Many people will think that I misspelled the word anxiety, or not understand what I meant when I typed it. But scanxiety is a real word, at least in my world. Scanxiety is the anxiety that happens when a cancer patient has to wait for the results of their latest PET scan. I had my PET scan on Monday, and have to wait until next Friday to get the results. Eleven days, each of which can feel like an eternity.
I read an interesting take on scanxiety on one of the cancer related web sites that I tend to look at when I am looking for information, hope, or even the cold hard truth. It read:
“People often don’t realize there’s a difference between general anxiety and scanxiety. For those of us with scanxiety, it’s not about what might happen, it’s about what already did happen. Telling a person with scanxiety to “just let go because worry won’t help” or “the things you worry about will never happen” can not only be confusing to us, but they can be damaging. You have to remember that the things that cause our scanxiety already happened. For us it is not so much about worrying; instead it’s about remembering.”
When I read that I found so much truth in it. I am a man of strong faith, one that puts my whole life in God’s hands. I know that He is in charge and is in control of my future, not me. I know that I can take anything to Him and give it over to Him and He will take it from me happily. I have turned over the results of the scan to Him and know that whatever happens, it is His will.
But that doesn’t stop me from worrying about the results and how it will affect my family and me. It doesn’t stop me from wondering if I am going to be one of the blessed ones who gets more time on this Earth with my family and friends or one of those that gets called home early. It doesn’t stop me from thinking I should be getting my affairs in order and get my will, living will and power of attorney completed or updated. It doesn’t stop me from being scared that I won’t see my children get married, graduate from college, and raise their families. It doesn’t stop me from thinking about how lonely my dear wife is going to be when I am gone.
I hope and pray that my scan shows promise, gives us more hope, and the strength the keep on fighting this wretched disease. But the next eight days are going to be very difficult to get through and I haven’t even hit the half way mark yet.
So yes, scanxiety is a real thing, and it is a real bitch.