The Wait

Like many people my cancer check ups are on a set time frame. For example, right now, my CT scans are scheduled every six months. This is the longest I have ever gone without being checked. No matter the distance between scans I tend to remain worry free about them during the time span. Interestingly enough, those around me tend to obsess over my upcoming tests. They are always asking when I am going to be tested again, does it hurt or am I worried about them. I always laugh and tell them I am doing great and there is nothing to fear. And those words are true up to a certain point in time. I don't worry until after the scan is complete. You know that time span between your scan and you receiving results? That's when my scanxiety sets in. Up until this last round of testing I really couldn't articulate why the angst over this, when an hour prior to the test I had not a care in the world. 

You see prior to scanning I exist in a cancer free world created by the previous round of tests. That feels good and creates an aura of safety to relax in. After my scan my anxiety soars to heights unknown and here's why. When I arrive in radiology everybody is on the same page. We all know my last scan was clean and none of us know what this next scan will show. When I leave radiology somebody knows my results. The radiation tech knows whether any questionable angry spots that represent the beast have reappeared on the pictures taken. They never reveal in their attitude one way or the other but simply asking me if I have an appointment to see my doctor lights the fuse of concern and I start to over think that question. If they say nothing at all but "Have a good day" my mind can twist that into wondering if they mean this will be my last good day and I should enjoy it. By the time I get to my car I think that the radiologist knows my results now. What is he or she saying into the phone in the bank of dictation viewing cubicles that exist in the clinic scan area? Is there a "suspicious area" that has to be investigated further? Have they glanced at my age and thought "Oh that's such a shame. So young!"   Now two people know something that no one else does, my results. The wait has been two weeks this time. I have filled the time with travel and the Memorial Holiday and work. But my stomach hurts. This is my worry time and it feels horrible and excessive.

Since my diagnosis in 2010 This two weeks is the longest I have waited for test results. I have also waited as little as minute to see what my scans have revealed. I am here to tell you that two weeks, one week, one day, one hour, one minute all feels like an eternity when, good or bad, somebody other than me knows my results. For that span of time I am worried and afraid. It's only in that time, when somebody "knows" what I don't that I feel off balance. When my results are given to me I feel like I can exhale and do what will be required of me. Harmony will return when I (and everybody) knows how I'm doing and we are all on the same page once more until I scan again.

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3 people threw a punch at your cancer.
Pen, Lori sent you a prayer.
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Michelle.. You are so good at putting what all of us feel into words. I will pray for only good outcomes!
Hugs!
Sara
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We on this blog are very familiar with the words you so beautifully express. 🍷Here's to clean results.
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I am so sorry you are suffering worry, with the wait.
It is so wonderful you are able to always laugh and tell others, you are doing great and there is nothing to fear. Your support system is so great.
I have had the same tech each scan, but the last scan, he treated me so tenderly after the scans were done; he even gave me and extra couple wraps on my arm injection site. I was so worried because of how he was acting. Turned out he saw this large osteoma, I have had for years on my skull, and a surprise I wasn't aware of, I had a old lacunar infarct, in the same area.
Actually, no one called me last time (HMO), but I was able to find the results online. Not being medical, it was a confusing read, so I made an appointment with the Oncologist for further explanation.
Hugs. Jean
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Keep us posted Jean!
Beautifully said.
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True!
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So true. If no eye contact is made after the exam, I am always expecting the worst!
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I am hoping for nothing but good news for you, Michele! Once again, you've captured in your eloquent words what we all have felt. At my last CT scan in December there was a different tech and she was very chatty with me, asking lots of questions about my cancer, etc. I answered them, then said I had just had my check-up the week before with the CR surgeon and she was 95% sure the cancer was gone and wouldn't return. The tech, who by this time had followed me into the locker room, replied "you can never be sure cancer is gone once you've had it, and when it comes back it's always worse than the first time." I was dumbfounded! Then she proceeded to tell me that my husband was her family physician and details of her own colonoscopy, like I gave a damn by that point. My husband wanted to report her and have her reprimanded, but I said not to, because it was the week before Christmas and I didn't want to ruin her life over her stupid remarks.
I'm glad your techs are all more professional! I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, as usual - let us know when you get the results 🙏🏼
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Wow ... Let hope it was immaturity and she will learn to do better in the future.
Totally understand the anxiety. I still have more often than I wish. Sometimes, it just comes as a thought in my head ... Hoping that with time, that will pass. I have my first post treatment pet on 6/30. Just the other day I was looking at my scheduled doctor's visits and realized that the time between my pet and dr visit (oncologist) was 20 days. Last week when I saw my radiation doc, I asked him if I could slide an appointment in with him to get the results. He said "absolutely, if your pet is on Thursday morning, I will have the results by Friday afternoon .. Let's meet then, or I can just call you". I told him I wanted an appointment because if he calls me and says that he needs to see me, no one on any road near me will be safe because the 20 minute drive from my house to his office will happen in under 5 and I will be completely freaked out. He laughed and said he understood.
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Goodness, two weeks is a long time to make you wait. Praying for continued good news!
It was unusual circumstances. My schedule and my oncologists just didn't mesh!
OMG so accurate!! You are amazing!
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Reading your post made me realize how very fortunate I have been in this regard. I happen to live next door to a radiologist who can, has and will get me my results pronto! It's usually a few hours before I hear from him, but it's always same day service, with him even dropping by to hand me the report. However, there was one time when he was going to be out of town during one of my scan appts. and I dreaded the wait until I either saw my oncologist or Dr. Mac got back in town to give me an advance heads up prior to my appt. Well, Dr. Mac, in the back of a taxi in NYC, calls me to give me my results! Of course, he only had the bottom line impression without all the details, but what a relief it was to get his call and find out I was NED! There has only been one other time when I did not have a heads up from him prior to an appt., due to his schedule, and, like you, I found that wait agonizing! I am truly blessed by the presence of this man in my life, but I certainly have not forgotten what it's like for others who must do the wait.

I just read about your results and I couldn't be happier for you, my friend! Let's celebrate! Love and Hugs!

Martha
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I so feel the same, as if knowing good or bad I can direct my focus. It is that unknown that causes the most fear. Looking ahead for a good direction for you.
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Love you Michele... Keep the faith..I am praying for you big hugs and love and always prayers Sabina
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Vital Info

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October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3

No

As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp

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