Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Scanxiety is just what it sounds like. That irrational fear a cancer patient or survivor has right before a scan. Will it be ok? What will it show? Did I take all my medication on time? What will I do if it is back? My last scan was clear. Completely clear. Yesterday I had another scan. It has been six months this time since the last. I have continued with my maintenance infusions every three weeks and I still take my daily meds. But...was it working? I have been extra stressed. "They" say you need to keep that in check too.

I have to say I was a tad bit nervous going in to yesterday's scans. All those irrational fears were there. I did go by myself. But don't feel bad. I have been going to this clinic for two years now. These nurses and MA's are like family. I don't really ever feel alone when I go by myself. It is an odd comforting feeling. And my nurses can calm my fears pretty well.

 I checked in early. I have learned since the last scan that nurses in CT can't really access a port well, so I now go upstairs to hematology (my family) and have my usual nurses access it. It rarely even hurts much anymore. Just a pinch. I went back downstairs and drank my 32 oz concoction of Portland tap water and whatever else it is like a pro. After an hour of sitting in a waiting room and chatting with a nice old couple, it was my turn. Deep Breath....

As comfortable as OHSU is to me now, I still am human. I still have some scanxiety (anxiety over having a scan, if you didn't get that). There is just something about laying in a large room on a table by yourself as the table moves back and forth through a big donut while a robotic voice says, "hold your breath", "breathe," "do not swallow". You just kind of melt into another world and relax and then in ten minutes I am done. Done..and now the waiting for the results begins.

Luckily, I didn't have to wait long. Just a couple of hours later I got a call from my oncologist. Deep breath again. Answer the phone..It is Dr. Chui in his excited voice (YES!) "Ms. Underland! I couldn't wait til next week to tell you!"

Deep breath again..."Scans are clear. Still nothing there! I couldn't wait until your appointment to tell you!"
And let the breath out!

And yes my friends. I am relieved beyond belief.  God is good!

I still don't know how I went from stage 4 cancer two years ago to cancer free. Well, yes I do. Friends, Family and Faith!

I may sound like a broken wheel, but I will still continue with infusion every three weeks (Herceptin) and take my two meds at home (Femara and Tykerb).  Give me six more months and another clean scan and maybe my treatment will change. But why stop what is working?

Scanxiety?  I will probably have it again in six months when I have a scan again. But right now, I can get busy living..cancer free. Or is it living busy? Because life doesn't stop. It doesn't matter. It is life and I am CANCER FREE!

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