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Scanxiety

I was diagnosed with TNBC last year and had chemo, lumpectomy, radiation and immunotherapy. I was so positive but I am up for yearly scan this week and I am coming up with all sorts of symptoms that could show the worst case scenario. I had severe allergies last year when I was diagnosed and it returned exactly now. So I panicked thinking that mediastinal node which was positive before treatment has come back. The next day I had Hemifacial spasm on one side for couple of hours. I have tingling in my forehead and I am assuming the worst.

I also got hypothyroidism after I started treatment. I don't know if that is acting up.

What kind of symptoms or feelings should we expect while waiting for scan and results.

Comments

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,167
    edited January 2022

    We are all different and nobody “should” expect anything. The ladies here will say. Loss of appetite, sleeplessness, grouchy, crying, just anything. Some breeze in and out, no issues. If your mind won’t stay away from dark places, contact your PCP or MO for help.

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,236
    edited January 2022

    I'm so sorry you are dealing with the scanxiety. I know it too well. When I went for my bone marrow MRI (for my MGUS condition), I was CONVINCED it would show ugly stuff. I didn't sleep for several days; I could barely eat, every symptom I had I was sure "pointed to" a diagnosis. My MRI was normal; not even an incidentaloma (odd findings that are nothing). We can certainly talk ourselves into a lot of things that aren't actually indicative of anything serious.

    My DH goes in for scans and labs like he's going out for coffee...no big deal...and he's already got metastatic cancer....so we all handle it differently. Hope all turns out well for you. Don't let your mind play tricks on you.

    I try to remind myself of this Shakespearean quote..."a coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man dies but one..." all the worry and stress won't change the outcomes and we've suffered longer than we need to if we get bad news; needlessly if we get good news. Hard to take this advice when you're in the throes of it, but ......

  • positivityandhope
    positivityandhope Member Posts: 7
    edited January 2022

    Wallycat - thank you for your reply. You are right. Everything or anything I experience now, I think of the worst and relate to a diagnosis. Google does not help. I got my allergies back and I am even scared of that. I like the quote. My brain understands and appreciates it for a moment and then everything collapses.

  • claireinaz
    claireinaz Member Posts: 679
    edited January 2022

    Positivity,

    I just went through six weeks enduring a pretty significant scare about a potential recurrence. My MO understood my generalized anxiety disorder and medical PTSD enough to give me an rx for Xanax early December, which I used before I got CT scan, labs, and office visits. However I realize not everyone has an MO that is that liberal. When I am not having that kind of fear, just daily anxiety, I use theanine, which is an amino acid you can buy at Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc. I use the capsule kind, and take 200 mg sometimes 3 x daily when needed. It is the same amino acid found in green tea, which is calming (without the caffeine). It works and also helps me sleep at night.

    I also have to have an action plan in place in case of the worst. So before I got the results of labs and the latest scan I made sure that I knew that Mayo clinic would take me as a patient if it was a recurrence--since they are the gold standard, for me, of care, and I kept telling myself that millions experience recurrences, get them taken care of, and get back to normal life.

    Our minds tend toward the negative; it's our old, old, survival impulse. The key is to acknowledge we are terrified, since trying to push it away makes it worse. We are entitled to feel terrified since our lives are threatened by cancer now. But for me I then have to tell my fear (I talk to it) that I know it's there--and it can have this little area inside me to exist--but it doesn't get any more area than that. It helps.

    Big hugs; let us know how it goes.

    Claire in AZ

  • positivityandhope
    positivityandhope Member Posts: 7
    edited January 2022

    Thank you all. The scan results are good. Feeling great.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 463
    edited January 2022

    wonderful news!!!