the day of my cancer scans was upon me. Having spent countless nights praying for positive results, I still was in no way looking forward to these tests. The closer it got to our departure time, the stronger my fear and anxiety became. The knots in my stomach, and while I knew full well these tests were non-negotiable, those thoughts didn’t help to quell my anxiety. Now I’m not am anxious person by nature, it’s the thought of being placed in these machines that cause me anxiety and luckily I have a medication that helps with this.

Praying for a “clear” scan:MRI

As I lay in the machines, I consistently focused on my prayers to God and prayers that the days scans would deliver positive results. All the tests up until that point looked promising, and my oncologist was quite happy thus far with the results and how my body had responded to treatments, but only the MRI and PET scan would tell us exactly where things stood and where we would need to go from here.

Please tell me good news:

The day that followed my cancer scans was a scheduled chemo day. Prior to treatment we met with my oncologist. Overall she was very happy with the results. The tumors in my brain were stable, I had prayed they would be completely gone, but stable was a good thing. Results of the PET scan were overall good as well, the instances of cancer in my neck and chest were gone, the tumors in my liver were smaller, and the best part was that there was no new instances of cancer in my body. This meant that treatments up to this point had achieved the desired outcome, to kill the cancer.

Now there was one piece of bad news, for some reason my left hip lit up in the PET scan. My oncologist thought it might be a stress fracture, so a followup MRI of the area was scheduled for December 24th, in addition to my appointment with the orthopedic doctor. We received a call from my oncologist the same day advising us that it wasn’t a fracture, and while they could not tell us what the issue was, to still treat the area with caution. One would think that if it was cancer they would have said so, instead we’re left with no more info than we started with, except that its not a fracture.

Where We Go From Here:

As it stands, due to the positive cancer scan results thus far, my oncologist has discontinued the Halaven infusions, although I am still getting the intrathecal chemo treatments once a month in addition to the bone strengthening infusions. There are hopes that surgery can be done to fix my neck and finally get me out of these collars, although notes on my PET scan about risks for fractures may deem that impossible, but we won’t know for sure till we meet with the orthopedic doctor.

Overall, I am very happy with the results I have had to treatments thus far and I continue to pray that things continue to go in a positive direction and hope that I may some day be cured of this disease. Now that would be the best cancer scan result ever!

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